The struggle for Vietnam occupies a central place in the history of the twentieth century. Fought over a period of three decades, the conflict drew in all the world’s powers and saw two of them—first France, then the United States—attempt to subdue the revolutionary Vietnamese forces. For France, the defeat marked the effective end of her colonial empire, while for America the war left a gaping wound in the body politic that remains open to this day. How did it happen? Tapping into newly accessible diplomatic archives in several nations and making full use of the published literature, distinguished scholar Fredrik Logevall traces the path that led two Western nations to lose their way in Vietnam. Embers of War opens in 1919 at the Versailles Peace Conference, where a young Ho Chi Minh tries to deliver a petition for Vietnamese independence to President Woodrow Wilson. It concludes in 1959, with a Viet Cong ambush on an outpost outside Saigon and the deaths of two American officers whose names would be the first to be carved into the black granite of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. In between come years of political, military, and diplomatic maneuvering and miscalculation, as leaders on all sides embark on a series of stumbles that makes an eminently avoidable struggle a bloody and interminable reality. Logevall takes us inside the councils of war—and gives us a seat at the conference tables where peace talks founder. He brings to life the bloodiest battles of France’s final years in Indochina—and shows how from an early point, a succession of American leaders made disastrous policy choices that put America on its own collision course with history: Harry Truman’s fateful decision to reverse Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s policy and acknowledge France’s right to return to Indochina after World War II; Dwight Eisenhower’s strenuous efforts to keep Paris in the fight and his escalation of U.S. involvement in the aftermath of the humiliating French defeat at Dien Bien Phu; and the curious turnaround in Senator John F. Kennedy’s thinking that would lead him as president to expand that commitment, despite his publicly stated misgivings about Western intervention in Southeast Asia. An epic story of wasted opportunities and tragic miscalculations, featuring an extraordinary cast of larger-than-life characters, Embers of War delves deep into the historical record to provide hard answers to the unanswered questions surrounding the demise of one Western power in Vietnam and the arrival of another. This book will become the definitive chronicle of the struggle’s origins for years to come.
Scribd is very excited to announce that Hugh Howey, author of the New York Times bestselling thriller, Wool will be stopping by Scribd Headquarters in San Francisco this next Tuesday, March 19. Howey will be here from 3-4 p.m. to do a moderated Q&A, reading and book signing.
Wool is a post-apocalyptic thriller that has been receiving a ton of positive reviews this week. Howey is currently embarking on an 12-city national book tour, so it is quite exciting that he is able to stop into our corner of the publishing world.
Aside from the praise the book has received, it has garnered significant attention for Mr. Howey’s back-story this week in the Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post. He got a unique start in publishing, writing third-shift while working 30-hours a week at a college bookstore. He initially sold his book for less than a dollar on Amazon and most recently, spurned seven-figure offers from all the major publishing houses in favor of Simon & Schuster as long as he could retain the digital rights to his work.
As if that were not enough, Ridley Scott bought the film rights and with recent success of “The Hunger Games”, it would not be surprising to see Wool serialized and built as both a book and film franchise.
If you have time during your busy day at 3 p.m., please come by and take part in this wonderful opportunity to connect and meet with a high-profile author.
To register, use the Eventbrite link below and share and spread the word.
Scribd Meet the Author: Hugh Howey March 19, 3-4 p.m.
In the annals of publishing, the power is starting to move from the publisher to the author.
Recently, Hugh Howey, author of post-apocalyptic thriller, Wool has reached a level of heightened success related to an unprecedented and innovative publishing deal.
Today, Wool is being pushed to the masses and released at both brick-and-mortar bookstores around the country and online. But prior to today, Howey had already hit the jackpot with his successful franchise without the book being released.
Publisher Simon & Schuster agreed to the print publication rights while Howey negotiated the e-book rights himself. This is a novel idea in the world of digital publishing and has started to help the evolution of how authors and publishers deal with the digital space. Before the sun even rose this morning, Howey’s Wool had been labeled a success with over half a million copies sold, generating close to 6,000 reviews on Amazon. That is some serious noise.
After being courted by multiple publishers, Howey realized that the seven-figure deals were not as important as retaining the digital rights to his work. That may prove to be a gamble, but in the past two years, digital publishing sales has risen steadily. According to a report from the Association of American Publishers, February 2011 results indicated that e-Books enjoyed triple-digit percentage growth, 202.3%, versus February 2010. E-book sales for adult titles in fiction and non-fiction have grown 36% in the first three quarters of 2012. That is some hefty growth, while at the same time, sales for paperback and hardcover sales has been in decline, no doubt aided in the proliferation of digital publishing and the availability of titles on Amazon and Kindle.
Aside from the tumultuous state of the digital publishing industry, Howey also had some luck and fate on his side. He initially wrote the first version of the serial Wool in less than three weeks while working 30-hours a week at a university bookstore. He sold the first version on Amazon for less than a dollar and was shocked when 1,000 copies were sold. That was in 2011. At that point, he would have no idea that the serial versions of books like The Hunger Games would have such commercial success in both publishing and Hollywood. Now, as publishers work to ensure Wool enjoys fame in the publishing world, he has already negotiated the film rights to producer Ridley Scott.
Today, you can read an excerpt of Wool on Scribd, and at the same time, Howey is receiving plenty of attention in blogs, newspapers and other online press about the highly unusual deal.
“I had made seven figures on my own, so it was easy to walk away,” says Mr. Howey, 37, a college dropout who worked as a yacht captain, a roofer and a bookseller before he started self-publishing. “I thought, ‘How are you guys going to sell six times what I’m selling now?’ “
It’s a sign of how far the balance of power has shifted toward authors in the new digital publishing landscape. Self-published titles made up 25% of the top-selling books on Amazon last year. Four independent authors have sold more than a million Kindle copies of their books, and 23 have sold more than 250,000, according to Amazon.
Publishing houses that once ignored independent authors are now furiously courting them. In the past year, more than 60 independent authors have landed contracts with traditional publishers. Several won seven-figure advances. A handful have negotiated deals that allow them to continue selling e-books on their own, including romance writers Bella Andre and Colleen Hoover, who have each sold more than a million copies of their books.
Howey himself further delves into the story of his unprecedented success in a dispatch on Huffington Post that reveals the intriguing nature and development of discussions that led to his unique deal with Simon & Schuster:
The problem was that publishers were willing to pay a lot of money to take all of my rights forever, but nobody wanted to do a print-only deal. Even major publishers (especially major publishers) could see in their balance sheets where the industry was heading. But there will always be a place for bookstores and great print editions, and I wanted to form that partnership without giving up a known living wage for an unknown jackpot. I just don’t have that ability to gamble (I never have).
It made it easy to say no, even though it was life-altering amounts of money being offered. The stability of a monthly income was more important, as was knowing that I would be miserable to sign my life away like that. I floated one final option, which gained zero traction. This was the idea of licensing the rights to the book for a finite period of time. This is how my foreign deals are structured. It seemed to me that this would eventually be the future of US publishing. But it wasn’t to be. A second round of interesting talks came and went.
As this week unfolds, it is a sure bet that publishing industry will be keeping their eyes on the sales at bookstores. Simon & Schuster released hardcover and paperback versions of the book simultaneously today, which essentially are competing with Howey’s digital publications. While the experiment unfolds, feel free to check out the digital excerpt below and available on Scribd’s homepage.
This brilliant historical fiction debut takes you into the heart of the Tudor court and the life and loves of the clever, charismatic Katherine Parr, Henry VIII’s sixth and last wife. Discover the rich tapestry of history from author Elizabeth Fremantle. Widowed for the second time aged thirty-one, Katherine Parr finds she has fallen deeply for the dashing courtier Thomas Seymour and hopes at last to marry for love.
Widowed for the second time aged thirty-one, Katherine Parr finds she has fallen deeply for the dashing courtier Thomas Seymour and hopes at last to marry for love. However, obliged to return to court, she attracts the attentions of another: the ailing, egotistical and dangerously powerful monarch Henry VIII, who dispatches his love rival, Seymour, to the continent. No one is in a position to refuse a royal proposal so, haunted by the fates of his previous wives—two executions; two enforced annulments; one death in childbirth—Katherine is obliged to wed Henry Tudor and become his sixth queen.
Committed to religious reform, Katherine must draw upon all her instincts to navigate the treachery of the court, drawing a tight circle of women around her including her stepdaughter Meg, traumatized by events from their past that are shrouded in secrecy, and their loyal servant Dot, who knows and sees more than she understands. But with the Catholic faction on the rise once more, reformers being burned for heresy, and those close to the king vying for position in the new regime, Katherine’s survival seems unlikely. Yet as she treads the razor’s edge of court intrigue, she never quite gives up on love.
A must-read for fans of Philippa Gregory, Hilary Mantel, and Alison Weir, Queen’s Gambit brings to life the remarkable story of Katherine Parr as she battles with those intent on destroying her, but also with her own heart.
Fans of The Historian won’t be able to put down this spellbinding literary horror story in which a Columbia professor must use his knowledge of demonic mythology to rescue his daughter from the Underworld. Professor David Ullman’s expertise in the literature of the demonic— notably Milton’s Paradise Lost — has won him wide acclaim.
But David is not a believer. One afternoon he receives a visitor at his campus office, a strikingly thin woman who offers him an invitation: travel to Venice, Italy, witness a “phenomenon,” and offer his professional opinion, in return for an extravagant sum of money. Needing a fresh start, David accepts and heads to Italy with his beloved twelve-year-old daughter Tess.
What happens in Venice will send David on an unimaginable journey from skeptic to true believer, as he opens himself up to the possibility that demons really do exist. In a terrifying quest guided by symbols and riddles from the pages of Paradise Lost, David attempts to rescue his daughter from the Unnamed—a demonic entity that has chosen him as its messenger.
This is just a sneak preview of The Demonologist, the new literary thriller from New York Times bestselling author, Andrew Pyper. The novel comes in Coming in March 2013, but you can check out an exclusive sneak preview from Simon & Schuster and Scribd below.
Be sure to check out the book trailer here as well as some exclusive content and order details.
Scribd has built the world’s largest digital library, right at your fingertips. Whether on the desktop,phone or tablet, Scribd offers millions of books, magazines, research papers, scientific reports, legal documents, among others, to read and enjoy.
Today, we’re excited to announce the ability to sync your reading progress on any publication across all of our platforms. Start reading on the web and continue on the same page through the mobile web or the Scribd app. A panel on the Homepage will always display your most recently read publication. Reading from the world’s largest digital library has never been easier.
What’s in the water? That is the question tackled by Chicago Public Radio’s ‘Curious City,’ a radio program that looks at city issues and relevant and current intriguing features about the Chicagoland region.
This week, their team came up with a water taste test. More an experiment designed to get at the heart of a subject many people may not have quite a handle on. Primarily, you have the entire methodology of which the water is filtered, treated and deliver to homes and business. Additionally, and further complicating the issues of water consumption are the layers of municipal governments which all receive water in different ways. One village may get their water from Lake Michigan, while others buy their water from the City of Chicago and still others tap their water reserves from local rivers.
Curious City published this document that shows how you can perform a taste test using various methods and samples.
Watch the Curious City team in action and see how the water taste tests unfold:
We often overlook the subject of water, it is freely available to most of our homes. Scribd has a variety of resources that address the issues of water availability or scarcity and environmental issues. United Nations has this article published about auditing water supplies for small towns. Small water utilities face unique challenges in delivering water and sanitation services to their customers. With a limited revenue base and few opportunities to benefit from economies of scale, they often suffer from severe skill shortages and a long legacy of underinvestment in infrastructure and capacity enhancement. To overcome these challenges, the small utilities need to maximize their operating efficiencies and ensure optimum utilization of their assets.