This series gives readers accessible and informative introductions to 30 of the most popular, most acclaimed and most influential contemporary novels. Each title includes a biography of the novelist and a full-length study of the novel.
the secret history
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Donna Tartt, winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for her most recent novel, The Goldfinch, established herself as a major talent with The Secret History, which has become a contemporary classic. Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality their lives are changed profoundly and forever, and they discover how hard it can be to truly live and how easy it is to kill.
"You'll never look at Renner's elegant circles-and-lines font Futura in the same way again."--Boston Globe
This adaptation of what is recognized today as the oldest Mongolian text (written two decades after Chingis Khan's death) tells the Mongols' own version of the origin of their nation, the life of C
Mark Booth, author of the international bestseller The Secret History of the World, uncovers the real-life stories of Dante and The Inferno. Why does Dante describe the Inferno as a real place? What secret society did Dante belong to? What was Dante’s connection with the Knights Templar? What was his secret connection to militant Islamic sects? Here you will find hidden codes, passageways under the streets of Florence, mad monks, mind-bending drugs and terrifying underground rituals. Together they contain all the elements of a great thriller–greed, murder, obsessive love, betrayal–and they reveal a 2,000-year-old conspiracy: to rule the world. Perfect if you want to understand the mysteries that inspired Dan Brown's novel Inferno, or as a standalone initiation to one of the great turning points in occult history.
Taking English culture as its representative sample, The Secret History of Domesticity asks how the modern notion of the public-private relation emerged in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Treating that relation as a crucial instance of the modern division of knowledge, Michael McKeon narrates its pre-history along with that of its essential component, domesticity. This narrative draws upon the entire spectrum of English people's experience. At the most "public" extreme are political developments like the formation of civil society over against the state, the rise of contractual thinking, and the devolution of absolutism from monarch to individual Subject. The middle range of experience takes in the influence of Protestant and scientific thought, the printed publication of the private, the conceptualization of virtual publics -- society, public opinion, the market -- and the capitalization of production, the decline of the domestic economy, and the increase in the sexual division of labor. The most "private" pole of experience involves the privatization of marriage, the family, and the household, and the complex entanglement of femininity, interiority, Subjectivity, and sexuality. McKeon accounts for how the relationship between public and private experience first became intelligible as a variable interaction of distinct modes of being -- not a static dichotomy, but a tool to think with. Richly illustrated with nearly 100 images, including paintings, engravings, woodcuts, and a representative selection of architectural floor plans for domestic interiors, this volume reads graphic forms to emphasize how susceptible the public-private relation was to concrete and spatial representation. McKeon is similarly attentive to how literary forms evoked a tangible sense of public-private relations -- among them figurative imagery, allegorical narration, parody, the author-character-reader dialectic, aesthetic distance, and free indirect discourse. He also finds a structural analogue for the emergence of the modern public-private relation in the conjunction of what contemporaries called the "secret history" and the domestic novel. A capacious and synthetic historical investigation, The Secret History of Domesticity exemplifies how the methods of literary interpretation and historical analysis can inform and enrich one another.
'Lonely Young Officer, up to his neck in Flanders mud, would like to correspond with young lady (age 18-20), cheery and good looking.' 1916 'Discreet, attractive couple 21 and 25 wish to meet couples and singles 21-35 for exciting and fun-loving adult relationships. Open-minded but not way out. No prejudices. Full length photo, address, and detailed letter assures same.' 1969 From the 'sporty' girls and 'artistic' boys of the Edwardian era to the 'lonely' soldiers of the Great War, the marriage bureaux of the fifties, and on to the internet dating sites of today, Classified tells the story of those who used personal ads to search for love, friendship, marriage and adventure.
“An important, disturbing, and gripping history” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review), the never-before-told story of the computer scientists and the NSA, Pentagon, and White House policymakers who invent and employ cyber wars—where every country can be a major power player and every hacker a mass destroyer. In June 1983, President Reagan watched the movie War Games, in which a teenager unwittingly hacks the Pentagon, and asked his top general if the scenario was plausible. The general said it was. This set in motion the first presidential directive on computer security. From the 1991 Gulf War to conflicts in Haiti, Serbia, Syria, the former Soviet republics, Iraq, and Iran, where cyber warfare played a significant role, Dark Territory chronicles a little-known past that shines an unsettling light on our future. Fred Kaplan probes the inner corridors of the National Security Agency, the beyond-top-secret cyber units in the Pentagon, the “information warfare” squads of the military services, and the national security debates in the White House to reveal the details of the officers, policymakers, scientists, and spies who devised this new form of warfare and who have been planning—and (more often than people know) fighting—these wars for decades. “An eye-opening history of our government’s efforts to effectively manage our national security in the face of the largely open global communications network established by the World Wide Web….Dark Territory is a page-turner [and] consistently surprising” (The New York Times).
Contrary to popular belief, Western civilisation as we know it today is not the end result of steady progress. For over half a millennium revolution has succeeded revolution like a succession of tidal waves. At one level this book is a chronological narrative of these revolutions, from the Renaissance to the Russian. It shows how Utopian visions of ideal societies end in massacres and the guillotine, and therefore appeals to and challenges both left and right. At a second level it offers a new and original theory of why revolutions happen. An idealist has a vision, which others state in intellectual terms. This becomes corrupted by a political regime, and results in physical repression. The unique approach that The Secret History takes is that this vision has never been part of Establishment thought or practice. Indeed it usually has its roots in ideas and influences that have hitherto been unexpressed, secret.
"Deeply researched, well reported and full of interesting and surprising analyses. It demands to be read."--Peter Bergen, author of Holy War, Inc. and The Osama Bin Laden I Know