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From the 2015 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature comes the first English translation of her latest work, an oral history of the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the emergence of a new Russia. Bringing together dozens of voices in her distinctive documentary style, Second-Hand Time is a monument to the collapse of the USSR, charting the decline of Soviet culture and speculating on what will rise from the ashes of Communism. As in all her books, Alexievich gives voice to women and men whose stories are lost in the official narratives of nation-states, creating a powerful alternative history from the personal and private stories of individuals. ‘Communism had an insane plan: to refashion the “old” breed of man, ancient Adam,’ writes Alexievich. ‘This was perhaps communism’s only achievement. Seventy plus years in the Marxist-Leninist laboratory gave rise to a new kind of man, the Homo sovieticus.’ In this magnificent requiem Alexievich’s method is simple: ‘I don’t ask people about socialism, I ask about love, jealousy, childhood, old age. Music, dances, hairstyles. The myriad sundry details of a vanished way of life… It never ceases to amaze me how interesting ordinary, everyday life is. There are an endless number of human truths… I am fascinated by people.’ From this fascination emerges a hugely important and deeply moving portrait of post-Soviet society. In a nation that likewise grapples with making sense of scattershot historical experience, Alexievich’s portraits may make the South African reader draw unexpected and uncomfortable parallels between Russia post-1990 and South Africa post-1994.
As his health begins to fail, a historian in the year 2084 sets out to document the irreparable damage climate change has wrought on the planet over the course of his life. He interviews scientists, political leaders and ordinary people all around the world who have suffered its catastrophic effects, from devastating floods and mass droughts to war and famine. In a series of short chapters, we learn that much of New York has been abandoned, 50 million Bangladeshis are refugees and half of the Netherlands is under water. This is all fiction. But it is rooted in scientific fact. Written by a professor of geochemistry, James Lawrence Powell, The 2084 Report accurately chronicles the future we will face if nothing is done to address the climate crisis. A vivid portrait of climate change and its tangible impact on our lives, The 2084 Report is a powerful prophecy and urgent call to action.
The Chewa are the largest ethnic group in Malawi, representing a third of the population of approximately 19 million, and their language, Chichewa, is Malawi's national language. Yet the last book on the history of this group was published in 1944, and was based on oral history, or tradition. As with much African history, it started to be recorded only in the late 19th century. This is the first book to use not only oral history, but also documents written by early Portuguese explorers, traders and government officials, as well as archaeology, to piece together the early history of the Chewa. The author is an archaeologist, who discovered the first major Chewa settlement, Mankhamba, near the southern part of Lake Malawi. His excavations have enabled a more scientific chronology of the migrations of the Chewa into what is today Malawi and have provided physical proof of their early history as well as their material and spiritual culture and way of life. There are several historians and archaeologists working in the area of early Malawian history, but their work remains largely in the domain of academia and is inaccessible to the general public. Professor Yusuf Juwayeyi has written and documented a very readable history of the Chewa as revealed by archaeology, and demonstrates the value of combining oral tradition together with archaeology to arrive at a more accurate picture of the history of a pre-literate society. With many illustrations, this book will be appealing not only to historians, archaeologists and anthropologists, but also the general reader interested in African history and in Malawi's history in particular.
Survival in the 'Dumping Grounds' examines a defining aspect of South Africa's recent past: the history of apartheid-era relocation. While scholars and activists have long recognised the suffering caused by apartheid removals to the so-called 'homelands', the experiences of those who lived through this process more often have been obscured. Drawing on extensive archival and oral history research, this book explores the makings and multiple meanings of relocation into two of the most notorious apartheid 'dumping grounds' established in the Ciskei bantustan during the mid-1960s: Sada and Ilinge. Author Laura Evans describes the local and global dynamics of the project of bantustan relocation and develops a multi-layered analysis of the complex histories-and ramifications-of displacement and resettlement in the Ciskei.
Cradock is a vivid history of a South African town in the years when segregation gradually emerged, preceding the rapid and rigorous implementation of apartheid. Through the details of one emblematic community, Jeffrey Butler offers an ambitious treatment of the racial themes that dominate recent South African history. Although Butler was born and raised in Cradock, he eschews sentimentality in favour of scholarly precision. Augmenting the obvious political narratives, Cradock examines the poor infrastructural conditions, ranging from public health to public housing, that typify a grossly unequal system of racial segregation but are otherwise neglected in the region's historiography. Butler shows, with the richness that only a local study could provide, how the lives of blacks, whites and coloureds were affected by the bitter transition from segregation before 1948 to apartheid thereafter.
As a child growing up in rural Oklahoma, Donald Fixico often heard ""hvmakimata"" - ""that's what they used to say"" - a phrase Mvskoke Creeks and Seminoles use to end stories. In his latest work, Fixico, who is Shawnee, Sac and Fox, Mvskoke Creek, and Seminole, invites readers into his own oral tradition to learn how storytelling, legends and prophecies, and oral histories and creation myths knit together to explain the Indian world. Interweaving the storytelling and traditions of his ancestors, Fixico conveys the richness and importance of oral culture in Native communities and demonstrates the power of the spoken word to bring past and present together, creating a shared reality both immediate and historical for Native peoples. Fixico's stories conjure war heroes and ghosts, inspire fear and laughter, explain the past, and foresee the future - and through them he skillfully connects personal, familial, tribal, and Native history. Oral tradition, Fixico affirms, at once reflects and creates the unique internal reality of each Native community. Stories possess spiritual energy, and by summoning this energy, storytellers bring their communities together. Sharing these stories, and the larger story of where they come from and how they work, ""That's What They Used to Say"" offers readers rare insight into the oral traditions at the very heart of Native cultures, in all of their rich and infinitely complex permutations.
A fascinating insight into an industry that shaped the Yorkshire landscape which will appeal to those interested in the history of the county, Keighley, knitting and our industrial heritage generally. Marriner's wool and patterns have clothed generations of British families, but few people are aware of the fascinating story of this famous company. This well-written, readable account puts the firm under the microscope in a way which contributes greatly to our knowledge and understanding of mill working and management.
Acclaimed writer and editor Craig Taylor spent years traversing every corner of London, getting to know the most interesting of its residents--the voice of the London Underground, a West End rickshaw driver, an East End nightclub door attendant, a mounted soldier of the Queen's Life Guard. Now, in Londoners, this diverse cast of characters--rich and poor, young and old, native and immigrant, men and women (and even a Sarah who used to be a George)--shares indelible tales that capture the city as never before. With candor and humor, these voices paint a vivid, epic, and wholly original portrait of twenty-first-century London, scripting the autobiography of one of the world's greatest cities.
Do, Die, or Get Along weaves together voices of twenty-six people who have intimate connections to two neighboring towns in the southwestern Virginia coal country. Filled with evidence of a new kind of local outlook on the widespread challenge of small community survival, the book tells how a confrontational ""do-or-die"" past has given way to a ""get-along"" present built on coalition and guarded hope. St. Paul and Dante are six miles apart; measured in other ways, the distance can be greater. Dante, for decades a company town controlled at all levels by the mine owners, has only a recent history of civic initiative. In St. Paul, which arose at a railroad junction, public debate, entrepreneurship, and education found a more receptive home. The speakers are men and women, wealthy and poor, black and white, old-timers and newcomers. Their concerns and interests range widely, including the battle over strip mining, efforts to control flooding, the 1989-90 Pittston strike, the nationally acclaimed Wetlands Estonoa Project, and the grassroots revitalization of both towns led by the St. Paul Tomorrow and Dante Lives On organizations. Their talk of the past often invokes an ethos, rooted in the hand-to-mouth pioneer era, of short-term gain. Just as frequently, however, talk turns to more recent times, when community leaders, corporations, unions, the federal government, and environmental groups have begun to seek accord based on what will be best, in the long run, for the towns. The story of Dante and St. Paul, Crow writes, ""gives twenty-first-century meaning to the idea of the good fight."" This is an absorbing account of persistence, resourcefulness, and eclectic redefinition of success and community revival, with ramifications well beyond Appalachia.
Between 2012 and 2013 Julia Muir Watt interviewed twenty-nine individuals from Whithorn, in Dumfries and Galloway, and its hinterland about their memories of the period from 1920 to 1960s. The core period relates to the time before WWII, and the resultant disruption of the small world of Whithorn - a world now largely gone. In addition, Julia Muir Watt interviewed the Whithorn-born poet and scholar Alastair Reid, and Andrew McNeillie - his father John McNeillie's book Wigtown Ploughman, with its descriptions of farmworkers' poor conditions, was very controversial when it was published in 1939. The book also includes extracts from the writings of Gavin Maxwell, author of Ring of Bright Water. The book is the second to be published in association with The European Ethnological Research Centre as part of their research programme Dumfries and Galloway: A Regional Ethnology, the first being Stranraer and District Lives: Voices in Trust edited by Caroline Milligan. These are also part of a wider programme The Regional Ethnology of Scotland Project.
After 1933, as the brutal terror regime took hold, most of the two-thirds of Germans who had never voted for the Nazis - some 20 million people - tried to keep their heads down and protect their families. They moved to the country, or pretended to support the regime to avoid being denounced by neighbours, and tried to work out what was really happening in the Reich, surrounded as they were by Nazi propaganda and fake news. They lived in fear. Might they lose their jobs? Their homes? Their freedom? What would we have done in their place? Many ordinary Germans found the courage to resist, in the full knowledge that they could be sentenced to indefinite incarceration, torture or outright execution. Catrine Clay argues that it was a much greater number than was ever formally recorded: teachers, lawyers, factory and dock workers, housewives, shopkeepers, church members, trade unionists, army officers, aristocrats, Social Democrats, Socialists and Communists. Catrine Clay's ground-breaking book focuses on six very different characters: Irma, the young daughter of Ernst Thalmann, leader of the German Communists; Fritzi von der Schulenburg, a Prussian aristocrat; Rudolf Ditzen, the already famous author Hans Fallada, best known for his novel Alone in Berlin; Bernt Engelmann, a schoolboy living in the suburbs of Dusseldorf; Julius Leber, a charismatic leader of the Social Democrats in the Reichstag; and Fabian von Schlabrendorff, a law student in Berlin. The six are not seen in isolation but as part of their families: a brother and sister; a wife; a father with three children; an only son; the parents of a Communist pioneer daughter. Each experiences the momentous events of Nazi history as they unfold in their own small lives - Good Germans all.
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER "Incredibly evocative and compelling." The Washington Post "A hugely powerful new book." Dan Snow "The most moving and chilling oral history you will read." The Times "Astonishing book about an astonishing, terrifying atrocity, relived in real time by those who were there. I read it in one sitting & was utterly gripped from start to finish." Piers Morgan "An American academic has meticulously pieced together testimony from those who were there, using declassified documents and having conducted hundreds of new interviews. The resulting book is a harrowing picture of a day that changed history." The Sun "Although many years have passed since 9/11, this book, told with such immediacy, brings so vividly back to mind the shock of that day, and why it continues to shape the tragic history that has followed." Lawrence Wright, author of The Looming Tower "The Only Plane in the Sky is a stunning and important work-chilling, heartbreaking-and I cannot stop thinking about it. To hear the voices of those who survived, and those who did not, it is so moving and powerful. I learned so much and am so thankful for this book." Anderson Cooper, Anchor, CNN Of all the books about 9/11 one has been missing until now - a panoramic narrative from the men and women caught up in the unprecedented human drama of that terrible day. The Only Plane in the Sky is nothing less than the first comprehensive oral history of 9/11, deftly woven and told in the voices of ordinary people grappling with extraordinary events. Drawing on never-before-published transcripts, recently declassified documents, new and archived interviews from nearly five hundred people, historian Garrett Graff skillfully tells the story of the day as it was lived. It begins in the predawn hours of airports in the Northeast, where we meet the ticket agents who unknowingly usher terrorists onto their flights. In New York, first responders confront a scene of unimaginable chaos at the Twin Towers. From a secret bunker beneath the White House, Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice watch for incoming planes on radar. In the offices of the Pentagon, top officials feel the violent tremor as their headquarters come under attack. We hear the stories of the father and son working on separate floors in the North Tower; the firefighter who rushes to the scene to search for his wife; the telephone operator who keeps her promise to share a passenger's last words with his family; the chaplain who stays on the scene to perform last rites, losing his own life when the Towers collapse; the teachers evacuating terrified children from schools mere blocks from the World Trade Center; the generals at the Pentagon who break down and weep when they are barred from rushing into the burning building to try and rescue their colleagues. The Only Plane in the Sky is a unique, profound, and searing exploration of humanity on a day that changed the course of history, and all of our lives.
Our City: Migrants and the Making of Modern Birmingham explores how one of Britain s major cities has been transformed for the better by its migrant population. Based on original interviews, this book tells the story of fifty migrants to Birmingham from all walks of life: first and second generation; men and women; from thirteen different countries ranging from Ireland to India, Pakistan to Poland, the Caribbean to Somalia. While Brexit and the dangers of Islamist extremism are being used to reassert a closed British identity, these tales of perseverance highlight the variety of migrant experience and provide an antidote to the fear-mongering of the tabloid press. This positive story of integration is all too rarely told, and it offers a firm defense of the principles of equality and increased diversity. Our City shows why mixed, open societies are the way forward for twenty-first-century cities, and how migrants help modern Britain not only survive, but prosper.
Northampton Memories brings together the recollections of people from various parts of the town and from a range of different age groups. It includes memories of home and family life, the local shops and market, experiences of wartime rationing, memories of local businesses, education, parks and play areas, of travelling to and fro on the local transport services, memories of the old dance halls and events, and of how the town itself has changed throughout the years. Join Christine Jones and the town's residents as they take a trip down memory lane.
Spitfire Voices represents an important oral history of the Spitfire from the fighter pilot's perspective. Drawing upon the personal letters, diaries and memories of their families and comrades, the author recounts the deeply moving stories of those who made the ultimate sacrifice. The book features the whole range of combat experienced by Spitfire pilots, from air combat to ground attack, deck-landings, crashes and bail-outs, victories and defeats. Copiously illustrated with photographs from the albums of the pilots concerned, Spitfire Voices represents exactly what it was like flying to war in a Spitfire - in the words of those who lived to tell their tales. includes 169 photographs
Thalidomide: patented in Germany as a non-toxic cure-all for sleeplessness and morning sickness. A wonder drug with no side effects. We know differently now. Today, thalidomide is a byword for tragedy and drug reform - a sign of what happens when things aren't done 'the right way'. But when it was released in the 1950s, it was the best thing since penicillin - something that doctors were encouraged to prescribe to all of their patients. Nobody could anticipate what it actually did: induce sleeping, prevent morning sickness, and drastically harm unborn children. But, whilst thalidomide rampaged and ravaged throughout most of the West, it never reached the United States. It landed on the desk of Dr Frances Kelsey, and there it stayed as she battled bureaucracy, patriarchy, and the Establishment in an effort to prove that it was dangerous. Frankie is her story.
Produced between 1850 and 1862, London Labour and the London Poor is one of the most significant examples of nineteenth century oral history. The collection teems with the minute particulars of the everyday-bits and pieces of London lives assembled into a precarious whole by the author, editor, and principal investigator, Henry Mayhew. Mayhew was interested in the social fabric of people's lives, their labour and earnings, but also their families, education, leisure time, and religious beliefs. What gives his "case studies" such immediacy is that they seem to flow unprompted and uninterrupted from the mouths of his subjects: street sellers, dock labourers, musicians, rat catchers, vagrants, chimney sweeps, thieves, and prostitutes. All are captured in this newly annotated and abridged edition of Mayhew's four-volume work. Historical appendices include a contemporary map of London, reviews of London Labour, and other slum journalism from the period. Key features The only edition with appendices
Mireille Gansel grew up in the traumatic aftermath of her family losing everything-including their native languages-to Nazi Germany. In the 1960s and 70s, she translated poets from East Berlin and Vietnam to help broadcast their defiance to the rest of the world. In this half memoire, half philosophical treatise Gansel's debut illustrates the estrangement every translator experiences for the privilege of moving between tongues, and muses on how translation becomes an exercise of empathy between those in exile.
Contesting home defence is a new history of the Home Guard, a novel national defence force of the Second World War composed of civilians who served as part-time soldiers: it questions accounts of the force and the war, which have seen them as symbols of national unity. It scrutinises the Home Guard's reputation and explores whether this 'people's army' was a site of social cohesion or of dissension by assessing the competing claims made for it at the time. It then examines the way it was represented during the war and has been since, notably in Dad's Army, and discusses the memories of men and women who served in it. The book makes a significant and original contribution to debates concerning the British home front and introduces fresh ways of understanding the Second World War. -- .
Telling perhaps the most important forgotten story in American history, eminent historian Nell Irvin Painter guides us through more than two thousand years of Western civilization, illuminating not only the invention of race but also the frequent praise of "whiteness" for economic, scientific, and political ends. A story filled with towering historical figures, The History of White People closes a huge gap in literature that has long focused on the non-white and forcefully reminds us that the concept of "race" is an all-too-human invention whose meaning, importance, and reality have changed as it has been driven by a long and rich history of events.
In the 1980s, as China transitioned to the post-Mao era, a state-sponsored oral history project led to the publication of local, regional, and national histories. They took the form of written and transcribed personal testimonies of events that preceded the turmoil of both the Cultural Revolution and, in many cases, the Communist victory in 1949. Known as wenshi ziliao, these publications represent an intense process of historical memory production that has received little scholarly attention. Hitherto unexamined archival materials and oral histories reveal unresolved tensions in post-Cultural Revolution reconciliation and mobilization, informing negotiations between local elites and the state, and between Party and non-Party organizations. Taking the northeast Russia-Manchuria borderlands as a case study, Martin T. Fromm examines the creation of post-Mao identities, political mobilization, and knowledge production in China.
Junaluska is one of the oldest African American communities in western North Carolina and one of the few that has persisted into the modern era. After Emancipation, many former slaves in Watauga County became sharecroppers, were allowed to clear land and to keep a portion, or bought property outright, all in the segregated neighborhood on the hill overlooking the town of Boone, North Carolina. Land and home ownership have been crucial to the survival of this community, whose residents are closely interconnected as extended families and neighbors. Missionized by white Krimmer Mennonites in the early twentieth century, their church is one of a handful of African American Mennonite Brethren churches in the United States, and it provides one of the few avenues for leadership in the local black community. Susan Keefe has worked closely with members of the community in editing this book, which is based on three decades of participatory research. These life history narratives adapted from interviews with residents (born between 1885 and 1993) offer a people's history of the black experience in the southern mountains. Their stories provide a unique glimpse into the lives of African Americans in Appalachia during the 20th century--and a community determined to survive through the next.
In war, there is no easy victory. When troops invaded Iraq in 2003 to topple Saddam Hussein's regime, most people expected an easy victory. Instead, the gamble we took was a grave mistake, and its ramifications continue to reverberate through the lives of millions, in Iraq and the West. As we gain more distance from those events, it can be argued that many of the issues facing us today - the rise of the Islamic State, increased Islamic terrorism, intensified violence in the Middle East, mass migration, and more - can be traced back to the decision to invade Iraq. In The Iraq War, award-winning documentary maker James Bluemel collects first-hand testimony from those who lived through the horrors of the invasion and whose actions were dictated by such extreme circumstances. It takes in all sides of the conflict - working class Iraqi families watching their country erupt into civil war; soldiers and journalists on the ground; American families dealing with the grief of losing their son or daughter; parents of a suicide bomber coming to terms with unfathomable events - to create the most in-depth and multi-faceted portrait of the Iraq War to date. Accompanying a major BBC series, James Bluemel's book is an essential account of a conflict that continues to shape our world, and a startling reminder of the consequences of our past decisions.
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