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Jewels: A Secret History

By Victoria Finlay
Authors:
Victoria Finlay
Throughout history the desire for jewels has made and destroyed individual, families and even empires. Today, despite our ability to manufacture synthetics, gemstones still hold their appeal. Victoria Finlay investigates why in her extraordinary journey to uncover the hidden world of precious stones.The starting point is a sapphire given to her by her parents that was harvested, not by a miner as she had imagined but by men in muddy loincloths trawling a warm stream in Sri Lanka. The extraordinary travels in JEWELS: A SECRET HISTORY take her cycling along the Baltic Amber Route, down the emerald mines of Afghanistan.As we learn from a ruby trader in Burma, the more precious a jewel, the greater the human cost of acquiring it, and JEWELS: A SECRET HISTORY also explores the human histories of gemstones. Along the way we learn from Victoria, a qualified gemologist, how to grade a pearl, what New Age 'crystal therapy' is about, and why one of the rarest sapphires in the world is orange.Victoria Finlay's unique blending of travelogue and narrative history ensures that this book, the first for the general reader, will be as unforgettable as the stones themselves.

Jefferson's War

By Joseph Wheelan
Authors:
Joseph Wheelan
Author Joseph Wheelan has marvellously captured the story of America's war against the Barbary pirates, our first war against terror and the nations that support it. The Barbary pirates, a Muslim enemy from Tripoli, attacked European and American merchant shipping with impunity. Jefferson ordered the U.S. Navy to Tripoli in 1801 to repel "force with force." The Barbary War was also a proving ground for such young officers as William Bainbridge, Stephen Decatur, Isaac Hull, and David Porter -key players in the impending War of 1812 against Great Britain.

Jackson's Valley Campaign

By David G. Martin
Authors:
David G. Martin
In a few short months in the Shenandoah Valley, Stonewall Jackson rewrote military history. Accompanied by George Patton's great-uncle and a staff of able subordinates, the Bible-quoting general used his own unique view of past military doctrine to defeat a series of converging enemy armies. American military strategy has never been the same since. Jackson's aggressive personality enabled him to constantly maintain the initiative. While cloaking his own operations in tight security, he was often able to discern the aims of his opponent. Frequently outnumbered, he managed to keep enemy units separated, and to defeat them in detail. Jackson was able to co-ordinate infantry, cavalry, and artillery operations, and was particularly successful in turning the normally slow-moving infantry into an effective mobile strike force.Jackson's Valley Campaign is supplemented by sidebars on famous units, weapons, incidents, and in-depth personality profiles of Jackson and his opponents. Complete orders of battle and special maps that clearly illustrate Jackson's operational doctrine are enhanced by unique charts that show the distances and rates of march of Jackson's "foot cavalry" between all major points in the Shenandoah Valley.In the long-awaited revision of his out-of-print classic, the author describes Jackson's war of maneuver and the tactical ideas it represented, without losing sight of the individuals and units on both sides who tested military theory with their lives. John C. Frémont, "Napoleon" Banks, Turner Ashby, Belle Boyd, the Louisiana Tigers, Blenker's German Division, and the Stonewall Brigade all live again in this colourful but thoughtfully written account.

The Jewish State

By Yoram Hazony
Authors:
Yoram Hazony
In what may be the most controversial book on Zionism and Israel published in the last twenty years, Yoram Hazony graphically portrays the cultural and political revolt against Israel's status as the Jewish state. Examining ideological trends in academia, literature, media, law, the armed forces, and the foreign policy establishment, Hazony contends that Israelis are preparing themselves for the final break with the Jewish past and the Jewish future. In a dramatic new reading of Israeli history, Hazony uncovers the story of how Martin Buber, Gershom Scholem, Hannah Arendt, and other German-Jewish intellectuals bitterly fought against the establishment of Israel, and later used the Hebrew University as a base for deposing David Ben-Gurion and discrediting labour Zionism. The Jewish State is a must-read for anyone concerned with Israel's present and future.

James Longstreet

By Albert A. Nofi, Richard L. Di Nardo
Authors:
Albert A. Nofi, Richard L. Di Nardo
Few figures from the American Civil War have generated more controversy than Confederate general James Longstreet. As the senior officer present at Pickett's Charge, he has been blamed by many, particularly in the South, for the decisive Confederate defeat at Gettysburg. Other scholars have cited his exemplary combat record during the Civil War and looked to rivals within the Confederate hierarchy or his post-war support for the Northern-based Republican Party as sources for the criticism leveled at him. Richard L. DiNardo and Albert A. Nofi have assembled some of the top Civil War and Longstreet scholars to fully examine this still-controversial topic.

Journal Of The Waterloo Campaign

By General Cavalié Mercer
Authors:
General Cavalié Mercer
Journal of the Waterloo Campaign remains one of the most famous personal accounts of the climactic three days which ended the military career and empire of Napoleon Bonaparte. Captain Cavalié Mercer (1783-1868), was a skilled writer who recorded the day's events each evening. As a result, readers can experience through Mercer's keen eye the turbulence and graphic immediacy of the entire campaign: the news of Napoleon's return from Elba the landing of Wellington's forces in Belgium the lulls and hard marching the battle at Quatre Bras (where Mercer fired a few rounds at Napoleon himself) Wellington's retreat the ferocious fighting at Waterloo and Mercer's own bold contribution to the larger Allied victory.
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