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A Natural History of Ghosts

Author: Roger Clarke
Publisher: Penguin UK
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A natural history of the supernatural from Roger Clarke, lifelong investigator into England's creepiest real-life ghost stories 'Is there anybody out there?' No matter how rationally we order our lives, few of us are completely immune to the suggestion of the uncanny and the fear of the dark. The subject of whether ghosts exist has fascinated some of the finest minds in history and it remains a subject of overwhelming interest today. This is the first comprehensive, authoritative and readable history of the evolution of the ghost in the west, examining as every good natural history should, the behaviour of the subject in its preferred environment: the stories we tell each other. What explains sightings of ghosts? Why do they fascinate us? What exactly did the haunted see? What did they believe? And what proof is there? Taking us through the key hauntings that have obsessed the world from the poltergeist of Cock Lane through the true events that inspired The Turn of the Screw and the dark events of Borley Rectory right up to the present day, Roger Clarke unfolds a story of class conflict, charlatans and true believers. His surprising castlist ranges from Samuel Johnson to John Wesley, and from Harry Houdini to Adolf Hitler. Inspired by a childhood spent in two haunted houses, Roger Clarke has spent much of his life trying to see a ghost. Written as grippingly as the best ghost fiction, A Natural History of Ghosts takes us on an unforgettable hunt through the most haunted places of the last five hundred years and our longing to believe.


Ghosts

Author: Roger Clarke
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
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A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice "Roger Clarke tells this [the story that inspired Henry James' The Turn of the Screw] and many other gloriously weird stories with real verve, and also a kind of narrative authority that tends to constrain the skeptical voice within... [an] erudite and richly entertaining book." —New York Times Book Review "Is there anybody out there?" No matter how rationally we order our lives, few of us are completely immune to the suggestion of the uncanny and the fear of the dark. What explains sightings of ghosts? Why do they fascinate us? What exactly do those who have been haunted see? What did they believe? And what proof is there? Taking us through the key hauntings that have obsessed the world, from the true events that inspired Henry James's classic The Turn of the Screw right up to the present day, Roger Clarke unfolds a story of class conflict, charlatans, and true believers. The cast list includes royalty and prime ministers, Samuel Johnson, John Wesley, Harry Houdini, and Adolf Hitler. The chapters cover everything from religious beliefs to modern developments in neuroscience, the medicine of ghosts, and the technology of ghosthunting. There are haunted WWI submarines, houses so blighted by phantoms they are demolished, a seventeenth-century Ghost Hunter General, and the emergence of the Victorian flash mob, where hundreds would stand outside rumored sites all night waiting to catch sight of a dead face at a window. Written as grippingly as the best ghost fiction, A Natural History of Ghosts takes us on an unforgettable hunt through the most haunted places of the last five hundred years and our longing to believe.


A Natural History of Peace

Author: Thomas Gregor
Publisher: Vanderbilt University Press
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A stimulating and innovative consideration of the concept, causes, and practice of peace in societies both ancient and modern, human and primate. We know a great deal about aggression, conflict, and war, but relatively little about peace, partially because it has been such a scarce phenomenon throughout history and in our own times. Peace is more than the absence of war. Peace requires special relationships, structures, and attitudes to promote and protect it. A Natural History of Peace provides the first broadly interdisciplinary examination of peace as viewed from the perspectives of social anthropology, primatology, archeology, psychology, political science, and economics. Among other notable features, this volume offers: a major theory concerning the evolution of peace and violence through human history; an in-depth comparative study of peaceful cultures with the goal of discovering what it is that makes them peaceful; one of the earliest reports of a new theory of the organization and collapse of ancient Maya civilization; a comparative examination of peace from the perspective of change, including the transition of one of the world's most violent societies to a relatively peaceful culture, and the decision-making process of terrorists who abandon violence; and a theory of political change that sees the conclusion of wars as uniquely creative periods in the evolution of peace among modern nations.


Appearances of the Dead

Author: Ronald C. Finucane
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Ivory s Ghosts

Author: John Frederick Walker
Publisher: Open Road + Grove/Atlantic
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“[A] tour de force examination of the history of ivory . . . and the demise of the elephant and human decency in the process of this unholy quest” (The Huffington Post). Praised for the nuance and sensitivity with which it approaches one of the most fraught conservation issues we face today, John Frederick Walker’s Ivory’s Ghosts tells the astonishing story of the power of ivory through the ages, and its impact on elephants. Long before gold and gemstones held allure, ivory came to be prized in every culture of the world—from ancient Egypt to nineteenth-century America to modern Japan—for its beauty, rarity, and ability to be finely carved. But the beauty came at an unfathomable cost. Walker lays bare the ivory trade’s cruel connection with the slave trade and the increasing slaughter of elephants in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. By the 1980s, elephant poaching reached levels that threatened the last great herds of the African continent, and led to a worldwide ban on the ancient international trade in tusks. But the ban has failed to stop poaching—or the emotional debate over what to do with the legitimate and growing stockpiles of ivory recovered from elephants that die of natural causes. “Ivory’s Ghost is essential reading for anyone concerned with conservation and with the tenuous future of one of the most magnificent creatures our earth has ever seen.” —George B. Schaller, author of A Naturalist and Other Beasts: Tales from a Life in the Field


A Natural History of Australian Bats

Author: Greg Richards
Publisher: CSIRO PUBLISHING
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This is the first book on Australian bats that focuses on their natural history. It describes the bioregions, describe what bats do in them and the ecosystem services that they provide. The book features a description of the 80.90 species in Australia, asection on bat myths and stories and rock art from indigenous Australians.


A natural history of associations

Author: Maitland Bradfield
Publisher: Gerald Duckworth & Company
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The Natural History of Pliny

Author: Pliny (the Elder.)
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Beyond Supernature

Author: Lyall Watson
Publisher: Bantam
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A thought-provoking look at the world of the supernatural that shows how many paranormal events can be explained by what we already know—or don’t know—about the natural world. Scientist and rationalist Lyall Watson, the author of the million-copy bestseller Supernature, reveals the inconsistencies, blank spots, and “soft edges” in current scientific theory that make the existence of the supernatural not only an intriguing possibility—but a necessary and perfectly logical part of our explanation of the workings of the universe. Examining breakthroughs in science from biology to biofeedback, from quantum physics to paraphysics, the author proposes a revolutionary synthesis of nature and supernature. He offers surprising insights into such “unexplainable” phenomena as telepathy, reincarnation, synchronicity, poltergeists, evolutionary intelligence, and other mind-bending questions challenging science today. Beyond Supernature is a groundbreaking new chapter in the never-ending search for reality. It is a book for anyone who can still look at the world with both common sense and a sense of wonder.


Haunted

Author: Leo Braudy
Publisher: Yale University Press
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An award-winning scholar and author charts four hundred years of monsters and how they reflect the culture that created them Leo Braudy, a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, has won accolades for revealing the complex and constantly shifting history behind seemingly unchanging ideas of fame, war, and masculinity. Continuing his interest in the history of emotion, this book explores how fear has been shaped into images of monsters and monstrosity. From the Protestant Reformation to contemporary horror films and fiction, he explores four major types: the monster from nature (King Kong), the created monster (Frankenstein), the monster from within (Mr. Hyde), and the monster from the past (Dracula). Drawing upon deep historical and literary research, Braudy discusses the lasting presence of fearful imaginings in an age of scientific progress, viewing the detective genre as a rational riposte to the irrational world of the monstrous. Haunted is a compelling and incisive work by a writer at the height of his powers.