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Mad Music

Author: Stephen Budiansky
Publisher: ForeEdge
ISBN: 1611685141
Size: 78.82 MB
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Mad Music is the story of Charles Edward Ives (1874Ð1954), the innovative American composer who achieved international recognition, but only after he'd stopped making music. While many of his best works received little attention in his lifetime, Ives is now appreciated as perhaps the most important American composer of the twentieth century and father of the diverse lines of Aaron Copland and John Cage. Ives was also a famously wealthy crank who made millions in the insurance business and tried hard to establish a reputation as a crusty New Englander. To Stephen Budiansky, Ives's life story is a personification of America emerging as a world power: confident and successful, yet unsure of the role of art and culture in a modernizing nation. Though Ives steadfastly remained an outsider in many ways, his life and times inform us of subjects beyond music, including the mystic movement, progressive anticapitalism, and the initial hesitancy of turn-of-the-century-America modernist intellectuals. Deeply researched and elegantly written, this accessible biography tells a uniquely American story of a hidden genius, disparaged as a dilettante, who would shape the history of music in a profound way. Making use of newly published lettersÑand previously undiscovered archival sources bearing on the longstanding mystery of Ives's health and creative declineÑthis absorbing volume provides a definitive look at the life and times of a true American original.

Blackett S War

Author: Stephen Budiansky
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307962636
Size: 28.97 MB
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A Washington Post Notable Book In March 1941, after a year of devastating U-boat attacks, the British War Cabinet turned to an intensely private, bohemian physicist named Patrick Blackett to turn the tide of the naval campaign. Though he is little remembered today, Blackett did as much as anyone to defeat Nazi Germany, by revolutionizing the Allied anti-submarine effort through the disciplined, systematic implementation of simple mathematics and probability theory. This is the story of how British and American civilian intellectuals helped change the nature of twentieth-century warfare, by convincing disbelieving military brass to trust the new field of operational research.

Code Warriors

Author: Stephen Budiansky
Publisher: Knopf
ISBN: 0385352662
Size: 70.54 MB
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A sweeping, in-depth history of NSA, whose famous "cult of silence" has left the agency shrouded in mystery for decades The National Security Agency was born out of the legendary codebreaking programs of World War II that cracked the famed Enigma machine and other German and Japanese codes, thereby turning the tide of Allied victory. In the postwar years, as the United States developed a new enemy in the Soviet Union, our intelligence community found itself targeting not soldiers on the battlefield, but suspected spies, foreign leaders, and even American citizens. Throughout the second half of the twentieth century, NSA played a vital, often fraught and controversial role in the major events of the Cold War, from the Korean War to the Cuban Missile Crisis to Vietnam and beyond. In Code Warriors, Stephen Budiansky--a longtime expert in cryptology--tells the fascinating story of how NSA came to be, from its roots in World War II through the fall of the Berlin Wall. Along the way, he guides us through the fascinating challenges faced by cryptanalysts, and how they broke some of the most complicated codes of the twentieth century. With access to new documents, Budiansky shows where the agency succeeded and failed during the Cold War, but his account also offers crucial perspective for assessing NSA today in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations. Budiansky shows how NSA's obsession with recording every bit of data and decoding every signal is far from a new development; throughout its history the depth and breadth of the agency's reach has resulted in both remarkable successes and destructive failures. Featuring a series of appendixes that explain the technical details of Soviet codes and how they were broken, this is a rich and riveting history of the underbelly of the Cold War, and an essential and timely read for all who seek to understand the origins of the modern NSA.

The Killing Compartments

Author: Abram de Swaan
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300210671
Size: 27.93 MB
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The twentieth century was among the bloodiest in the history of humanity. Untold millions were slaughtered. How people are enrolled in the service of evil is a question that continues to bedevil. In this trenchant book, Abram de Swaan offers a taxonomy of mass violence that focuses on the rank-and-file perpetrators, examining how murderous regimes recruit them and create what De Swaan calls the "killing compartments” that make possible the worst abominations without apparent moral misgiving, without a sense of personal responsibility, and, above all, without pity. De Swaan wonders where extreme violence comes from and where it goes—seemingly without a trace—when the wild and barbaric gore is over. And what about the perpetrators themselves? Are they merely and only the product of external circumstance? Or is there something in their makeup that disposes them to become mass murderers? Drawing on a wide range of disciplines, including sociology, anthropology, political science, history, and psychology, De Swaan sheds new light on an urgent and intractable pathology that continues to poison peoples all over the world.

War And The Crisis Of Youth In Sierra Leone

Author: Krijn Peters
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139497391
Size: 59.24 MB
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The armed conflict in Sierra Leone and the extreme violence of the main rebel faction - the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) - have challenged scholars and members of the international community to come up with explanations. Up to this point, though, conclusions about the nature of the war are mainly drawn from accounts of civilian victims and commentators who had access to only one side of the war. The present study addresses this currently incomplete understanding of the conflict by focusing on the direct experiences and interpretations of protagonists, paying special attention to the hitherto neglected, and often underage, cadres of the RUF. The data presented challenges the widely canvassed notion of the Sierra Leone conflict as a war motivated by 'greed, not grievance'. Rather, it points to a rural crisis expressed in terms of unresolved tensions between landowners and marginalized rural youth, further reinforced and triggered by a collapsing patrimonial state.

Harry Partch Hobo Composer

Author: S. Andrew Granade
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
ISBN: 1580464955
Size: 42.39 MB
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Examines the impact of Harry Partch's hobo years from a variety of perspectives, exploring how the composer both engaged and frustrated popular conceptions of the hobo.

The Bloody Shirt

Author: Stephen Budiansky
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101213930
Size: 77.91 MB
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A gripping look at terrorist violence during the Reconstruction era Between 1867, when the defeated South was forced to establish new state governments that fully represented both black and white citizens, and 1877, when the last of these governments was overthrown, more than three thousand African Americans and their white allies were killed by terrorist violence. Drawing on original letters and diaries as well as published racist diatribes of the time, acclaimed historian Stephen Budiansky concentrates his vivid, fast paced narrative on the efforts of five heroic men?two Union officers, a Confederate general, a Northern entrepreneur, and a former slave?who showed remarkable idealism and courage as they struggled to establish a ?New South? in the face of overwhelming hatred and organized resistance. The Bloody Shirt sheds new light on the violence, racism, division, and heroism of Reconstruction, a largely forgotten but epochal chapter in American history.

Charles Ives S Concord

Author: Kyle Gann
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 0252099362
Size: 58.15 MB
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In 1921, insurance executive Charles Ives sent out copies of a piano sonata to two hundred strangers. Laden with dissonant chords, complex rhythm, and a seemingly chaotic structure, the so-called Concord Sonata confounded the recipients, as did the accompanying book, Essays before a Sonata . Kyle Gann merges exhaustive research with his own experience as a composer to reveal the Concord Sonata and the essays in full. Diffracting the twinned works into their essential aspects, Gann lays out the historical context that produced Ives's masterpiece and illuminates the arguments Ives himself explored in the Essays . Gann also provides a movement-by-movement analysis of the work's harmonic structure and compositional technique; connects the sonata to Ives works that share parts of its material; and compares the 1921 version of the Concord with its 1947 revision to reveal important aspects of Ives's creative process. A tour de force of critical, theoretical, and historical thought, Charles Ives's Concord provides nothing less than the first comprehensive consideration of a work at the heart of twentieth century American music.

The Rest Is Noise

Author: Alex Ross
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 9781429932882
Size: 41.33 MB
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The scandal over modern music has not died down. While paintings by Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock sell for a hundred million dollars or more, shocking musical works from Stravinsky's Rite of Spring onward still send ripples of unease through audiences. At the same time, the influence of modern music can be felt everywhere. Avant-garde sounds populate the soundtracks of Hollywood thrillers. Minimalist music has had a huge effect on rock, pop, and dance music from the Velvet Underground onward. Alex Ross, the brilliant music critic for The New Yorker, shines a bright light on this secret world, and shows how it has pervaded every corner of twentieth century life. The Rest Is Noise takes the reader inside the labyrinth of modern sound. It tells of maverick personalities who have resisted the cult of the classical past, struggled against the indifference of a wide public, and defied the will of dictators. Whether they have charmed audiences with the purest beauty or battered them with the purest noise, composers have always been exuberantly of the present, defying the stereotype of classical music as a dying art. Ross, in this sweeping and dramatic narrative, takes us from Vienna before the First World War to Paris in the twenties, from Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia to downtown New York in the sixties and seventies. We follow the rise of mass culture and mass politics, of dramatic new technologies, of hot and cold wars, of experiments, revolutions, riots, and friendships forged and broken. In the tradition of Simon Schama's The Embarrassment of Riches and Louis Menand's The Metaphysical Club, the end result is not so much a history of twentieth-century music as a history of the twentieth century through its music.

Why Classical Music Still Matters

Author: Lawrence Kramer
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520250826
Size: 63.30 MB
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In lucid and engaging prose, the book explores the sources of classical music's power in a variety of settings, from concert performance to film and TV, from everyday life to the historical trauma of September 11. Addressed to a wide audience, this book will appeal to aficionados and skeptics alike.