[Free eBook] American Girls in Red Russia: Chasing the Soviet Dream by Julia L. Mickenberg [20th C Cross-Cultural Biographical Expat Travel History]

American Girls in Red Russia: Chasing the Soviet Dream by Julia L. Mickenberg, a professor in the Department of American Studies at the University of Texas, is a 20th century cross-cultural biographical history, free for a limited time courtesy of the University of Chicago Press.

This is their featured Free Book of the Month for January.

This accessibly-written biographical and cultural history provides a look at the motivations and deeds of American women who for a variety of reasons were drawn to travel to and experience life in Soviet Russia—some performing charity works in an early form of voluntourism, others seeking perceived greater social and gender equality in the wake of the Russian Revolution and the egalitarian promise of early communism—with in-depth sketches of several featured women including dance pioneer Isadora Duncan, Hollywood screenwriter and Broadway playwright Lillian Hellman, international relief workers trying to alleviate the effects of a disastrous famine, idealistic joiners of a colony settlement in Siberia, and various others who flirted with and embraced or became disillusioned with how the reality lived up to images and expectations.

Offered worldwide through January, available directly from the university’s website.

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[Free eBook] The Camera Does the Rest: How Polaroid Changed Photography by Peter Buse [Art Technology Business & Cultural History]

The Camera Does the Rest: How Polaroid Changed Photography by Peter Buse, Dean of the School of Arts at the University of Liverpool, is a retrospective photography technology and iconic business history, free for a limited time courtesy of the University of Chicago Press.

This is their featured Free Book of the Month for December.

This combined art technology cum cultural and business history takes a retrospective look over the photographic innovations of Polaroid‘s pioneering instant snapshot cameras, first invented in the 1940s, and their impact in popular culture bringing easy quick photos to the masses, as well as the changing fortunes of the company as they first capitalized on its popularity over several decades, but later failed to understand the growing digital camera market in more recent times.

Offered worldwide through December, available directly from the university’s website.

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[Free eBook] Presumption: An Entertainment by Julia Barrett [Austen-Derivative Literary Sequel]

Presumption: An Entertainment by Julia Barrett, a joint pseudonym shared by the late Julia Braun Kessler and British novelist Gabrielle Donnelly, is a literary sequel novel, free for a limited time courtesy of the University of Chicago Press.

This is their featured Free Book of the Month for November and was originally published in 1993 by Thorndike Press, as the first in a set of sequel books focusing upon selected characters after the end of Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice.

This volume is a social drama with f/m romantic elements, focusing on Darcy’s younger sister Georgiana, as she chooses between suitors of her own.

Offered worldwide through November (maybe a few days longer due to the weekend and recent holiday), available directly from the university’s website.

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[Free eBook] Nut Country: Right-Wing Dallas and the Birth of the Southern Strategy by Edward H. Miller [US Political History & Analysis]

Nut Country: Right-Wing Dallas and the Birth of the Southern Strategy by Edward H. Miller, an assistant teaching professor at Northeastern University Global, is a 20th century political history, free for a limited time courtesy of the University of Chicago Press.

This is their featured Free Book of the Month for October.

The accessibly-written book examines the history and lingering impact behind the US Republican Party’s “Southern strategy” begun during the 1960s as the party began to appeal to ultraconservative, religious, and special interest groups displeased by the sweeping changes of the decade in order to increase its political support, with especial attention paid to the seeds and rise of the movement in Dallas, Texas, in the wake of the assassination of Democrat President John F. Kennedy.

Offered worldwide through October, available directly from the university’s website.

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[Free eBook] Wasted World: How Our Consumption Challenges the Planet by Rob Hengeveld [Ecology Science Issues & Sociopolitical History]

Wasted World: How Our Consumption Challenges the Planet by Rob Hengeveld, a biologist and former honorary professor in the Department of Animal Ecology at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, is environmental and social science current affairs and history, free for a limited time courtesy of the University of Chicago Press.

This is their featured Free Book of the Month for September.

This accessibly-written book explains the natural and industrial processes of resource usage and recycling, also tracing the human connection and effects of overconsumption, overpopulation, and pollution and their consequences throughout worldwide history as well as in current and potential future times.

Offered worldwide through September, available directly from the university’s website.

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[Free eBook] The Appian Way: Ghost Road, Queen of Roads by Robert A. Kaster [Historical Ancient & Modern Rome Travel]

The Appian Way: Ghost Road, Queen of Roads by Robert A. Kaster, a Professor of Classics Emeritus at Princeton University, is his joint historical exploration cum modern experience travelogue, free for a limited time courtesy of the University of Chicago Press.

This is their featured Free Book of the Month for August and is part of their *Culture Trais: Adventures in Travel” series of history, literary, and pop culture-inspired travel essays.

The book traces a combined historical and modern journey along the ancient Roman Via Appia, an important road in Italy since its beginnings as a key strategic military route in 312 BC, as the author travels it himself, following in the footsteps of common soldiers and traders and pilgrims throughout the centuries, as well as more distinguished literary figures who’ve written about their own experiences on the Appian Way.

Offered worldwide through August (maybe also through the holiday long weekend), available directly from the university’s website.

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[Free eBook] Love Game: A History of Tennis, from Victorian Pastime to Global Phenomenon by Elizabeth Wilson [Sports Cultural History]

Love Game: A History of Tennis, from Victorian Pastime to Global Phenomenon by Elizabeth Wilson, a novelist and historian, is a sports cultural history, free for a limited time courtesy of the University of Chicago Press.

This is their featured Free Book of the Month for July.

The book is an accessibly-written cultural history of the game of tennis, from its early forms played during the Middle Ages to the rise of croquet and “lawn tennis” during the Victorian Era, to the current modern form, and its rising global appeal and various advances in equipment and gameplay and the gradual acceptance of women and visible minorities in the official competitions, with anecdotes about many great athletes and other colourful sporting personalities along the way.

Offered worldwide through July, available directly from the university’s website.

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[Free eBook] The Cruel Way: Switzerland to Afghanistan in a Ford, 1939 by Ella K. Maillart [Vintage Travelogue]

The Cruel Way: Switzerland to Afghanistan in a Ford, 1939 by the late Swiss author Ella K. Maillart, an adventurer, travel writer, and photographer, is a vintage 1930s cross-continental travelogue and memoir, free for a limited time courtesy of the University of Chicago Press.

This is their featured Free Book of the Month for June, and was originally published in 1947 by Heinemann and was eventually the basis for the 2001 film The Journey to Kafiristan. The reprint edition contains a new foreword by magazine editor and columnist Jessa Crispin, as well as the author’s own original photographs from the journey.

The travelogue is an account of Maillart’s groundbreaking journey and troubled friendship with fellow Swiss and openly LGBT writer Annemarie Schwarzenbach, as they traveled by car from Switzerland through to Afghanistan at a time when European visitors were rare, and the two of them interacted with the locals dealing with various oppressive political and socioeconomic conditions while also struggling with their own personal issues.

Offered worldwide through June, available directly from the university’s website.

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[Free eBook] The Bittersweet Science: Fifteen Writers in the Gym, in the Corner, and at Ringside [Boxing Sports Essays]

The Bittersweet Science: Fifteen Writers in the Gym, in the Corner, and at Ringside edited by Carlo Rotella, an award-winning columnist and professor of American studies and journalism at Boston College, & Michael Ezra, a professor of multicultural studies at Sonoma State University, is a cultural studies anthology of essays on the sport of boxing, free for a limited time courtesy of the University of Chicago Press.

This is their featured Free Book of the Month for May.

The book is a collection of new essays about boxing by contributors from all walks of life including managers, journalists, fiction authors, fans, and more, who have first-hand experience of the sport from various angles, as professionals or appreciative amateurs, with profiles of established and rising stars and hands-on accounts from the fighters’ points of view as well as behind-the-scenes looks and outside perspectives.

Offered worldwide through May (will probably also still be available over the weekend), available directly from the university’s website.

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[Free eBook] The Last Asylum: A Memoir of Madness in Our Times by Barbara Taylor [Award-Nominated 20th C Mental Health Treatment History & Memoir]

The Last Asylum: A Memoir of Madness in Our Times by Canadian expat UK-resident author Barbara Taylor, an historian and professor of humanities at Queen Mary University of London, is a retrospective memoir cum history of mental health asylum treatment, free for a limited time courtesy of the University of Chicago Press.

This is their featured Free Book of the Month for April, and was a finalist for the 2015 RBC Taylor Prize for best Canadian work of literary non-fiction.

The memoir recounts the author’s decades-long struggle with anxiety, which eventually became severe enough to lead to a stay at the historic Friern Mental Hospital in North London in the 1980s, and the perception and treatment of mental illness in England during a turning point era which led to the closing of many asylums and the changes as their former patients were funneled into underfunded community care to mostly fend for themselves, with limited support available from knowledgeable professionals and loyal friends coping with their own mental health issues.

Offered worldwide through April, available directly from the university’s website.

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