Related to: 'Eve and the New Jerusalem'

Robinson

Heavens on Earth

Michael Shermer
Authors:
Michael Shermer

A scientific exploration into humanity's obsession with the afterlife and the quest for immortality from the bestselling author and sceptic Michael ShermerIn his most ambitious work yet, Shermer sets out to discover what drives humans' belief in life after death. For millennia, the awareness of our own mortality and failings has led to religions concocting comforting notions of an afterlife, of heaven and hell, utopias and dystopias, and of the perfectibility of human nature.Heavens on Earth explores the numerous manifestations of the afterlife - a place where souls might go after the death of the physical body. Religious leaders have toiled to make sense of this place that a surprisingly high percentage of people believe exists, but from which no one has ever returned to report what it is really like.This is one of the most profound questions of the human condition and has long driven philosophers and theologians to try to understand the meaning and purpose of life for mortal beings, and how we can transcend mortality. Shermer details recent scientific attempts to achieve immortality by radical life extentionists, extropians, transhumanists, cryonicists and mind-uploaders, along with utopians who have attempted to create heaven on earth. Heavens on Earth concludes with an uplifting paean to purpose and progress and what we can do in the here-and-now, whether or not there is a hereafter.

Virago

Fifty Shades of Feminism

Lisa Appignanesi, Susie Orbach, Rachel Holmes
Authors:
Lisa Appignanesi, Susie Orbach, Rachel Holmes
Basic Books

The Good Book of Human Nature

Carel van Schaik, Kai Michel
Authors:
Carel van Schaik, Kai Michel

The Bible is the bestselling book of all time. It has been venerated -or excoriated,as God's word, but so far no one has read the Bible for what it is: humanity's diary, chronicling our ancestors' valiant attempts to cope with the trials and tribulations of life on Earth.In The Good Book of Human Nature , evolutionary anthropologist Carel van Schaik and historian Kai Michel advance a new view of Homo sapiens' cultural evolution. The Bible, they argue, was written to make sense of the single greatest change in history: the transition from egalitarian hunter-gatherer to agricultural societies. Religion arose as a strategy to cope with the unprecedented levels of epidemic disease, violence, inequality, and injustice that confronted us when we abandoned the bush,and which still confront us today.Armed with the latest findings from cognitive science, evolutionary biology, archeology, and religious history, van Schaik and Michel take us on a journey through the Book of Books, from the Garden of Eden all the way to Golgotha. The Book of Genesis, they reveal, marked the emergence of private property,one can no longer take the fruit off any tree, as one could before agriculture. The Torah as a whole is the product of a surprisingly logical, even scientific, approach to society's problems. This ground-breaking perspective allows van Schaik and Michel to coax unexpected secrets from the familiar stories of Adam and Eve, Cain and Able, Abraham and Moses, Jesus of Nazareth and Mary. The Bible may have a dark side, but in van Schaik and Michel's hands, it proves to be a hallmark of human indefatigability.Provocative and deeply original, The Good Book of Human Nature offers a radically new understanding of the Bible. It shows that the Bible is more than just a pillar for religious belief: it is a pioneering attempt at scientific inquiry.

PublicAffairs

The Hacked World Order

Adam Segal
Authors:
Adam Segal
Virago

I Call Myself A Feminist

Victoria Pepe
Authors:
Victoria Pepe

Is feminism still a dirty word? We asked twenty-five of the brightest, funniest, bravest young women what being a feminist in 2015 means to them.We hear from Laura Bates (of the Everyday Sexism Project), Reni Eddo-Lodge (award-winning journalist and author), Yas Necati (an eighteen-year-old activist), Laura Pankhurst, great-great granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and an activist in her own right, comedian Sofie Hagen, engineer Naomi Mitchison and Louise O'Neill, author of the award-winning feminist Young Adult novel Only Ever Yours. Writing about a huge variety of subjects, we have Martha Mosse on how she became a feminist, Alice Stride on sexism in language, Amy Annette addressing the body politic and Samira Shackle on having her eyes opened in a hostel for survivors of acid attacks in Islamabad, while Maysa Haque thinks about the way Islam has informed her feminism and Isabel Adomakoh Young insists that women don't have to be perfect. There are twelve other performers, politicians and writers who include Jade Anouka, Emily Benn, Abigail Matson-Phippard, Hajar Wright and Jinan Younis.Is the word feminist still to be shunned? Is feminism still thought of as anti-men rather than pro-human? Is this generation of feminists - outspoken, funny and focused - the best we've had for long while? Has the internet given them a voice and power previously unknown?Rachel Holmes' most recent book is Eleanor Marx: A Life; Victoria Pepe is a literary scout; Amy Annette is a comedy producer currently working on festivals including Latitude; Alice Stride works for Women's Aid and Martha Mosse is a freelance producer and artist.

Twelve

The Scarlet Sisters

Myra MacPherson
Authors:
Myra MacPherson
Basic Books

Einstein's Dice and Schrödinger's Cat

Paul Halpern
Authors:
Paul Halpern

When the fuzzy indeterminacy of quantum mechanics overthrew the orderly world of Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Erwin Schrödinger were at the forefront of the revolution. Neither man was ever satisfied with the standard interpretation of quantum mechanics, however, and both rebelled against what they considered the most preposterous aspect of quantum mechanics: its randomness. Einstein famously quipped that God does not play dice with the universe, and Schrödinger constructed his famous fable of a cat that was neither alive nor dead not to explain quantum mechanics but to highlight the apparent absurdity of a theory gone wrong. But these two giants did more than just criticize: they fought back, seeking a Theory of Everything that would make the universe seem sensible again.In Einstein's Dice and Schrödinger's Cat , physicist Paul Halpern tells the little-known story of how Einstein and Schrödinger searched, first as collabourators and then as competitors, for a theory that transcended quantum weirdness. This story of their quest,which ultimately failed,provides readers with new insights into the history of physics and the lives and work of two scientists whose obsessions drove its progress.Today, much of modern physics remains focused on the search for a Theory of Everything. As Halpern explains, the recent discovery of the Higgs Boson makes the Standard Model,the closest thing we have to a unified theory, nearly complete. And while Einstein and Schrödinger failed in their attempt to explain everything in the cosmos through pure geometry, the development of string theory has, in its own quantum way, brought this idea back into vogue. As in so many things, even when they were wrong, Einstein and Schrödinger couldn't help but get a great deal right.

Virago

Woman

Natalie Angier
Authors:
Natalie Angier
Virago

Vagina

Naomi Wolf
Authors:
Naomi Wolf

An astonishing new work that radically changes how we think about, talk about and understand the vagina - and consequently how we think about women and sexuality - from Naomi Wolf, one of our most respected cultural critics and author of the modern classic, The Beauty Myth.As Naomi Wolf embarks on a life-changing journey to tease out the link between sexuality and creativity, what she discovers is revelatory and exhilarating - a scientifically supported link between the vagina and female courage, assertiveness and consciousness itself. Emboldened by these new discoveries she looks back in history and show us how the vagina was considered sacred for centuries until it began to be cast as a threat. Even now in an increasingly sexualised world, it is thought of as slightly shameful. Why?Vagina: A New Biography combines cutting-edge science with cultural history to explore the role of female desire and how it affects female identity, creativity and confidence. Provocative and engaging, positive and inspiring, this book brings to light female impulses, history and dreams - and, in exploring what women really need - it goes to the very core of what it means to be female.For any woman who wants to understand her body and her mind and the culture that defines her - Vagina is essential reading.

Nation Books

The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century

Peter Dreier
Authors:
Peter Dreier

A hundred years ago, any soapbox orator who called for women's suffrage, laws protecting the environment, an end to lynching, or a federal minimum wage was considered a utopian dreamer or a dangerous socialist. Now we take these ideas for granted, because the radical ideas of one generation are often the common sense of the next. We all stand on the shoulders of earlier generations of radicals and reformers who challenged the status quo of their day. Unfortunately, most Americans know little of this progressive history. It isn't taught in most high schools. You can't find it on the major television networks. In popular media, the most persistent interpreter of America's radical past is Glenn Beck, who teaches viewers a wildly inaccurate history of unions, civil rights, and the American Left. The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century , a colourful and witty history of the most influential progressive leaders of the twentieth century and beyond, is the perfect antidote.

Virago

Living Dolls

Natasha Walter
Authors:
Natasha Walter

I once believed that we only had to put in place the conditions for equality for the remnants of old-fashioned sexism in our culture to wither away. I am ready to admit that I was wrong.'Empowerment, liberation, choice. Once the watchwords of feminism, these terms have now been co-opted by a society that sells women an airbrushed, highly sexualised and increasingly narrow vision of femininity. Drawing on a wealth of research and personal interviews, LIVING DOLLS is a straight-talking, passionate and important book that makes us look afresh at women and girls, at sexism and femininity - today.

Virago

The Sadeian Woman

Angela Carter
Authors:
Angela Carter
Basic Books

Philosophy In The Flesh

George Lakoff
Authors:
George Lakoff

What are human beings like? How is knowledge possible? What is truth? Where do moral values come from? Questions like these have stood at the centre of Western philosophy for centuries. In addressing them, philosophers have made certain fundamental assumptions,that we can know our own minds by introspection, that most of our thinking about the world is literal, and that reason is disembodied and universal,that are now called into question by well-established results of cognitive science. It has been shown empirically that:Most thought is unconscious. We have no direct conscious access to the mechanisms of thought and language. Our ideas go by too quickly and at too deep a level for us to observe them in any simple way.Abstract concepts are mostly metaphorical. Much of the subject matter of philosopy, such as the nature of time, morality, causation, the mind, and the self, relies heavily on basic metaphors derived from bodily experience. What is literal in our reasoning about such concepts is minimal and conceptually impoverished. All the richness comes from metaphor. For instance, we have two mutually incompatible metaphors for time, both of which represent it as movement through space: in one it is a flow past us and in the other a spatial dimension we move along.Mind is embodied. Thought requires a body,not in the trivial sense that you need a physical brain to think with, but in the profound sense that the very structure of our thoughts comes from the nature of the body. Nearly all of our unconscious metaphors are based on common bodily experiences.Most of the central themes of the Western philosophical tradition are called into question by these findings. The Cartesian person, with a mind wholly separate from the body, does not exist. The Kantian person, capable of moral action according to the dictates of a universal reason, does not exist. The phenomenological person, capable of knowing his or her mind entirely through introspection alone, does not exist. The utilitarian person, the Chomskian person, the poststructuralist person, the computational person, and the person defined by analytic philosopy all do not exist.Then what does?Lakoff and Johnson show that a philosopy responsible to the science of mind offers radically new and detailed understandings of what a person is. After first describing the philosophical stance that must follow from taking cognitive science seriously, they re-examine the basic concepts of the mind, time, causation, morality, and the self: then they rethink a host of philosophical traditions, from the classical Greeks through Kantian morality through modern analytic philosopy. They reveal the metaphorical structure underlying each mode of thought and show how the metaphysics of each theory flows from its metaphors. Finally, they take on two major issues of twentieth-century philosopy: how we conceive rationality, and how we conceive language. Philosopy in the Flesh reveals a radically new understanding of what it means to be human and calls for a thorough rethinking of the Western philosophical tradition. This is philosopy as it has never been seen before.

Virago

The New Feminism

Natasha Walter
Authors:
Natasha Walter
Westview Press

The Myth Of The Male Breadwinner

Helen I Safa
Authors:
Helen I Safa

Today there is a growing debate about the effects of paid employment on women. Some observers argue that paid employment is the key to gender equality because it raises women's class consciousness and reduces their isolation within the home and their dependence on a male's wages. Others suggest that paid employment merely increases women's burden and reinforces their subordination, locking them into poorly paid, dead-end jobs.This book examines the debate through studies of women industrial workers in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba. The percentage of women in the labour force has grown rapidly in all three countries since 1970, but each country represents a radically different model of development. Puerto Rico's Operation Bootstrap was a forerunner of other industrialization by invitation" strategies in the region, and the Dominican Republic represents a classic case of recently initiated, rapidly growing export manufacturing under the Caribbean Basin Initiative. Socialist Cuba continued to rely on sugar exports as a source of foreign exchange and on import substitution industrialization for the domestic economy. However, Cuba has made special efforts to incorporate women into the labour force and has made women's equality a key goal of its revolutionary strategy.The book focuses on three areas of these women's lives: wages and working conditions the family, life cycle, and household composition and political consciousness and participation in unions, political parties, and other mass organizations. Women are now making a critical contribution to the household economy, attributable in part to the growth of labour-intensive industrialization in the region. The increase in women's wage-earning capacity is reflected in authority patterns and in women's greater control over the household budget. However, women continue to be confined to poorly paid jobs and to be marginalized by political parties and labour unions, which persist in regarding them as supplementary wage earners. Women workers have been more effective in challenging their subordination in the home than they have been in the workplace and in relationship to political parties or the state. This finding challenges feminist theories that locate the sources of women's inequality solely in the family and suggests that such theories need to be augmented by studies of subordination at the level of the workplace and of state policy.

Virago

Sexual Anarchy

Elaine Showalter
Authors:
Elaine Showalter
Virago

The Female Malady

Elaine Showalter
Authors:
Elaine Showalter

In this informative, timely and often harrowing study, Elaine Showalter demonstrates how cultural ideas about 'proper' feminine behaviour have shaped the definition and treatment of female insanity for 150 years, and given mental disorder in women specifically sexual connotations. Along with vivid portraits of the men who dominated psychiatry, and descriptions of the therapeutic practices that were used to bring women 'to their senses', she draws on diaries and narratives by inmates, and fiction from Mary Wollstonecraft to Doris Lessing, to supply a cultural perspective usually missing from studies of mental illness.Highly original and beautifully written, The Female Malady is a vital counter-interpretation of madness in women, showing how it is a consequence of, rather than a deviation from, the traditional female role.

Lisa Appignanesi

Lisa Appignanesi was born in Poland and grew up in France and Canada. A novelist and writer, she is visiting professor of Literature and the Medical Humanities at King's College London. She was chair of the Freud Museum from 2008-2014 and is a former president of English PEN. She was awarded an OBE for services to Literature in 2013. Her published work includes Mad, Bad and Sad, All About Love and Losing the Dead. @LisaAppignanesi

Myra MacPherson

Myra MacPherson is the award-winning and bestselling author of four previous books, including The Power Lovers, the Vietnam War classic Long Time Passing, and All Governments Lie. She was an acclaimed journalist at the Washington Post, and has also written for the New York Times, numerous magazines, and websites. She lives in Washington, D.C.

by Valerie Martin

Property - Introduction

Valerie Martin introduces her book' 'Porperty': the book that dared to tell a different story.