The growing buzz of aircraft engines disturbed the Japanese military construction personnel hauling equipment ashore on the beige coral sand of Tulagi Island at 8:20 AM on May 4th, 1942. Offshore, the large IJN (Imperial Japanese Navy) minelayer Okinoshima, flagship of Admiral Shima Kiyohide, lay at anchor, along with two destroyers, Kikuzuki and Yutsuki, and transport ships.
In southern Iraq, a crushing silence hangs over the dunes. For nearly 5,000 years, the sands of the Iraqi desert have held the remains of the oldest known civilization: the Sumerians. When American archaeologists discovered a collection of cuneiform tablets in Iraq in the late 19th century, they were confronted with a language and a people who were at the time only scarcely known to even the most knowledgeable scholars.
This book tells the story of the 99 men who were serving on the USS Scorpion on May 22, 1968, the fateful day the submarine is believed to have sank. It appears that the crew members died quickly, but however it happened, the grief experienced by their family members dragged on for decades, exacerbated both by the Navy's lack of information about the submarine's final moments and the government's unwillingness to share what little knowledge it had.
The growing buzz of aircraft engines disturbed the Japanese military construction personnel hauling equipment ashore on the beige coral sand of Tulagi Island at 8:20 AM on May 4, 1942. Offshore, the large IJN (Imperial Japanese Navy) minelayer Okinoshima, flagship of Admiral Shima Kiyohide, lay at anchor, along with two destroyers, Kikuzuki and Yutsuki, and transport ships. Six Japanese Mitsubishi F1M2 floatplanes also rested on the gentle, deep blue swell, marking Tulagi's future as an IJN floatplane base.
In December 2010, a 26-year-old Tunisian street vendor's self-immolation triggered protests that spread from his hometown in Sidi Bouzid to cities across the country. The next month, on January 14, the country's autocratic president, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, fled the country. This would be the start of what became known as the "Arab Spring", which ultimately saw anti-government protests responded to with violence, reform, or both in countries across the Middle East.
Mankind has been on the planet for millions of years, but civilization and life in cities has only come about in the last five millennia. Through history civilizations rose and fell, dependent on nature, and they popped up independently in a handful of different places around the world. Each of those civilizations created a unique and distinctive vision of life which forms a vital counterpoint to the problems of modern society.
Slavery was a universal and totally accepted feature of ancient Greek society, so much so that while the conditions under which slaves lived and worked varied considerably, many ordinary citizens kept at least one slave, often working alongside their owners, while larger commercial enterprises involved huge numbers, many of whom could rise to positions of authority and wealth. It was possible for some slaves to buy their freedom, while others lived and died in conditions of appalling brutality.
At the conclusion of World War I, a once promised unified Arab state, which was to include the modern Hejaz, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine/Israel, Jordan and Iraq, did not materialize. Instead, the territories were divided between the French and British, but the British did reward the Hashemites by putting local leaders on the thrones of Iraq and Jordan....
"Dry, but satisfactory as an introduction"
The first aircraft to appear in the skies over the battlefields of World War I showed few signs of the dominant future of airplanes in warfare. Small, fragile, and slow, they provided no hint of the sleek jet fighters that would one day slash across the skies of Earth faster than sound to unleash the lethal blast and fire of sophisticated missiles, or the bombers able to level an entire city with one nuclear bomb. That said, they did not represent a complete novelty in warfare either, at least not during the early months of World War I.
T.E. Lawrence, more popularly known as Lawrence of Arabia, was a seminal figure in the shaping and reshaping of the politics of Arabia in the early 20th century, serving as an expert in Arab affairs in the British military and playing a key role in the Great Arab Revolt of 1916-1918.
The 17th century was marked by multiple pro-democratic revolutions exploding in both hemispheres. In Europe and its neighbors to the east, border-changing wars were fought incessantly. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the underlying premises of political, governmental and social structures within several European and Asian states were shaken to the core after centuries of royalty and one-family rule.
The story of the ancient Israelites in Egypt is one of the most famous stories in the world, and one of the most contentious from a historical standpoint. Today, most people know about the relationship between the ancient Israelites and the Egyptians from the Old Testament book of Exodus, and the numerous feature films that often depict the dealings between the two peoples in contentious ways.
In the early Roman Empire, as Christianity struggled to gain a foothold and survive in the polytheistic pool of Roman theology, its greatest rivals weren't the Caesars or the Roman aristocracy but rather the faith and devotion of the common Roman legionary. The faith of these men was centered on the god Mithras, who, they believed, led them to victory upon the field of battle and had done so for nearly four centuries.
Although not as well-remembered as D-Day or even the attack at Pearl Harbor that preceded it, the Battle of Midway was one of the most unique and important battles fought during World War II. In fact, the turning point in the Pacific theater took place between June 4-7, 1942, as a Japanese fleet moved a sizable fleet intending to occupy Midway Island and draw the American navy near.
"New light on an old topic "
Recently, the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra has become a major source of news because the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has embarked on a campaign to destroy the temples and art of the pre-Islamic city. For many people throughout the world, ISIS's campaign was the first time they heard about the city, but Palmyra's importance and history can be traced back to well before the Roman Empire. In fact, Palmyra was unique among the many important cities of the ancient world.
Magic - as opposed to religion, personal or otherwise - is a notoriously difficult concept to pin down. In ancient Greece, "magic was not distinct from religion, rather an unwelcome, improper expression of it." In other words, it's important not to think of it as a different definition of magic but to instead understand how the ancient Greeks believed certain aspects of magic functioned in their world.
The discovery of rich dark pools of oil residing in the pockets beneath humanity's feet remains one of the most pivotal revelations in all of history. Crude oil, a type of fossil fuel, is found swimming near the surface in tar sands and in the cracks of sedimentary rocks. These underground jackpots are used to create petroleum products across the globe, from gasoline and different fuels to heating oils, lubricating oils, and asphalt.
"good to know"
Big Ben is one of the most recognizable symbols of Britain, and indeed one of the most famous structures in the world. A quintessential part of London, every movie set in London features an establishing shot of Big Ben, and many guidebooks of London have the clock tower as its cover photo. London and Big Ben are forever linked in the consciousness of the Western world.
Like other totalitarian leaders, Adolf Hitler kept an iron grip on power in part by making sure nobody else could attain too much of it, leading to purges of high-ranking officials in the Nazi party. Of these purges, the most notorious was the Night of the Long Knives, a purge in the summer of 1934 that came about when Hitler ordered the surprise executions of several dozen leaders of the SA.
Beyond the legend, Abraham is inescapably human, reliving the gauntlet of tragedy and abuse that should have consumed him, exposing his private reasons for standing firm on the brink of war.