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'The past is a foreign country' has become a truism, yet the past differs from the present in many unfamiliar ways and historical memory is extraordinarily imperfect. The degree to which we think of the European past as the history of France, Germany, Britain, Russia and so on, actually obstructs our view of former reality, and blunts our sensitivity to the ever-changing political landscape. Europe's past is littered with kingdoms, empires and republics which no longer exist but which were some of the most important entities of their day - 'the Empire of Aragon', which dominated the western Mediterranean in the thirteenth century, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the largest country in Europe for part of the eighteenth century. This book shows the reader how to peer through the cracks of mainstream history-writing, and to catch a glimpse of the 'Five, Six or Seven Kingdoms of Burgundy'. How long will it be before the USSR, until recently one of the world's two superpowers, is wholly or half-forgotten as most of these? The histories of the lost echo across the centuries, mixed in with more familiar sounds. One of the purposes of this book is to help us hear them again more clearly, and appreciate where they came from. As in his earlier celebrated books Europe and The Isles, Norman Davies aims to subvert our established view what looks familiar in history and urges us to look and think again. This stimulating book, full of unexpected stories, observations and connections, gives us a fresh and original perspective on European history.

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Genre: History
Author: Norman Davies
Publisher: Penguin UK
Release: 2011-10-27
File: 848 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780141960487

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An evocative account of fourteen European kingdoms-their rise, maturity, and eventual disappearance. There is something profoundly romantic about lost civilizations. Europe's past is littered with states and kingdoms, large and small, that are scarcely remembered today, and while their names may be unfamiliar-Aragon, Etruria, the Kingdom of the Two Burgundies-their stories should change our mental map of the past. We come across forgotten characters and famous ones-King Arthur and Macbeth, Napoleon and Queen Victoria, right up to Stalin and Gorbachev-and discover how faulty memory can be, and how much we can glean from these lost empires. Davies peers through the cracks in the mainstream accounts of modern-day states to dazzle us with extraordinary stories of barely remembered pasts, and of the traces they left behind. This is Norman Davies at his best: sweeping narrative history packed with unexpected insights. Vanished Kingdoms will appeal to all fans of unconventional and thought-provoking history, from readers of Niall Ferguson to Jared Diamond.

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Genre: History
Author: Norman Davies
Publisher: Penguin
Release: 2012-01-05
File: 848 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781101545348

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A Testament to the Great Spirit and Success of a Remarkable Woman Explorer In the early 1920s, the last great age of world explorers, a remarkable young woman, Janet Elliott Wulsin, set out with her husband, Frederick Wulsin, for the far reaches of China, Tibet, and Outer Mongolia to study the people, flora, and fauna of the region. Janet's strenuous, eventful exploration is detailed by a text enriched with excerpts from her candid personal letters. The journey proved to be a test of the Wulsins' endurance and of their relationship. While in Asia, the Wulsins took many extraordinary photographs, which form the heart of this richly produced publication. They documented tribespeople and sublime desert landscapes, and, perhaps most remarkably, were allowed to photograph the interior of several of the great Tibetan Buddhist lamaseries, many of which have since been destroyed. Several dozen rare, hand-painted lantern slides survived and are reproduced here in splendid color. The photographs from the Wulsin expedition are now in the collection of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, in collaboration with which this volume is being produced.

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Genre: China
Author: Mabel H. Cabot
Publisher:
Release: 2003
File: 190 Pages
ISBN-13: 1931788189

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'He writes history like nobody else. He thinks like nobody else ... He sees the world as a whole, with its limitless fund of stories' Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times Where have the people in any particular place actually come from? What are the historical complexities in any particular place? This evocative historical journey around the world shows us. 'Human history is a tale not just of constant change but equally of perpetual locomotion', writes Norman Davies. Throughout the ages, men and women have endlessly sought the greener side of the hill. Their migrations, collisions, conquests and interactions have given rise to the spectacular profusion of cultures, races, languages and polities that now proliferates on every continent. This incessant restlessness inspired Davies's own. After decades of writing about European history, and like Tennyson's ageing Ulysses longing for one last adventure, he embarked upon an extended journey that took him right round the world to a score of hitherto unfamiliar countries. His aims were to test his powers of observation and to revel in the exotic, but equally to encounter history in a new way. Beneath Another Sky is partly a historian's travelogue, partly a highly engaging exploration of events and personalities that have fashioned today's world - and entirely sui generis. Davies's circumnavigation takes him to Baku, the Emirates, India, Malaysia, Mauritius, Tasmania, Tahiti, Texas, Madeira and many places in between. At every stop, he not only describes the current scene but also excavates the layers of accumulated experience that underpin the present. He tramps round ancient temples and weird museums, summarises the complexity of Indian castes, Austronesian languages and Pacific explorations, delves into the fate of indigenous peoples and of a missing Malaysian airliner, reflects on cultural conflict in Cornwall, uncovers the Nazi origins of Frankfurt airport and lectures on imperialism in a desert oasis. 'Everything has its history', he writes, 'including the history of finding one's way or of getting lost.' The personality of the author comes across strongly - wry, romantic, occasionally grumpy, but with an endless curiosity and appetite for knowledge. As always, Norman Davies watches the historical horizon as well as what is close at hand, and brilliantly complicates our view of the past.

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Genre: History
Author: Norman Davies
Publisher: Penguin UK
Release: 2017-12-07
File: 656 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781846148323

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Frank Joseph reveals that modern civilization in North America was preceded by four advanced cultures that rose and fell over the past three thousand years. How they achieved greatness and why they vanished so completely are explored in this unconventional prehistory.

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Genre: History
Author: Frank Joseph
Publisher: Inner Traditions / Bear & Co
Release: 2009-12-21
File: 310 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781591431077

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The fascinating history of a Baltic empire’s dominance and decline—excerpted from internationally bestselling author Norman Davies’s Vanished Kingdoms Vanished Kingdoms introduces readers to once-powerful European empires that have left scant traces on the modern map. In this excerpt from his widely acclaimed book, Norman Davies tells the ill-fated story of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Founded in the mid-thirteenth century in one of the continent’s first settled regions, where the oldest of its Indo-European languages is spoken, the Grand Duchy at its peak was the largest country in Europe, stretching from the Baltic to the Black Sea, and it commanded yet greater influence after uniting with its western neighbor, the Kingdom of Poland, to form the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Grand Duchy’s huge territory included the great cities of Kiev, Vilnius, Riga, Minsk, and Brest. Despite being ahead of its time as an elective republic in an age of absolute monarchy, power struggles and foreign incursions led to its ultimate demise and forced partition by Russia, Prussia, and Austria in 1795. In this selection from a work The Boston Globe has called “commendably accessible, magisterial, and uncommonly humane,” Davies chronicles these rich yet unfamiliar chapters in the history of modern Lithuania, Belarus, and Latvia with his signature acuity and verve.

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Genre: History
Author: Norman Davies
Publisher: Penguin
Release: 2013-02-19
File: 90 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781101630822

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For more than a thousand years Tibet, Sikkim, Ladakh, and Bhutan were the santuaries of Tantric Buddhism. But in the last half of this century, geopolitics has scoured the landscape of the Himalayas, and only the reclusive kingdom of Bhutan remains true to Tantric Buddhism. As she travels through Bhutan and its neighbots, Crossette introduces readers to a world that has emerged from the middle ages only to find itself peering into the abyss of modernity.

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Genre: Religion
Author: Barbara Crossette
Publisher: Vintage
Release: 2011-08-03
File: 320 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780307801906

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Written by the Professor of History at the University of NSW and well-known author of TThe Irish in Australia,' this book is a study from an historical and personal perspective of the Irish immigrant experience in Australia and New Zealand. Focusing particularly on the early years of this century, the author attempts to present Irish migration in all of its drama, colour and humour. Contains many evocative illustrations, a bibliography and an index.

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Genre: Australia
Author: Patrick James O'Farrell
Publisher: UNSW Press
Release: 1990-01-01
File: 309 Pages
ISBN-13: 086840148X

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Genre: Fiction
Author: Bob Curran
Publisher: ReadHowYouWant.com
Release: 2009-03-05
File: 432 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781442967571

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Despite its reputation for religious intolerance, the Middle East has long sheltered many distinctive and strange faiths: one regards the Greek prophets as incarnations of God, another reveres Lucifer in the form of a peacock, and yet another believes that their followers are reincarnated beings who have existed in various forms for thousands of years. These religions represent the last vestiges of the magnificent civilizations in ancient history: Persia, Babylon, Egypt in the time of the Pharaohs. Their followers have learned how to survive foreign attacks and the perils of assimilation. But today, with the Middle East in turmoil, they face greater challenges than ever before. In Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms, former diplomat Gerard Russell ventures to the distant, nearly impassable regions where these mysterious religions still cling to survival. He lives alongside the Mandaeans and Ezidis of Iraq, the Zoroastrians of Iran, the Copts of Egypt, and others. He learns their histories, participates in their rituals, and comes to understand the threats to their communities. Historically a tolerant faith, Islam has, since the early 20th century, witnessed the rise of militant, extremist sects. This development, along with the rippling effects of Western invasion, now pose existential threats to these minority faiths. And as more and more of their youth flee to the West in search of greater freedoms and job prospects, these religions face the dire possibility of extinction. Drawing on his extensive travels and archival research, Russell provides an essential record of the past, present, and perilous future of these remarkable religions.

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Genre: Travel
Author: Gerard Russell
Publisher: Basic Books
Release: 2015-12-01
File: 368 Pages
ISBN-13: 9780465097692

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