An “extraordinary” and “monumental” exposé of Big Oil from two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Steve Coll (The Washington Post) Includes a profile of current Secretary of State and former chairman and chief executive of ExxonMobil, Rex Tillerson In this, the first hard-hitting examination of ExxonMobil—the largest and most powerful private corporation in the United States—Steve Coll reveals the true extent of its power. Private Empire pulls back the curtain, tracking the corporation’s recent history and its central role on the world stage, beginning with the Exxon Valdez accident in 1989 and leading to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. The action spans the globe—featuring kidnapping cases, civil wars, and high-stakes struggles at the Kremlin—and the narrative is driven by larger-than-life characters, including corporate legend Lee “Iron Ass” Raymond, ExxonMobil’s chief executive until 2005, and current chairman and chief executive Rex Tillerson, President-elect Donald Trump's nomination for Secretary of State. A penetrating, news-breaking study, Private Empire is a defining portrait of Big Oil in American politics and foreign policy.
A Private Empire explores Britain's imperial past through the eyes and experiences of a single family. Historian Stephen Foster focuses on the Macphersons of Blairgowrie in Scotland, who recorded their private and public lives through five generations in an extraordinary archive of letters, documents and diaries. Elegantly presented with contemporary paintings and photographs, A Private Empire tells an intimate story of ambition and frustration, love and deception, wisdom and folly, pride and shame, passion and restraint, an attachment to place, an affection for kin-all set against the grand shifting background of Britain's imperial rule. 'In a world overpopulated by self-indulgent family histories, A Private Empire is that rarity which makes one keep reading to find out what happened to its cast of strangers.' Stephen Wilks, The Canberra Times 'A remarkably impressive book. The story he tells is an extraordinary one; indeed if it were written in the fictional genre of the family saga you would think he was stretching credulity.' Professor Stuart Macintyre, AO 'Superbly researched and wonderfully revelatory.' Professor John Mackenzie, The Scotsman 'An enthralling read and an important piece of history.' Undiscovered Scotland
Those Who Built Them, Those Who Endured Them, and Why They Always Fall
Author: Timothy Parsons
Publisher: Oxford University Press
In The Rule of Empires, Timothy Parsons gives a sweeping account of the evolution of empire from its origins in ancient Rome to its most recent twentieth-century embodiment. He explains what constitutes an empire and offers suggestions about what empires of the past can tell us about our own historical moment. Parsons uses imperial examples that stretch from ancient Rome, to Britain's "new" imperialism in Kenya, to the Third Reich to parse the features common to all empires, their evolutions and self-justifying myths, and the reasons for their inevitable decline. Parsons argues that far from confirming some sort of Darwinian hierarchy of advanced and primitive societies, conquests were simply the products of a temporary advantage in military technology, wealth, and political will. Beneath the self-justifying rhetoric of benevolent paternalism and cultural superiority lay economic exploitation and the desire for power. Yet imperial ambitions still appear viable in the twenty-first century, Parsons shows, because their defenders and detractors alike employ abstract and romanticized perspectives that fail to grasp the historical reality of subjugation. Writing from the perspective of the common subject rather than that of the imperial conquerors, Parsons offers a historically grounded cautionary tale rich with accounts of subjugated peoples throwing off the yoke of empire time and time again. In providing an accurate picture of what it is like to live as a subject, The Rule of Empires lays bare the rationalizations of imperial conquerors and their apologists and exposes the true limits of hard power.
Winner of the Cervantes Prize Carlos Fuentes, one of the world’s most acclaimed authors, is at the height of his powers in this stunning new novel—a magnificent epic of passion, magic, and desire in modern Mexico, a rich and remarkable tapestry set in a world where free will fights with the wishes of the gods. Josué Nadal has lost more than his innocence: He has been robbed of his life—and his posthumous narration sets the tone for a brilliantly written novel that blends mysticism and realism. Josué tells of his fateful meeting as a skinny, awkward teen with Jericó, the vigorous boy who will become his twin, his best friend, and his shadow. Both orphans, the two young men intend to spend their lives in intellectual pursuit—until they enter an adult landscape of sex, crime, and ambition that will test their pledge and alter their lives forever. Idealistic Josué goes to work for a high-tech visionary whose stunning assistant will introduce him to a life of desire; cynical Jericó is enlisted by the Mexican president in a scheme to sell happiness to the impoverished masses. On his journey into a web of illegality in which he will be estranged from Jericó, Josué is aided and impeded by a cast of unforgettable characters: a mad, imprisoned murderer with a warning of revenge, an elegant aviatrix and addict seeking to be saved, a prostitute shared by both men who may have murdered her way into a brilliant marriage, and the prophet Ezekiel himself. Mixing ancient mythologies with the sensuousness and avarice and need of the twenty-first century, Destiny and Desire is a monumental achievement from one of the masters of contemporary literature. From the Hardcover edition.
A both controversial and comprehensive historical analysis of how the British Empire worked, from Wolfson Prize-winning author and historian John Darwin The British Empire shaped the world in countless ways: repopulating continents, carving out nations, imposing its own language, technology and values. For perhaps two centuries its expansion and final collapse were the single largest determinant of historical events, and it remains surrounded by myth, misconception and controversy today. John Darwin's provocative and richly enjoyable book shows how diverse, contradictory and in many ways chaotic the British Empire really was, controlled by interests that were often at loggerheads, and as much driven on by others' weaknesses as by its own strength.
Most histories of European appropriation of indigenous territories have, until recently, focused on conquest and occupation, while relatively little attention has been paid to the history of treaty-making. Yet treaties were also a means of extending empire. To grasp the extent of European legal engagement with indigenous peoples, Empire by Treaty: Negotiating European Expansion, 1600-1900 looks at the history of treaty-making in European empires (Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, French and British) from the early 17th to the late 19th century, that is, during both stages of European imperialism. While scholars have often dismissed treaties assuming that they would have been fraudulent or unequal, this book argues that there was more to the practice of treaty-making than mere commercial and political opportunism. Indeed, treaty-making was also promoted by Europeans as a more legitimate means of appropriating indigenous sovereignties and acquiring land than were conquest or occupation, and therefore as a way to reconcile expansion with moral and juridical legitimacy. As for indigenous peoples, they engaged in treaty-making as a way to further their interests even if, on the whole, they gained far less than the Europeans from those agreements and often less than they bargained for. The vexed history of treaty-making presents particular challenges for the great expectations placed in treaties for the resolution of conflicts over indigenous rights in post-colonial societies. These hopes are held by both indigenous peoples and representatives of the post-colonial state and yet, both must come to terms with the complex and troubled history of treaty-making over 300 years of empire. Empire by Treaty looks at treaty-making in Dutch colonial expansion, the Spanish-Portuguese border in the Americas, aboriginal land in Canada, French colonial West Africa, and British India.
Church, Society, and Civilization Seen Through Contemporary Eyes
Author: Deno John Geanakoplos
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Category: Byzantine Empire
Deno John Geanakoplos here offers a prodigious collection of source materials on the Byzantine church, society, and civilization (many translated for the first time into English), arranged chronologically and topically, and knit together with an analytical historical commentary. His selections from Byzantine writers as well as from more obscure documents and chronicles in Latin, Arabic, Slavic, Italian, Armenian, and French reflect all the diversity of Byzantine life--the military tactics of the long-invincible cataphract cavalry and the warships armed with Greek fire, the mysticism of Hesychast monks, the duties of imperial officers, the activities of daily life from the Hippodrome and Hagia Sophia to the marketplaces, baths, and brothels. Geanakoplos not only covers the traditional areas of political, ecclesiastical, socioeconomic, administrative, and military life, but also provides a vivid picture of Byzantine culture--education, philosophy, literature, theology, medicine, and science. Of particular interest are the insights into the empire's relations with the Latin West, the Slavs, the Arabs, the Turks, and other neighboring peoples. -- Byzantium is much more than a sourcebook. The running commentary reflects the most recent scholarly research in Byzantine studies and places each translated source in its precise historical context. Through the use of both primary sources and commentary, Geanakoplos has represented in all its richness and complexity one of the world's great civilizations. There is no comparable book on Byzantine history and civilization in any language.
Thomas examines the private ownership of ecclesiastical institutions to determine the nature and extent of private ownership of religious institutions in the Byzantine Empire. This includes churches, monasteries, and philanthropic institutions such as hospitals and orphanages, which were founded by private individuals and retained for personal administration independent of the public authorities of the state and church.
An inspirational book that was written with my friends in mind. With my knowledge of life and friendly supportive words this book was put together to open people’s eyes to the reality of life and the way we live it. I believe everyone should have the right to choose freely what they believe in and how they perceive what reality is, hoping that in reading this book it will give them some insight to what life is truly about. I hope if you enjoy reading this book that you will look out for my next one.