Chasing the Last Laugh

Author: Richard Zacks
Publisher: Anchor Books
ISBN: 0345802535
Format: PDF, Kindle
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"From Richard Zacks, bestselling author of The Pirate Hunter and Island of Vice, a rich and lively account of Mark Twain's late-life adventures abroad. In 1895, at age sixty, Mark Twain was dead broke and miserable--his recent novels had been critical and commercial failures, and he was bankrupted by his inexplicable decision to run a publishing company. His wife made him promise to pay every debt back in full, so Twain embarked on an around-the-world comedy lecture tour that would take him from the dusty small towns of the American West to the faraway lands of India, South Africa, Australia, and beyond. Richard Zacks' rich and entertaining narrative provides a portrait of Twain as complicated, vibrant individual, and showcases the biting wit and skeptical observation that made him one of the greatest of all American writers. Twain remained abroad for five years, a time of struggle and wild experiences -- and ultimately redemption, as he rediscovered his voice as a writer and humorist, and returned, wiser and celebrated. As he said in his famous reply to an article about his demise, "the report of my death is an exaggeration." Weaving together a trove of sources, including newspaper accounts, correspondence, and unpublished material from Berkeley's ongoing Twain Project, Zacks chronicles a chapter of Twain's life as complex as the author himself, full of foolishness and bad choices, but also humor, self-discovery, and triumph"--

Chasing the Last Laugh

Author: Richard Zacks
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 0385536453
Format: PDF
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From Richard Zacks, bestselling author of Island of Vice and The Pirate Hunter, a rich and lively account of how Mark Twain’s late-life adventures abroad helped him recover from financial disaster and family tragedy—and revived his world-class sense of humor Mark Twain, the highest-paid writer in America in 1894, was also one of the nation’s worst investors. “There are two times in a man’s life when he should not speculate,” he wrote. “When he can’t afford it and when he can.” The publishing company Twain owned was failing; his investment in a typesetting device was bleeding red ink. After losing hundreds of thousands of dollars back when a beer cost a nickel, he found himself neck-deep in debt. His heiress wife, Livy, took the setback hard. “I have a perfect horror and heart-sickness over it,” she wrote. “I cannot get away from the feeling that business failure means disgrace.” But Twain vowed to Livy he would pay back every penny. And so, just when the fifty-nine-year-old, bushy-browed icon imagined that he would be settling into literary lionhood, telling jokes at gilded dinners, he forced himself to mount the “platform” again, embarking on a round-the-world stand-up comedy tour. No author had ever done that. He cherry-picked his best stories—such as stealing his first watermelon and buying a bucking bronco—and spun them into a ninety-minute performance. Twain trekked across the American West and onward by ship to the faraway lands of Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, India, Ceylon, and South Africa. He rode an elephant twice and visited the Taj Mahal. He saw Zulus dancing and helped sort diamonds at the Kimberley mines. (He failed to slip away with a sparkly souvenir.) He played shuffleboard on cruise ships and battled captains for the right to smoke in peace. He complained that his wife and daughter made him shave and change his shirt every day. The great American writer fought off numerous illnesses and travel nuisances to circle the globe and earn a huge payday and a tidal wave of applause. Word of his success, however, traveled slowly enough that one American newspaper reported that he had died penniless in London. That’s when he famously quipped: “The report of my death was an exaggeration.” Throughout his quest, Twain was aided by cutthroat Standard Oil tycoon H.H. Rogers, with whom he had struck a deep friendship, and he was hindered by his own lawyer (and future secretary of state) Bainbridge Colby, whom he deemed “head idiot of this century.” In Chasing the Last Laugh, author Richard Zacks, drawing extensively on unpublished material in notebooks and letters from Berkeley’s ongoing Mark Twain Project, chronicles a poignant chapter in the author’s life—one that began in foolishness and bad choices but culminated in humor, hard-won wisdom, and ultimate triumph. From the Hardcover edition.

Island of Vice

Author: Richard Zacks
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 0385534027
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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A ROLLICKING NARRATIVE HISTORY OF THEODORE ROOSEVELT'S EMBATTLED TENURE AS POLICE COMMISSIONER OF CORRUPT, PLEASURE-LOVING NEW YORK CITY IN THE 1880s, AND HIS DOOMED MISSION TO WIPE OUT VICE In the 1890s, New York City was America’s financial, manufacturing, and entertainment capital, and also its preferred destination for sin, teeming with 40,000 prostitutes, glittering casinos, and all-night dives packed onto the island’s two dozen square miles. Police captains took hefty bribes to see nothing while reformers writhed in frustration. In Island of Vice, bestselling author Richard Zacks paints a vivid picture of the lewd underbelly of 1890s New York, and of Theodore Roosevelt, the cocksure crusading police commissioner who resolved to clean up the bustling metropolis, where the silk top hats of Wall Street bobbed past teenage prostitutes trawling Broadway. Writing with great wit and zest, Zacks explores how Roosevelt went head-to-head with corrupt Tammany Hall, took midnight rambles with muckraker Jacob Riis, banned barroom drinking on Sundays, and tried to convince 2 million New Yorkers to enjoy wholesome family fun. In doing so, Teddy made a ruthless enemy of police captain “Big Bill” Devery, who grew up in the Irish slums and never tired of fighting “tin soldier” reformers. Roosevelt saw his mission as a battle of good versus evil; Devery saw prudery standing in the way of fun and profit. When righteous Roosevelt’s vice crackdown started to succeed all too well, many of his own supporters began to turn on him. Cynical newspapermen mocked his quixotic quest, his own political party abandoned him, and Roosevelt discovered that New York loves its sin more than its salvation. Zacks’s meticulous research and wonderful sense of narrative verve bring this disparate cast of both pious and bawdy New Yorkers to life. With cameos by Stephen Crane, J. P. Morgan, and Joseph Pulitzer, plus a horde of very angry cops, Island of Vice is an unforgettable portrait of turn-of-the-century New York in all its seedy glory, and a brilliant portrayal of the energetic, confident, and zealous Roosevelt, one of America’s most colorful public figures. From the Hardcover edition.

The Pirate Coast

Author: Richard Zacks
Publisher: Hachette Books
ISBN: 1401383114
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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A real-life thriller--the true story of the unheralded American who brought the Barbary Pirates to their knees. In an attempt to stop the legendary Barbary Pirates of North Africa from hijacking American ships, William Eaton set out on a secret mission to overthrow the government of Tripoli. The operation was sanctioned by President Thomas Jefferson, who at the last moment grew wary of "intermeddling" in a foreign government and sent Eaton off without proper national support. Short on supplies, given very little money and only a few men, Eaton and his mission seemed doomed from the start. He triumphed against all odds, recruited a band of European mercenaries in Alexandria, and led them on a march across the Libyan Desert. Once in Tripoli, the ragtag army defeated the local troops and successfully captured Derne, laying the groundwork for the demise of the Barbary Pirates. Now, Richard Zacks brings this important story of America's first overseas covert op to life.

Comparative and International Education

Author: Kathy Bickmore
Publisher: Canadian Scholars’ Press
ISBN: 1551309513
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In our increasingly globalized world, it is vital to explore major issues in education today through an international and intercultural lens. Thoroughly updated and expanded, this comprehensive new edition introduces students to research in comparative and international education while providing an overview of educational practices in diverse settings. Contributors draw on comparative research from the Americas, Australia, Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, and engage with such themes as the history and philosophy of comparative education, the right to education, alternative pedagogies, gender, Indigenous knowledge, peacebuilding, international assessments, and global citizenship. The updates to this edition include new chapters on human rights education and the internationalization of schooling, and a greater focus on issues of diversity and social justice education. Designed as a resource for teacher education programs, each chapter highlights the significance and the implications of the particular topic for teachers. Comparative and International Education features a vivid portrayal of global educational practices, contributions from preeminent scholars from around the world, and invaluable teaching tools, including discussion questions, video suggestions, and further readings. This essential collection will be an indispensable resource for teachers, teachers-in-training, and students of comparative and international education.

Mark Twain

Author: Michael Shelden
Publisher: Random House Incorporated
ISBN: 9780679448006
Format: PDF, Docs
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An in-depth biography of the man responsible for such classics as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Prince and the Pauper offers an account of the humorist's later years.

Laughing Mad

Author: Bambi Haggins
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 9780813539850
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Prior to the civil rights movement, comedians performed for audiences that were clearly delineated by race. Black comedians performed for black audiences and white comedians performed for whites. Yet during the past forty-five years, black comics have become progressively more central to mainstream culture. In Laughing Mad, Bambi Haggins looks at how this transition occurred in a variety of media and shows how this integration has paved the way for black comedians and their audiences to affect each other. Historically, African American performers have been able to use comedy as a pedagogic tool, interjecting astute observations about race relations while the audience is laughing. And yet, Haggins makes the convincing argument that the potential of African American comedy remains fundamentally unfulfilled as the performance of blackness continues to be made culturally digestible for mass consumption. Rather than presenting biographies of individual performers, Haggins focuses on the ways in which the comic persona is constructed and changes across media, from stand-up, to the small screen, to film. She examines the comic televisual and cinematic personae of Dick Gregory, Bill Cosby, Flip Wilson, and Richard Pryor and considers how these figures set the stage for black comedy in the next four decades. She reads Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock as emblematic of the first and second waves of postcivil rights era African American comedy, and she looks at the socio-cultural politics of Whoopi Goldbergs comic persona through the lens of gender and crossover. Laughing Mad also explores how the comedy of Dave Chappelle speaks to and for the post-soul generation. A rigorous analytic analysis, this book interrogates notions of identity, within both the African American community and mainstream popular culture. Written in engaging and accessible prose, it is also a book that will travel from the seminar room, to the barbershop, to the kitchen table, allowing readers to experience the sketches, stand-up, and film comedies with all the laughter they deserve.

New York Exposed

Author: Daniel Czitrom
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199837007
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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On a Sunday morning in early 1892, Reverend Dr. Charles H. Parkhurst ascended to his pulpit at the Madison Square Presbyterian Church in New York and delivered one of the most explosive sermons in the city's history. Municipal life, he charged, was morally corrupt. Vice was rampant. And the city's police force and its Tammany Hall politicians were"a lying, perjured, rum-soaked, and libidinous lot." Denounced by city and police officials as a self-righteous "blatherskite," Parkhurst resolved to prove his case. The bespectacled minister descended his pulpit and in disguise visited gin joints and brothels, taking notes and gathering evidence. Two years later, his findings forced the New York State Senate to investigate the New York Police Department. The Lexow Committee heard testimony from nearly 700 witnesses, who revealed in shocking-and headline-dominating-detail just how deeply the NYPD was involved in, and benefitted from, the vice economy. Parkhurst's campaign had kick-started the Progressive Movement. New York Exposed offers a narrative history of the first major crusade to clean up Gotham. Daniel Czitrom does full justice to this spellbinding story by telling it within the larger contexts of national politics, poverty, patronage, vote fraud and vote suppression, and police violence. The effort to root out corrupt cops and crooked politicians morphed into something much more profound: a public reckoning over what New York-and the American city-had become since the Civil War. Animated by as vivid a cast as New York has ever produced, the book's key characters include Police Superintendent Thomas Byrnes and Inspector Alexander "Clubber" Williams, the nation's most famous cops, as well as anarchist revolutionary Emma Goldman, the zealous prosecutor John W. Goff, and an array of politicos, immigrant leaders, labor bosses, prostitutes, show-business entrepreneurs, counterfeiters, and reformers and muckrakers determined to change business as usual. New York Exposed offers an unforgettable portrait of a city in a truly transformative moment.

The Pirate Hunter

Author: Richard Zacks
Publisher: Hachette Books
ISBN: 1401398189
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Everybody knows the legend of Captain Kidd, America's most ruthless buccanneer. Few people realize that the facts of his life make for a much better tale. Kidd was actually a tough New York sea captain hired to chase pirates, a married war hero whose secret mission took a spectacularly bad turn. This harrowing tale traces Kidd's voyages in the 1690s from his home near Wall Street to Whitehall Palace in London, from the ports of the Caribbean to a secret pirate paradise off Madagascar. Author Richard Zacks, during his research, also unearthed the story of a long forgotten rogue named Robert Culliford, who dogged Kidd and led Kidd's crew to mutiny not once but twice. The lives of Kidd and Culliford play out like an unscripted duel: one man would hang in the harbor, the other would walk away with the treasure. Filled with superb writing and impeccable research, The Pirate Hunter is both a masterpiece of historical detective work and a ripping good yarn, and it delivers something rare: an authentic pirate story for grown-ups.

The Huntress

Author: Alice Arlen
Publisher: Pantheon
ISBN: 1101871148
Format: PDF, Docs
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From National Book Award–winner Michael J. Arlen and screenwriter Alice Arlen, here is the fascinating, adventurous life of Alicia Patterson, who became, at age thirty-four, one of the youngest and most successful newspaper publishers in America when she founded Newsday. With The Huntress, the Arlens give us a revealing picture of the lifestyle and traditions of the Patterson-Medill publishingdynasty—one of the country’s most powerful and influential newspaper families—but also Alicia’s rebellious early years and her dominating father, Joseph Patterson. Founder and editor of the New York Daily News, Patterson was a complicated and glamorous figure who in his youth had reported on Pancho Villa in Mexico and had outraged his conservative Chicago family by briefly espousing socialism. Not once but twice, first at age twenty, Alicia agreed to marry men her father chose, despite having her own more interesting suitors. He encouraged her to do the difficult training required for an aviation transport license; in 1934 she became only the tenth woman in America to receive one. Patterson brought her along to London to meet with Lord Beaverbrook, to Rome to meet Mussolini, and to Moscow in 1937, at the time of Stalin’s “show trials,” where a young George Kennan took her under his wing. Alicia caught the journalism bug writing for Liberty magazine, an offshoot of the Daily News. A trip to French Indochina highlighted her hunting skills and made the sultan of Johor an ardent admirer; another trip would involve India,the dangerous sport of pigsticking, several maharajas, and a tiger hunt. A third marriage, to Harry Guggenheim, blew hot and cold but it did last; it was with him that she started Newsday in a former car dealership on Long Island. Governor Adlai E. Stevenson, two-time Democratic candidate for president, would be one of her last admirers. With access to family archives of journals and letters, Michael and Alice Arlen have written an astonishing portrait of a maverick newspaperwoman and an intrepid adventurer, told with humor, compassion, and a profound understanding of a time and place. (With black-and-white illustrations throughout) From the Hardcover edition.