Thomas Crump - A Brief History of the Age of Steam - Little, Brown Book Group

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A Brief History of the Age of Steam

By Thomas Crump

  • Paperback
  • £8.99

The real story behind the Industrial Revolution

In 1710 an obscure Devon ironmonger Thomas Newcomen invented a machine with a pump driven by coal, used to extract water from mines. Over the next two hundred years the steam engine would be at the heart of the industrial revolution that changed the fortunes of nations.

Passionately written and insightful, A Brief History of the Age of Steam reveals not just the lives of the great
inventors such as Watts, Stephenson and Brunel but also tells a narrative that reaches from the US to the expansion of China, India and South America and shows how the steam engine changed the world.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781845295530
  • Publication date: 27 Sep 2007
  • Page count: 384
  • Imprint: Robinson
Passionate and entertaining — BBC History Magazine
Robinson

When the Clouds Fell from the Sky

Robert Carmichael
Authors:
Robert Carmichael

'To keep you is no benefit, to destroy you is no loss.'During the Khmer Rouge's four-year rule of terror, two million people, or one in every four, Cambodians, died. In describing one family's decades-long quest to learn their husband's and father's fate and the war crimes trial of Comrade Duch (pronounced 'Doyk'), who ran the notorious S-21 prison in Phnom Penh, where thousands were tortured prior to their execution, When the Clouds Fell from the Sky illuminates not only the tragedy of a nation, but also the fundamental limitations of international justice. In February 2012, the international war crimes court in Cambodia handed down a life sentence to the man known by his revolutionary moniker Comrade Duch. The court found the Khmer Rouge's former security chief responsible for the deaths of more than 12,000 people at S-21 prison.Duch's conviction was historic. He was the first Khmer Rouge member to be jailed for crimes committed during Pol Pot's catastrophic 1975-9 rule when two million people died from execution, starvation, illness and overwork as Cambodia underwent the most radical social transformation ever attempted. When the Khmer Rouge took power in 1975, the entire population was driven from the towns and cities into rural gulags, where they were put to work planting rice and constructing vast irrigation schemes Designed to outdo even Mao's Great Leap Forward, it was an unparalleled disaster.At the same time as the Khmer Rouge sought to refashion the country, they closed its borders, barred all communication with the outside world and turned back the clock to Year Zero. They outlawed religion, markets, money, education and even the concept of family as they pursued a revolution that would outstrip all others. In Orwellian fashion, everything and everyone belonged to Angkar, the anonymous leaders, and all loyalty was owed to them. The individual had no value beyond their utility as a working unit that could easily be replaced.It was not long before the revolution began to implode, driven to destruction by the incompetence and paranoia of Angkar. Yet instead of recognising their own failings, the leaders believed unseen enemies were undermining the revolution. They sought them everywhere, both inside and outside the movement. In their pursuit of purity they destroyed a nation. This was the closed nation to which Ouk Ket returned in 1977. Like hundreds of other returnees, he was utterly unaware of the terrors being wrought in the revolution's name. Hundreds of thousands of other Cambodians perished in nearly 200 institutions like S-21 that formed an inescapable web across the country. Most of the rest died of starvation, overwork and illness in the rural gulags. Cambodia remains defined by this cataclysmic period, and its effects are apparent today. To illustrate this era and its consequences, Robert Carmichael has woven together the stories of five people whose lives intersected to traumatic effect. Duch is one of those five, and the book tackles this complex man and his life through the prism of his trial.The second person is a Frenchwoman called Neary. Her father - the returning diplomat Ouk Ket - was one of Duch's 12,000 proven victims. She was just two when he disappeared. When the Clouds Fell from the Sky is as much about Neary as it is about Duch: her efforts to find out more about the fate of her father, and her subsequent battle to accept it. Towards the end of the book, in one of its key scenes, Neary testifies against Duch at the international war crimes court in Phnom Penh.Intertwined is Duch's quest for redemption: his efforts during his nine-month trial to make those in the courtroom understand the twists and turns of his life and the decisions he took - some logical, others seemingly banal - that culminated in him running one of the twentieth century's most brutal institutions. The truths that emerge during Duch's trial help to illuminate this enigmatic man and how, in many ways, he is little different from most of us.The third and fourth characters are Ket and his wife Martine, who met in 1970 when they were studying at university in Paris. The fifth is Ket's cousin Sady, who never left Cambodia and is today a sixty-something teacher in Phnom Penh. Sady and Ket grew up together in 1960s' Phnom Penh, so Sady is able to tell us about Ket's early years, She also describes the reality of life under the Khmer Rouge: the forced eviction from Phnom Penh in 1975, the murder of her younger brother in 1977, the deaths of Ket's father and siblings, and her suffering in the rural labour camps. Sady's story is the experience of countless Cambodians.Through these five stories, through the author's own research, through interviews with leading academics, former Khmer Rouge and ordinary Cambodians, and by following Duch's trial, which Robert did for months, the book takes the experience of one forgotten man to tell the story of a nation. Since we cannot grasp the concept of millions of dead, he has used the murder of one to speak for the deaths of many. In so doing the book reaffirms the value of the individual, countering the Khmer Rouge's nihilistic maxim that: 'To keep you is no benefit, to destroy you is no loss.'

Robinson

Talking to Robots

David Ewing Duncan
Authors:
David Ewing Duncan

Visions of robot futures that feature bots such as robot drivers, the bot that will take your job, psychiatrist and doc bots, sex bots, priest bots, the first robot president, and bot servants; also playthings that in some cases bring out the worst in people; synthetic bio bots that are copies of us; and dystopic bots that may treat us like pets, or worse.Scenarios start with discussions with well-known thinkers, engineers, scientists and philosophers, and their ruminations on future robots and AI systems that they want to meet - or fear to meet - and why. These discussions, along with some examination of bot-tech, bot-history and real-time societal and ethical/moral issues with robots, are the launch pads for unfurling imagined bot futures.The book will describe how various bots work as machines, but also what they say about us as humans. We are at a pivotal moment when our infatuation with human-like beings with certain attributes or super-powers in mythology, religion and sci-fi, is now coinciding with our ability to build these entities for real, so Talking to Robots comes at the perfect moment.David Duncan has interviewed the likes of Kevin Kelly, Stephen Hawking, Brian Greene, Sherry Turkle, Alex Garland, Stephen Pinker, Dean Kaman, Ray Kurzweil, Michio Kaku, Elon Musk, Craig Venter and others. He has researched the topic intensively but wears his knowledge lightly in this dazzlingly thought-provoking, illuminating and entertaining book. Talking to Robots will bring the future to life like no other book in this sphere.

Robinson

Freedom

James Walvin
Authors:
James Walvin
Hachette Audio

The League of Wives

Heath Hardage Lee
Authors:
Heath Hardage Lee
Basic Books

A Nation Forged by Crisis

Jay Sexton
Authors:
Jay Sexton

Americans have long understood their history as a story of inevitable progress, of a steadily rising standard of living and of the gradual extension of rights and freedoms to previously disenfranchised groups. Thus recent developments-9/11, the 2008 financial crash, the election of Donald Trump-have arrived as great shocks, each seemingly a wrench in the gears of history. How are we to understand our nation's past from the perspective of our volatile present?With A Nation Forged by Crisis, Jay Sexton has written a concise history of America for our time. He contends that from the start our national narrative has been punctuated by underappreciated moments of disruption, and that the roots of these disruptions can be traced to shifts in the international system. Sexton shows that the Revolution was not the inevitable result of American exceptionalism, but a consequence of Atlantic integration. By the 1760s, immigration to the colonies had spiked, and among the new arrivals were people like Thomas Paine who brought radical ideas to the continent. While Sexton does not dispute that the Civil War was caused by slavery, he argues that a necessary precondition for the conflict was the absence, for the first time in decades, of foreign threats. Both North and South were emboldened-with horrific results. In a similar way, it is impossible to understand the emergence of the New Deal without examining the role of "white ethnics"-first and second generation Germans, Poles, and Irish-in transforming and overseeing the mid-century Democratic Party. Sexton closes by pointing out that if recent developments are any indication, the politics of the future appear set to look less like those of the twentieth century than those of the nineteenth century, which was dominated by questions of labor and race, markets and tariffs, immigration and citizenship, international rivalry and geopolitical instability.A razor-sharp and necessary revision of American history, A Nation Forged by Crisis forces us to reckon with the reality that the United States has been and will always be entwined with the world beyond its borders

Constable

Don't Let My Past Be Your Future

Harry Leslie Smith
Authors:
Harry Leslie Smith
Little, Brown

The Indian Empire At War

George Morton-Jack
Authors:
George Morton-Jack

A brilliantly original history of the First World War, re-tracing the footsteps of the Indian Army's 1.5 million men who in 1914-18 served about the globe from Europe to Africa, Asia and the Indian Ocean. After years of neglect, The Indian Empire at War raises the curtain on the Indian soldiers' personal experiences fighting for the Allies against the Central Powers, and returning home to play their part in the Indian Independence movement.

Little, Brown

Game Changers

João Medeiros
Authors:
João Medeiros

At the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, Great Britain ranked thirty-sixth in the medals table, finishing below countries like Algeria, Belgium and Kazakhstan. It was their worst ever record, a dismal performance labelled a national disgrace.But then something happened. In Sydney in 2000 and then Athens in 2004, Team GB achieved a much more respectable tenth place. BY 2008, in Beijing, they finished fourth with forty-seven medals. How had they so convincingly reversed their fortunes?In Game Changers we meet the incredible coaches who rethink how sport is played, how it is performed, how people train and how people coach. In Liverpool in the late 1980s, a motley group - a mathematician, a physiologist, a psychologist and a former Olympic basketball player - began to pioneer ways of tracking performance. Over the decades that followed, performance analysis came of age. Incredible technological leaps have led to devices such as the OptimEye S5, developed by two Australian mechanical engineers to combine fifteen different sensors which monitor every aspect of athletic performance. These advances are now the gold standard in sport: providing the world's best athletes with a competitive edge that has been crucial to some of the most extraordinary victories of all time.João Medeiros's fascinating, insightful account takes us behind the scenes to tell the stories of this sporting revolution and disclose its secrets. We'll find out how the England rugby team used match analysis software and a vision coach to win their first ever World Cup, how a middling football team with no budget and older players found extraordinary success in the best football league in the world using tactics based purely on statistics, how Britain transformed itself from one of the worst to the world's best cycling nation. And we learn too how surgeons, police forces, dancers and business leaders are applying these skills to all aspects of everyone's lives.

Little, Brown Young Readers US

Otis and Will Discover the Deep

Barb Rosenstock, Katherine Roy
Contributors:
Barb Rosenstock, Katherine Roy

The suspenseful, little-known true story of two determined pioneers who made the first dive into the deep ocean.On June 6, 1930, engineer Otis Barton and explorer Will Beebe dove into the ocean inside a hollow metal ball of their own invention called the Bathysphere.They knew dozens of things might go wrong. A tiny leak could shoot pressurized water straight through the men like bullets! A single spark could cause their oxygen tanks to explode! No one had ever dived lower than a few hundred feet...and come back. But Otis and Will were determined to become the first people to see what the deep ocean looks like.This suspenseful story from acclaimed author Barb Rosenstock with mesmerizing watercolors by award-winning artist Katherine Roy will put you right in the middle of the spine-tingling, record-setting journey down, down into the deep.

Orbit

Adrift

Rob Boffard
Authors:
Rob Boffard
Black Dog & Leventhal

Underground Worlds

David Farley
Authors:
David Farley
Robinson

The Physics of Everyday Things

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.

Basic Books

Separate and Unequal

Steven M. Gillon
Authors:
Steven M. Gillon

The definitive history of the Kerner Commission, whose report on urban unrest reshaped American debates about race and inequalityIn Separate and Unequal, historian Steven M. Gillon offers a revelatory new history of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders-popularly known as the Kerner Commission. Convened by President Lyndon Johnson after riots in Newark and Detroit left dozens dead and thousands injured, the commission issued a report in 1968 that attributed the unrest to "white racism" and called for aggressive new programs to end racism and poverty. "Our nation is moving toward two societies," they warned, "one black, and one white-separate and unequal."Johnson refused to accept the Kerner Report, and as his political coalition unraveled, its proposals when nowhere. For the right, the report became a symbol of liberal excess, and for the left, one of opportunities lost. Separate and Unequal is essential for anyone seeking to understand the roots of our vexed racial debates today.

Blackfriars

The Afterlives

Thomas Pierce
Authors:
Thomas Pierce

'Ridiculously good' (New York Times) author Thomas Pierce's debut novel is a brilliantly dazzling and poignant love story that answers the question: What happens after we die? (Lots of stuff, it turns out.) Will we meet again? I believe we will, but as for proof I can only offer my story, nothing more.Jim Byrd died. Technically. For a few minutes. The diagnosis: heart attack at age thirty. Revived with no memory of any tunnels, lights or angels, Jim wonders what - if anything - awaits us on the other side. Then a ghost shows up. Maybe. Jim and his new wife, Annie, find themselves tangling with holograms, psychics, messages from the beyond and a machine that connects the living and the dead. As Jim and Annie journey through history and fumble through faith, they confront the spectre of loss that looms for anyone who dares to fall in love. Funny, fiercely original and gracefully moving, The Afterlives will haunt you. In a good way.Praise for The Afterlives'A bracingly intelligent, beautifully rendered meditation on ghosts, technology, marriage, and the afterlife. This is a remarkable novel' Emily St. John Mandel'Inventive, romantic, and unsettling, The Afterlives is a story of two people who take extraordinary measures to answer the Big Questions: What is the soul? Do we ever really die? Flabbergastingly original and sublimely satisfying' Amity Gaige

Basic Books

Moral Combat

R. Marie Griffith
Authors:
R. Marie Griffith

From an esteemed scholar of American religion and sexuality, a sweeping account of the century of religious conflict that produced our culture warsGay marriage, transgender rights, birth control--sex is at the heart of many of the most divisive political issues of our age. The origins of these conflicts, historian R. Marie Griffith argues, lie in sharp disagreements that emerged among American Christians a century ago. From the 1920s onward, a once-solid Christian consensus regarding gender roles and sexual morality began to crumble, as liberal Protestants sparred with fundamentalists and Catholics over questions of obscenity, sex education, and abortion. Both those who advocated for greater openness in sexual matters and those who resisted new sexual norms turned to politics to pursue their moral visions for the nation. Moral Combat is a history of how the Christian consensus on sex unraveled, and how this unraveling has made our political battles over sex so ferocious and so intractable.

Basic Books

American Aristocrats

Harry S. Stout
Authors:
Harry S. Stout
Da Capo Press

The Strategy of Victory

Thomas Fleming
Authors:
Thomas Fleming

Led by the Continental Congress, the Americans almost lost their war for independence because their military thinking was badly muddled. The embryo nation narrowly escaped from the disastrous results of these misconceptions thanks to the levelheaded intelligence of one man: General George Washington.Following the flush of small victories in 1775, patriot leaders were convinced that the key to victory was the homegrown militia--local men defending their families and homes. Washington knew that having and maintaining an army of regular professional soldiers was the only way to win independence. He fought bitterly with the leaders in Congress over the creation of a regular army. In the end, he and his army prevailed.In Strategy of Victory, prolific historian Thomas Fleming examines the battles that created American independence, revealing how the strategy of a professional army, backed by a corps of citizen soldiers determined to fight for their freedom, worked on the battlefield, securing victory, independence and a lasting peace for the young nation.

Robinson

Superstition and Science

Derek Wilson
Authors:
Derek Wilson
Grand Central Publishing

Grand Central

Sam Roberts
Authors:
Sam Roberts
Basic Books

Homeward Bound

Elaine Tyler May
Authors:
Elaine Tyler May