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A Rabble of Dead Money

By Charles R. Morris
Authors:
Charles R. Morris
The Great Crash of 1929 violently disrupted the United States' confident march toward becoming the world's superpower. The suddenness of the cataclysm and the long duration of the collapse scarred generations of Americans. A Rabble of Dead Money is a lucid and fast-paced account that pulls together the intricate threads of policy, ideology, international hatreds, and sheer cantankerousness that finally pushed the world economy over the brink.Award-winning writer Charles R. Morris anchors his narrative in America while fully sketching the poisonous political atmosphere of postwar Europe. 1920s America was the embodiment of the modern age-cars, electricity, credit, radio, movies. Breakneck growth presaged a serious recession by the decade's end, but not a depression. It took heroic financial mismanagement, a glut-induced global collapse in agricultural prices, and a self-inflicted crash in world trade to produce the Great Depression.Vividly told and deeply researched, A Rabble of Dead Money anatomizes history's greatest economic catastrophe-and draws its lessons for the present.

Rule Makers, Rule Breakers

By Michele J. Gelfand
Authors:
Michele J. Gelfand
'A groundbreaking analysis of what used to be an impenetrable mystery: how and why do cultures differ? ... Anyone interested in our cultural divides will find tremendous insight in Rule Makers, Rule Breakers' - Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of Enlightenment NowWhy are clocks in Germany always correct, while those in Brazil are frequently wrong? Why are Singaporeans jailed for selling gum? Why do women in New Zealand have three times the sex of females worldwide? Why was the Daimler-Chrysler merger ill-fated from the start? And why does each generation of Americans give their kids weirder and weirder names? Curious about the answers to these and other questions, award-winning social psychologist Michele Gelfand has spent two decades studying both tight societies (with clearly stated rules and codes of ethics) and loose societies (more informal communities with weak or ambiguous norms). Putting each under the microscope, she conducted research in more than fifty countries and collaborated with political scientists, neuroscientists, computer scientists, anthropologists, and archaeologists. Her fascinating conclusion: behaviour seems largely dependent on perceived threats. It's why certain nations seem predisposed to tangle with others; some American states identify as "Red" and others as "Blue"; and those attending a sports contest, health club, or school function behave in prescribed ways. Rule Makers, Rule Breakers reveals how to predict national variations around the globe, why some leaders innovate and others don't, and even how a tight vs. loose system can determine happiness. Consistently riveting and always illuminating, Michele Gelfand's book helps us understand how a single cultural trait dramatically affects even the smallest aspects of our lives.'Fascinating and profound...It's quite possibly this year's best book on culture' - Roy F. Baumeister, bestselling co-author of Willpower and author of The Cultural Animal'This brilliant book is full of well-documented insights that will change the way you look at yourself and at the world around you' - Barry Schwartz, bestselling author of The Paradox of Choice, Practical Wisdom, and Why We Work
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The Retreat of Western Liberalism

By Edward Luce
Authors:
Edward Luce
'A panorama of the unravelling world order as riveting as any beach read' New Yorker'Read this book: in the three hours it takes you will get a new, bracing and brilliant understanding of the dangers we in the democratic West now face. Luce is one of the smartest journalists working today, and his perceptions are priceless' Jane Mayer, staff writer on the New Yorker'No one was more prescient about the economic malaise and popular resentment that has hit the United States than Ed Luce in his previous book, Time to Start Thinking. His new book, Retreat of Western Liberalism, broadens that picture to cover the Western world. It is a must read for anyone trying to make sense of the waves of populism and nationalism we face today' Liaquat AhamedIn his widely acclaimed book Time to Start Thinking, Financial Times columnist and commentator Edward Luce charted the course of American economic and geopolitical decline, proving to be a prescient voice on our current social and political turmoil.In The Retreat of Western Liberalism, Luce makes a larger statement about the weakening of western hegemony and the crisis of democratic liberalism - of which Donald Trump and his European counterparts are not the cause, but a symptom. Luce argues that we are on a menacing trajectory brought about by ignorance of what it took to build the West, arrogance towards society's losers, and complacency about our system's durability - attitudes that have been emerging since the fall of the Berlin Wall, treated by the West as an absolute triumph over the East. We cannot move forward without a clear diagnosis of what has gone wrong. Luce contrasts Western democratic and economic ideals, which rest on an assumption of linear progress, with more cyclical views of economic strength - symbolized by the nineteenth-century fall and present-day rise of the Chinese and Indian economies - and with the dawn of a new multipolar age.Combining on-the-ground reporting with intelligent synthesis of the vast literature already available, Luce offers a detailed projection of the consequences of the Trump administration and a forward-thinking analysis of what those who believe in enlightenment values must do to defend them from the multiple onslaughts they face in the coming years.
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Restless Creatures

By Matt Wilkinson
Authors:
Matt Wilkinson
Most of us never think about how we get from one place to another. For most people, putting one foot in front of the other requires no thought at all. Yet the fact that we and other species are able to do so is one of the great triumphs of evolution. To truly understand how life evolved on Earth, it is crucial to understand movement. Restless Creatures makes the bold new argument that the true story of evolution is the story of locomotion, from the first stirrings of bacteria to the amazing feats of Olympic athletes. By retracing the four-billion-year history of locomotion, evolutionary biologist Matt Wilkinson shows how the physical challenges of moving from place to place,when coupled with the implacable logic of natural selection,offer a uniquely powerful means of illuminating the living world. Whales and dolphins look like fish because they have been moulded by the constraints of underwater locomotion. The unbending physical needs of flight have brought bats, birds, and pterodactyls to strikingly similar anatomies. Movement explains why we have opposable thumbs, why moving can make us feel good, how fish fins became limbs, and even why,classic fiction notwithstanding,there are no flying monkeys nor animals with wheels. Even plants aren't immune from locomotion's long reach: their seeds, pollen, and very form are all determined by their aptitude to disperse. From sprinting cheetah to spinning maple fruit, soaring albatross to burrowing worm, crawling amoeba to running human,all are the way they are because of how they move. There is a famous saying: nothing in biology makes sense unless in the light of evolution." As Wilkinson makes clear: little makes sense unless in the light of locomotion. A powerful yet accessible work of evolutionary biology, Restless Creatures is the essential guide for understanding how life on Earth was shaped by the simple need to move from point A to point B.

The Rich

By John Kampfner
Authors:
John Kampfner
From the Orwell Prize shortlisted author of Freedom for Sale, The Rich is the fascinating history of how economic elites from ancient Egypt to the present day have gained and spent their money.Starting with the Romans and Ancient Egypt and culminating with the oligarchies of modern Russia and China, it compares and contrasts the rich and powerful down the ages and around the world. What unites them? Have the same instincts of entrepreneurship, ambition, vanity, greed and philanthropy applied throughout?As contemporary politicians, economists and the public wrestle with the inequities of our time - the parallel world inhabited by the ultra-wealthy at a time of broader hardship - it is salutary to look to history for explanations. This book synthesises thousands of years of human behaviour and asks the question: is the development of the globalised super-rich over the past twenty years anything new?
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Regenesis

By Ed Regis, George M. Church
Authors:
Ed Regis, George M. Church
Bold and provocative, Regenesis tells of recent advances that may soon yield endless supplies of renewable energy, increased longevity and the return of long-extinct species.", New Scientist In Regenesis , Harvard biologist George Church and science writer Ed Regis explore the possibilities,and perils,of the emerging field of synthetic biology. Synthetic biology, in which living organisms are selectively altered by modifying substantial portions of their genomes, allows for the creation of entirely new species of organisms. These technologies,far from the out-of-control nightmare depicted in science fiction,have the power to improve human and animal health, increase our intelligence, enhance our memory, and even extend our life span. A breathtaking look at the potential of this world-changing technology, Regenesis is nothing less than a guide to the future of life.

Read My Lips

By Sally Kellerman
Authors:
Sally Kellerman
Sally Kellerman's portrayal of Margaret"Hot Lips&rdquo Houlihan in Robert Altman's M*A*S*H remains a landmark performance. Throughout her long career Kellerman has been a real dame- honest, down-to-earth, sultry, funny , and unfiltered. In READ MY LIPS , Kellerman shares colourful tales of her years as an up-and-coming actress in the early 60s, when Hollywood was a small neighbourhood full of chance encounters. To pay for acting classes (ten dollars each, alongside the likes of Jack Nicholson) she waited tables at a coffee house on the Sunset Strip that was a hangout for Marlon Brando, Steve McQueen, and Warren Beatty. While she watered her lawn one morning in her bathrobe, Ringo Starr stopped in his convertible to say he'd just moved into the neighbourhood and she should drop by during the Vietnam War, she dated Henry Kissinger. Over the years, there were drugs, affairs, diets, and therapy, a music album, a marriage, and motherhood. As the innocence of the 1950s collided with the free spirit of the 1960s, everything felt new and exciting, and Sally Kellerman was right in the middle of it. In READ MY LIPS Sally transports us back to that unique era and shares the challenges and rewards of her marriage, children, and her iconic career.

Raising Elijah

By Sandra Steingraber
Authors:
Sandra Steingraber
Nothing could be more important than the health of our children, and no one is better suited to examine the threats against it than Sandra Steingraber. Once called "a poet with a knife," she blends precise science with lyrical memoir. In Living Downstream she spoke as a biologist and cancer survivor in Having Faith she spoke as an ecologist and expectant mother, viewing her own body as a habitat. Now she speaks as the scientist mother of two young children, enjoying and celebrating their lives while searching for ways to protect them- and all children- from the toxic, climate-threatened world they inhabit Each chapter of this engaging and unique book focuses on one inevitable ingredient of childhood- everything from pizza to laundry to homework to the "Big Talk"- and explores the underlying social, political, and ecological forces behind it. Through these everyday moments, Steingraber demonstrates how closely the private, intimate world of parenting connects to the public world of policy-making and how the ongoing environmental crisis is, fundamentally, a crisis of family life.

Red Rover

By Roger Wiens
Authors:
Roger Wiens
In its eerie likeness to Earth, Mars has long captured our imaginations,both as a destination for humankind and as a possible home to extraterrestrial life. It is our twenty-first century New World its explorers robots, shipped 350 million miles from Earth to uncover the distant planet's secrets.Its most recent scout is Curiosity,a one-ton, Jeep-sized nuclear-powered space labouratory,which is now roving the Martian surface to determine whether the red planet has ever been physically capable of supporting life. In Red Rover , geochemist Roger Wiens, the principal investigator for the ChemCam laser instrument on the rover and veteran of numerous robotic NASA missions, tells the unlikely story of his involvement in sending sophisticated hardware into space, culminating in the Curiosity rover's amazing journey to Mars.In so doing, Wiens paints the portrait of one of the most exciting scientific stories of our time: the new era of robotic space exploration. Starting with NASA's introduction of the Discovery Program in 1992, scrappier, more nimble missions became the order of the day, as manned missions were confined to Earth orbit, and behemoth projects went extinct. This strategic shift presented huge scientific opportunities, but tight budgets meant that success depended more than ever on creative engineering and human ingenuity. Beginning with the Genesis mission that launched his career, Wiens describes the competitive, DIY spirit of these robotic enterprises, from conception to construction, from launch to heart-stopping crashes and smooth landings.An inspiring account of the real-life challenges of space exploration, Red Rover vividly narrates what goes into answering the question: is there life elsewhere in the universe?

The Ravenous Brain

By Daniel Bor
Authors:
Daniel Bor
Consciousness is our gateway to experience: it enables us to recognize Van Gogh's starry skies, be enraptured by Beethoven's Fifth, and stand in awe of a snowcapped mountain. Yet consciousness is subjective, personal, and famously difficult to examine: philosophers have for centuries declared this mental entity so mysterious as to be impenetrable to science. In The Ravenous Brain , neuroscientist Daniel Bor departs sharply from this historical view, and builds on the latest research to propose a new model for how consciousness works. Bor argues that this brain-based faculty evolved as an accelerated knowledge gathering tool. Consciousness is effectively an idea factory- that choice mental space dedicated to innovation, a key component of which is the discovery of deep structures within the contents of our awareness. This model explains our brains' ravenous appetite for information- and in particular, its constant search for patterns. Why, for instance, after all our physical needs have been met, do we recreationally solve crossword or Sudoku puzzles? Such behaviour may appear biologically wasteful, but, according to Bor, this search for structure can yield immense evolutionary benefits- it led our ancestors to discover fire and farming, pushed modern society to forge ahead in science and technology, and guides each one of us to understand and control the world around us. But the sheer innovative power of human consciousness carries with it the heavy cost of mental fragility. Bor discusses the medical implications of his theory of consciousness, and what it means for the origins and treatment of psychiatric ailments, including attention-deficit disorder, schizophrenia, manic depression, and autism. All mental illnesses, he argues, can be reformulated as disorders of consciousness- a perspective that opens up new avenues of treatment for alleviating mental suffering. A controversial view of consciousness, The Ravenous Brain links cognition to creativity in an ingenious solution to one of science's biggest mysteries.
  • Rise Of Empire

    By Michael J Sullivan
    Authors:
    Michael J Sullivan
    The birth of the Nyphron Empire has brought war to Melengar. To save her kingdom, Princess Arista runs a desperate gamble when she defies her brother and hires Royce and Hadrian to perform a dangerous mission behind the enemy's lines. As the power of the Nyphron Empire grows, so does Royce's suspicion that the wizard Esrahaddon is using the thieves as pawns in his own shadowy struggle for power. To find the truth, he must unravel the secret of Hadrian's past. What he discovers leads the thieves to the ends of the world on a journey amid treachery and betrayals, forcing Hadrian to face a past he hoped never to see again.
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  • Rapture In Death/Ceremony In Death

    By J. D. Robb
    Authors:
    J. D. Robb
    Rapture in Death: Three apparent suicides: a brilliant engineer, an infamous lawyer, and a controversial politician. Three strangers with nothing in common - and no obvious reasons for killing themselves. But police lieutenant Eve Dallas is immediately suspicious of the deaths. Her investigation turns to the provocative world of virtual reality games - where the same techniques used to create joy and desire can also prompt the mind to become the weapon of its own destruction.Ceremony in Death: Conducting a top-secret investigation into the death of a fellow police officer has Lieutenant Eve Dallas treading on dangerous ground. But when a dead body is placed outside her home, Eve takes the warning personally and is drawn into the most dangerous case of her career. Every step she takes makes her question her own beliefs of right and wrong - and brings her closer to a confrontation with humanity's most seductive form of evil . . .

    Reinventing the Sacred

    By Stuart A. Kauffman
    Authors:
    Stuart A. Kauffman
    Consider the complexity of a living cell after 3.8 billion years of evolution. Is it more awesome to suppose that a transcendent God fashioned the cell at a stroke, or to realize that it evolved with no Almighty Hand, but arose on its own in the changing biosphere? In this bold and fresh look at science and religion, complexity theorist Stuart Kauffman argues that the qualities of divinity that we revere,creativity, meaning, purposeful action,are properties of the universe that can be investigated methodically. He offers stunning evidence for this idea in an abundance of fields, from cell biology to the philosophy of mind, and uses it to find common ground between belief systems often at odds with one another. A daring and ambitious argument for a new understanding of natural divinity, Reinventing the Sacred challenges readers both scientifically and philosophically.

    Reaching To Heaven

    By James van Praagh
    Authors:
    James van Praagh
    James Van Praagh has touched the lives of millions through his extraordinary ability to communicate with the next world. Widely known through his regular appearances on NBC, his first book Talking to Heaven became an international bestseller.In REACHING TO HEAVEN, Van Praagh takes us on a journey to show what happens at death, what the spirit world is like, how a soul chooses to be reborn, and how the process of reincarnation works.Through simple exercises and meditations REACHING TO HEAVEN will help you to rediscover your true spiritual nature and achieve greater self-awareness and inner peace.

    The Republican War on Science

    By Chris Mooney
    Authors:
    Chris Mooney
    Science has never been more crucial to deciding the political issues facing the country. Yet science and scientists have less influence with the federal government than at any time since Richard Nixon fired his science advisors. In the White House and Congress today, findings are reported in a politicized manner spun or distorted to fit the speaker's agenda or, when they're too inconvenient, ignored entirely. On a broad array of issues-stem cell research, climate change, evolution, sex education, product safety, environmental regulation, and many others-the Bush administration's positions fly in the face of overwhelming scientific consensus. Federal science agencies-once fiercely independent under both Republican and Democratic presidents-are increasingly staffed by political appointees who know industry lobbyists and evangelical activists far better than they know the science. This is not unique to the Bush administration, but it is largely a Republican phenomenon, born of a conservative dislike of environmental, health, and safety regulation, and at the extremes, of evolution and legalized abortion. In The Republican War on Science , Chris Mooney ties together the disparate strands of the attack on science into a compelling and frightening account of our government's increasing unwillingness to distinguish between legitimate research and ideologically driven pseudoscience.

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    A Ride In The Neon Sun

    By Josie Dew
    Authors:
    Josie Dew
    It's not easy landing unprepared in a country like Japan. The eccentricities of the calendar, the indecipherable postal system, not to mention the alien alphabet, language and culture, have all to be confronted before the disorientated traveller can feel at ease. Trying to ride a bicycle through the streets of one of the most congested cities in the world would seem to compound your problems. For Josie Dew, however, with over 200,000 miles already clocked up in the saddle few things could be more challenging - or for the reader of A RIDE IN THE NEON SUN, more wonderfully entertaining. From Kawasaki to Kagoshima, Odawara to Okinawa, Josie discovered a nation rich in dazzling contrasts. The neon and concrete were there in greater abundance than even she had imagined, but so too were bottomless baths, love burgers, long-tailed cocks, musical toilet rolls, oriental Elvises, cardboard police and a sense of fun belying the population's rigourous work ethic. Far from being the reserved race that she had heard about, the Japanese welcomed her into their homes with bountiful smiles and bows - and skin-scorching baths.
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