Blog Smith

Blog Smith is inspired by the myth of Hephaestus in the creation of blacksmith-like, forged materials: ideas. This blog analyzes topics that interest me: IT, politics, technology, history, education, music, and the history of religions.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Sand



Slide 1

What will I teach, and why is it interesting or relevant? How will people use what they learn?

Transcript

    Why are all students required to take courses in the humanities, history, philosophy, or religion?
    A college degree means something and it informs a potential employer that as an individual you have more to offer an organization.
    Holding a college degree is much more than just job training. You have a broad range of knowledge to draw from in order to make statements about areas outside your professional competence.
    Another reason is that studying fields outside of your professional competence enriches your personal life.
    Finally, the 21st century workplace is diverse and global. A person who is prepared for globalism is much more likely to be successful. 

Slide 2

Describe the concept taught.

Transcript

    Unfortunately, for most advanced K-12 students and lower-division undergraduates, the design of most courses do not match the user's experience. I propose the Lemma way.  

Slide 3

This is an example that the audience can relate to.

Transcript

    In a typical course the design of the class content will introduce the student to the Code of Hammurabi. For example, they might be asked why did humans adopt a written law code? Could there be any upside if the laws were harsh and sometimes unfair? 

Slide 4

Connect the example to the idea and explain how it applies.

Transcript

    A Lemma solution takes the standard Code of Hammurabi example but allows the student's experience to be paramount in a non-linear technology development. A technology tree permits options for a student to choose their own path to development. Technology trees are evolutionary tree diagrams that simulate the progress of technology in a Lemma course but in a less deterministic manner than traditional courses. 

Slide 5

Here is a scenario problem to let the audience apply what they have learned.

Transcript

    Let us say for example that a student thought building materials was a higher priority to develop as opposed to a law code that arose from writing, and before that a priesthood, which itself was preceded by myths. For this learner, mining led to bronze working, which led to iron working, and culminated in a compass.
   
Slide 6

Summary

Summarize the key questions as a takeaway to remember.

Transcript

    Which is the better technology tree to follow? Is starting from mining to result in a compass better than a myth which led to the Law Code of Hammurabi?    
    In any case, the student has options to decide from in order to more clearly understand the contingency of choice and technology development.
    Which would you choose? Which is better? The learner decides.

A learner should grasp both the contingency of choice and the complexity of civilizations.





Here are two options for a technology tree decision:


Option A


A student might think that building materials was a high priority for a civilization to develop.


Mining


Bronze working


Iron working


Compass


Option B


On the other hand, a learner might think that myths to explain the origins of a cultural practice or natural phenomenon is significant.


Myths


Priesthood


Writing


Code of Hammurabi


Option A
Prehistoric mining



Since the beginning of civilization, some people might have noticed the elements around them: stone, ceramics, and, later, metals found close to the Earth's surface. These elements were used to make early tools and weapons which appear crucial for any early civilization.


Do you think this is a priority and would you choose this path of development?

Tzines
Good choice!

Consequence:

Bronze working

Mining allows your workers to increase the production of elements from the earth, chop forests to reach those elements, and encourages the construction of other improvements.

Mining leads to bronze working and the Bronze Age which is characterized by smelting copper and alloying with tin, arsenic, or other metals, or by trading for bronze from production areas elsewhere. Bronze Age cultures differed in their development of the first writing. According to archaeological evidence, cultures in Mesopotamia (cuneiform) and Egypt (hieroglyphs) developed the earliest viable writing systems.


Europe late bronze age
Consequence:

Iron Working

Your choice reveals the importance of iron and allows your workers to chop jungle, clearing the geography of your region so other improvements can be constructed. It also allows you to build the spearman which is a military unit strong against mounted enemies.


Since you chose bronze working this led to iron working. Ferrous metallurgy involves processes and alloys based on iron. It began far back in prehistory. The earliest surviving iron artifacts, from the 4th millennium BC in Egypt, were made from meteoritic iron-nickel. It is not known when or where the smelting of iron from ores began, but by the end of the 2nd millennium BC iron was being produced from iron ores from China to Africa south of the Sahara. The use of wrought iron (worked iron) was known by the 1st millennium BC. Steel (with a carbon content between pig iron and wrought iron) was first produced in antiquity as an alloy. Its process of production, Wootz, was exported before the 4th century BC to ancient China, Africa, the Middle East and Europe. Archaeological evidence of cast iron appears in 5th century BC China. Iron working allows you to build the swordsman which is an extremely powerful melee unit.


Woman and her two daughters prepared meat iron age
Consequence:

Compass

Your development of iron working led to the important discovery of the compass. A compass is an instrument used for navigation and orientation that shows direction relative to the geographic "cardinal directions", or "points". The magnetic compass was first invented as a device for divination as early as the Chinese Han Dynasty (since about 206 BC). The compass allows you to build the Galleass, the first ranged naval unit, though still dependent on a sail-oar combination and the Galleass can't enter deep ocean; however, it possesses an on-board projectile launcher, which allows it to attack with impunity from a distance, both in the sea and on land.


Stanley compass 1

Option B
Myths
A myth is any traditional story consisting of events that are ostensibly historical, though often supernatural, explaining the origins of a cultural practice or natural phenomenon. A myth also can be a story to explain why something exists. Myths also contribute to and express a culture's systems of thought and values.

Do you think this is a priority and would you choose this path of development?


Roman - Sarcophagus Depicting the Birth of Dionysus - Walters 2333
Good choice!

Consequence:

Priesthood

Myths led to a priesthood and in historical polytheism, a priest administers the sacrifice to a deity, often in highly elaborate ritual. In the Ancient Near East, the priesthood also acted on behalf of the deities in managing their property. In Ancient Greece, some priestesses such as Pythia, priestess at Delphi, acted as oracles. Your people are united by a common story and destiny. Rituals need to be remembered and passed on and you are in harmony with the gods and nature.


Roman priest w axe
Consequence:

Writing

The priesthood led to the need to record and remember important information through writing. Writing is not a language but a form of technology that developed as tools developed with human society. The motivations for writing include publication, storytelling, correspondence, and diaries. Writing allows you to develop science and public knowledge in a library, helping your civilization research new technologies more quickly. Around the 4th millennium BCE, the complexity of trade and administration in Mesopotamia outgrew human memory, and writing became a more dependable method of recording and presenting transactions in a permanent form. In both ancient Egypt and Mesoamerica writing may have evolved through calendrics and a political necessity for recording historical and environmental events. Writing has been instrumental in keeping history, maintaining culture, dissemination of knowledge through the media and the formation of legal systems.


NAMA Linear B tablet of Pylos
Consequence:

Code of Hammurabi

Writing led to the declaration of a public and universal law code. The Code of Hammurabi is a well-preserved Babylonian law code of ancient Mesopotamia, dating back to about 1754 BC. It is one of the oldest deciphered writings of significant length in the world. The code consists of 282 laws, with scaled punishments, adjusting "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" (lex talionis) as graded depending on social status, of slave versus free man. Nearly one-half of the code deals with matters of contract, establishing, for example, the wages to be paid to an ox driver or a surgeon. Other provisions set the terms of a transaction, establishing the liability of a builder for a house that collapses, for example, or property that is damaged while left in the care of another. A third of the code addresses issues concerning household and family relationships such as inheritance, divorce, paternity, and sexual behavior. Only one provision appears to impose obligations on an official; this provision establishes that a judge who reaches an incorrect decision is to be fined and removed from the bench permanently.



Code of Hammurabi IMG 1937

Summary


Which is the better technology tree to follow? Is starting from mining to result in a compass better than a myth which led to the Law Code of Hammurabi?

In any case, the student has options to decide from in order to more clearly understand the contingency of choice during technology development.

Which would you choose? Which is better? The learner decides.

SAMPLE TABLE OF CONTENTS

PART ONE THE ANCIENT WORLD AND THE CLASSICAL PAST PREHISTORY TO 200 CE

1 The Rise of Culture: From Forest to Farm

2 The Ancient Near East: Power and Social Order

3 The Stability of Ancient Egypt: Flood and Sun

4 The Aegean World and the Rise of Greece: Trade, War, and Victory

5 Golden Age Athens and the Hellenic World: The School of Hellas

6 Rome: Urban Life and Imperial Majesty

7 Emerging Empires in the East: Urban Life and Imperial Majesty in China and India

PART TWO THE MEDIEVAL WORLD AND THE SHAPING OF CULTURE 200 CE–1400

8 The Flowering of Christianity: Faith and the Power of Belief in the Early First Millennium

9 The Rise and Spread of Islam: A New Religion

10 Fiefdom and Monastery, Pilgrimage and Crusade: The Early Medieval World in Europe

11 Centers of Culture: Court and City in the Larger World

12 The Gothic Style: Faith and Knowledge in an Age of Inquiry

13 Siena and Florence in the Fourteenth Century: Toward a New Humanism

PART THREE THE RENAISSANCE AND THE AGE OF ENCOUNTER 1400–1600

14 Florence and the Early Renaissance: Humanism in Italy

15 The High Renaissance in Rome and Venice: Papal Patronage and Civic Pride

16 The Renaissance in the North: Between Wealth and Want

17 The Reformation: A New Church and the Arts

18 Encounter and Confrontation: The Impact of Increasing Global Interaction

19 England in the Tudor Age: “This Other Eden”

20 The Early Counter-Reformation and Mannerism: Restraint and Invention

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Reading since summer 2006 (some of the classics are re-reads): including magazine subscriptions

  • Abbot, Edwin A., Flatland;
  • Accelerate: Technology Driving Business Performance;
  • ACM Queue: Architecting Tomorrow's Computing;
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  • Ali, Tariq, The Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads, and Modernity;
  • Allawi, Ali A., The Crisis of Islamic Civilization;
  • Alperovitz, Gar, The Decision To Use the Atomic Bomb;
  • American School & University: Shaping Facilities & Business Decisions;
  • Angelich, Jane, What's a Mother (in-Law) to Do?: 5 Essential Steps to Building a Loving Relationship with Your Son's New Wife;
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  • Aristotle, Metaphysics: Books X-XIV, Oeconomica, Magna Moralia (The Loeb classical library);
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  • Arrian: Anabasis of Alexander, Books I-IV (Loeb Classical Library No. 236);
  • Atkinson, Rick, The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945 (Liberation Trilogy);
  • Auletta, Ken, Googled: The End of the World As We Know It;
  • Austen, Jane, Pride and Prejudice;
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  • Barnett, Thomas P.M., The Pentagon's New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-First Century;
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  • Baur, Michael, Bauer, Stephen, eds., The Beatles and Philosophy;
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  • Bergen, Peter, The Osama bin Laden I Know: An Oral History of al Qaeda's Leader;
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  • Brown, Ashley, War in Peace Volume 8 The Marshall Cavendish Illustrated Encyclopedia of Postwar Conflict;
  • Brown, Nathan J., When Victory Is Not an Option: Islamist Movements in Arab Politics;
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  • Bush, George W., Decision Points;
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  • Cahill, Thomas, Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter;
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  • Campus Technology: Empowering the World of Higher Education;
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  • CIO Decisions: Aligning I.T. and Business in the MidMarket Enterprise;
  • CIO Insight: Best Practices for IT Business Leaders;
  • CIO: Business Technology Leadership;
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  • Collins, Francis S., The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief ;
  • Colorni, Angelo, Israel for Beginners: A Field Guide for Encountering the Israelis in Their Natural Habitat;
  • Compliance & Technology;
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  • Connolly, Peter & Hazel Dodge, The Ancient City: Life in Classical Athens & Rome;
  • Conti, Greg, Googling Security: How Much Does Google Know About You?;
  • Converge: Strategy and Leadership for Technology in Education;
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  • Creel, Richard, Religion and Doubt: Toward a Faith of Your Own;
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  • Daly, Dennis, Sophocles' Ajax;
  • Dando-Collins, Stephen, Caesar's Legion: The Epic Saga of Julius Caesar's Elite Tenth Legion and the Armies of Rome;
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  • Defense Tech Briefs: Engineering Solutions for Military and Aerospace;
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  • Dostoevsky, Fyodor, The Idiot;
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  • Dr. Dobb's Journal: The World of Software Development;
  • Drug Discovery News: Discovery/Development/Diagnostics/Delivery;
  • DT: Defense Technology International;
  • Dunbar, Richard, Alcatraz;
  • Education Channel Partner: News, Trends, and Analysis for K-20 Sales Professionals;
  • Edwards, Aton, Preparedness Now!;
  • EGM: Electronic Gaming Monthly, the No. 1 Videogame Magazine;
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  • Ehrman, Bart D., Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why;
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  • Ellis, Joseph J., His Excellency: George Washington;
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  • Emerson, Steven, American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us;
  • Erlewine, Robert, Monotheism and Tolerance: Recovering a Religion of Reason (Indiana Series in the Philosophy of Religion);
  • ESD: Embedded Systems Design;
  • Everitt, Anthony, Augustus: The Life of Rome's First Emperor;
  • Everitt, Anthony, Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome's Greatest Politician;
  • eWeek: The Enterprise Newsweekly;
  • Federal Computer Week: Powering the Business of Government;
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  • Ferguson, Niall, Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power;
  • Ferguson, Niall, The Cash Nexus: Money and Power in the Modern World, 1700-2000;
  • Ferguson, Niall, The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Decline of the West;
  • Feuerbach, Ludwig, The Essence of Christianity (Sony eReader);
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  • Fields, Nic, The Roman Army of the Punic Wars 264-146 BC;
  • Fields, Nic, The Roman Army: the Civil Wars 88-31 BC;
  • Finkel, Caroline, Osman's Dream: The History of the Ottoman Empire;
  • Fisk, Robert, The Great War For Civilization: The Conquest of the Middle East;
  • Forstchen, William R., One Second After;
  • Fox, Robin Lane, The Classical World: An Epic History from Homer to Hadrian;
  • Frazer, James George, The Golden Bough (Volume 3): A Study in Magic and Religion (Sony eReader);
  • Freeh, Louis J., My FBI: Bringing Down the Mafia, Investigating Bill Clinton, and Fighting the War on Terror;
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  • Friedman, Thomas L. The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century Further Updated and Expanded/Release 3.0;
  • Friedman, Thomas L., The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization;
  • Frontinus: Stratagems. Aqueducts of Rome. (Loeb Classical Library No. 174);
  • Fuller Focus: Fuller Theological Seminary;
  • Fuller, Graham E., A World Without Islam;
  • Gaubatz, P. David and Paul Sperry, Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That's Conspiring to Islamize America;
  • Ghattas, Kim, The Secretary: A Journey with Hillary Clinton from Beirut to the Heart of American Power;
  • Gibson, William, Neuromancer;
  • Gilmour, Michael J., Gods and Guitars: Seeking the Sacred in Post-1960s Popular Music;
  • Global Services: Strategies for Sourcing People, Processes, and Technologies;
  • Glucklich, Ariel, Dying for Heaven: Holy Pleasure and Suicide Bombers-Why the Best Qualities of Religion Are Also It's Most Dangerous;
  • Goldberg, Jonah, Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning;
  • Goldin, Shmuel, Unlocking the Torah Text Vayikra (Leviticus);
  • Goldsworthy, Adrian, Caesar: Life of a Colossus;
  • Goldsworthy, Adrian, How Rome Fell: Death of a Superpower;
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  • Goodwin, Doris Kearns, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln;
  • Gopp, Amy, et.al., Split Ticket: Independent Faith in a Time of Partisan Politics (WTF: Where's the Faith?);
  • Gordon, Michael R., and Bernard E. Trainor, Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq;
  • Government Health IT: The Magazine of Public/private Health Care Convergence;
  • Government Technology's Emergency Management: Strategy & Leadership in Critical Times;
  • Government Technology: Solutions for State and Local Government in the Information Age;
  • Grant , Michael, The Climax of Rome: The Final Achievements of the Ancient World, AD 161 - 337;
  • Grant, Michael, The Classical Greeks;
  • Grumberg, Orna, and Helmut Veith, 25 Years of Model Checking: History, Achievements, Perspectives;
  • Halberstam, David, War in a Time of Peace: Bush, Clinton, and the Generals;
  • Hammer, Reuven, Entering Torah Prefaces to the Weekly Torah Portion;
  • Hanson, Victor Davis, An Autumn of War: What America Learned from September 11 and the War on Terrorism;
  • Hanson, Victor Davis, Between War and Peace: Lessons from Afghanistan to Iraq;
  • Hanson, Victor Davis, Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power;
  • Hanson, Victor Davis, How The Obama Administration Threatens Our National Security (Encounter Broadsides);
  • Hanson, Victor Davis, Makers of Ancient Strategy: From the Persian Wars to the Fall of Rome;
  • Hanson, Victor Davis, Ripples of Battle: How Wars of the Past Still Determine How We Fight, How We Live, and How We Think;
  • Hanson, Victor Davis, The End of Sparta: A Novel;
  • Hanson, Victor Davis, The Soul of Battle: From Ancient Times to the Present Day, How Three Great Liberators Vanquished Tyranny;
  • Hanson, Victor Davis, Wars of the Ancient Greeks;
  • Harnack, Adolf Von, History of Dogma, Volume 3 (Sony Reader);
  • Harris, Alex, Reputation At Risk: Reputation Report;
  • Harris, Sam, Letter to a Christian Nation;
  • Harris, Sam, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason;
  • Hayek, F. A., The Road to Serfdom;
  • Heilbroner, Robert L., and Lester Thurow, Economics Explained: Everything You Need to Know About How the Economy Works and Where It's Going;
  • Hempel, Sandra, The Strange Case of The Broad Street Pump: John Snow and the Mystery of Cholera;
  • Hinnells, John R., A Handbook of Ancient Religions;
  • Hitchens, Christopher, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything;
  • Hogg, Ian V., The Encyclopedia of Weaponry: The Development of Weaponry from Prehistory to 21st Century Warfare;
  • Hugo, Victor, The Hunchback of Notre Dame;
  • Humphrey, Caroline & Vitebsky, Piers, Sacred Architecture;
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  • Info World: Information Technology News, Computer Networking & Security;
  • Information Week: Business Innovation Powered by Technology:
  • Infostor: The Leading Source for Enterprise Storage Professionals;
  • Infrastructure Insite: Bringing IT Together;
  • Insurance Technology: Business Innovation Powered by Technology;
  • Integrated Solutions: For Enterprise Content Management;
  • Intel Premier IT: Sharing Best Practices with the Information Technology Community;
  • Irwin, Robert, Dangerous Knowledge: Orientalism and Its Discontents;
  • Jeffrey, Grant R., The Global-Warming Deception: How a Secret Elite Plans to Bankrupt America and Steal Your Freedom;
  • Jewkes, Yvonne, and Majid Yar, Handbook of Internet Crime;
  • Johnson, Chalmers, Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire;
  • Journal, The: Transforming Education Through Technology;
  • Judd, Denis, The Lion and the Tiger: The Rise and Fall of the British Raj, 1600-1947;
  • Kagan, Donald, The Peloponnesian War;
  • Kansas, Dave, The Wall Street Journal Guide to the End of Wall Street as We Know It: What You Need to Know About the Greatest Financial Crisis of Our Time--and How to Survive It;
  • Karsh, Efraim, Islamic Imperialism: A History;
  • Kasser, Rodolphe, The Gospel of Judas;
  • Katz, Solomon, The Decline of Rome and the Rise of Medieval Europe: (The Development of Western Civilization);
  • Keegan, John, Intelligence in War: The Value--and Limitations--of What the Military Can Learn About the Enemy;
  • Kenis, Leo, et. al., The Transformation of the Christian Churches in Western Europe 1945-2000 (Kadoc Studies on Religion, Culture and Society 6);
  • Kepel, Gilles, Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam;
  • Kiplinger's: Personal Finance;
  • Klein, Naomi, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism;
  • KM World: Content, Document, and Knowledge Management;
  • Koestler, Arthur, Darkness at Noon: A Novel;
  • Kostova, Elizabeth, The Historian;
  • Kuttner, Robert, The Squandering of America: How the Failure of Our Politics Undermines Our Prosperity;
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  • Leffler, Melvyn P., and Jeffrey W. Legro, To Lead the World: American Strategy After the Bush Doctrine;
  • Lendon, J. E., Soldiers and Ghosts: A History of Battle in Classical Antiquity;
  • Lenin, V. I., Imperialism the Highest Stage of Capitalism;
  • Lennon, John J., There is Absolutely No Reason to Pay Too Much for College!;
  • Lewis, Bernard, The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror;
  • Lewis, Bernard, What Went Wrong?: The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East;
  • Lifton, Robert J., Greg Mitchell, Hiroshima in America;
  • Limberis, Vasiliki M., Architects of Piety: The Cappadocian Fathers and the Cult of the Martyrs;
  • Lipsett, B. Diane, Desiring Conversion: Hermas, Thecla, Aseneth;
  • Livingston, Jessica, Founders At Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days;
  • Livy, Rome and the Mediterranean: Books XXXI-XLV of the History of Rome from its Foundation (Penguin Classics);
  • Louis J., Freeh, My FBI: Bringing Down the Mafia, Investigating Bill Clinton, and Fighting the War on Terror;
  • Mackay, Christopher S., Ancient Rome: A Military and Political History;
  • Majno, Guido, The Healing Hand: Man and Wound in the Ancient World;
  • Marcus, Greil,Invisible Republic: Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes;
  • Marshall-Cornwall, James, Napoleon as Military Commander;
  • Maughm, W. Somerset, Of Human Bondage;
  • McCluskey, Neal P., Feds in the Classroom: How Big Government Corrupts, Cripples, and Compromises American Education;
  • McCullough, David, 1776;
  • McCullough, David, John Adams;
  • McCullough, David, Mornings on Horseback: The Story of an Extraordinary Family, a Vanished Way of Life and the Unique Child Who Became Theodore Roosevelt;
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  • McNamara, Patrick, Science and the World's Religions Volume 1: Origins and Destinies (Brain, Behavior, and Evolution);
  • McNamara, Patrick, Science and the World's Religions Volume 2: Persons and Groups (Brain, Behavior, and Evolution);
  • McNamara, Patrick, Science and the World's Religions Volume 3: Religions and Controversies (Brain, Behavior, and Evolution);
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