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The Price of Greatness

By Jay Cost
Authors:
Jay Cost
An incisive account of the tumultuous relationship between Alexander Hamilton and James Madison and of the origins of our wealthy yet highly unequal nationIn the history of American politics there are few stories as enigmatic as that of Alexander Hamilton and James Madison's bitterly personal falling out. Together they helped bring the Constitution into being, yet soon after the new republic was born they broke over the meaning of its founding document. Hamilton emphasized economic growth, Madison the importance of republican principles.Jay Cost is the first to argue that both men were right--and that their quarrel reveals a fundamental paradox at the heart of the American experiment. He shows that each man in his own way came to accept corruption as a necessary cost of growth. The Price of Greatness reveals the trade-off that made the United States the richest nation in human history, and that continues to fracture our politics to this day.

Patronising Bastards

By Quentin Letts
Authors:
Quentin Letts
From the Sunday Times bestselling author of 50 People Who Buggered Up Britain, Quentin Letts, comes his blistering new book on how Britain's out-of-touch, illiberal elite fills its boots.'HILARIOUS' Daily Mail'With its vicious takedowns, Quentin Letts' laugh-out-loud Patronising Bastards will have the lefty-elite running scared' The SunNot since Marie Antoinette said 'Let them eat cake' have the peasants been so revolting. Western capitalism's elites are bemused: Brexit, Trump, and maybe more eruptions to follow. But their rulers were so good to them! Hillary Clinton called the ingrates 'a basket of deplorables', Bob Geldof flicked them a V sign, Tony Blair thought voters too thick to understand the question. Wigged judges stared down their legalistic noses at a surging, pongy populous.These people who know best, these snooterati with their faux-liberal ways, are the 'Patronising Bastards'. Their downfall is largely of their own making - their Sybaritic excesses, an obsession with political correctness, the prolonged rape of reason and rite. You'll find these self-indulgent show-ponys not just in politics and the cloistered old institutions but also in high fashion, football, among the clean-eating foodies and at the Baftas and Oscars, where celebritydom hires PR smoothies to massage reputations and mislead, distort, twist. Political columnist and bestselling author Quentin Letts identifies these condescending creeps and their networks, their methods and their dubious morals. Letts kebabs them like mutton. It's baaaahd. It's juicy.Richard Branson, Emma Thompson, Shami Chakrabarti, Jean-Claude Juncker and any head waiter who calls you 'young man' - this one's for you!
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The Physics of Everyday Things

By James Kakalios
Authors:
James Kakalios
Most of us are clueless when it comes to the physics that makes our modern world so convenient. What's the simple science behind motion sensors, touch screens and toasters? How do we enter our offices using touch-on passes or find our way to new places using GPS? In The Physics of Everyday Things, James Kakalios takes us on an amazing journey into the subatomic marvels that underlie so much of what we use and take for granted.Breaking down the world of things into a single day, Kakalios engages our curiosity about how our refrigerators keep food cool, how a plane manages to remain airborne, and how our wrist fitness monitors keep track of our steps. Each explanation is coupled with a story revealing the interplay of the astonishing invisible forces that surround us. Through this 'narrative physics' The Physics of Everyday Things demonstrates that - far from the abstractions conjured by terms like the Higgs boson, black holes and gravity waves - sophisticated science is also quite practical. With his signature clarity and inventiveness, Kakalios ignites our imaginations and enthralls us with the principles that make up our lives.
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Phenomena

By Annie Jacobsen
Authors:
Annie Jacobsen
The definitive history of the military's decades-long investigation into mental powers and phenomena, from the author of Pulitzer Prize finalist The Pentagon's Brain and international bestseller Area 51.This is a book about a team of scientists and psychics with top secret clearances.For more than forty years, the U.S. government has researched extrasensory perception, using it in attempts to locate hostages, fugitives, secret bases, and downed fighter jets, to divine other nations' secrets, and even to predict future threats to national security. The intelligence agencies and military services involved include CIA, DIA, NSA, DEA, the Navy, Air Force, and Army-and even the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Now, for the first time, New York Times bestselling author Annie Jacobsen tells the story of these radical, controversial programs, using never before seen declassified documents as well as exclusive interviews with, and unprecedented access to, more than fifty of the individuals involved. Speaking on the record, many for the first time, are former CIA and Defense Department scientists, analysts, and program managers, as well as the government psychics themselves.Who did the U.S. government hire for these top secret programs, and how do they explain their military and intelligence work? How do scientists approach such enigmatic subject matter? What interested the government in these supposed powers and does the research continue? PHENOMENA is a riveting investigation into how far governments will go in the name of national security.
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  • Physicians and their Images

    By Ludmilla Jordanova
    Authors:
    Ludmilla Jordanova
    The Royal College of Physicians celebrates its 500th anniversary in 2018, and to observe this landmark is publishing this series of ten books. Each of the books focuses on fifty themed elements that have contributed to making the RCP what it is today, together adding up to 500 reflections on 500 years. Some of the people, ideas, objects and manuscripts featured are directly connected to the College, while others have had an influence that can still be felt in its work.This, the eighth book in the series looks at the art and portraits of the Royal College.
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    Plucked!

    By Maryn McKenna
    Authors:
    Maryn McKenna
    'This is an important book. You can't understand the radical cheapening of food, with all its unpleasant effects, for farm animals and our most cherished rural landscapes, until you begin to understand the industrialisation of chicken. Industrial chicken is now displacing many more sustainable farming systems, driving them out of business. This book explains how that happened and why we should all be worried about it and demand change' James Rebanks, author of The Shepherd's LifePlucked! examines everything that has gone wrong in the modern agricultural system: overuse of antibiotics, threats to the environment, violations of animal welfare, destruction of farming communities, disruption of international trade and delivery of over-processed, obesity-promoting, nutritionally hollow food.Drawing on years of research into the 'big chicken' industry, acclaimed science writer Maryn McKenna uncovers the people searching for solutions and seeking to return chicken to a sustainable and honoured place on our plate and asking whether, with reform, chicken can safely feed the world. Rich with characters who together propelled the story of chicken's unintended consequences, Plucked! will reveal how the antibiotic era created modern agriculture. It is an eye-opening exploration of how the world's most popular meat came to define so much more than just chicken nuggets.
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  • The Physicians 1660-2018: Ever Persons Capable and Able

    By Louella Vaughan, Richard Thompson
    Authors:
    Louella Vaughan, Richard Thompson
    The Royal College of Physicians celebrates its 500th anniversary in 2018, and to observe this landmark is publishing this series of ten books. Each of the books focuses on fifty themed elements that have contributed to making the RCP what it is today, together adding up to 500 reflections on 500 years. Some of the people, ideas, objects and manuscripts featured are directly connected to the College, while others have had an influence that can still be felt in its work.This, the seventh book in the series looks at the history of the Royal College.
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    The Pentagon's Wars

    By Mark Perry
    Authors:
    Mark Perry
    A gripping insider account of the clash between America's civilian and military leadershipThe Pentagon's Wars is a dramatic account of the deep and divisive debates between America's civilian leaders and its military officers. Renowned military expert Mark Perry investigates these internal wars and sheds new light on the US military-the most powerful and influential lobby in Washington. He reveals explosive stories, from the secret history of Clinton's "don't ask, don't tell" policy to how the military plotted to undermine Barack Obama's strategy in Afghanistan, to show how internal strife and deep civilian-military animus shapes America's policy abroad, often to the nation's detriment.Drawing on three decades of high-profile interviews, both on and off the record, Perry yields sobering judgments on the tenures of our nation's most important military leaders. The Pentagon's Wars is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the inner workings of the making of America's foreign policy.

    Primitive Rebels

    By Eric Hobsbawm
    Authors:
    Eric Hobsbawm
    Social agitation is as essential a part of public life today as it has ever been. In Eric Hobsbawm's masterful study, Primitive Rebels, he shines a light on the origins of contemporary rebellion: Robin Hood, secret societies, revolutionary peasants, Mafiosi, Spanish Civil War anarchy, pre-industrial mobs and riots - all of which have fed in to our notions of dissent in the modern world.Coining now familiar terms such as 'social banditry', Primitive Rebels shows how Hobsbawm was decades ahead of his time, and his insightful analysis of the history of social movements is critical to our understanding of movements such as UK Uncut, Black Lives Matter and the growing international resistance to Donald Trump's presidency.Reissued with a new introduction by Owen Jones, Primitive Rebels is the perfect guide to the revolutions that shaped western civilisation, and the bandits, reformers and anarchists who have fought to change the world.
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    The Power of Different

    By Gail Saltz
    Authors:
    Gail Saltz
    The Power of Different is an illuminating and uplifting examination of the link between brain differences and aptitude. Psychologist and bestselling author Gail Saltz presents the latest scientific research and profiles famous geniuses and lay individuals who have been diagnosed with all manner of brain 'problems' - including learning disabilities, ADD, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and autism. Saltz shows that the source of our struggles can be the origin of our greatest strengths. Rooted in her experience as a professor and practicing psychiatrist, and based on the latest neurological research, Saltz demonstrates how specific deficits in certain areas of the brain are directly associated with the potential for great talent. She also shows how the very conditions that can cause difficulty at school, in social situations, at home or at work, are bound to creative, disciplinary, artistic, empathetic and cognitive abilities.In this pioneering work, readers will find engaging scientific research and stories from historical geniuses and everyday individuals who have not only made the most of their conditions, but who have flourished because of them. Enlightening and inspiring, The Power of Different shows how the unique wiring of every brain can be a source of strength and productivity, and can contribute to the richness of our world.
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    Picasso's Brain

    By Christine Temple
    Authors:
    Christine Temple
    Where does creativity come from? Why are some people more creative than others?Eminent neuropsychologist Christine Temple navigates a wide range of factors from the hard science (visual memory, spatial ability, brain functions) to the environmental (the 'mad genius' myth, and Gladwell's 10,000 hours of practice) in her study of what contributes to creativity. Using Pablo Picasso as her model of a creative genius, she weighs up each theory as it applies to Picasso and shows how his own creativity came from a combination of many factors.In this book, she looks at Picasso's playful mindset and passionate relationships, investigates the possibility that genius is genetic and can be inherited in families, considers whether creative genii perceive the world in a different way, and determines whether single-mindedness and focus play a part. This is the first book to look at a multitude of traits in creativity, and nail down the key factors that matter (and also which ones don't) to provide an overall picture of this fascinating area, linking the science to the personal.
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    Play Anything

    By Ian Bogost
    Authors:
    Ian Bogost
    Play Anything is nothing short of brilliant... I will be recommending this provocative and entertaining book to everyone I know." u- Jane McGonigal, bestselling author of Reality is Broken and SuperBetter ife is boring: filled with meetings and traffic, errands and emails. Nothing we'd ever call fun . But what if we've gotten fun wrong? In Play Anything, visionary game designer and philosopher Ian Bogost shows how we can overcome our daily anxiety transforming the boring, ordinary world around us into one of endless, playful possibilities.The key to this playful mindset lies in discovering the secret truth of fun and games. Play Anything, reveals that games appeal to us not because they are fun, but because they set limitations . Soccer wouldn't be soccer if it wasn't composed of two teams of eleven players using only their feet, heads, and torsos to get a ball into a goal Tetris wouldn't be Tetris without falling pieces in characteristic shapes. Such rules seem needless, arbitrary, and difficult. Yet it is the limitations that make games enjoyable, just like it's the hard things in life that give it meaning. Play is what happens when we accept these limitations, narrow our focus, and, consequently, have fun. Which is also how to live a good life. Manipulating a soccer ball into a goal is no different than treating ordinary circumstances, like grocery shopping, lawn mowing, and making PowerPoints,as sources for meaning and joy. We can play anything" by filling our days with attention and discipline, devotion and love for the world as it really is, beyond our desires and fears.Ranging from Internet culture to moral philosophy, ancient poetry to modern consumerism, Bogost shows us how today's chaotic world can only be tamed,and enjoyed,when we first impose boundaries on ourselves. "An essential read for those seeking to understand how a new idea of play can be positive for our lives." u- Library Journal (STARRED review) /u Play Anything is a profound book: both a striking assessment of our current cultural landscape, and at the same time a smart self-improvement guide, teaching us the virtues of a life lived playfully." u- Steven Johnson, author of How We Got To Now and Everything Bad Is Good For You /u
  • Physicians and War

    By Simon Shorvon, Humphrey Hodgson
    Authors:
    Simon Shorvon, Humphrey Hodgson
    The Royal College of Physicians celebrates its 500th anniversary in 2018, and to observe this landmark is publishing this series of ten books. Each of the books focuses on fifty themed elements that have contributed to making the RCP what it is today, together adding up to 500 reflections on 500 years. Some of the people, ideas, objects and manuscripts featured are directly connected to the College, while others have had an influence that can still be felt in its work. This, the fourth book in the series looks at the Royal College and its impact and influence in war over the centuries.
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    The Pentagon's Brain

    By Annie Jacobsen
    Authors:
    Annie Jacobsen
    No one has ever written the history of the Defense Department's most secret, most powerful and most controversial military science R&D agency. In the first-ever history of the organization, New York Times bestselling author Annie Jacobsen draws on inside sources, exclusive interviews, private documents and declassified memos to paint a picture of DARPA, or "the Pentagon's brain," from its Cold War inception in 1958 to the present.This is the book on DARPA - a compelling narrative about this clandestine intersection of science and the American military and the often frightening results.
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    Playing by the Rules

    By Tracey Brown, Michael Hanlon
    Authors:
    Tracey Brown, Michael Hanlon
    Does an airline pilot really need to surrender his tweezers at airport security when he's about to board an aircraft equipped with an axe on the back of the cockpit door?Can a mobile phone really cause a major explosion at a gas station?And is there really a good reason why you should be be prevented from swimming in a lake more than a foot deep?These rules exist, and they exist in the name of our own protection. But in this engrossing dissection of global health, safety and security regulations, authors Tracey Brown and Michael Hanlon dig a little deeper to discover the real reasons behind many of the instructions we obey without questioning their creators' motives. Their conclusions range from the startling to the staggering, and in presenting them the authors seek to empower readers to question the people and organisations who come up with them in the first place.Previously published as In the Interests of Safety.
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    The Perfect Theory

    By Pedro G. Ferreira
    Authors:
    Pedro G. Ferreira
    Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity is possibly the most perfect intellectual achievement in modern physics. Anything that involves gravity, the force that powers everything on the largest, hottest or densest of scales, can be explained by it. From the moment Einstein first proposed the theory in 1915, it was received with enthusiasm yet also with tremendous resistance, and for the following ninety years was the source of a series of feuds, vendettas, ideological battles and persecutions featuring a colourful cast of characters. A gripping, vividly told story, A Perfect Theory entangles itself with the flashpoints of modern history and is the first complete popular history of the theory, showing how it has informed our understanding of exactly what the universe is made of and how much is still undiscovered: from the work of the giant telescopes in the deserts of Chile to our newest ideas about black holes and the Large Hadron Collider deep under French and Swiss soil.
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    Paris in 3D in the Belle Époque

    By Bruno Fuligni
    Authors:
    Bruno Fuligni
    This handsome, unique package-containing a stereoscopic viewer, 34 3D photographic cards, and a photo-packed paperback book-offers a rare view of Paris, the world's most beautiful city, during an era when art, literature, poetry, and music blossomed and reigned. Paris during the Belle Époque (1880-1914) was a time when peace and prosperity allowed for towering innovation in art, fashion, architecture, and gastronomy. The city at this time was the epicenter of art and music. Fauré, Saint Saëns, Debussy, and Ravel were composing; Rodin was working on The Thinker; Renoir, Monet, Cézanne, Pissarro, and Degas painted scenes depicting everyday life; and Pablo Picasso embarked on his Blue Period. As Art Nouveau came into fashion, new buildings followed suit. Opéra Garnier, Castel Beranger, Moulin Rouge, and the Paris Metro entrances were all built during this time. Galeries Lafayette unveiled its gilded department store, which sold couture to the aspiring middle class. This burgeoning creativity and prosperity, as well as the city and the inhabitants who embraced it, are all captured here, with stunning clarity and realism. Paris in 3D's innovative and inimitable package includes a sturdy metal stereoscopic viewer, 34 rarely seen stereoscopic photographs of the city at the turn of the century, and an accompanying 128-page paperback, which provides a brief history of the stereograph craze and an overview of the city's evolution during that time.

    Potsdam

    By Michael Neiberg
    Authors:
    Michael Neiberg
    After Germany's defeat in World War II, Europe lay in tatters. Millions of refugees were dispersed across the continent. Food and fuel were scarce. Britain was bankrupt, while Germany had been reduced to rubble. In July of 1945, Harry Truman, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin gathered in a quiet suburb of Berlin to negotiate a lasting peace: a peace that would finally put an end to the conflagration that had started in 1914, a peace under which Europe could be rebuilt.The award-winning historian Michael Neiberg brings the turbulent Potsdam conference to life, vividly capturing the delegates' personalities: Truman, trying to escape from the shadow of Franklin Roosevelt, who had died only months before Churchill, bombastic and seemingly out of touch Stalin, cunning and meticulous. For the first week, negotiations progressed relatively smoothly. But when the delegates took a recess for the British elections, Churchill was replaced,both as prime minster and as Britain's representative at the conference,in an unforeseen upset by Clement Attlee, a man Churchill disparagingly described as a sheep in sheep's clothing." When the conference reconvened, the power dynamic had shifted dramatically, and the delegates struggled to find a new balance. Stalin took advantage of his strong position to demand control of Eastern Europe as recompense for the suffering experienced by the Soviet people and armies. The final resolutions of the Potsdam Conference, notably the division of Germany and the Soviet annexation of Poland, reflected the uneasy geopolitical equilibrium between East and West that would come to dominate the twentieth century.As Neiberg expertly shows, the delegates arrived at Potsdam determined to learn from the mistakes their predecessors made in the Treaty of Versailles. But, riven by tensions and dramatic debates over how to end the most recent war, they only dimly understood that their discussions of peace were giving birth to a new global conflict.

    Probably Approximately Correct

    By Leslie Valiant
    Authors:
    Leslie Valiant
    From a leading computer scientist, a unifying theory that will revolutionize our understanding of how life evolves and learns.How does life prosper in a complex and erratic world? While we know that nature follows patterns,such as the law of gravity,our everyday lives are beyond what known science can predict. We nevertheless muddle through even in the absence of theories of how to act. But how do we do it?In Probably Approximately Correct , computer scientist Leslie Valiant presents a masterful synthesis of learning and evolution to show how both individually and collectively we not only survive, but prosper in a world as complex as our own. The key is probably approximately correct" algorithms, a concept Valiant developed to explain how effective behaviour can be learned. The model shows that pragmatically coping with a problem can provide a satisfactory solution in the absence of any theory of the problem. After all, finding a mate does not require a theory of mating. Valiant's theory reveals the shared computational nature of evolution and learning, and sheds light on perennial questions such as nature versus nurture and the limits of artificial intelligence.Offering a powerful and elegant model that encompasses life's complexity, Probably Approximately Correct has profound implications for how we think about behaviour, cognition, biological evolution, and the possibilities and limits of human and machine intelligence.
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    The Profligate Son

    By Nicola Phillips
    Authors:
    Nicola Phillips
    A profligate son was every Georgian parent's worst nightmare. To his father, William Jackson's imprudent spending, incessant partying, and sexual adventures were a sure sign he was on the slippery slope to ruin. But to his friends, William was a damned good fellow," a charming, impeccably dressed young gentleman with enviable seductive skills who was willing to defend his honor in duels. Mr. Jackson and his son viewed each other across a generational gap that neither could bridge, and their flawed relationship had catastrophic consequences for their family.In The Profligate Son , historian Nicola Phillips hauntingly reconstructs this family tragedy from a recently discovered trove of letters and court documents. After Mr. Jackson's acquisition of a fortune during his service for the East India Company in Madras was undermined by false accusations that ruined his career, he invested all his future ambitions in his only son. William grew up in great comfort and was sent to the best schools in the country. But when the family moved to London, the teenager rebelled against the loneliness and often brutal regimes of public schooling and escaped to explore the pleasures of the town with his wealthy friends. His attempts to impress his peers led him into disastrous levels of debt that resulted in his imprisonment and ever more illegal efforts to satisfy his creditors, which appalled his prudent, sternly moralistic father. Mr. Jackson decided that the only way to combat his son's wayward behaviour was to completely cut him off. In doing so, he condemned William to repeated imprisonment and a perilous voyage to an Australian penal colony. In Sydney William sought to rebuild his life with a family of his own, but even there his father's legacy brought further tragedy.A masterpiece of literary nonfiction as dramatic as any Dickens novel, The Profligate Son transports readers from the steamy streets of India and the elegant squares and seedy brothels of London to the sunbaked shores of Australia, tracing the arc of a life long buried in history.