In the early 20th century, during the days of the dreadnaughts, innovators in Europe and North America began to fly contraptions made from wood, canvas, wire, and a small combustion engine. Naval officers soon wondered whether these rickety bi-planes could be launched from the deck of a surface vessel. Trials began from jury-rigged wooden platforms built upon the decks of colliers. The experiments stimulated enough interest for the navies of the world to begin building better aircraft and better aircraft carriers. The novelty of a ship that could carry its own airstrip anywhere on the world's oceans caught fire in the 1920s and helped induce a new arms race. While the rest of the world viewed carriers as defensive weapons, Japan focused on offensive capabilities and produced the finest carrier in the world by 1940. World War II would see the carrier emerge as the greatest surface ship afloat. Since then, no war has been fought without them.
Blessed with a beautiful voice, Praskovia began her training in Nicholas’s operatic company as a young girl. Like all the members of Nicholas’s troupe, Praskovia was one of his own serfs. But unlike the others, she utterly captured her master’s heart. The book reconstructs Praskovia’s stage career as "The Pearl” and the heartbreaking details of her romance with Nicholas--years of torment before their secret marriage, the outrage of the aristocracy when news of the marriage emerged, Praskovia’s death only days after delivering a son, and the unyielding despair that followed Nicholas to the end of his life. Written with grace and style, The Pearl sheds light on the world of the Russian aristocracy, music history, and Russian attitudes toward serfdom. But above all, the book tells a haunting story of love against all odds.
This updated edition includes additional wolf profiles, newinformation on the effects of climate change and disease, and a retrospective on what the scientists have learned during this extended study of the Yellowstone wolves.
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