The Anxiety Epidemic
By Graham Davey
Are we living in an age of unprecedented anxiety, or has this always been a problem throughout history?We only need look around us to see anxieties: in the family home, the workplace, on social media, and especially in the news. It's true that everyone feels anxious at some time in their lives, but we're told we're all feeling more anxious than we've ever been before - and for longer than we've ever done before. It's even reported that anxiety is a modern epidemic significant enough to challenge the dominance of depression as the most common mental health problem.Much of this increase has been attributed to changes in lifestyles that have led to more stress and pressure being placed on people: from childhood, to adolescence, to adulthood. But that's a big claim. Going back over the generations, how anxious were people in 1968 or 1818? Are people just anxious all the time - regardless of what they do or when they lived? Is anxiety an inevitable consequence of simply being alive?Graham Davey addresses many important questions about the role of anxiety. What is it good for? What are the unique modern-day causes of our anxieties and stresses? What turns normal everyday anxiety into the disabling disorders that many of us experience - distressing and debilitating conditions such as phobias, social anxiety, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, pathological worrying and post-traumatic stress disorder? To truly conquer anxiety, we need to understand why it has established its prominent place in our modern world.
By Graham Easton
HIGHLY COMMENDED for the British Medical Awards book prize for Primary Health CareDespite the modern trend towards empowering patients and giving them more choice, the nuts and bolts of medical practice largely remain a mystery - a closed box. In fact, the more health information is available on the internet, the more patients can feel swamped and confused. The Appointment offers an intimate and honest account of how a typical GP tries to make sense of a patient's health problems and manage them within the constraints of their health system and the short ten minute appointment. We have always been fascinated by our own health but in recent years, especially for older people, seeing the GP has become a regular activity. In the past decade the average number of times a patient visits his or her GP has almost doubled. Despite this increasing demand, getting to see a GP is not always easy so those intimate ten minutes with the doctor are extremely precious, and there's more than ever to cram in. Taking the reader through a typical morning surgery, The Appointment shines a light onto what is really going on in those central ten minutes and lets the reader, for the first time, get inside the mind of the person sitting in front of them - the professional they rely on to look after their health. Experienced GP Dr Graham Easton shows how GPs really think, lays bare their professional strengths and weaknesses, and exposes what really influences their decisions about their patients' health.
The Amorous Heart
By Marilyn Yalom
The symmetrical, exuberant heart is everywhere: it gives shape to candy, pendants, the frothy milk on top of a cappuccino, and much else. How can we explain the ubiquity of what might be the most recognizable symbol in the world?In The Amorous Heart, Marilyn Yalom tracks the heart metaphor and heart iconography across two thousand years, through Christian theology, pagan love poetry, medieval painting, Shakespearean drama, Enlightenment science, and into the present. She argues that the symbol reveals a tension between love as romantic and sexual on the one hand, and as religious and spiritual on the other. Ultimately, the heart symbol is a guide to the astonishing variety of human affections, from the erotic to the chaste and from the unrequited to the conjugal.
All the Kremlin's Men
By Mikhail Zygar
All the Kremlin's Men is a gripping narrative of an accidental king and a court out of control. Based on an unprecedented series of interviews with Vladimir Putin's inner circle, this book presents a radically different view of power and politics in Russia. The image of Putin as a strongman is dissolved. In its place is a weary figurehead buffeted--if not controlled--by the men who at once advise and deceive him.The regional governors and bureaucratic leaders are immovable objects, far more powerful in their fiefdoms than the president himself. So are the gatekeepers-those officials who guard the pathways to power-on whom Putin depends as much as they rely on him. The tenuous edifice is filled with all of the intrigue and plotting of a Medici court, as enemies of the state are invented and wars begun to justify personal gains, internal rivalries, or one faction's biased advantage.A bestseller in Russia, All the Kremlin's Men is a shocking revisionist portrait of the Putin era and a dazzling reconstruction of the machinations of courtiers running riot.
Al Franken, Giant of the Senate
By Al Franken
AL FRANKEN, GIANT OF THE SENATE is a book about an unlikely campaign that had an even more improbable ending: the closest outcome in history and an unprecedented eight-month recount saga, which is pretty funny in retrospect. It's a book about what happens when the nation's foremost progressive satirist gets a chance to serve in the United States Senate and, defying the low expectations of the pundit class, actually turns out to be good at it. It's a book about our deeply polarized, frequently depressing, occasionally inspiring political culture, written from inside the belly of the beast. In this candid personal memoir, the honorable gentleman from Minnesota takes his army of loyal fans along with him from Saturday Night Live to the campaign trail, inside the halls of Congress, and behind the scenes of some of the most dramatic and/or hilarious moments of his new career in politics.
The Aliens Are Coming!
By Ben Miller
Discover the fascinating and cutting-edge science behind the greatest question of all: is there life beyond Earth? For millennia, we have looked up at the stars and wondered whether we are alone in the universe. In the last few years, scientists have made huge strides towards answering that question. In The Aliens are Coming!, comedian and bestselling science writer Ben Miller takes us on a fantastic voyage of discovery, from the beginnings of life on earth to the very latest search for alien intelligence. What soon becomes clear is that the hunt for extra-terrestrials is also an exploration of what we actually mean by life. What do you need to kickstart life? How did the teeming energy of the Big Bang end up as frogs, trees and quantity surveyors? How can evolution provide clues about alien life? What might it look like? (Probably not green and sexy, sadly.) As our probes and manned missions venture out into the solar system, and our telescopes image Earth-like planets with ever-increasing accuracy, our search for alien life has never been more exciting - or better funded. The Aliens are Coming! is a comprehensive, accessible and hugely entertaining guide to that search, and our quest to understand the very nature of life itself.
Are Numbers Real?
By Brian Clegg
Have you ever wondered what humans did before numbers existed? How they organized their lives, traded goods, or kept track of their treasures? What would your life be like without them? Numbers began as simple representations of everyday things, but mathematics rapidly took on a life of its own, occupying a parallel virtual world. In Are Numbers Real? Brian Clegg explores the way that maths has become more and more detached from reality, yet despite this is driving the development of modern physics. From devising a new counting system based on goats, through the weird and wonderful mathematics of imaginary numbers and infinity to the debate over whether mathematics has too much influence on the direction of science, this fascinating and accessible book opens the reader's eyes to the hidden reality of the strange yet familiar world of numbers.
By Roger Maynard
'a compelling account of one of World War II's most brutal prisoner of war camps'DAILY TELEGRAPHIn February 1942 the Indonesian island of Ambon fell to the might of the advancing Japanese war machine. Among the captured Allied forces was a unit of 1150 Australian soldiers known as Gull Force, who had been sent to defend the island - a strategy doomed from the very beginning. Several hundred Australians were massacred in cold blood soon after the Japanese invasion. But that was only the start of a catalogue of horrors for the men who survived: incarcerated, beaten and often tortured by their captors, the brutality they endured lasted for the next three and a half years. And in this hellhole of despair and evil, officers and men turned against each other as discipline and morale broke down. Yet the epic struggle also produced heroic acts of kindness and bravery. Just over 300 of these gallant men lived to tell of those grim days behind the barbed wire. In AMBON, survivors speak of not just the horrors, but of the courage, endurance and mateship that helped them survive. The story of AMBON is one of depravity and of memories long buried - but also the triumph of the human spirit. Now part of the HACHETTE MILITARY COLLECTION.
By David Brat
U.S. Congressman David Brat's odds-defying win against Eric Cantor--a triumph of a modest $200,000 campaign fund against a $5 million war chest--immediately brought David Brat, heretofore a liberal arts college economics professor, into the political limelight. Now in his first book, AMERICAN UNDERDOG, Brat examines how we brought down the status quo by tapping into moral and economic lessons as old as our civilization and discusses how Washington can learn from history instead of ignoring it. A fighter for children, he illuminates how our current fiscal policies are selling their future, and outlines new ways to move forward with a conservative agenda that provides fairer treatment for all.
And the Weak Suffer What They Must?
By Yanis Varoufakis
A #1 Sunday Times bestseller [UK] A titanic battle is being waged for Europe's integrity and soul, with the forces of reason and humanism losing out to growing irrationality, authoritarianism, and malice, promoting inequality and austerity. The whole world has a stake in a victory for rationality, liberty, democracy, and humanism. In January 2015, Yanis Varoufakis, an economics professor teaching in Austin, Texas, was elected to the Greek parliament with more votes than any other member of parliament. He was appointed finance minister and, in the whirlwind five months that followed, everything he had warned about,the perils of the euro's faulty design, the European Union's shortsighted austerity policies, financialized crony capitalism, American complicity and rising authoritarianism,was confirmed as the troika" (the European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund, and European Commission) stonewalled his efforts to resolve Greece's economic crisis. Here, Varoufakis delivers a fresh look at the history of Europe's crisis and America's central role in it. He presents the ultimate case against austerity, proposing concrete policies for Europe that are necessary to address its crisis and avert contagion to America, China, and the rest of the world. With passionate, informative, and at times humorous prose, he warns that the implosion of an admittedly crisis-ridden and deeply irrational European monetary union should, and can, be avoided at all cost.
The Accidental Superpower
By Peter Zeihan
In the bestselling tradition of The World Is Flat and The Next 100 Years comes a contrarian and eye-opening assessment of American power.In THE ACCIDENTAL SUPERPOWER, international strategist Peter Zeihan examines how the hard rules of geography are eroding the American commitment to free trade; how much of the planet is aging into a mass retirement that will enervate capital supplies; and how it is the ever-ravenous American economy that is rapidly approaching energy independence. Combined, these factors are overturning the global system and ushering in a new (dis)order. For most, that is a disaster-in-waiting, but not for the Americans. The shale revolution allows Americans to sidestep a dangerous energy market. Only the U.S. boasts a youth population large enough to escape the sucking maw of global aging. Geography will matter more than ever in a de-globalizing world, and America's geography is simply sublime.
By W. David Marx
Look closely at any typically "American" article of clothing these days, and you may be surprised to see a Japanese label inside. From high-end denim to oxford button-downs, Japanese designers have taken the classic American look-known as ametora , or "American traditional"-and turned it into a huge business for companies like Uniqlo, Kamakura Shirts, Evisu, and Kapital. This phenomenon is part of a long dialogue between Japanese and American fashion in fact, many of the basic items and traditions of the modern American wardrobe are alive and well today thanks to the stewardship of Japanese consumers and fashion cognoscenti, who ritualized and preserved these American styles during periods when they were out of vogue in their native land.In Ametora , cultural historian W. David Marx traces the Japanese assimilation of American fashion over the past hundred and fifty years, showing how Japanese trendsetters and entrepreneurs mimicked, adapted, imported, and ultimately perfected American style, dramatically reshaping not only Japan's culture but also our own in the process.
An End To Murder
By Colin Wilson, Damon Wilson
Creatively and intellectually there is no other species that has ever come close to equalling humanity's achievements, but nor is any other species as suicidally prone to internecine conflict. We are the only species on the planet whose ingrained habit of conflict constitutes the chief threat to our own survival. Human history can be seen as a catalogue of cold-hearted murders, mindless blood-feuds, appalling massacres and devastating wars, but, with developments in forensic science and modern psychology, and with raised education levels throughout the world, might it soon be possible to reign in humanity's homicidal habits? Falling violent crime statistics in every part of the world seem to indicate that something along those lines might indeed be happening. Colin and Damon Wilson, who between them have been covering the field of criminology for over fifty years, offer an analysis of the overall spectrum of human violence. They consider whether human beings are in reality as cruel and violent as is generally believed and they explore the possibility that humankind is on the verge of a fundamental change: that we are about to become truly civilised. As well as offering an overview of violence throughout our history - from the first hominids to the twenty-first century, touching on key moments of change and also indicating where things have not changed since the Stone Age - they explore the latest psychological, forensic and social attempts to understand and curb modern human violence. To begin with, they examine questions such as: Were the first humans cannibalistic? Did the birth of civilisation also lead to the invention of war and slavery? Priests and kings brought social stability, but were they also the instigators of the first mass murders? Is it in fact wealth that is the ultimate weapon? They look at slavery and ancient Roman sadism, but also the possibility that our own distaste for pain and cruelty is no more than a social construct. They show how the humanitarian ideas of the great religious innovators all too quickly became distorted by organised religious structures. The book ranges widely, from fifteenth-century Baron Gilles de Rais, 'Bluebeard', the first known and possibly most prolific serial killer in history, to Victorian domestic murder and the invention of psychiatry and Sherlock Holmes and the invention of forensic science; from the fifteenth-century Taiping Rebellion in China, in which up to 36 million died to the First and Second World Wars and more recent genocides and instances of 'ethnic cleansing', and contemporary terrorism. They conclude by assessing the very real possibility that the internet and the greater freedom of information it has brought is leading, gradually, to a profoundly more civilised world than at any time in the past.
American Museum Of Natural History Card Deck
By David Sobel
Created in partnership with the world-renowned American Museum of Natural History, this beautiful, informative card deck captures, in pictures and words, 100 of the museum's most important artifacts, specimens, and exhibits-from a fossilized dinosaur's nest to the largest blue star sapphire in the world (563 carats!). The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) is one of the world's preeminent natural history museums and research institutions. Its collections contain more than 32 million specimens of plants, humans, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks, meteorites, and cultural artifacts. Now, for the first time, this acclaimed collection is represented in a stunning and informative card deck featuring 100 treasures, hand-selected by the museum's curators, that encompass the most fascinating, iconic, and wide-ranging of the museum's artifacts. The card deck covers each of the museum's major areas of exhibition, including Birds, Reptiles, and Amphibians; Earth and Planetary Science; Fossils; Human Origins and Culture; Mammals; Biodiversity and the Environmental; and the Hayden Planetarium. Some of the 100 objects include the Cape York Meteorite, discovered in Greenland in 1894; the Haida Canoe, built in 1878 by the Indians of the Pacific Northwest and carved from the trunk of a large cedar tree; the Blue Whale, a fiberglass replica of a 94-foot whale caught in 1925 off South George Island and the Warren Mastodon skeleton, the first complete mastodon skeleton discovered in the United States. Each card presents a full-frame photograph of the object on the front and a 200-word description on the back that tells of the origin and age of the object and its scientific and historic significance.
All the Presidents' Bankers
By Nomi Prins
Who rules America? All the Presidents' Bankers is a ground-breaking narrative of how an elite group of men transformed the American economy and government, dictated foreign and domestic policy, and shaped world history.Culled from original presidential archival documents, All the Presidents' Bankers delivers an explosive account of the hundred-year interdependence between the White House and Wall Street that transcends a simple analysis of money driving politics,or greed driving bankers.Prins ushers us into the intimate world of exclusive clubs, vacation spots, and Ivy League universities that binds presidents and financiers. She unravels the multi-generational blood, intermarriage, and protégé relationships that have confined national influence to a privileged cluster of people. These families and individuals recycle their power through elected office and private channels in Washington, DC. All the Presidents' Bankers sheds new light on pivotal historic events,such as why, after the Panic of 1907, America's dominant bankers convened to fashion the Federal Reserve System how J. P. Morgan's ambitions motivated President Wilson during World War I how Chase and National City Bank chairmen worked secretly with President Roosevelt to rescue capitalism during the Great Depression while J.P. Morgan Jr. invited Roosevelt's son yachting and how American financiers collaborated with President Truman to construct the World Bank and IMF after World War II.Prins divulges how, through the Cold War and Vietnam era, presidents and bankers pushed America's superpower status and expansion abroad, while promoting broadly democratic values and social welfare at home. But from the 1970s, Wall Street's rush to secure Middle East oil profits altered the nature of political-financial alliances. Bankers' profit motive trumped heritage and allegiance to public service, while presidents lost control over the economy,as was dramatically evident in the financial crisis of 2008.This unprecedented history of American power illuminates how the same financiers retained their authoritative position through history, swaying presidents regardless of party affiliation. All the Presidents' Bankers explores the alarming global repercussions of a system lacking barriers between public office and private power. Prins leaves us with an ominous choice: either we break the alliances of the power elite, or they will break us.
The American Health Care Paradox
By Elizabeth H. Bradley, Harvey V. Fineberg, Lauren A. Taylor
Foreword by Harvey V. Fineberg, President of the Institute of MedicineFor decades, experts have puzzled over why the US spends more on health care but suffers poorer outcomes than other industrialized nations. Now Elizabeth H. Bradley and Lauren A. Taylor marshal extensive research, including a comparative study of health care data from thirty countries, and get to the root of this paradox: We've left out of our tally the most impactful expenditures countries make to improve the health of their populations,investments in social services. In The American Health Care Paradox , Bradley and Taylor illuminate how narrow definitions of health care," archaic divisions in the distribution of health and social services, and our allergy to government programs combine to create needless suffering in individual lives, even as health care spending continues to soar. They show us how and why the US health care system" developed as it did examine the constraints on, and possibilities for, reform and profile inspiring new initiatives from around the world. Offering a unique and clarifying perspective on the problems the Affordable Care Act won't solve, this book also points a new way forward.
The Accidental Universe
By Alan Lightman
In The Accidental Universe, physicist and novelist Alan Lightman explores the emotional and philosophical questions raised by discoveries in science, focusing most intently on the human condition and the needs of humankind.Here, in a collection of exhilarating essays, Lightman shows us our own universe from a series of fascinating and diverse perspectives. He takes on the difficult dialogue between science and religion; the conflict between our human desire for permanence and the impermanence of nature; the possibility that our universe is simply an accident; the manner in which modern technology has divorced us from enjoying a direct experience of the world; and our resistance to the view that our bodies and minds can be explained by scientific logic and laws alone.With his customary passion, precision, lyricism and imagination, in The Accidental Universe Alan Lightman leaves us with the suggestion - heady and humbling - that what we see and understand of the world and ourselves is only a tiny piece of the extraordinary, perhaps unfathomable whole.Praise for Alan Lightman:'...a gem of a novel that is strange witty erudite and alive with Lightman's playful genius.' Junot Diaz.'It would not seem possible for Alan Lightman to match his earlier tour de force, Einstein's Dreams, but in Mr g he has done so - with wit, imagination, and transcendent beauty.' Anita Desai.
America's Fiscal Constitution
By Bill White
What would Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Lincoln, the Roosevelts, Truman, and Eisenhower have done about today's federal debt crisis?America's Fiscal Constitution tells the remarkable story of fiscal heroes who imposed clear limits on the use of federal debt, limits that for two centuries were part of an unwritten constitution. Those national leaders borrowed only for extraordinary purposes and relied on well-defined budget practices to balance federal spending and revenues. That traditional fiscal constitution collapsed in 2001. Afterward,for the first time in history,federal elected officials cut taxes during war, funded permanent new programs entirely with debt, grew dependent on foreign creditors, and claimed that the economy could not thrive without routine federal borrowing.For most of the nation's history, conservatives fought to restrain the growth of government by insisting that new programs be paid for with taxation, while progressives sought to preserve opportunities for people on the way up by balancing budgets. Virtually all mainstream politicians recognized that excessive debt could jeopardize private investment and national independence.With original scholarship and the benefit of experience in finance and public service, Bill White dispels common budget myths and distills practical lessons from the nation's five previous spikes in debt. America's Fiscal Constitution offers an objective and hopeful guide for people trying to make sense of the nation's current, most severe, debt crisis and its impact on their lives and our future.
By William M. Arkin
When we think of a military coup, the first image that comes to mind is a general, standing at a podium with a flag behind him, declaring the deposing of elected leaders and the institution of martial law.Think again.In AMERICAN COUP, William Arkin reveals the desk-bound takeover of the highest reaches of government by a coterie of 'grey men' of the national security establishment. Operating between the lines of the Constitution this powerful and unelected group fights to save the nation from 'terror' and weapons of mass destruction while at the same time modifying and undermining the very essence of the country. Many books are written about secrecy, surveillance and government law-breaking; none so powerfully expose the truth of everyday life in this state of war.
Answers for Aristotle
By Massimo Pigliucci
How should we live? According to philosopher and biologist Massimo Pigliucci, the greatest guidance to this essential question lies in combining the wisdom of 24 centuries of philosophy with the latest research from 21st century science. In Answers for Aristotle , Pigliucci argues that the combination of science and philosophy first pioneered by Aristotle offers us the best possible tool for understanding the world and ourselves. As Aristotle knew, each mode of thought has the power to clarify the other: science provides facts, and philosophy helps us reflect on the values with which to assess them. But over the centuries, the two have become uncoupled, leaving us with questions,about morality, love, friendship, justice, and politics,that neither field could fully answer on its own. Pigliucci argues that only by rejoining each other can modern science and philosophy reach their full potential, while we harness them to help us reach ours. Pigliucci discusses such essential issues as how to tell right from wrong, the nature of love and friendship, and whether we can really ever know ourselves,all in service of helping us find our path to the best possible life. Combining the two most powerful intellectual traditions in history, Answers for Aristotle is a remarkable guide to discovering what really matters and why.