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By Liz Heinecke. 2021
Part hidden history, part love letter to creative innovation, this is the true story of an unlikely friendship between a…dancer, Loie Fuller, and a scientist, Marie Curie, brought together by an illuminating discovery. At the turn of the century, Paris was a hotbed of creativity. Technology boomed, delivering to the world electric light, the automobile, and new ways to treat disease, while imagination blossomed, creating Art Nouveau, motion pictures, and modernist literature. A pivotal figure during this time, yet largely forgotten today, Loie Fuller was an American performance artist who became a living symbol of the Art Nouveau movement with her hypnotic dances and stunning theatrical effects. Credited today as the pioneer of modern dance, she was perennially broke, never took no for an answer, spent most of her life with a female partner, and never questioned her drive. She was a visionary, a renegade, and a loyal friend. In the early 1900s, she heard about Marie Curie's discovery of a glowing blue element and dreamed of using it to dazzle audiences on stage. While Loie's dream wouldn't be realized, her connection with Marie and their shared fascination with radium endured. Radiant is the true story of Marie Curie and Loie Fuller, two revolutionary women drawn together at the dawn of a new era by a singular discovery, and the lifelong friendship that grew out of their shared passion for enlightenment.
By Bruno Bettelheim, Richard Seaver, Tibere Kremer, Miklos Nyiszli. 2011
When the Nazis invaded Hungary in 1944, they sent virtually the entire Jewish population to Auschwitz. A Jew and a…medical doctor, Dr. Miklos Nyiszli was spared from death for a grimmer fate: to perform "scientific research" on his fellow inmates under the supervision of the infamous "Angel of Death": Dr. Josef Mengele. Nyiszli was named Mengele's personal research pathologist. Miraculously, he survived to give this terrifying and sobering account.
By Scott Mcgaugh. 2013
Jonathan Letterman was an outpost medical officer serving in Indian country in the years before the Civil War, responsible for…the care of just hundreds of men. But when he was appointed the chief medical officer for the Army of the Potomac, he revolutionized combat medicine over the course of four major battles--Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg--that produced unprecedented numbers of casualties. He made battlefield survival possible by creating the first organized ambulance corps and a more effective field hospital system. He imposed medical professionalism on a chaotic battlefield. Where before 20 percent of the men were unfit to fight because of disease, squalid conditions, and poor nutrition, he improved health and combat readiness by pioneering hygiene and diet standards. Based on original research, and with stirring accounts of battle and the struggle to invent and supply adequate care during impossible conditions, this new biography recounts Letterman's life from his small-town Pennsylvania beginnings to his trailblazing wartime years and his subsequent life as a wildcatter and the medical examiner of San Francisco. At last, here is the missing portrait of a key figure of Civil War history and military medicine. His principles of battlefield care continue to be taught to military commanders and first responders.
Poisoned: How a Crime-Busting Prosecutor Turned His Medical Mystery into a Crusade for Environmental Victims
By Alan Bell, Jan Schlichtmann. 2017
After years of prosecuting hard-core criminals, rising legal star Alan Bell took a private sector job in South Florida’s newest…skyscraper. Suddenly, he suffered such bizarre medical symptoms, doctors suspected he’d been poisoned by the Mafia. Bell’s rapidly declining health forced him to flee his glamorous Miami life to a sterile “bubble” in the remote Arizona desert. As his career and marriage dissolved, Bell pursued medical treatments in a race against time, hoping to stay alive and raise his young daughter, his one desperate reason to keep going. He eventually discovered he wasn’t poisoned by a criminal, but by his office building. His search for a cure led him to discover the horrifying truth: his tragedy was just the tip of the iceberg. Millions of people fall ill and die each year because of toxic chemical exposures—without knowing they’re at risk. Stunned by what he discovered, Bell chose to fight back, turning his plight into an opportunity. Despite his precarious health, he began collaborating with scientists dedicated to raising awareness about this issue. Soon, he also found himself drawn back into the legal field, teaming up with top lawyers fighting for those who had already fallen ill. Both a riveting medical mystery and a cautionary tale, this book puts a human face on the hidden truths behind toxic dangers assaulting us in our everyday environments—and offers practical ways to protect ourselves and our children.
A groundbreaking theoretical physicist traces his career, reflecting on the successes and failures, triumphs and insecurities of a life cut…short by cancer.The groundbreaking theoretical physicist Joseph Polchinski explained the genesis of his memoir this way: &“Having only two bodies of knowledge, myself and physics, I decided to write an autobiography about my development as a theoretical physicist.&” In this posthumously published account of his life and work, Polchinski (1954–2018) describes successes and failures, triumphs and insecurities, and the sheer persistence that led to his greatest discoveries. Writing engagingly and accessibly, with the wry humor for which he was known, Polchinski gives theoretical physics a very human face. Polchinski, famous for his contributions to string theory, may have changed the course of modern theoretical physics, but he was a late bloomer—doing most of his important work after the age of forty. His death from brain cancer at sixty-three cut short a career at its peak. Working on the memoir after his diagnosis, using a text-to-speech algorithm because he could no longer read words on a page, he was able to recapitulate his entire career, down to the details of problems he had worked on. For Polchinski, physics went deeper than words. This edition includes photographs from Polchinski&’s professional and family life, as well as physics explainer boxes, other technical edits, and bibliographic notes by his former student Ahmad Almheiri, a foreword by Andrew Strominger, and an afterword by his wife Dorothy Chun and sons Steven and Daniel.
When outdoorsman, avid hunter, and nature writer Steven Rinella stumbles upon Auguste Escoffier's 1903 milestone Le Guide Culinaire, he's inspired…to assemble an unusual feast: a forty-five-course meal born entirely of Escoffier's esoteric wild game recipes. Over the course of one unforgettable year, he steadily procures his ingredients--fishing for stingrays in Florida, hunting mountain goats in Alaska, flying to Michigan to obtain a fifteen-pound snapping turtle--and encountering one colorful character after another. And as he introduces his vegetarian girlfriend to a huntsman's lifestyle, Rinella must also come to terms with the loss of his lifelong mentor--his father. An absorbing account of one man's relationship with family, friends, food, and the natural world, The Scavenger's Guide to Haute Cuisine is a rollicking tale of the American wild and its spoils. Praise for The Scavenger's Guide to Haute Cuisine "If Jack Kerouac had hung out with Julia Child instead of Neal Cassady, this book might have been written fifty years ago. . . . Steven Rinella brings bohemian flair and flashes of poetic sensibility to his picaresque tale of a man, a cookbook, and the culinary open road."--The Wall Street Journal "If you rue the 'depersonalization of food production,' or you're tired of chemical ingredients, [Rinella] will make you howl."--Los Angeles Times "A walk on the wild side of hunting and gathering, sure to repel a few professional food sissies but attract many more with its sheer in-your-face energy and fine storytelling."--Jim Harrison, author of Legends of the Fall "[A] warped, wonderful memoir of cooking and eating . . . [Rinella] recounts these madcap wilderness adventures with delicious verve and charm."--Men's JournalFrom the Trade Paperback edition.
By Rikke Schmidt Kjærgaard. 2018
The powerful and moving memoir by a scientist and mother of three of how she learned to live again after…a sudden severe infection caused her to die but then revive with 'locked-in syndrome' - only able to blink an eye.At the age of 38, Rikke Schmidt Kjærgaard, a Danish scientist, wife and mother of three, is struck down by an acute bout of bacterial meningitis. She awakes from a coma in intensive care to find herself completely paralysed, unable to show she is conscious except by blinking her eye. It becomes her only form of communication as in the months that follow, Kjærgaard's husband Peter sits beside her helping to interpret every eye movement. She struggles with every basic of life - painfully learning how to breathe, move, eat and speak again. Despite being given a five per cent chance of survival, she works intensively to recover and achieve every small breakthrough. The Blink of an Eye is a celebration of love and family and every little thing that matters when life is in the balance - written by a scientist uniquely able to describe her physical and mental journey to recovery.
By Julie Vandervoort. 1992
By Janet Elizabeth Croon. 2018
A remarkable account of the collapse of the Old South and the final years of a young boy’s privileged but…afflicted life.LeRoy Wiley Gresham was born in 1847 to an affluent slave-holding family in Macon, Georgia. After a horrific leg injury left him an invalid, the educated, inquisitive, perceptive, and exceptionally witty twelve-year-old began keeping a diary in 1860—just as secession and the Civil War began tearing the country and his world apart. He continued to write even as his health deteriorated until both the war and his life ended in 1865. His unique manuscript of the demise of the Old South is published here for the first time in The War Outside My Window.LeRoy read books, devoured newspapers and magazines, listened to gossip, and discussed and debated important social and military issues with his parents and others. He wrote daily for five years, putting pen to paper with a vim and tongue-in-cheek vigor that impresses even now, more than 150 years later. His practical, philosophical, and occasionally Twain-like hilarious observations cover politics and the secession movement, the long and increasingly destructive Civil War, family pets, a wide variety of hobbies and interests, and what life was like at the center of a socially prominent wealthy family in the important Confederate manufacturing center of Macon. The young scribe often voiced concern about the family’s pair of plantations outside town, and recorded his interactions and relationships with servants as he pondered the fate of human bondage and his family’s declining fortunes.Unbeknownst to LeRoy, he was chronicling his own slow and painful descent toward death in tandem with the demise of the Southern Confederacy. He recorded—often in horrific detail—an increasingly painful and debilitating disease that robbed him of his childhood. The teenager’s declining health is a consistent thread coursing through his fascinating journals. “I feel more discouraged [and] less hopeful about getting well than I ever did before,” he wrote on March 17, 1863. “I am weaker and more helpless than I ever was.” Morphine and a score of other “remedies” did little to ease his suffering. Abscesses developed; nagging coughs and pain consumed him. Alternating between bouts of euphoria and despondency, he often wrote, “Saw off my leg.”The War Outside My Window, edited and annotated by Janet Croon with helpful footnotes and a detailed family biographical chart, captures the spirit and the character of a young privileged white teenager witnessing the demise of his world even as his own body slowly failed him. Just as Anne Frank has come down to us as the adolescent voice of World War II, LeRoy Gresham will now be remembered as the young voice of the Civil War South.Winner, 2018, The Douglas Southall Freeman Award
By Vladimir Dinets. 2013
A born naturalist and a fearless traveler, Vladimir Dinets wrote travel guides, conducted field research, and lived a couple of…lives before he was accepted into the PhD program in zoology at the University of Miami. He thought crocodiles were a dead-end research topic--survivors from the age of the dinosaurs but not much else--until he witnessed groups of up to seventy alligators performing mating choruses that included infrasound vibrations--a form of communication extremely rare in nature--and a "dance" unknown in the scientific literature but that resembled a scene from Jurassic Park. To prove his thesis about the language of crocodiles, he spent the next six years traveling around the world on shoestring budgets and in extreme circumstances, studying almost every living species. At the same time, as a man desiring companionship in life, he sought love.With adventures on five continents, Dragon Songs is his account of this quest. It includes an escape from a boiling lava lake in the Afar Desert, being chased up a tree by a tiger in India, hitching a ride with a cocaine smuggler in Bolivia, and diving with giant Greenland sharks--all in the name of studying crocodiles, among which he routinely paddled in his inflatable kayak. Of course, not everything went according to plan. But, in the end, his ground-breaking research helped change the field. And during the course of his adventures, he met and courted his future wife.
By Dan Eatherley. 2015
The amazing story of one man’s obsession with an enigmatic and deadly reptile. Raymond Ditmars (1876-1942), the first curator of…reptiles at New York’s famous Bronx Zoo, brought cold-blooded animals to public attention as never before. Through wildly successful books and movies, he inspired a generation of zoologists with his fascination for snakes, insects, and other misunderstood creatures. Ditmars was among the most celebrated naturalists in America. His reptile-collecting trips for the zoo spawned newspaper headlines across the world. Although a serpent lover, he was all too aware of the devastating effects of snakebites and was instrumental in the development of antivenom. His films and writings brought him fame, but he remained a devoted zoo employee, doing what he loved most: caring for animals. Bushmaster tells the story of this remarkable man and what became an obsession with the mysterious bushmaster of the South American rainforest. Measuring up to thirteen feet in length, this is the world’s largest viper, and its scientific name, Lachesis muta, translates as "silent fate. ” Despite numerous expeditions to jungles from Honduras to Brazil, Ditmars could never capture a bushmaster for himself. Now, British author Dan Eatherley follows in Ditmars’s footsteps, revisiting his early haunts in the United States and South America. He attempts to do what Ditmars himself failed to achieve: to find a bushmaster in the wild. But eighty years later, will Dan have any more luck? Through the author’s own quest, Bushmaster reveals the life of a pioneer herpetologist, wildlife filmmaker, and zoo curator.
By Fran Macilvey. 2014
<p>An honest, unflinching, and inspiring memoir of living with a challenging disorder. <p> Fran Macilvery was born in the 1960s,…when her parents were living in the Belgian Congo. Fran was the second of premature twins—and until the last moment, no one knew that twins were arriving. The complications and resulting delay led to Fran’s cerebral palsy. <p>Growing up with her siblings in Africa, Fran always felt different. When everyone else was playing and having fun, she would watch and wish she could join in. Eventually the family moved to Scotland and, as Fran grew older, her hurt turned into anger, self-hatred, and suicidal depression. Then one day, someone looked at her and saw a woman to love, and that was the start of her journey to self-acceptance. <p>A truthful and revealing look at the difficulty of maintaining the appearance of a “normal” life with CP, and the lessons learned along the way, Trapped is “an ideal firsthand account of the unique and largely unknown world of disability.</p>
By Jeff Goldberg. 2013
In late 1973, scientists John Hughes and Hans Kosterlitz spent the majority of their time in an underfunded, obscure, and…cramped laboratory in Aberdeen, Sweden. While working on the brains of pigs, the duo discovered a nonaddictive narcotic chemical that they hoped to later find in human brains. If they could isolate this chemical in humans, perhaps they could find a way to help the world begin to heal itself. Hughes and Kosterlitz's research would inevitably lead them to discover endorphins, the body's own natural morphine and the chemical that makes it possible to feel both pain and pleasure.Announcing their findings to the scientific world thrust Hughes and Kosterlitz in the spotlight and made them celebrities. Soon, scientists all over the world were hastily examining the human brain and its endorphins. In a few years' time, they would use the team's initial research to link endorphins to drug addiction, runner's high, appetite control, sexual response, and mental illnesses such as depression and schizophrenia.In Anatomy of a Scientific Discovery, Jeff Goldberg describes Hughes and Kosterlitz's lives before, during, and after their historic and scientific breakthrough. He also takes a look at the bigger picture, revealing the brutal competition between drug companies to find a way to cash in on this monumental discovery.
By Andrew Norman. 2014
Charles Darwin did not deliberately set out to be the "destroyer of mythical beliefs," some of which, in his early…days as a young Christian, he had previously espoused. He was a modest man who liked to avoid controversy of any kind, yet paradoxically, he was to be the cause of the greatest controversy in the history of science and religion.When Darwin embarked on the HMS Beagle in late December 1831, bound for the southern hemisphere, he could not have imagined that the experience would lead him to formulate a theory which would totally revolutionize the way in which we viewed the natural world. He did not come to his conclusions about the origin and evolution of all life on Earth quickly, though, for just as the living organisms to which his theory applied had evolved over millions of years, so his thinking evolved as his own life progressed.How did this thoughtful, methodical scientist come to have such an impact on his time-and on ours? These questions and more are what Andrew Norman seeks to answer in this biography of the author of The Origin of Species.
By Mary Emerick. 2017
FIRE IN THE HEART is a powerful memoir by a woman, once a shy, insecure schoolgirl, who reinvented herself as…a professional wildland fire fighter. Determined to forge herself into a stronger, braver person, Mary climbs to heights she never imagined for herself, eventually directing blazes across the country. Filled with literal struggles for survival, tough choices and Mary's burning passion for what she does, Fire in the Heart, is an unflinching account of one woman's relationship with fire. But when she loses someone she loves to the famous Storm King Mountain forest fire in Colorado, which killed fourteen firefighters, Mary faces the hardest choice of her life; to stay in the game or turn back and try to find the woman she used to be. It is both a thrilling memoir about life-threatening work and a meditation on identity, strength, bravery, bonds, and survivor's guilt.
By Rosemary Rawlins. 2014
On a sunny spring day, in an ordinary suburban kitchen, the phone rings. There's been an accident. In one heartbeat,…a family's life is changed forever.After her husband, Hugh, is hit by a car while riding his bicycle, Rosemary Rawlins is plunged into twelve months of marathon caregiving, without the promise of a positive outcome. She works herself to the point of exhaustion to bring her grievously injured husband-who suffered a traumatic brain injury, necessitating the removal of half his skull-back home and back to himself. Then, as he slowly begins to reclaim his life, Rosemary falls apart.She can't sleep. Her heart pounds. Her joy and trust in the world dissolve into endless anxiety. She lays awake at night wondering how her marriage will survive. Will she ever be able to relate to Hugh again? What will become of their relationship? Their children? Do they recognize each other-literally-as the people they fell in love with and married decades ago? How can she let go of her fears? And what can she learn from them?Learning by Accident is a caregiver's story of ambiguous loss, family love, and emotional healing. This compelling personal account demonstrates with heart and humor that what we fear can be more debilitating than any physical injury. And that sometimes starting over is exactly what we need.
By Jonathan H. Ward, Eileen Collins, Robert Crippen, Michael D. Leinbach. 2017
Timed to release for the 15th Anniversary of the Columbia space shuttle disaster, this is the epic true story of…one of the most dramatic, unforgettable adventures of our time.On February 1, 2003, Columbia disintegrated on reentry before the nation’s eyes, and all seven astronauts aboard were lost. Author Mike Leinbach, Launch Director of the space shuttle program at NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center was a key leader in the search and recovery effort as NASA, FEMA, the FBI, the US Forest Service, and dozens more federal, state, and local agencies combed an area of rural east Texas the size of Rhode Island for every piece of the shuttle and her crew they could find. Assisted by hundreds of volunteers, it would become the largest ground search operation in US history. This comprehensive account is told in four parts: Parallel Confusion Courage, Compassion, and Commitment Picking Up the Pieces A Bittersweet VictoryFor the first time, here is the definitive inside story of the Columbia disaster and recovery and the inspiring message it ultimately holds. In the aftermath of tragedy, people and communities came together to help bring home the remains of the crew and nearly 40 percent of shuttle, an effort that was instrumental in piecing together what happened so the shuttle program could return to flight and complete the International Space Station. Bringing Columbia Home shares the deeply personal stories that emerged as NASA employees looked for lost colleagues and searchers overcame immense physical, logistical, and emotional challenges and worked together to accomplish the impossible.Featuring a foreword and epilogue by astronauts Robert Crippen and Eileen Collins, and dedicated to the astronauts and recovery search persons who lost their lives, this is an incredible, compelling narrative about the best of humanity in the darkest of times and about how a failure at the pinnacle of human achievement became a story of cooperation and hope.
By Patrick Dobson. 2020
A deeply moving account of one man&’s return to the German town where he first pursued a career in winemaking, and his…attempt to reckon with the mental illness, alcoholism, and enduring relationships that defined the most formative chapter of his life.After an attempted suicide by hanging—with his son in the next room—author Patrick Dobson checks into a mental hospital, clueless, reeling from bone-crushing depression and tortuous, racing thoughts. A long overdue diagnosis of manic depression offers relief but brings his confused and eventful past into question.To make sense of his suicide attempt and deal with his past, he returns to Germany where, three decades earlier, he arrived as twenty-two-year-old—lost, drunk, and in the throes of untreated mental illness—in search of a new life and with dreams of becoming a winemaker. The sublime Mosel vineyards and the ancient city of Trier changed his life forever.Ferment charts his days in Trier&’s vineyards and cellars, and the enduring friendships that would define his life. A winemaker and his wife become like parents to him. In their son, he finds a brother, whose death years later sends Dobson into a suicidal tailspin. His friends, once apprentices like himself, become leaders in their fields: an art historian and church-restoration expert, an art- and architectural-glass craftsman, a painter and photographer, and a theologian/journalist. The relationships he builds with them become hallmarks of a life well-lived.In Ferment, Dobson reconnects with the people who stood by him through his dissolution and eventual recovery. In these relationships, he seeks who he was and how his time in Germany changed him. He peers into his memory to understand how manic depression and alcoholism affected who he was then and how his time in Germany made him who he&’s become.
By Stephen Brennan. 2014
Biographer Steven J. Holmes once wrote that John Muir was "one of the patron saints of twentieth-century American environmental activity."…In his lifetime, the engineer, author, biologist, and activist worked alongside powerful men such as President Theodore Roosevelt, railroad executive E. H. Harriman, and conservationist Gifford Pinchot. Muir was responsible for the creation of the Sierra Club and he played an important role in preserving the Yosemite Valley and Sequoia National Park.During his lifetime, Muir published six different volumes of nature and personal writing. After his death in 1914, four more volumes were discovered and released. In An Autobiography of John Muir, editor Stephen Brennan brings to light the many accomplishments of Muir's life through the naturalist's own nonfiction works, including The Story of My Boyhood and Youth and My First Summer in the Sierra.Through the essays featured in this book, readers will learn of Muir's childhood, which was split between Scotland and a farm in Wisconsin. They will travel the world with him, from the High Mountains to the Mono Trail, the Bloody Canyon, Yosemite, and everywhere in between.
By Joel Martin. 2017
Thomas Edison closely following the alternative physics work of Albert Einstein and Max Planck, convincing him that there was an…entire reality unseen by the human eye. This led to the last and least-known of all Edison’s inventions, the spirit phone. His former associate, now bitter rival, Nikola Tesla, was also developing at the same time a similar mysterious device. Edison vs. Tesla examines their quest to talk to the dead. It reveals:Edison’s little-known near-death experience formed his theory that animate life forms don’t die, but rather change the nature of their composition. It is this foundational belief that drove him to proceed with the spirit phone.Tesla monitored Edison’s paranormal work, with both men racing to create a device that picked up the frequencies of discarnate spirits, what today is called EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon).Both men were way ahead of their time, delving into artificial intelligence and robotics.Although mystery and lore surround the details of the last decade of Edison’s life, many skeptics have denied the existence of the mysterious spirit phone. The authors have researched both Edison’s and Tesla’s journals, as well as contemporary articles and interviews with the inventors to confirm that tests were actually done with this device. They also have the full cooperation of the Charles Edison fund, affording them access to rare photos and graphics to support their text. Edison vs. Tesla sheds light on this weird invention and demonstrates the rivalry that drove both men to new discoveries.