Lifestyle and Culture: History and Archeology

Mycenae

From Myth to History

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The extraordinary story of the loss and rediscovery of the city that fought Troy, told through archaeology, literature, and poetic black-and-white photography

The Mycenaean civilization flourished more than 800 years before the classical Greeks, with a complex society, strong artistic tendencies, and a distinct system of writing. Famous for its lion gate and citadel, Mycenae was long believed to be the city that fought Troy in Homer’s epic, the Iliad. But after flourishing nearly three thousand years ago the society vanished, becoming nothing more than a legend. Mycenae brings readers into the heart of this mystery, as it was being solved, through lively text, stunning photographs, and an original take on Greek history and mythology.

Using the pivotal summer of 1954—a year after Linear B, the mysterious language present on all Mycenaean artifacts, was decoded—as her entry point, author Athina Cacouri reveals the fascinating archaeological history of the site, from the pioneering work of Heinrich Schliemann to the discovery of hundreds of “seal stones,” marked with an unknown language. Cacouri’s text is complemented by the photographs of Robert McCabe, whose lens captured the site before it was opened to the general public, giving his atmospheric images a poignant, unmatched immediacy. An original play, commissioned for this volume from renowned American playwright John Guare, sets the mythological stage for the archaeological discoveries to come by recounting the history of the House of Atreus and King Agamemnon’s Trojan War, while commentary on the photographs from archaeologist Lisa Wace French ties those myths to very real discoveries at the site. An essay by Daniel Fallu, detailing the importance of Mycenae’s geology, rounds out this unparalleled survey of one of Greece’s treasured archaeological sites.

A multifaceted look at a brilliant civilization and the tireless work that led to its rediscovery, Mycenae is a fast-paced, lushly illustrated exploration of one of the most intriguing mysteries of antiquity that is sure to delight lovers of classical civilization, photography, and travel.

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American Indian Women

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A wide-ranging visual history of American Indian women, from pre-Columbian times to the present

Despite their important roles in religious, political, and family life, the stories of American Indian women have remained largely untold, or else have been obscured by the glamorizing eye of popular culture. American Indian Women weaves together history, anthropology, folklore, and rich visuals to provide a fascinating introduction to a widely overlooked group.

This attractive volume is divided into three parts. The first explores American Indian cultures before the arrival of European colonists, delving into tribal mythologies, the role of the Clan Mother in society and religion, family customs, and the complex and varied artistic endeavors of American Indian women. The second part examines encounters between American Indian peoples and the Spanish, British, and French colonists, discussing intermarriage, acculturation, and the lives of prominent female figures—including Pocahontas and Sacagawea. Attention is also devoted to the later portrayal of American Indian women in Hollywood and the fetishization of their cultures. The final section celebrates the American Indian Renaissance, exemplified by a new generation of female sachems, or chiefs, as well as warriors, negotiators, educators, and advocates for the civil rights of native peoples.

Abundantly illustrated with archival photographs, period illustrations, film stills, and tribal objects, American Indian Women is a meaningful contribution to American history and a tribute to some of its unsung heroines.

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Harem

The World Behind the Veil

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A fascinating illustrated history of one of the strangest, and cruelest, cultural institutions ever devised. A worldwide best seller, translated into twenty-five languages.

“I was born in a konak (old house), which once was the harem of a pasha,” writes Alev Lytle Croutier. “People around me often whispered things about harems; my own grandmother and her sister had been brought up in one.”

Drawing on a host of firsthand accounts and memoirs, as well as her own family history, Croutier explores life in the world’s harems, from the Middle Ages to the early twentieth century, focusing on the fabled Seraglio of Topkapi Palace as a paradigm for them all. We enter the slave markets and the lavish boudoirs of the sultanas; we witness the daily routines of the odalisques, and of the eunuchs who guarded the harem. Here, too, we learn of the labyrinthine political scheming among the sultan’s wives, his favorites, and the valide sultana—the sultan’s mother—whose power could eclipse that of the sultan himself.

There were the harems of the sultans and the pashas, but there were also “middle-class” harems, the households in which ordinary men and women lived out ordinary—albeit polygamous—lives. Croutier reveals their marital customs, child-rearing practices, and superstitions. Finally, she shows how this Eastern institution invaded the European imagination—in the form of decoration, costume, and art—and how Western ideas, in turn, finally eroded a system that had seemed eternal. Juxtaposing a rich array of illustrations—Orientalist paintings, Turkish and Persian miniatures, family photographs, and even film stills—Croutier demystifies the Western erotic fantasy of “the world behind the veil.”

This revised and updated 25th anniversary edition of Harem includes a new introduction by the author, revisiting her subject in light of recent events in Turkey, and the world.

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Herculaneum

Art of a Buried City

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The first modern survey of the art and architecture of this miraculously preserved Roman town, illustrated with superb new photography.

The bustling life of Herculaneum was brought to a sudden and catastrophic end in AD 79, by the same eruption of Mount Vesuvius that buried the city’s larger neighbor, Pompeii. But while Pompeii was initially covered by a rain of loose pumice, Herculaneum was submerged to a great depth in torrents of superheated ash, which, uniquely, preserved the upper stories of buildings, as well as organic materials such as wooden furnishings and foodstuffs.

This handsome oversized volume opens with an account of Herculaneum’s destruction, and of the excavations, under way since 1738, that have brought at least a part of its treasures back to light. It then describes, in detail, twenty-six of the most important public buildings and private residences that have been uncovered. These include the Samnite House, one of the city’s oldest surviving dwellings, decorated in the elegant and restrained First Style of wall painting; the famous House of the Stags, with its luxurious marble pavements and its garden overlooking the sea; and of course the fantastically wealthy Villa of the Papyri, which has yielded nearly ninety fine statues, as well as the library of manuscripts for which it is named.

The splendid decoration of these ancient structures—in particular, their wall paintings—is presented as never before, thanks to an extensive photographic campaign carried out especially for this book. With these superb illustrations complementing an authoritative text, Herculaneum is sure to be welcomed by all students and enthusiasts of archaeology.

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The Grand Medieval Bestiary

The Animal in Illuminated Manuscripts

A splendid pageant of the animal kingdom as the Middle Ages saw it, illustrated with miniatures of every period and style, many never before published

As the 587 colorful images in this magnificent volume reveal, animals were a constant—and delightful—presence in illuminated manuscripts throughout the Middle Ages. Many proto-zoological illustrations, of great charm but variable accuracy, are found in the bestiaries, or compendiums of animal lore, that were exceedingly popular in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. But animals are depicted in every other sort of illuminated manuscript as well, from the eighth-century Echternach Gospels, with its geometrically schematized symbols of the Evangelists, to the early fifteenth-century Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, with its famously naturalistic scenes of peasant and aristocratic life.

In his insightful opening chapters, the noted art historian Christian Heck explains that the prevalence of animals in illuminated manuscripts reflects their importance in medieval thought, an importance due in part to the agricultural society of that age, in which a variety of species—and not just docile pets—were the daily companions of man. Animals also had a greater symbolic significance than they do today: in popular fables, such as those of Reynard the Fox, they held up a mirror to the follies of mankind, and on the religious plane, they were understood as an integral part of God’s creation, whose attributes and behaviors could be taken as clues to His plan of salvation.

The main part of the book explores the complex and fascinating iconography of the individual creatures most frequently depicted by medieval miniaturists. It is arranged in the manner of a proper bestiary, with essays on one hundred animals alphabetized by their Latin names, from the alauda, or lark, whose morning song was thought to be a hymn to Creation, to the vultur, which enjoyed a certain respect due to its impressive appearance, but whose taste for carrion also made it a symbol of the sinner who indulges in worldly pleasures. The selection includes a number of creatures that would now be considered fantastic, including the griffin, the manticore, and of course the fabled unicorn, tamable only by a gentle maiden. Not merely a study of art history, The Grand Medieval Bestiary uses a theme of timeless interest to present a panorama of medieval life and thought that will captivate even the most sophisticated modern reader.

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The Carving of Mount Rushmore

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The first book to tell the complete story of Rushmore.

Now as an e-book, The Carving of Mount Rushmore tells the complete story of the largest and certainly the most spectacular sculpture in existence. More than 60 black-and-white photographs offer unique views of this gargantuan effort, and author Rex Alan Smith—a man born and raised within sight of Rushmore—recounts with the sensitivity of a native son the ongoing struggles of sculptor Gutzon Borglum and his workers.

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Great Civil War Heroes and Their Battles

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Released in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, this book offers a complete pictorial overview of the war and biographies of fifty legendary leaders.

The dramatic history of the “War Between the States” comes alive in Great Civil War Heroes and their Battles. In this beautifully produced compilation are the biographies of fifty famed commanders from both the Union and the Confederacy, accompanied by lifelike portraits and more than seventy full-page battle scenes, including images from Currier & Ives and the treasured Kurz and Allison series.

The highly anticipated new edition of Great Civil War Heroes and Their Battles brings a classic American history book back in stock in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War on April 12, 1861. This anniversary edition features an engaging new Preface from author Walton Rawls.

Each general’s section, in addition to a biography and exciting descriptions of his exploits in the war, lists his major battles, his dates of promotion, his independent field commands, etc. Written when many of these figures were still alive, the biographies are peppered with fascinating first-person anecdotes and recollections that may not otherwise have survived. Supplementing the text and battle scenes are ordnance drawings identifying the major types of artillery, muskets, rifles, and pistols used by both sides— as well as full-color spreads showing the standard uniforms and insignia of Union and Confederate armies. Scattered throughout are colorful vignettes of a soldier’s life and patriotic drawings taken from writing paper and envelopes distributed to the Union troops. Full-page maps and a detailed chronology of the war complete this enriching volume—a must-have for history buffs on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line.

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The Vatican Gardens

An Architectural and Horticultural History

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An authoritative, visually stunning study of one of the world's most imitated and venerated gardens.

The inspiration for virtually all of Rome’s famous gardens, the Vatican Gardens first flourished during the Middle Ages and have awed visitors ever since. Yet despite their importance to the history of Western gardens and art, no full-length study of the gardens has previously been published. With the release of The Vatican Gardens—the third in a series co-published with the Vatican that also includes The Sistine Chapel: A New Vision and The Loggia of Raphael: A Vatican Art Treasure—these important gardens have at last received their full due.

Covering the period from the thirteenth century through 1930, when the Vatican became a state, The Vatican Gardens explores the plants, planters, and architectural structures of the gardens in fascinating detail. Here you will learn about such celebrated gardeners as Michele Mercate, who around 1570 introduced the rarest plants of his time to the Vatican, and the great botanist Johannes Faber. The famous Cortile del Belvedere courtyard, designed by Donato Branmante for Pope Julius II and envisioned as a vast outdoor room, is brought to vibrant life through word and image. Discussion of the Gardens’ symbolic significance, agricultural functions, and upkeep by such gardening popes as Leo XIII—as well as of the gardens at Castel Gandolfo, the pope's four-centuries-old summer residence—completes this authoritative volume.

Illustrated throughout with newly commissioned images and plans as well as historic pictures and diagrams, and featuring research that—among much else—establishes the Vatican Gardens as the oldest botanical garden in Italy, this original volume belongs in the libraries of landscape gardeners, architects, historians, and visitors to Rome.

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The Green Bubble

Waste Into Wealth: the New Energy Revolution

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Essential reading for investors and policy advisers, The Green Bubble predicts the rapid rise of renewable energy and its profound impact on stock markets worldwide.

In this prescient volume, noted economist Robert Bell argues that

—the next four years will be an increasingly frenzied lead-up to a gigantic stock market bubble in renewable energy;

—the new energy revolution will have a profound impact on everything that human beings construct, move, or deliberately heat or cool;

—and the consequences of the first truly global stock market bubble will transform every country, every industry, and nearly every business.

But after the bubble bursts, most of the investors in the bubble, those who did not get out in time and numbering perhaps a billion or more, will have lost a material amount of their life savings. Some will have invested individually, others through their pension funds, still others through their government’s tax money, and, finally, quite a few through all of the above.

And, what of the outcome? A World-War magnitude of invested money will actually have paid for the transformation out of oil and into renewable energy. The result—the climate will probably have been saved, and there will be nearly limitless energy. But it will have virtually no monetary value. Energy will be “too cheap to meter.”

Readers of The Green Bubble will learn about the new energy revolution and will discover what works and what doesn't, and why they will have to watch their investments closely—especially those made by others on their behalf.

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The Lure of Gold

An Artistic and Cultural History

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The dazzlingly illustrated story of how the world's most beautiful element has influenced the art, economy, and society of every civilization.

When Hesiod, the Greek poet of the eighth century B.C., recounted the history of the world as he understood it, he described the legendary first generation of mortal men, who lived in peace and ease, as the “people of gold.” Nearly three millennia later, we still refer to a particularly happy or prosperous era as a “golden age.” The reason Hesiod’s metaphor translates so perfectly into our own idiom is that the mystique of gold, the quintessential precious metal, is truly universal. The very scarcity of gold accounts for part of its allure and much of its monetary value: the total volume of gold ever mined, from prehistory to the present day, would probably fit inside a cube with sides just twenty yards (18 m) long. Yet gold’s incredible material properties also contribute to its appeal. Gold does not corrode, so it never loses its brilliant luster, and it can be chased, embossed, punched, drawn into wires, hammered foil-thin, and shaped in countless other ways.

This engaging book reveals that the ways in which gold, in turn, has shaped humanity are no less numerous. Since prehistory, for example, artisans have fashioned gold into ritual objects and high-status ornaments; beginning in the sixth century B.C., gold served as currency; and even in the modern era it has encouraged wars of conquest and triggered frantic gold rushes. Each chapter is devoted to one historical epoch, explaining how people of that time mined and refined gold, and how they used it for cultural and economic purposes. Two hundred gorgeous color photographs illustrate golden objets d’art as diverse as the funerary masks of Tutankhamen; intricate Celtic jewelry; a figurine of “El Dorado,” a pre-Columbian chief said to ritualistically cover his entire body in gold dust; bejeweled medieval reliquaries and crucifixes; and even Gustav Klimt’s gold-drenched canvas The Kiss. With its authoritative yet lively text and these arresting illustrations, The Lure of Gold sets, as it were, the gold standard for books on material culture.

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Photo-journalism 1855 to the Present

Editor's Choice

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A compelling anthology of photojournalism from the nineteenth century to the present, profiling fifty-four masters of the field and reproducing their most stirring images. 

Ever since Roger Fenton inaugurated the genre by photographing the Crimean War in 1855, the world's great photojournalists have used a variety of approaches to bear witness to their times. At one end of the photojournalistic spectrum are war photographers like Robert Capa and Larry Burrows, who capture the most extreme events of human existence as they happen; at the other are social documentarians like Lewis Hine and Sebastião Salgado, who step back from the single dramatic incident to cover in depth such economic and cultural issues as labor and migration. By compiling 250 of the most memorable images from photojournalism’s 150-year history, Photojournalism 1855 to the Present: Editor’s Choice provides a fascinating introduction to the entire range of the field.

Author Reuel Golden, a noted authority on photojournalism, selected the fifty-four photographers featured in this book based on their critical reputations and historical importance. For each photographer, Golden provides a portfolio of representative images—many reproduced at full-page size—as well as a brief biography and an insightful critical commentary on his or her career. In these commentaries and in his informative introduction, Golden discusses the particular challenges of photojournalism, such as the relationship between photographer and subject, and the moral ramifications of aestheticizing human suffering. Yet perhaps most importantly, his text also encourages the reader to look closer and discover how well the photographs speak for themselves. From Frank Hurley’s groundbreaking World War I battlefield shots to Mary Ellen Mark’s stark portraits of American poverty and James Nachtwey’s haunting pictures of the September 11 attacks, the images in this book prove that even in our era of twenty-four-hour video-on demand, the still photograph remains as powerful as ever.

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Maya Script

A Civilization and Its Writing

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A fascinating handbook revealing the secrets of the symbolic written characters of the ancient Maya people, which provides a vivid portrait of their gods, people, and everyday life.

By the time Spanish conquistadors arrived in Mexico in the sixteenth century, Maya cities had long since fallen into a state of decay and abandonment. Europeans were impressed by the painted books of the Maya but concluded that they did not have a system of writing because no alphabetic value could be given to their script. This impression remained in the West until recently when researchers finally succeeded in deciphering the written record of the Mayas.

Maya Script presents about 200 Maya glyphs (symbolic figures). Some are ideograms (pictorial symbols representing things, not words); others are phonetic signs. The glyphs express people, animals, things, and such abstract concepts as death. Each one opens a window onto fragments of everyday life, religious beliefs, or even emotions. The complexity of the Maya calendar, mathematical computations, and astronomy reveals a highly developed civilization. This book also features two-color drawings of the glyphs, illustrations from reliefs and Spanish codices, and examples of Maya sculpture and paintings. Concluding the book are a chapter on writing systems of the New World, a bibliography, and an index of glyphs. This informative book is a travelogue back in time for anyone intrigued by ancient civilizations.

 

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India

Journey Through the Heart of a Continent

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A groundbreaking photographic journey, illustrated with 150 captivating images, through the heart of India, illuminating the variety of cultural traditions that constitute modern Indian life.

From 1965 to 2001, Roland and Sabina Michaud traveled throughout India on a series of lengthy expeditions, dedicating over thirty five years to photographing the landscape and people. India: Journey through the Heart of a Continent is their intimate view of this remarkable country, designed to illuminate the country’s complexities and contradictions.

The beauty and mysteries of India’s many competing religions and ways of life provided the inspiration for the 150 carefully selected photographs in this volume, telling the story of a remarkable country caught between old traditions and modern dilemmas. The variety of the photographs is astounding, reflecting the depth of understanding of the photojournalists; the breathtaking images range from India’s austere, mountainous landscapes and diverse architectural tradition to intimate portraits of the men, women and children who inhabit these places. From beachside bonfires and traditional fishing boats to details of intricate stone carvings and sweeping panoramas of the cities’ crowded streets, India: Journey through the Heart of a Continent provides an unparalleled look into the lives of the Indian people and the multifaceted worlds they live in.

India is currently one of the top five destinations in the world and it inspires extreme and passionate responses from its many visitors; while some see it as an enchanted island, the poverty and difficulties of daily life are impossible to ignore. From the Himalayas to the Dravidian lands, India contains the variety of an entire continent. Through their fascinating text and images, Roland and Sabina Michaud have sought to capture the reality of Indian life in this gorgeous, expansive tribute to the real India. This is an ideal gift for armchair travelers as well as for those who have traveled there and wish to relive the beauty and surprise of their journey.

 

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Sacred Landscape and Pilgrimage in Tibet

In Search of the Lost Kingdom of Bon

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Before Buddhism, there was Bön. This book is a fascinating journey, visually and spiritually, through western Tibet by a monk of the little-known Bön faith, who is searching for the lost, sacred Bön homeland of Zhangzhung.

Including a DVD of the Pilgrimage.

This spiritual adventure is the first book to document the living tradition of Bön. What makes this narrative so compelling is that the voice and perspective of Gelek, a young Bön monk, lends an intimacy and knowledge of Bön not found in religious texts.

According to the Tibetan calendar, 2002 was a holy year for pilgrimages, and in the holiest month of that year, Gelek set out from his monastery in Nepal with some hardy companions and photographer Thomas Kelly to travel to Kailash, a sacred mountain in western Tibet. He was also on a quest to seek out the long-vanished kingdom of Zhangzhung. At the end of the journey, Gelek finds little that resembles the Bön kingdom. He comes upon crumbling ruins that have all but reverted to their native dust and earth. From this experience Gelek understands that the essence of his faith is built not on these shifting sands but on the bedrock of the changeless Bön teachings.

This extraordinary trek is illustrated by 160 stunningly beautiful color photographs of the unknown landscapes, as well as travelers and local people. Accompanying the images is the authors’ vivid description of their journey, which is especially evocative as it includes translated excerpts from Gelek’s personal diary.

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Treasures of The National Museum of The American Indian

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This little volume provides an impressive overview of the most significant collection of art by Native Americans anywhere in the world.

Established by an act of Congress in 1989, the Smithsonian’s National Musuem of the American Indian (NMAI) is dedicated to the preservation, study, and exhibition of the life, languages, literature, history, and the arts of Native Americans. The museum’s collections span more than 10,000 years and – as this lavishly illustrated miniature volume demonstrates – include a multitlude of fascinating objects, from ancient clay figurines to contemporary Indian paintings, from all over the Americas.

 

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Pacific War Stories

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This is the most extensive collection published to date of first-person oral histories on so many diverse aspects of the war in the Pacific—told in gripping, eyewitness accounts by more than seventy veterans from all branches of service.

In this new book by the authors of Pacific Legacy: Image and Memory of World War II in the Pacific, the history of the War in the Pacific comes vividly to life in the words of those who witnessed it first hand. The editors create for the reader, as the veterans themselves recall it, what that war was like—how it looked, felt, smelled, and sounded. The stories collected here are a unique portrayal of the mundane, exotic, boring, terrifying, life-altering events that made up their wartime experiences in World War II in the Pacific, a war fought on countless far-flung islands over an area that constitutes about one-third of the globe. What the veterans saw and lived through has stayed with them their entire lives, and much of it comes to the surface again through their vivid memories.

The narratives, grouped into fifteen thematic, chronologically arranged chapters, are stirring, first-hand accounts, from front-line combat at the epicenter of violence and death to restless, weary boredom on rear area islands thousands of miles from the fighting. While their experiences differed, all were changed by what happened to them in the Pacific. These are not the stories of sweeping strategies or bold moves by generals and admirals. Instead, we hear from men and women on the lower rungs, including ordinary seamen on vessels that encountered Japanese warships and planes and sometimes came out second best, rank-and-file Marines who were in amtracs churning toward bullet-swept tropical beaches and saw their buddies killed beside them, and astounded eyewitnesses to the war’s sudden start on December 7, 1941. This is an important book for military buffs as well as for the survivors of World War II and their families.

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In the Market

The Illustrated History of the Financial Markets

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The impact of capital markets on every aspect of business and daily life at the dawn of the 21st century — and how those markets have evolved since antiquity — is explored in this sumptuously illustrated volume.

The dynamism of today's international economy and the fascinating history of world markets come together in this unprecedented volume. With its accessible text and exciting visuals, In the Market combines historical understanding and contemporary savvy.A chronological narrative explains the origins of market economies in the ancient world, tracing the evolution of markets from the Greek agora and medieval fairs to the first joint stock companies, and detailing the rise of today's commodity and financial markets.

Accompanying this text are seventeen highly visual features; each is devoted to a type of market transaction, from "cash on the barrelhead" to the most sophisticated speculation in derivatives. These features take the reader from the world of bartering to those of the commodity trader, government finance, and business investments in industries ranging from transportation to entertainment, aerospace, and the Internet. The illustrations emphasize the financial market's practical and profound effects on businesses' and workers' production of goods and services. Also included are one hundred biographies of men and women who have reshaped the international marketplace, from John Jacob Astor to Victoria Claflin Woodhall, in addition to an illustrated timeline of financial history from 2000 BCE to 2001

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Seven Trails West

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A handsome exploration of the major routes that linked the country to the Far West; the trail blazed by Lewis and Clark, the Santa Fe Trail, the Oregon-California Trail, the Mormon Trail, the Pony Express, the Transcontinental Telegraph, and the Transcontinental Railroad.

Seven Trails West tells many stories in one; the epic tale of determined men and women (some of them famous trailbreakers, some little known); the lures that attracted these pragmatic dreamers to the West; and the ordeals and disappointments they overcame along the way. Richly illustrated with archival photos, paintings, maps, and documents, this exhilarating book offers the general reader a vivid overview of the western trail network that bound an immature nation together and provided an armature for later development.

By turns an inspiring and disturbing account, Seven Trails West explores the virtues and vices, the triumphs and failures of the greatest voluntary mass migration in history. The critical yet still little-known role played by the trails in this migration is vital for understanding how America came to be.

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