Fourth of July Kindle Goodies

books thumbnail1.99 for The Face in the Frost
John Bellairs. Shiver of joy. He also wrote The House With a Clock In Its Walls (Lewis Barnavelt)

liberty flagFree: The United States Constitution

Still relevant today. 94 pages of relevancy, in fact.

United States Bill of Rights

The Declaration of Independence of The United States of America
Anybody telling you that this, our founding document, is not relevant today is somebody with an agenda who ought not to be trusted.

liberty flag 1.99 for Simon Winchester’s The Men Who United the States: America’s Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible

Blurb:

Simon Winchester, the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of Atlantic and The Professor and the Madman, delivers his first book about America: a fascinating popular history that illuminates the men who toiled fearlessly to discover, connect, and bond the citizenry and geography of the U.S.A. from its beginnings.

How did America become “one nation, indivisible”? What unified a growing number of disparate states into the modern country we recognize today? To answer these questions, Winchester follows in the footsteps of America’s most essential explorers, thinkers, and innovators, such as Lewis and Clark and the leaders of the Great Surveys; the builders of the first transcontinental telegraph and the powerful civil engineer behind the Interstate Highway System. He treks vast swaths of territory, from Pittsburgh to Portland, Rochester to San Francisco, Seattle to Anchorage, introducing the fascinating people who played a pivotal role in creating today’s United States.

Throughout, he ponders whether the historic work of uniting the States has succeeded, and to what degree. Featuring 32 illustrations throughout the text, The Men Who United the States is a fresh look at the way in which the most powerful nation on earth came together.

liberty flag 2.99 for Charles Coffin’s The Story of Liberty

Table of Contents: CHAPTER I. JOHN LACKLAND AND THE BARONS
CHAPTER II. THE MAN WHO PREACHED AFTER HE WAS DEAD
CHAPTER III. THE FIRE THAT WAS KINDLED IN BOHEMIA
CHAPTER IV. WHAT LAURENCE COSTER AND JOHN GUTTENBERG DID FOR LIBERTY
CHAPTER V. THE MEN WHO ASK QUESTIONS
CHAPTER VI. HOW A MAN TRIED TO REACH THE EAST BY SAILING WEST
CHAPTER VII. THE NEW HOME OF LIBERTY
CHAPTER VIII. A BOY WHO OBJECTED TO MARRYING HIS BROTHER’S WIDOW
CHAPTER IX. THE MAN WHO CAN DO NO WRONG
CHAPTER X. THE BOY WHO SUNG FOR HIS BREAKFAST
CHAPTER XI. WHAT THE BOY WHO SUNG FOR HIS BREAKFAST SAW IN ROME
CHAPTER XII. THE BOY-CARDINAL
CHAPTER XIII. THE BOY-EMPEROR
CHAPTER XIV. THE FIELD OF THE CLOTH OF GOLD
CHAPTER XV. THE MEN WHO OBEY ORDERS
CHAPTER XVI. PLANS THAT DID NOT COME TO PASS
CHAPTER XVII. THE MAN WHO SPLIT THE CHURCH IN TWAIN
CHAPTER XVIII. THE QUEEN WHO BURNED HERETICS
CHAPTER XIX. HOW LIBERTY BEGAN IN FRANCE
CHAPTER XX. THE MAN WHO FILLED THE WORLD WITH WOE
CHAPTER XXI. PROGRESS OF LIBERTY IN ENGLAND
CHAPTER XXII. HOW THE POPE PUT DOWN THE HERETICS
CHAPTER XXIII. THE QUEEN OF THE SCOTS
CHAPTER XXIV. ST. BARTHOLOMEW
CHAPTER XXV. HOW THE “BEGGARS” FOUGHT FOR THEIR RIGHTS
CHAPTER XXVI. WHY THE QUEEN OF SCOTLAND LOST HER HEAD
CHAPTER XXVII. THE RETRIBUTION THAT FOLLOWED CRIME
CHAPTER XXVIII. WILLIAM BREWSTER AND HIS FRIENDS
CHAPTER XXIX. THE STAR OF EMPIRE
CHAPTER XXX. THE “HALF-MOON”
CHAPTER XXXI. STRANGERS AND PILGRIMS

liberty flagFree, Charles Coffin’s Daughters of the Revolution and Their Times 1769 – 1776 A Historical Romance

Reader Review: This historical novel was written about a hundred years after the revolution. As a child, the author often listened to stories told by real people who lived during that time and fought the battles. The book is well researched and many of the stories are about real people. What I thought was especially well done is how the author revealed the way both the British and the Colonies felt about each other and about their rights. I believe that anyone who wants to better understand this important time in our history would enjoy this book.

Although it took a couple of chapters to get into the “groove,” I was glad I made the effort, and I liked the book so much that I went back and read it again!

 

liberty flagFree, Coffin’s My Days and Nights on the Battle-Field

Reader review (partial): This book is an account of First Bull Run, Forts Henry and Donaldson, Shilo and New Madrid. Coffin was present as a journalist (not a soldier) at all but Shilo, at which he arrived immediately after the battle. The book includes his observations and first-hand accounts he accumulated.

“My Days and Nights” was written for young readers and published in 1887.

liberty flagFree: John Quincy Adams American Statesmen Series
I consider JQZ one of the greatest American statesmen ever, although he was definitely better as a Senator than a president.

Fliberty flagree, Common Sense
by Thomas Paine, and ever American should read this.

Amazon.com review: “These are the times that try men’s souls,” begins Thomas Paine’s first Crisis paper, the impassioned pamphlet that helped ignite the American Revolution. Published in Philadelphia in January of 1776, Common Sense sold 150,000 copies almost immediately. A powerful piece of propaganda, it attacked the idea of a hereditary monarchy, dismissed the chance for reconciliation with England, and outlined the economic benefits of independence while espousing equality of rights among citizens. Paine fanned a flame that was already burning, but many historians argue that his work unified dissenting voices and persuaded patriots that the American Revolution was not only necessary, but an epochal step in world history.

liberty flagFree: Ten American Girls From History

From a child reviewer: I think that this book is great because it not only teaches you something but it is a good book about brave girls and how they are brave and nice.

liberty flagFree: by John Stevens Cabot Abbot: David Crockett His Life and Adventures

Reader Review: I grew up a fan of Walt Disney’s Davy Crocket movies and I read Davy Crockett: His Own Story in college to compare the history with the legend. I would have stopped at the autobio if it weren’t for Kindle offering all of these older and harder to find titles. It’s a straightforward telling of Davy’s life story and I think more of an inspiration to the Disney film that Crockett’s own work. And that surprised me in a pleasant way. Written in the late 1800s, this book deals with Davy the legend after the fire of his time but before the era of revisionist authors that look for every wart. It’s one of the best books I have read about the harshness of life 200 years ago and how people took it for granted that peril was beyond every horizon.

liberty flagFree: Cicero Ancient Classics for English Readers
I include this here because the Founding Fathers loved Cicero

See here:

“Caroline Winterer, in The Culture of Classicism, describes the importance of classical languages and culture in early American college education. The emphasis on Latin literature was part of colonial higher education from the founding of our first college, Harvard, in 1636. In addition to Latin, students were expected to translate “the New Testament (which they referred to as the ‘Greek Testament’”. “A century later the language curriculum had hardly changed, an example of the intellectual constancy that characterized American college education …” By 1776 there were nine colleges “remarkably uniform in their classical curriculum.”

Colonial colleges were founded by different religious denominations and at first completely staffed by the ministry to prepare students for the ministry. By 1750 40% of the graduates still went into the ministry. What is remarkable is the degree that Latin-based classical humanism was found to be in concord with the religious purpose of the institution. The hostility today that we often see between secular Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian traditions was virtually absent in our colonial period.

We tend to think of Greece first when we think of the glory of classical civilization but the colonials looked to Rome—Republican Rome. The change came in the beginning of the 19th century when European trends (and Hegel’s influence) downplayed Rome in favor of Greece. Carl J. Richard is right about Rome’s influence … when we talk about our founding fathers.

Of all the Roman writers, Cicero was the most respected and revered. “As all the ages of the world have not produced a greater statesman and philosopher united than Cicero, his authority should have great weight” wrote John Adams (1778). A young Thomas Jefferson studied Latin under Rev. James Maury. “In terms of classical authors, Maury saved his highest praise for Cicero, whom he called ‘Reason’s great Highpriest and Interpreter.’ Jefferson would share this opinion” [p38] Maury had Jefferson read De Officiis. [p34] Years later Jefferson would recommend Cicero’s ethical works to his nephew, Peter Carr.”

liberty flagFree: The Mayflower Compact
Only 2 pages, one of our founding documents.

Reader Review:

One paragraph? You mean to say that basically all that has been said and needs to be said about the founding principles of our nation can and was said in only ONE paragraph?

Sixty thousand pages of IRS rules, a briefcase full of documents to buy a home, beverage labels of federally mandated information that crowds out enjoyable information, and 41 men can agree to be governed by one paragraph? What a concept.

Yes, it was quite a concept. The Mayflower Compact set upon the New World a new concept. No king or emperor was there to dictate. Men who sought to be free came freely together to basically delineate how they would live by the Golden Rule.

Want to catch the Brass Ring of the founding fathers’ wisdom as you are spun on the modern merry-go-round of political news? Take the two minutes needed to read this rule of law that simplifies the law of rules.

liberty flagFree: First Across the Continent The story of the exploring expedition of Lewis and Clark in 1804-5-6
Reader review: This book provides an insight into the hearty and adventurous spirit of these explorers and an understated glimpse of the difficult tribulations experienced. The romantic fascination of the expedition has now been replaced with a profound respect and sense of awe for the perseverance, resourcefulness, and true grit of the party of explorers.
I am glad that I read the book and I now have a much greater appreciation of what those explorers accomplished.

liberty flagFree: Understanding American Exceptionalism

Reader Review: Is America an Exceptional Nation? If so, how did it get that way? Are the qualities that made America exceptional still in existence today? Just what does this phrase mean anyway?

liberty flagFree: The War of Independence

Reader review: As a fan of American Revolutionary history, 19th century writing, and free books, when I saw John Fiske’s The War of Independence free for Kindle, I was immediately intrigued. Published in 1889, the 100th anniversary of George Washington becoming the first president and, as Fiske puts it, closing out the Revolutionary era, The War of Independence is a brisk, entertaining introductory read with surprising depth in areas that are often ignored and a writing style that has all the flavor of the late 19th century.

Fiske begins his approach by explaining the different relationships with the British crown each colony had before the Revolution. This goes a long way in revealing why certain colonies were more revolutionary than others. He gives a good summary of the various military and economic stresses in the colonial/crown relationship before the Revolution sparked, such as the French and Indian War and the various acts and taxes enacted by Parliament.

One of the other strengths of this book is its attention to the British politics driving their approach to the rebellion. The assorted factions vying for dominance between the King and the different Parliamentary parties goes a long way in explaining the pre-Revolution Parliamentary acts that went over so poorly and the different strategies pursued by the British during the war itself. Fiske does a fine job explaining the different British players and how their motivations affected British policy.

Fiske does not get too into the actual military movements of the war. He does discuss the major battles, but he does not get into the details of any of them. For an introductory survey, this is a fair approach, and there’s no shortage of entire books about the major battles, so it doesn’t bother me, but it is worth noting.

Fiske meant this volume as an introductory history for students. That leaves it pretty accessible even today, and his energy and pace help keep the story moving. It’s still a 19th century work, though, so it’s written at a higher level than one might expect today. As an analogy, consider that Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1883 Treasure Island is a “boy’s adventure” book of that same era, and compare it to today’s YA books. Fiske’s student volume bears a similar relationship to today’s student non-fiction.

Anyone interested in an exciting and revealing history of the Revolutionary War would do well to check out Fiske’s The War of Independence. Fiske does an excellent job of telling an entertaining story, and the writing style is full of 19th century flavor while still being accessible. It’s a well worth reading, and you can’t beat the price.

In Understanding American Exceptionalism, David Nordmark explores the roots of just what made America unique to begin with. He looks at how America’s “Bottom Up” style of government allowed for the creation of an exceptional people and nation. He then explores the reasons why American exceptionalism is fading, and what the consequences of this are for itself and the world.

liberty flagFree: Writings of Thomas Paine – Volume 1 (1774-1779): the American Crisis

Includes: Common Sense, the American Crisis, the Rights of Man, and  The Age of Reason.

Reader review: I am a long time fan of Revolutionary era writers like Thomas Paine. No wonder this man’s passion put to paper helped to inspire those brave men and women who sacrificed what they did to create the foundation of the USA.
This is a must read for anyone seeking inspiration and patriotism. Payne’s words are still powerful and sensible for those who love this country almost 240 years later.

liberty flagFree: Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death

Only five pages
Governor Henry’s stirring, “…give me liberty or give me death” phrase, known to almost all, becomes even more dramatically lyric when read in the totality of the speech. Delivered to the Virginia Burgesses in Richmond, Virginia’s Old St. John’s Episcopal Church on March 23rd, 1775, the speech was the catalyst for Virginia’s rally to arms and to the support of the Massachusetts colonists and the rebellion that followed. The importance of the speech in American history probably can’t be overstated. Dramatic oratory was a highly respected art of the 18th century, and Patrick Henry may have been its most skilled practitioner. The read is short and eloquent – building in tone to the pinnacle of its memorable final clause at the end of the last sentence:

“…Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” P.H., 1775

 

liberty flagFree: Autobiography from WWII vet: A Boy, A Ship and A War: World War II

 

 

 

liberty flagFree: The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

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