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Biography / Autobiography

Alan Moore: Comics as Performance, Fiction as Scalpel

Alan Moore: Comics as Performance, Fiction as Scalpel

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Eclectic British author Alan Moore (b. 1953) is one of the most acclaimed and controversial comics writers to emerge since the late 1970s. He has produced a large number of well-regarded comic books and graphic novels while also making occasional forays into music, poetry, performance, and prose.

In Alan Moore: Comics as Performance, Fiction as Scalpel, Annalisa Di Liddo argues that Moore employs the comics form to dissect the literary canon, the tradition of comics, contemporary society, and our understanding of history. The book considers Moore's narrative strategies and pinpoints the main thematic threads in his works: the subversion of genre and pulp fiction, the interrogation of superhero tropes, the manipulation of space and time, the uses of magic and mythology, the instability of gender and ethnic identity, and the accumulation of imagery to create satire that comments on politics and art history.

Examining Moore's use of comics to scrutinize contemporary culture, Di Liddo analyzes his best-known works--Swamp Thing, V for Vendetta, Watchmen, From Hell, Promethea, and Lost Girls. The study also highlights Moore's lesser-known output, such as Halo Jones, Skizz, and Big Numbers, and his prose novel Voice of the Fire. Alan Moore: Comics as Performance, Fiction as Scalpel reveals Moore to be one of the most significant and distinctly postmodern comics creators of the last quarter-century.

Alan Turing: The Enigma

Alan Turing: The Enigma

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A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

The official book behind the Academy Award-winning film The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley

It is only a slight exaggeration to say that the British mathematician Alan Turing (1912-1954) saved the Allies from the Nazis, invented the computer and artificial intelligence, and anticipated gay liberation by decades--all before his suicide at age forty-one. This New York Times-bestselling biography of the founder of computer science, with a new preface by the author that addresses Turing's royal pardon in 2013, is the definitive account of an extraordinary mind and life.

Capturing both the inner and outer drama of Turing's life, Andrew Hodges tells how Turing's revolutionary idea of 1936--the concept of a universal machine--laid the foundation for the modern computer and how Turing brought the idea to practical realization in 1945 with his electronic design. The book also tells how this work was directly related to Turing's leading role in breaking the German Enigma ciphers during World War II, a scientific triumph that was critical to Allied victory in the Atlantic. At the same time, this is the tragic account of a man who, despite his wartime service, was eventually arrested, stripped of his security clearance, and forced to undergo a humiliating treatment program--all for trying to live honestly in a society that defined homosexuality as a crime.

The inspiration for a major motion picture starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, Alan Turing: The Enigma is a gripping story of mathematics, computers, cryptography, and homosexual persecution.

Albert Camus: Elements of a Life

Albert Camus: Elements of a Life

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Like many others of my generation, I first read Camus in high school. I carried him in my backpack while traveling across Europe, I carried him into (and out of) relationships, and I carried him into (and out of) difficult periods of my life. More recently, I have carried him into university classes that I have taught, coming out of them with a renewed appreciation of his art. To be sure, my idea of Camus thirty years ago scarcely resembles my idea of him today. While my admiration and attachment to his writings remain as great as they were long ago, the reasons are more complicated and critical.--Robert Zaretsky

On October 16, 1957, Albert Camus was dining in a small restaurant on Paris's Left Bank when a waiter approached him with news: the radio had just announced that Camus had won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Camus insisted that a mistake had been made and that others were far more deserving of the honor than he. Yet Camus was already recognized around the world as the voice of a generation--a status he had achieved with dizzying speed. He published his first novel, The Stranger, in 1942 and emerged from the war as the spokesperson for the Resistance and, although he consistently rejected the label, for existentialism. Subsequent works of fiction (including the novels The Plague and The Fall), philosophy (notably, The Myth of Sisyphus and The Rebel), drama, and social criticism secured his literary and intellectual reputation. And then on January 4, 1960, three years after accepting the Nobel Prize, he was killed in a car accident.

In a book distinguished by clarity and passion, Robert Zaretsky considers why Albert Camus mattered in his own lifetime and continues to matter today, focusing on key moments that shaped Camus's development as a writer, a public intellectual, and a man. Each chapter is devoted to a specific event: Camus's visit to Kabylia in 1939 to report on the conditions of the local Berber tribes; his decision in 1945 to sign a petition to commute the death sentence of collaborationist writer Robert Brasillach; his famous quarrel with Jean-Paul Sartre in 1952 over the nature of communism; and his silence about the war in Algeria in 1956. Both engaged and engaging, Albert Camus: Elements of a Life is a searching companion to a profoundly moral and lucid writer whose works provide a guide for those perplexed by the absurdity of the human condition and the world's resistance to meaning.

Aleister Crowley: Magick, Rock and Roll, and the Wickedest Man in the World

Aleister Crowley: Magick, Rock and Roll, and the Wickedest Man in the World

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This definitive work on the occult's "great beast" traces the arc of his controversial life and influence on rock-and-roll giants, from the Rolling Stones to Led Zeppelin to Black Sabbath.

When Aleister Crowley died in 1947, he was not an obvious contender for the most enduring pop-culture figure of the next century. But twenty years later, Crowley's name and image were everywhere. The Beatles put him on the cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The Rolling Stones were briefly serious devotees. Today, his visage hangs in goth clubs, occult temples, and college dorm rooms, and his methods of ceremonial magick animate the passions of myriad occultists and spiritual seekers.

Aleister Crowley is more than just a biography of this compelling, controversial, and divisive figure--it's also a portrait of his unparalleled influence on modern pop culture.

Alek

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Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton

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The #1 New York Times bestseller, and the inspiration for the hit Broadway musical Hamilton!

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Chernow presents a landmark biography of Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father who galvanized, inspired, scandalized, and shaped the newborn nation.

Grand-scale biography at its best--thorough, insightful, consistently fair, and superbly written . . . A genuinely great book. --David McCullough

"A robust full-length portrait, in my view the best ever written, of the most brilliant, charismatic and dangerous founder of them all. --Joseph Ellis


Few figures in American history have been more hotly debated or more grossly misunderstood than Alexander Hamilton. Chernow's biography gives Hamilton his due and sets the record straight, deftly illustrating that the political and economic greatness of today's America is the result of Hamilton's countless sacrifices to champion ideas that were often wildly disputed during his time. "To repudiate his legacy," Chernow writes, "is, in many ways, to repudiate the modern world." Chernow here recounts Hamilton's turbulent life: an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean, he came out of nowhere to take America by storm, rising to become George Washington's aide-de-camp in the Continental Army, coauthoring The Federalist Papers, founding the Bank of New York, leading the Federalist Party, and becoming the first Treasury Secretary of the United States.Historians have long told the story of America's birth as the triumph of Jefferson's democratic ideals over the aristocratic intentions of Hamilton. Chernow presents an entirely different man, whose legendary ambitions were motivated not merely by self-interest but by passionate patriotism and a stubborn will to build the foundations of American prosperity and power. His is a Hamilton far more human than we've encountered before--from his shame about his birth to his fiery aspirations, from his intimate relationships with childhood friends to his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Monroe, and Burr, and from his highly public affair with Maria Reynolds to his loving marriage to his loyal wife Eliza. And never before has there been a more vivid account of Hamilton's famous and mysterious death in a duel with Aaron Burr in July of 1804.

Chernow's biography is not just a portrait of Hamilton, but the story of America's birth seen through its most central figure. At a critical time to look back to our roots, Alexander Hamilton will remind readers of the purpose of our institutions and our heritage as Americans.


9780143034759
Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton

$35.00
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The #1 New York Times bestseller, and the inspiration for the hit Broadway musical Hamilton!

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Chernow presents a landmark biography of Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father who galvanized, inspired, scandalized, and shaped the newborn nation.

Grand-scale biography at its best--thorough, insightful, consistently fair, and superbly written . . . A genuinely great book. --David McCullough

"A robust full-length portrait, in my view the best ever written, of the most brilliant, charismatic and dangerous founder of them all. --Joseph Ellis


Few figures in American history have been more hotly debated or more grossly misunderstood than Alexander Hamilton. Chernow's biography gives Hamilton his due and sets the record straight, deftly illustrating that the political and economic greatness of today's America is the result of Hamilton's countless sacrifices to champion ideas that were often wildly disputed during his time. "To repudiate his legacy," Chernow writes, "is, in many ways, to repudiate the modern world." Chernow here recounts Hamilton's turbulent life: an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean, he came out of nowhere to take America by storm, rising to become George Washington's aide-de-camp in the Continental Army, coauthoring The Federalist Papers, founding the Bank of New York, leading the Federalist Party, and becoming the first Treasury Secretary of the United States.Historians have long told the story of America's birth as the triumph of Jefferson's democratic ideals over the aristocratic intentions of Hamilton. Chernow presents an entirely different man, whose legendary ambitions were motivated not merely by self-interest but by passionate patriotism and a stubborn will to build the foundations of American prosperity and power. His is a Hamilton far more human than we've encountered before--from his shame about his birth to his fiery aspirations, from his intimate relationships with childhood friends to his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Monroe, and Burr, and from his highly public affair with Maria Reynolds to his loving marriage to his loyal wife Eliza. And never before has there been a more vivid account of Hamilton's famous and mysterious death in a duel with Aaron Burr in July of 1804.

Chernow's biography is not just a portrait of Hamilton, but the story of America's birth seen through its most central figure. At a critical time to look back to our roots, Alexander Hamilton will remind readers of the purpose of our institutions and our heritage as Americans.


9780143034759
Alexander Hamilton: From Obscurity to Greatness

Alexander Hamilton: From Obscurity to Greatness

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Born in 1755 on a small Caribbean island to unmarried parents, Alexander Hamilton did not enjoy the privileges of wealth or heredity by which so many of his contemporaries advanced to the highest levels of power. Yet Hamilton's natural ability and ambition earned him prevailing influence in the American Revolution and the government created thereafter, eventually securing his place in the pantheon of America's founders.
Editor John P. Kaminski has gathered a remarkable collection of quotations by and about Alexander Hamilton that paint for us a nuanced portrait of a complex man. Through his own words and the words of his contemporaries -- including the man who killed him in a duel, Aaron Burr -- we can gain a better understanding of this fascinating man who rose from anonymity on a small Caribbean island to the corridors of power.
Alexander Hamiltons Guide to Life

Alexander Hamiltons Guide to Life

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The life--and lessons--of the Founding Father who mastered the arts of wit, war, and wealth, long before becoming the subject of Broadway's Hamilton: An American Musical

Two centuries after his death, Alexander Hamilton is shining once more under the world's spotlight--and we need him now more than ever.

Hamilton was a self-starter. Scrappy. Orphaned as a child, he came to America with nothing but a code of honor and a hunger to work. He then went on to help win the Revolutionary War and ratify the Constitution, create the country's financial system, charm New York's most eligible ladies, and land his face on our $10 bill. The ultimate underdog, he combined a fearless, independent spirit with a much-needed dose of American optimism.

Hamilton died before he could teach us the lessons he learned, but Alexander Hamilton's Guide to Life unlocks his core principles--intended for anyone interested in success, romance, money, or dueling. They include:

- Speak with Authority Even If You Have None (Career)
- Seduce with Your Strengths (Romance)
- Find Time for the Quills and the Bills (Money)
- Put the Father in Founding Father (Friends & Family)
- Being Right Trumps Being Popular (Leadership)

For history buffs and pop-culture addicts alike, this mix of biography, humor, and advice offers a fresh take on a nearly forgotten Founding Father, and will spark a revolution in your own life.

Alexander II: The Last Great Tsar

Alexander II: The Last Great Tsar

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Edvard Radzinsky is justly famous as both a biographer and a dramatist, and he brings both skills to bear in this vivid, page-turning, rich portrait of one of the greatest of all Romanovs. Alexander II was Russia's Lincoln -- he freed the serfs, promised a new, more liberal state for everyone, yet was brought down by a determined group of terrorist anarchists who tried to kill him six times before finally, fatefully, succeeding. His story proves the timeless lesson that in Russia, it is dangerous to start reforms, but even more dangerous to stop them. It also shows that the traps and dangers encountered in today's war on terrorists were there 150 years ago.

Alexander McQueen

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Judith Watt, a leading fashion historian and close personal friend of her brilliant, tragic subject, offers a close-up backstage look at the life, legacy, and visionary genius of Alexander McQueen. From his East London childhood to his explosive, game-changing fashion career to his shocking suicide at the age of forty, Watt's Alexander McQueen features revealing commentary and intimate perspectives by those who were closest to the fearless, groundbreaking designer--including milliner Philip Treacy, stylist Katy England, photographer Nick Knight, as well as friends and collectors Sarah Jessica Parker, Lady Gaga, and Daphne Guiness--and stunning, photographs, many never before seen, of some of his most remarkable designs and intricate apparel.
Alexander the Corrector

Alexander the Corrector

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Yet Alexander Cruden is remembered today not so much for his mighty work as for the widespread belief that he was mad. Born in Scotland in 1699, Cruden spent much of his life in and out of asylums. In fact, just weeks after completing his Conc
Alexander The Great

Alexander The Great

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Of all those who have set out to conquer the world, Alexander the Great came closest to finishing the job. The son of King Philip II of Macedonia, from an early age he was taught that he was a descendant of Achilles and Hercules and was conditioned for conquest and kingly glory. Alexander was educated by the philosopher Aristotle and first led troops when he was just eighteen.

In 336 BC, King Philip was killed and Alexander ascended to the throne of Macedonia. Over the next twelve years Alexander conquered almost the entire known world of his era, irrevocably changing the course of history. In doing so he defeated the Thebans, the Persian Satraps, overthrew Darius, overran Syria and Phoenicia, possessed himself of all the cities along the Mediterranean, conquered Egypt and founded Alexandria.

He died suddenly at age 33, in Babylon, after a bout of heavy drinking; some suggest he was poisoned, though no cause of death has ever been proved.

Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great

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Tough, resolute, fearless. Alexander was a born warrior and a ruler of passionate ambition who understood the intense adventure of conquest and of the unknown. When he died in 323 B.C.E. at age thirty-two, his vast empire comprised more than two million square miles, spanning from Greece to India. His achievements were unparalleled--he had excelled as leader to his men, founded eighteen new cities, and stamped the face of Greek culture on the ancient East. the myth he created is as potent today as it was in the ancient world.

Robin Lane Fox's superb account searches through the mass of conflicting evidence and legend to focus on Alexander as a man of his own time. Combining historical scholarship and acute psychological insight, it brings this colossal figure vividly to life.

Alexander the Great: Journey to the End of the Earth

Alexander the Great: Journey to the End of the Earth

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Alexander's behavior was conditioned along certain lines -- heroism, courage, strength, superstition, bisexuality, intoxication, cruelty. He bestrode Europe and Asia like a supernatural figure.

In this succinct portrait of Alexander the Great, distinguished scholar and historian Norman Cantor illuminates the personal life and military conquests of this most legendary of men. Cantor draws from the major writings of Alexander's contemporaries combined with the most recent psychological and cultural studies to show Alexander as he was -- a great figure in the ancient world whose puzzling personality greatly fueled his military accomplishments.

He describes Alexander's ambiguous relationship with his father, Philip II of Macedon; his oedipal involvement with his mother, the Albanian princess Olympias; and his bisexuality. He traces Alexander's attempts to bridge the East and West, the Greek and Persian worlds, using Achilles, hero of the Trojan War, as his model. Finally, Cantor explores Alexander's view of himself in relation to the pagan gods of Greece and Egypt.

More than a biography, Norman Cantor's Alexander the Great is a psychological rendering of a man of his time.

Alexander Von Humboldt: How the Most Famous Scientist of the Romantic Age Found the Soul of Nature

Alexander Von Humboldt: How the Most Famous Scientist of the Romantic Age Found the Soul of Nature

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Alexander von Humboldt was the most famous scientist and explorer of his day. "I view him as one of the greatest ornaments of the age," wrote Thomas Jefferson, and he received Humboldt in the White House in 1804. Ralph Waldo Emerson celebrated Humboldt as "one of those wonders of the world," and John Muir exclaimed, "How intensely I desire to be a Humboldt!" The great German poet Goethe was Humboldt's friend, and after reading Humboldt's work Charles Darwin, yearned to travel to distant lands. From Humboldt Redwoods State Park in California to Humboldthain park in Berlin, from South America's Humboldt Current to Greenland's Humboldt Glacier, numerous places, plants, and animals around the world are named after him.

Born in Berlin in 1769, the young Alexander von Humboldt moved in the circles of Romantic writers and thinkers, studied mining, and worked as an inspector of mines before his "longing for wide and unknown things" made him resign and begin his great scientific expedition. For five years, from 1799 to 1804, Humboldt traveled through Central and South America. He and his collaborator, the French botanist Aimé Bonpland, journeyed on foot, by boat, and with mules through grasslands and forests, on rivers and across mountain ranges, and when Humboldt returned to Europe his coffers were full of scientific treasures. His legacy includes a sprawling body of knowledge, from the charge found in electric eels to the distribution of plants across different climate zones, and from the bioluminescence of jellyfish to the composition of falling stars.

But the achievements for which Humboldt was most celebrated in his lifetime fell short of perfection. When he climbed the Chimborazo in Ecuador, then believed to be the highest mountain in the world, he did not quite reach the top; he established the existence of the Casiquiare, a natural canal between the vast water systems of the Orinoco and the Amazon, but this had been known to local people; and his magisterial work, Cosmos, was left unfinished. All of this was no coincidence. Humboldt's pursuit of an all-encompassing, immersive approach to science was a way of finding limits: of nature and of the scientist's own self.

What Humboldt handed down to us is a radically new vision of science: one that has its roots in Romanticism. Seeking the hidden connections of things, he put his finger on the spot where nature and human art correspond. In his understanding, nature is not just an object, separate from us, to be prodded and measured, but something to which we have a deep, sensual affinity, and where the human mind must turn if it wants to truly come to understand itself.

Humboldt achieved this ambition--he was transformed by his experience of nature. He returned to Europe at peace with the person he was, and came to live in Paris for twenty years, then in Berlin, until his death in 1859--the year Darwin published On the Origin of Species.

In this concise, illuminating biography, Maren Meinhardt beautifully portrays an exceptional life lived in no less exceptional times. Drawing extensively on Humboldt's letters and published works, she persuasively tells the story of how he became the most admired scientist of the Romantic Age.

Alexiad: Translated by E.R.A. Sewter

Alexiad: Translated by E.R.A. Sewter

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A revised edition of a medieval masterpiece--the first narrative history written by a woman

Written between 1143 and 1153 by the daughter of Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos, The Alexiad is one of the most popular and revealing primary sources in the vast canon of medieval literature. Princess Anna Komnene, eldest child of the imperial couple, reveals the inner workings of the court, profiles its many extraordinary personages, and offers a firsthand account of immensely significant events such as the First Crusade, as well as its impact on the relationship between eastern and western Christianity. A celebrated triumph of Byzantine letters, this is an unparalleled view of the glorious Constantinople and the medieval world.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Alexis De Tocqueville : Democracy's Guide

Alexis De Tocqueville : Democracy's Guide

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Part of the acclaimed Eminent Lives series, Alexis de Tocqueville dissects the legacy of the celebrated cultural observer. Joseph Epstein, distinguished literary historian and author of the bestselling Snobbery: The American Version, provides a fresh account of the celebrated writer's classic travels in America, and compares what de Tocqueville witnessed to the current state of our nation.