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Batavia S Graveyard

Author: Mike Dash
Publisher: Crown
ISBN: 140004510X
Size: 34.11 MB
Format: PDF
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From the bestselling author of Tulipomania comes Batavia’s Graveyard, the spellbinding true story of mutiny, shipwreck, murder, and survival. It was the autumn of 1628, and the Batavia, the Dutch East India Company’s flagship, was loaded with a king’s ransom in gold, silver, and gems for her maiden voyage to Java. The Batavia was the pride of the Company’s fleet, a tangible symbol of the world’s richest and most powerful commercial monopoly. She set sail with great fanfare, but the Batavia and her gold would never reach Java, for the Company had also sent along a new employee, Jeronimus Corneliszoon, a bankrupt and disgraced man who possessed disarming charisma and dangerously heretical ideas. With the help of a few disgruntled sailors, Jeronimus soon sparked a mutiny that seemed certain to succeed—but for one unplanned event: In the dark morning hours of June 3, the Batavia smashed through a coral reef and ran aground on a small chain of islands near Australia. The commander of the ship and the skipper evaded the mutineers by escaping in a tiny lifeboat and setting a course for Java—some 1,800 miles north—to summon help. Nearly all of the passengers survived the wreck and found themselves trapped on a bleak coral island without water, food, or shelter. Leaderless, unarmed, and unaware of Jeronimus’s treachery, they were at the mercy of the mutineers. Jeronimus took control almost immediately, preaching his own twisted version of heresy he’d learned in Holland’s secret Anabaptist societies. More than 100 people died at his command in the months that followed. Before long, an all-out war erupted between the mutineers and a small group of soldiers led by Wiebbe Hayes, the one man brave enough to challenge Jeronimus’s band of butchers. Unluckily for the mutineers, the Batavia’s commander had raised the alarm in Java, and at the height of the violence the Company’s gunboats sailed over the horizon. Jeronimus and his mutineers would meet an end almost as gruesome as that of the innocents whose blood had run on the small island they called Batavia’s Graveyard. Impeccably researched and beautifully written, Batavia’s Graveyard is the next classic of narrative nonfiction, the book that secures Mike Dash’s place as one of the finest writers of the genre. From the Hardcover edition.

Skeletons On The Zahara

Author: Dean King
Publisher: Little, Brown
ISBN: 9780759509696
Size: 39.52 MB
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A masterpiece of historical adventure, Skeletons on the Zahara chronicles the true story of twelve American sailors who were shipwrecked off the coast of Africa in 1815, captured by desert nomads, sold into slavery, and subjected to a hellish two-month journey through the perilous heart of the Sahara. The western Sahara is a baking hot and desolate place, home only to nomads and their camels, and to locusts, snails and thorny scrub--and its barren and ever-changing coastline has baffled sailors for centuries. In August 1815, the US brig Commerce was dashed against Cape Bojador and lost, although through bravery and quick thinking the ship's captain, James Riley, managed to lead all of his crew to safety. What followed was an extraordinary and desperate battle for survival in the face of human hostility, starvation, dehydration, death and despair. Captured, robbed and enslaved, the sailors were dragged and driven through the desert by their new owners, who neither spoke their language nor cared for their plight. Reduced to drinking urine, flayed by the sun, crippled by walking miles across burning stones and sand and losing over half of their body weights, the sailors struggled to hold onto both their humanity and their sanity. To reach safety, they would have to overcome not only the desert but also the greed and anger of those who would keep them in captivity. From the cold waters of the Atlantic to the searing Saharan sands, from the heart of the desert to the heart of man, Skeletons on the Zahara is a spectacular odyssey through the extremes and a gripping account of courage, brotherhood, and survival.

Island Of The Lost

Author: Joan Druett
Publisher: Algonquin Books
ISBN: 9781565124080
Size: 70.71 MB
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Describes how the crews of two different vessels became shipwrecked on opposite ends of the same deserted island and the very different experiences of the two groups--one of which through sheer determination and fortitude overcame the challenges of their environment, while the other descended into complete anarchy.

Batavia

Author: Peter Fitzsimons
Publisher: Random House Australia
ISBN: 1864711345
Size: 53.40 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Carrying the surname of his uncle and Immortal Reg, Mark Gasnier had blinding pace, a shimmy, a step and an innate sense of timing. Whether it was for St George Illawarra, NSW or Australia, he could seemingly sniff out a try at will. As former NSW coach Phil Gould once remarked: "Mark Gasnier, the best centre I have seen." Yet for a game that came to him so naturally, Gasnier's career was never so straightforward. His famous bloodlines and the notorious hoodoo that had seen the Dragons fail to win a premiership in three decades meant the weight of expectation never went away. A drunken phone call during a NSW bonding session that led to his sacking on the eve of his Origin debut, the curse of injury and the ultimate decision to walk away from the game and play rugby union for Paris glamour club Stade Francais only add to his complex journey. Those obstacles only made the finish - when he returned to the NRL to win the grand final with St George Illawarra - sweeter ... before he shocked everyone again with the early announcement of his retirement. Throughout his career, Gasnier was guarded with the media. For the first time, he candidly tells his story.

Satan S Circus

Author: Mike Dash
Publisher: Crown
ISBN: 9780307395221
Size: 31.15 MB
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They called it Satan’s Circus—a square mile of Midtown Manhattan where vice ruled, sin flourished, and depravity danced in every doorway. At the turn of the twentieth century, it was a place where everyone from the chorus girls to the beat cops was on the take and where bad boys became wicked men; a place where an upstanding young policeman such as Charley Becker could become the crookedest cop who ever stood behind a shield. Murder was so common in the vice district that few people were surprised when the loudmouthed owner of a shabby casino was gunned down on the steps of its best hotel. But when, two weeks later, an ambitious district attorney charged Becker with ordering the murder, even the denizens of Satan’s Circus were surprised. The handsome lieutenant was a decorated hero, the renowned leader of New York’s vice-busting Special Squad. Was he a bad cop leading a double life, or a pawn felled by the sinister rogues who ran Manhattan’s underworld? With appearances by the legendary and the notorious—including Big Tim Sullivan, the election-rigging vice lord of Tammany Hall; future president Theodore Roosevelt; beloved gangster Jack Zelig; and the newly famous author Stephen Crane—Satan’s Circus brings to life an almost-forgotten Gotham. Chronicling Charley Becker’s rise and fall, the book tells of the raucous, gaudy, and utterly corrupt city that made him, and recounts not one but two sensational murder trials that landed him in the electric chair. From the Hardcover edition.

Farther Than Any Man

Author: Martin Dugard
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 0743436393
Size: 44.96 MB
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James Cook never laid eyes on the sea until he was in his teens. He then began an extraordinary rise from farmboy outsider to the hallowed rank of captain of the Royal Navy, leading three historic journeys that would forever link his name with fearless exploration (and inspire pop-culture heroes like Captain Hook and Captain James T. Kirk). In Farther Than Any Man, noted modern-day adventurer Martin Dugard strips away the myth of Cook and instead portrays a complex, conflicted man of tremendous ambition (at times to a fault), intellect (though Cook was routinely underestimated) and sheer hardheadedness. When Great Britain announced a major circumnavigation in 1768 -- a mission cloaked in science, but aimed at the pursuit of world power -- it came as a political surprise that James Cook was given command. Cook's surveying skills had contributed to the British victory over France in the Seven Years' War in 1763, but no commoner had ever commanded a Royal Navy vessel. Endeavor's stunning three-year journey changed the face of modern exploration, charting the vast Pacific waters, the eastern coasts of New Zealand and Australia, and making landfall in Tahiti, Tierra del Fuego, and Rio de Janeiro. After returning home a hero, Cook yearned to get back to sea. He soon took control of the Resolution and returned to his beloved Pacific, in search of the elusive Southern Continent. It was on this trip that Cook's taste for power became an obsession, and his legendary kindness to island natives became an expectation of worship -- traits that would lead him first to greatness, then to catastrophe. Full of action, lush description, and fascinating historical characters like King George III and Master William Bligh, Dugard's gripping account of the life and gruesome demise of Capt. James Cook is a thrilling story of a discoverer hell-bent on traveling farther than any man.

The Fated Sky

Author: Benson Bobrick
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 0743268954
Size: 31.77 MB
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An exploration of astrology's impact on history considers such topics as the fervent observance of astrology by notable Greeks and Romans, St. Thomas Aquinas's belief that astrology was compatible with Christianity, and the astrological consultations of such modern figures as Winston Churchill and Ronald Reagan. Reprint. 35,000 first printing.

Over The Edge Of The World

Author: Laurence Bergreen
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780061865886
Size: 18.59 MB
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Ferdinand Magellan's daring circumnavigation of the globe in the sixteenth century was a three-year odyssey filled with sex, violence, and amazing adventure. Now in Over the Edge of the World, prize-winning biographer and journalist Laurence Bergreen entwines a variety of candid, firsthand accounts, bringing to life this groundbreaking and majestic tale of discovery that changed both the way explorers would henceforth navigate the oceans and history itself.

The First Family

Author: Mike Dash
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1849835861
Size: 68.16 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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Before Al Capone and Lucky Luciano, there was the one-fingered, cunning Giuseppe Morello and his murderous coterie of brothers. Had it not been for Morello, the world may never have heard of 'men of honour', the code of omertaor Mafia wars. This explosive book tells the story of the first family of New York, and how this extended close-knit clan of racketeers and murderers left the backwaters of Sicily to successfully establish themselves as the founding godfathers of the New World. First Family will explain in thrilling, characterful detail how the American Mafia established itself so successfully. Combining strong narrative and raw violence - set against the raucous bustle of early twentieth-century New York, and the impoverished rural life of nineteenth-century Sicily - this impeccably researched, groundbreaking study of a crucial period of American history is a compelling portrait of the early years of organised crime.