Tuesday, June 26, 2012

COLUMBUS AND THE QUEST FOR JERUSALEM by anthropologist Carol Delaney

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COLUMBUS AND THE QUEST FOR JERUSALEM  by anthropologist Carol Delaney

Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem by Carol Delaney recounts the drama of Columbus’s four voyages, bringing the trials of ocean navigation vividly to life and showing Columbus for the master navigator that he was. Putting Columbus back into the context of his times, rather than viewing him through the prism of present-day perspectives on colonial conquests, Delaney shows him to have been neither a greedy imperialist nor a quixotic adventurer, as he has lately been depicted, but a man driven by an abiding religious passion. Please find more information about the book and the author below.

This is the story of a boy, born to a family of modest means, who grew up to become the most famous mariner of all time and whose discovery changed the world forever.” The story has been told many times over centuries and in its telling, the message and intent became distorted – until now. In COLUMBUS AND THE QUEST FOR JERUSALEM  anthropologist Carol Delaney offers a profoundly new evaluation of Columbus and the motivation for his famous voyages —one that stands to radically change our understanding of him.

Between trips to Spain and Italy doing field work at the key sites of Columbus’s life, Delaney performed extensive archival research, including a careful study of Columbus’s own writings. It was there, clearly stated in his own words, that Delaney discovered the ultimate purpose of his voyages. He set forth with the intention to deliver letters from Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand to the Grand Khan of Cathay and set up a trading post to trade for the gold and spices he had read about in Marco Polo’s book. His ultimate goal was to obtain enough gold to finance a crusade to retake Jerusalem from the Muslims as a prerequisite to rebuild the temple for Christ’s return before the end of the world.  In the Christian world of

Columbus’s day it was widely believed that Jerusalem must be in Christian hands before the Second Coming of Christ. There was a strong sense that the End Times were imminent and that time was running out. Columbus believed he had an important role to play in this apocalyptic drama. He had a calling.

Delaney sets the stage by describing the tumultuous events that beset Europe leading up to Columbus’s birth: the failure of multiple crusades to retake the Holy Land, the devastation of the Black Plague, and the sacking of Constantinople, which cut off lucrative trade with the Orient and the pilgrimage route to Jerusalem. Against this backdrop, Delaney reveals how Columbus’s deep conviction led him to believe he was destined to play a decisive role in retaking Jerusalem.

Five-hundred years since Columbus’ first voyage, through the Protestant Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the spread of education – all of which have led to the growth of secularism – his mission still reverberates today. In the volatile Middle East, the debate over the Holy Land has long been the thorn in the side of peace. While there has always been an apocalyptic aura surrounding nuclear weapons, many believe that a nuclear holocaust is a real possibility and could likely begin over claims to Jerusalem.

In writing COLUMBUS AND THE QUEST FOR JERUSALEM, Delaney’s purpose is not to exonerate Columbus but to place him in his cultural context and shift some of our attention to the religious ideas that motivated him and were widely shared by his contemporaries – ideas so deeply influential that they are present in our current national and political consciousness. Rather than view him through the prism of present-day perspectives on colonial conquests, Delaney shows him to have been neither a greedy imperialist nor a quixotic adventurer, as he has lately been depicted, but a man driven by an abiding religious passion.

If we take Columbus at his word, that the conquest of Jerusalem for Christendom was his ultimate goal, how might that change our assessment of him, his mission, and the framing of American history? Both timely and important, COLUMBUS AND THE QUEST FOR JERUSALEM is a convincing portrait of the power of religion to construct a believable word view and inspire the passion to fulfill its promises.

About the Author

Carol Delaney received an MTS from Harvard Divinity School and a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Chicago and is a graduate of Boston University. She was the assistant director of the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard, and a visiting professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Brown University. She is now a professor emerita of Stanford University and a research scholar at The John Carter Brown Library at Brown University.   

New iPad/book/app makes U.S. Presidential election history come alive with true stories, remarkable data, and surprises

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For Immediate Release

Media download link available upon request for product testing. High-resolution screenshots available upon request. Additional information and questions answered upon request. Developer Marc Schulman is available for interviews.

Contact:   Marc Schulman marc@multied.com or hit reply to this email message. 914-235-4340

New iPad/book/app makes U.S. Presidential election history come alive with true stories, remarkable data, and surprises

Historian Marc Schulman has just released a new suite of products on American Presidential Elections: From George Washington to Barack Obama - a comprehensive reference on American elections.

Campaign 2012 Is underway, but the day to day coverage of the campaigns fails to give any historical context to the actions of the candidates and their campaigns. 

Were the negative ads used by Mitt Romney really to defeat his rivals any worse then when supporters of John Adams claimed that the election of Jefferson would cause the teaching of murder, robbery, rape, adultery and incest?

Do Catholics vote as a bloc?

Why do Jews who are among the wealthiest voters continue to vote as if they were poor immigrants.  

Did you know that in 1808, John Quincy Adams, who later became the 6th President of the United States, left the Federalist Party and joined a party called the Democratic-Republicans? 

Answers to these and many other questions are provided in these new products, which seek to place today’s campaigns in their proper historic perspective.

There’s an app for each of the iPhone, iPad application and an iBook.  The dazzling mutil-media experience is reserved for those who choose the iPad versions, as it provides features that no regular book or eBook can do.  It uses rich multimedia including over 500 photos and 20 videos to bring the elections of the past alive in ways that have never been done in the past. 

One can see high quality photos of campaign posters, buttons and other election paraphernalia from the first part of the 19th century; Hundreds of photos of election campaigning are included of later elections. 

Most remarkable are the inclusion of video ads from all the campaigns since Johnson vs. Goldwater.    Users can watch for themselves some of the most famous ads in Presidential Election history including the Democratic ad run once in 1964 showing a little girl and flowers followed by the an atomic bomb going off of the infamous Willie Horton ad used to defeat Governor Dukakis. 

Schulman spent hundreds of hours researching the Library of Congress and the National Archives to bring forth a wealth of new and old information. 

A History of American Presidential Elections:
From George Washington to Barack Obama

American Presidential Elections is also the first project to be released both as custom application and as an iBook making full use of Apple’s new platform. 

Schulman stated “both methods have their pluses and minuses.  The iBook Author allows us to produce a book that has stunning graphics and is interactive, while it stills maintains the feel of a book.  The App on the other hand has a completely different non-chronological interface, and it allows enter the program anywhere.  A user can also share content by Email or print any picture or text, which is something you cannot do in a book.”

Presidential Elections opens with a section explaining how elections take place, why people vote and other issues in elections.  Questions such as why certain different religious groups vote for Republicans or Democrats are explored, including a novel theory on Jewish voting.  It then has chapters on every election in American history.

Residential Elections is available for sale through Amazon.com with the App on the iTunes store and the iBook on the Apple’s iBook Store. . You can also buy it from the publisher.

All electronic editions are $4.99 Paperback edition is 14.99 from Amazon book or directly from the publisher.

For more information visit www.multieducator.net, call 914-318-2527 or email multied@multied.com

About the Creator

In the past 4 years Marc Schulman has overseen the development of 54 iPhone/iPad  applications.  Having been an Apple Developer since 1983 Marc was an early developer of iPhone Applications releasing the first in October 2008.  Multieducator which Marc is the CEO of released the its first iPad only application on the launch day of the iPad.  Marc authored 20 CD Rooms on American and World History.  Last year he authored a JFK a Fifty year Perspective, both as a book and iPad App. . He is the primary editor of Historycentral.com the largest history web site. Marc Schulman has taught history to a very wide range of schools from Middle School to Colleges. He holds a BA and MA from Columbia University. Marc Schulman lives in Mamaroneck New York with his wife and children.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Are We Up to It? Success in Afghanistan Will Require Understanding and Patience

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Are We Up to It?  Success in Afghanistan Will Require Understanding and Patience

Is there a way for peace and stability to be achieved in Afghanistan?

In the remarkable new book To Lift a Mirror For What You’ve Lost, one uniquely qualified man is following his dream and seeking to accomplish this very idea.  He has created a unique and personal story to help people understand the situation in Afghanistan.

Nangy Ghafarshad’s life is an amazing story. He grew up in Afghanistan, became an elite officer in the Royal Afghan Air Force in 1960. A fully rated fighter pilot, he was trained for leadership by both the Russians and the Americans.  In 1968, struggling with strong feelings of dismay at how his government ruled his native land and not wishing to return to a place offering little opportunity, on completing an Air Force leadership program sponsored by the USAF, he decided to stay in the United States and became a U.S. citizen. In southern California, he worked as a corporate pilot including flying Mrs. Rosalind Carter around California while, her husband, Jimmy Carter ran for President.  Nangy and his wife bought a small coffee shop in Claremont and grew it into a first-class restaurant that seats 400 guests. His involvement in charitable organizations led to a company, which had a contraction with the U.S. Department of Defense, to hire him as Senior Cultural Advisor assigned in Afghanistan. After leaving 40 years before, he returned to Afghanistan only to find that everything he knew had been destroyed by war. 

“My goal,” he says, “is to use my experience and knowledge and share what is going on in the country of my birth so people may do a better job helping things turn out as good as possible for all concerned.”

“The Afghan people seek the same equality and opportunity that all human beings desire and should share in.  And while things are improving, there are a few “doors” that need to be reworked so that the Afghan people can step into the new world.”

One of the most difficult things Americans face is achieving an understanding of why the people of Afghanistan behave the way they do.

His highly readable and well-illustrated book, while largely about his life and that of his family, contains a wealth of information about Afghanistan’s past and present.  

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

HBO's Newsroom to feature Arab Actor playing reporter covering Arab Spring

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HBO's Newsroom to feature Arab Actor playing reporter covering Arab Spring

FROM THE ARAB SPRING TO THE SORKIN SUMMER Sorkin writes Hollywood’s first portrayal of the Arab Spring on HBO’s The Newsroom

(Los Angeles, June 11, 2012) Last year’s revolution in Egypt inspired people across the world -- including the mind of Oscar-winning writer Aaron Sorkin.  His highly anticipated new show, The Newsroom (premiering June 24 on HBO) will include Hollywood’s first depiction of the Arab Spring.

The mid-season plot will follow the revolution with the help of real life Egyptian-American actor Amin El Gamal, a rising star who guests on the show.  El Gamal plays an amateur reporter that wins the hearts of the newsroom staff (played by Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, and Dev Patel) and becomes their rogue correspondent.

“The revolution had a profound effect on my family and me.” El Gamal said.  “And I was thrilled to play an Arab man who’s not associated with violence and hate.  I felt a responsibility to properly represent the incredible people who finally got a voice during those 18 days in Tahrir Square.”

That responsibility lead El Gamal to collaborate with Sorkin on some of the character details.

“My character originally had a Swahili name, which didn’t make much sense for an Egyptian.” El Gamal said.  “I was terrified to bring it up -- Aaron Sorkin being as brilliant as he is -- but I felt I owed it to the brave Egyptians whose story we were telling.”

Sorkin was open to the change and asked El Gamal to email him a list of common Egyptian names.  Just two days before shooting, El Gamal was Fed-Exed new pages with a new, more accurate name.

“I hope my episode reaches some brown kid with a similarly weird name, who’s struggling with his or her identity, like I was.”  El Gamal said. “And I hope it empowers him or her to be the best they can be.”


Amin El Gamal is an actor who was born (during an earthquake) and raised in Palo Alto, CA.  Amin is a first generation Egyptian-American (his last name means “The Camel” in Arabic) and a graduate of Stanford University.  Within months of completing USC’s MFA in Acting program, he caught Aaron Sorkin’s eye and landed a guest role on HBO’s The Newsroom in an episode named after his character (airing July 22).  Amin can also be seen in the upcoming films Take Down the House and Indefinitely, and on stages across the country including the NY Public Theater, Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Magic Theatre, and A Noise Within.