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ART STORIA | Non-Fiction  

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ART STORIA | Arts & Artifacts

by Randy H. Sooknanan (Author, Editor), Denise K. McTighe (Author, Editor), Elvira Resta (Author), Ani Margaryan (Author), Sorubi Ravindran (Author), & Chris Porteous (Editor)

ART STORIA (meaning 'Art History' in Italian) is a book and magazine publisher.

In this edition, ART STORIA introduces Arts & Artifacts, a collection of carefully curated ideas and articles put together by writers and researchers across the globe.


The content here surveys artworks and archaeological artifacts often overlooked from the past, spanning over centuries of art history, whilst fostering an interesting discourse and productive analytical dialogue to ultimately offer the reader new perspectives.

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A Museum Studies Approach to Digital Practice at Heritage Tourism Destinations

by Randy H. Sooknanan 

Inside today's museum spaces, the design of exhibitions now offer the ability to learn in both reality and virtuality. It can also be said that the relationship between genuine artifacts and the delivery of their contexts via virtual channels is increasingly construed by a more advanced and innovative set of computer-based technologies. In past decades, an efficacious utilization of Digital has amalgamated with arts and history learning to change critical pedagogy experiences for visitors and consumers of culture in the arena of museology. While in more recent years, smartphones have allowed visiting museums, galleries, or heritage sites a new and supplementary way to fill any informational voids. This is especially so in traditional museum settings, where Digital has become innate. However, mobile technologies could still produce a more substantial contribution to filling in the learning gaps commonly found in the cultural heritage tourism sector. In this book we ponder how museologists, researchers, and designers can bridge the divide between the natural physical world and virtual spaces at significant outdoor heritage locations.


The Resurgence of Rome: What the US can learn from the Strategy of an Empire on the brink of disaster

by Davide Montingelli, Translated by Kirsten Gallagher, Maria Hansford (Contributor)

Long before A.D. 476, the Roman Empire was plunged into a devastating crisis. The legions were no longer invincible, powerful new enemies were attacking the borders, one emperor after another was slain by conspirators, and traditional values were not enough to guide the bewildered and frightened populace. It seemed as if Rome, the city that had civilized the world, was on the point of inexorable collapse. At that precise moment three remarkable figures arose to lead the Empire on the path towards recovery: Gallienus, Aurelian and Diocletian. Drawing upon historical sources and modern theories of international relations, the author presents the strategic-military, economic and ideological measures that the empire implemented to overcome the Crisis of the Third Century. Reading his work, we do not only gain knowledge of the period; we are also able to extract possible lessons for the major empire of our times, the United States of America. "The Resurgence of Rome" is an authentic journey through one of the most crucial moments in our history.


How To Write Art History

by Anne D'Alleva

An invaluable handbook, How to Write Art History enables students to get the most from their art history course. In a clear and engaging style, Anne D'Alleva empowers readers to approach their coursework with confidence and energy.

The book introduces two basic art historical methods – formal analysis and contextual analysis – and this second edition provides even more step-by-step guidance about how these methods can be used in class discussion and in writing essays and papers. The common strengths and weaknesses of an art history essay are highlighted by using real examples of written work, and at each stage of the writing process D'Alleva offers valuable advice on developing an argument convincingly.

Providing a fascinating view of the study of art history within its historical context, this book will be particularly helpful for those considering a career in this rewarding discipline.


The Shadow King

by Jo Marchant

The literary vampire first appeared in 18th-century poetry before becoming one of the mainstay figures of gothic fiction. The notion of such lore was originally seen in literature with the publication of John William Polidori’s The Vampyre in 1819. Polidori’s work of fiction romanticized the vampire for the first time and went on to inspire many other writers after the fact. Inside this book, you will find other early vampire tales written long before the now-infamous Dracula by Bram Stoker. Stoker borrowed many themes and elements from these collected short stories himself, as have other literary artists over time. This edition includes The Vampyre by Polidori, along with Carmilla by J. Le Fanu and Robert Louis Stevenson’s Olalla. These three featured short stories have all been heavily influential on the genre. 


Sicily: Three Thousand Years of Human History

by Sandra Benjamin

Tourists, armchair travelers, and historians will delight in this fluid and engaging journey into Sicily’s colorful past
The emigration of people from Sicily often overshadows the importance of the people who immigrated to its shores throughout the centuries. Greeks, Romans, Vandals, Goths, Byzantines, Muslims, Normans, Hohenstaufens, Spaniards, Bourbons, the Savoy Kingdom of Italy—and countless others—have all held sway and left lasting influences on the island’s culture and architecture. Moreover, Sicily’s character has been shaped by what has passed it by. Events that affected Europe, namely the Crusades and Columbus’ discovery of the Americas, had little influence on Italy’s most famous island.
The first and only history of Sicily for the general reader, this book examines how location turned this charming Mediterranean island into the epicenter of major historical conquests, cultures, and more. Complete with maps, biographical notes, suggestions for further reading, a glossary, and pronunciation keys, Sicily is at once a useful travel guide and an informative, entertaining exploration of the island’s remarkable history.

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Van Gogh's Ear

by Bernadette Murphy

On a dark night in Provence in December 1888 Vincent van Gogh cut off his ear. It is an act that has come to define him. Yet for more than a century biographers and histo­rians seeking definitive facts about what happened that night have been left with more questions than answers.

In Van Gogh’s Ear Bernadette Murphy sets out to discover exactly what happened that night in Arles. Why would an artist at the height of his powers commit such a brutal act of self-harm? Was it just his lobe, or did Van Gogh really cut off his entire ear? Who was the mysterious “Rachel” to whom he presented his macabre gift? Murphy’s investi­gation takes us from major museums to the moldering contents of forgotten archives, vividly reconstructing the world in which Van Gogh moved—the madams and prostitutes, café patrons and police inspectors, his beloved brother, Theo, and his fellow artist and house guest Paul Gauguin. With exclusive revela­tions and new research about the ear and about Rachel, Bernadette Murphy proposes a bold new hypothesis about what was occur­ring in Van Gogh’s heart and mind as he made a mysterious delivery to a woman’s doorstep that fateful night.

Van Gogh’s Ear is a compelling detective story and a journey of discovery. It is also a portrait of a painter creating his most iconic and revolutionary work, pushing himself ever closer to greatness even as he edged towards madness—and the one fateful sweep of the blade that would resonate through the ages.


Infidel Kings and Unholy Warriors

by Brian A. Catlos

An in-depth portrait of the Crusades-era Mediterranean world, and a new understanding of the forces that shaped it

In Infidel Kings and Unholy Warriors, the award-winning scholar Brian Catlos puts us on the ground in the Mediterranean world of 1050–1200. We experience the sights and sounds of the region just as enlightened Islamic empires and primitive Christendom began to contest it. We learn about the siege tactics, theological disputes, and poetry of this enthralling time. And we see that people of different faiths coexisted far more frequently than we are commonly told.
Catlos's meticulous reconstruction of the era allows him to stunningly overturn our most basic assumption about it: that it was defined by religious extremism. He brings to light many figures who were accepted as rulers by their ostensible foes. Samuel B. Naghrilla, a self-proclaimed Jewish messiah, became the force behind Muslim Granada. Bahram Pahlavuni, an Armenian Christian, wielded power in an Islamic caliphate. And Philip of Mahdia, a Muslim eunuch, rose to admiral in the service of Roger II, the Christian "King of Africa."
What their lives reveal is that, then as now, politics were driven by a mix of self-interest, personality, and ideology. Catlos draws a similar lesson from his stirring chapters on the early Crusades, arguing that the notions of crusade and jihad were not causes of war but justifications. He imparts a crucial insight: the violence of the past cannot be blamed primarily on religion.


Discovering the Mammoth: A Tale of Giants, Unicorns, Ivory, and the Birth of a New Science

by John J. McKay

The fascinating saga of solving the mystery of this ancient animal who once roamed the north country—and has captivated our collective imagination ever since.

Today, we know that a mammoth is an extinct type of elephant that was covered with long fur and lived in the north country during the ice ages. But how do you figure out what a mammoth is if you have no concept of extinction, ice ages, or fossils? Long after the last mammoth died and was no longer part of the human diet, it still played a role in human life. Cultures around the world interpreted the remains of mammoths through the lens of their own worldview and mythology.

When the ancient Greeks saw deposits of giant fossils, they knew they had discovered the battle fields where the gods had vanquished the Titans. When the Chinese discovered buried ivory, they knew they had found dragons’ teeth. But as the Age of Reason dawned, monsters and giants gave way to the scientific method. Yet the mystery of these mighty bones remained. How did Enlightenment thinkers overcome centuries of myth and misunderstanding to reconstruct an unknown animal?

The journey to unravel that puzzle begins in the 1690s with the arrival of new type of ivory on the European market bearing the exotic name "mammoth." It ends during the Napoleonic Wars with the first recovery of a frozen mammoth. The path to figuring out the mammoth was traveled by merchants, diplomats, missionaries, cranky doctors, collectors of natural wonders, Swedish POWs, Peter the Great, Ben Franklin, the inventor of hot chocolate, and even one pirate.

McKay brings together dozens of original documents and illustrations, some ignored for centuries, to show how this odd assortment of characters solved the mystery of the mammoth and, in doing so, created the science of paleontology.


Citizens to Lords: A Social History of Western Political Thought from Antiquity to the Late Middle Ages

by Ellen Meiksins Wood

In this groundbreaking work, Ellen Meiksins Wood rewrites the history of political theory. She traces the development of the Western tradition from classical antiquity through to the Middle Ages in the perspective of social history—a significant departure not only from the standard abstract history of ideas but also from other contextual methods.

Treating canonical thinkers as passionately engaged human beings, Wood examines their ideas not simply in the context of political languages but as creative responses to the social relations and conflicts of their time and place. She identifies a distinctive relation between property and state in Western history and shows how the canon, while largely the work of members or clients of dominant classes, was shaped by complex interactions among proprietors, labourers and states. Western political theory, Wood argues, owes much of its vigour, and also many ambiguities, to these complex and often contradictory relations.

From the Ancient Greek polis of Plato, Aristotle, Aeschylus and Sophocles, through the Roman Republic of Cicero and the Empire of St Paul and St Augustine, to the medieval world of Averroes, Thomas Aquinas and William of Ockham, Citizens to Lords offers a rich, dynamic exploration of thinkers and ideas that have indelibly stamped our modern world.


The Father of Us All: War and History, Ancient and Modern

by Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson has long been acclaimed as one of our leading scholars of ancient history. In recent years he has also become a trenchant voice on current affairs, bringing a historian's deep knowledge of past conflicts to bear on the crises of the present, from 9/11 to Iran. "War," he writes, "is an entirely human enterprise." Ideologies change, technologies develop, new strategies are invented-but human nature is constant across time and space. The dynamics of warfare in the present age still remain comprehensible to us through careful study of the past. Though many have called the War on Terror unprecedented, its contours would have been quite familiar to Themistocles of Athens or William Tecumseh Sherman. And as we face the menace of a bin Laden or a Kim Jong-Il, we can prepare ourselves with knowledge of how such challenges have been met before.

The Father of Us All brings together much of Hanson's finest writing on war and society, both ancient and modern. The author has gathered a range of essays, and combined and revised them into a richly textured new work that explores such topics as how technology shapes warfare, what constitutes the "American way of war," and why even those who abhor war need to study military history. "War is the father and king of us all," Heraclitus wrote in ancient Greece. And as Victor Davis Hanson shows, it is no less so today.


Blood Royal: A True Tale of Crime and Detection in Medieval Paris

by Eric Jager

A riveting true story of murder and detection in 15th-century Paris, by one of the most brilliant medievalists of his generation.

On a chilly November night in 1407, Louis of Orleans was murdered by a band of masked men. The crime stunned and paralyzed France since Louis had often ruled in place of his brother King Charles, who had gone mad. As panic seized Paris, an investigation began. In charge was the Provost of Paris, Guillaume de Tignonville, the city's chief law enforcement officer -- and one of history's first detectives. As de Tignonville began to investigate, he realized that his hunt for the truth was much more dangerous than he ever could have imagined.

A rich portrait of a distant world, Blood Royal is a gripping story of conspiracy, crime and an increasingly desperate hunt for the truth. And in Guillaume de Tignonville, we have an unforgettable detective for the ages, a classic gumshoe for a cobblestoned era.


Understanding Painting: From Giotto to Warhol

by Patrick De Rynck and Jon Thompson

Great paintings, filled with complex themes and symbols, can be intimidating. Here, Patrick De Rynck and Jon Thompson explore more than 300 famous works spanning the Middle Ages to the late 20th century, unlocking each work's meaning. Today's art lovers lack the intimate knowledge of Greek and Roman mythology, folklore, and Christian theology that was so well-known to medieval and Renaissance artists and their public. Likewise, modern and contemporary art can baffle even sophisticated viewers. With brief yet illuminating explanations and more than 600 color reproductions - including many close-up details - of works by artists from Giotto, Botticelli, El Greco, Rubens, and Vermeer to Bonnard, Degas, Whistler, Van Gogh, Picasso, Hopper, Warhol, and Basquiat, this book provides the means to interpret and better enjoy these and many other works of art.

• Spans seven centuries of masterpiece paintings from major museum collections
• Accessible and informative for general art lovers and those looking to learn, but interesting enough to be enjoyed by scholars and experts
• More than 600 superb color reproductions accompanied by brief yet illuminating explanations
• Includes paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, Titian, and Rembrandt, to Monet, Matisse, and Pollock

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A mirror for mankind

by Alejandro Córdoba Sosa, Artwork by Meli Valdés Sozzani

All the stories in this flash fiction book, long to be acts of pure sovereignty of the spirit, the howl of an indomitable character before the overwhelming drama of reality. A Mirror for Mankind could be considered a legatee of all those cultures which the author explored across the decades of a personal and spiritual search, a whole journey of the soul that can be resumed as pure love for the human condition, beautiful and suffering. Thus he was able to create a literature that responds to its own aesthetic designs, producing a personal mythological 'human comedy', giving life to characters that seem to project their existence beyond the closure of the text, embracing the reader's own thoughts.

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My Soul Rants: Poems of a Born Spectator

by Gurpreet Dhariwal

From the Publisher:

My Soul Rants is a poetry collection of trails and tribulations, sorrows and pain, happiness and victory, an unending war with self, and rising from the ashes like a phoenix. 


From the Author:

My Soul Rants is my first poetry book emphasizing on how we deal with darkness in different phases of life to find the path of light again. Words are weapon and I use mine to uplift others with sheer grace and strength. May you find comfort in my words.

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