New Non-Fiction

 

 A companion volume to Backyard Homesteading, 40 Projects for Building Your Backyard Homestead provides details on how to build more than 40 projects to enhance readers' sustainable living. Even if they are only moderately handy, they’ll discover the tools and techniques for building their own feeders, fences, and structures. In the process, they’ll save money and have the satisfaction of doing it themselves.

 

 

 

 

Put your backyard to work! Enjoy fresher, organic, better-tasting food all the time. The solution is as close as your own backyard. Grow the vegetables and fruits your family loves; keep bees; raise chickens, goats, or even a cow. The Backyard Homestead shows you how it's done. And when the harvest is in, you'll learn how to cook, preserve, cure, brew, or pickle the fruits of your labor.

From a quarter of an acre, you can harvest 1,400 eggs, 50 pounds of wheat, 60 pounds of fruit, 2,000 pounds of vegetables, 280 pounds of pork, 75 pounds of nuts.

 

 

 

 

With this provocative and concise book, journalist Peter Laufer launches a Slow News movement, inviting us to question the value of the perpetual empty-calorie news that accompanies our daily lives.

Slow News: A Manifesto for the Critical News Consumer examines the nature of news in the context of the increasingly frenetic pace of modern life in the twenty-first century. Taking a cue from the slow food movement, Laufer suggests that we step back from the constant barrage of instant news to consider news thoughtfully and thoroughly. He argues that it is valuable for both the journalist in the field and the news consumer at home to take the time to ruminate on most news events.
Inspired by Michael Pollan’s Food Rules, Laufer offers twenty-eight rules—including “Trust accuracy over time,” “Know your sources,” and “Don’t become a news junkie”—to guide us in a gradual quest for slower news.

 

 

In One Summer Bill Bryson, one of our greatest and most beloved nonfiction writers, transports readers on a journey back to one amazing season in American life.

The summer of 1927 began with one of the signature events of the twentieth century: on May 21, 1927, Charles Lindbergh became the first man to cross the Atlantic by plane nonstop, and when he landed in Le Bourget airfield near Paris, he ignited an explosion of worldwide rapture and instantly became the most famous person on the planet. Meanwhile, the titanically talented Babe Ruth was beginning his assault on the home run record, which would culminate on September 30 with his sixtieth blast, one of the most resonant and durable records in sports history. In between those dates a Queens housewife named Ruth Snyder and her corset-salesman lover garroted her husband, leading to a murder trial that became a huge tabloid sensation. Alvin “Shipwreck” Kelly sat atop a flagpole in Newark, New Jersey, for twelve days—a new record. The American South was clobbered by unprecedented rain and by flooding of the Mississippi basin, a great human disaster, the relief efforts for which were guided by the uncannily able and insufferably pompous Herbert Hoover. Calvin Coolidge interrupted an already leisurely presidency for an even more relaxing three-month vacation in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The gangster Al Capone tightened his grip on the illegal booze business through a gaudy and murderous reign of terror and municipal corruption. The first true “talking picture,” Al Jolson’s The Jazz Singer, was filmed and forever changed the motion picture industry. The four most powerful central bankers on earth met in secret session on a Long Island estate and made a fateful decision that virtually guaranteed a future crash and depression.
     All this and much, much more transpired in that epochal summer of 1927, and Bill Bryson captures its outsized personalities, exciting events, and occasional just plain weirdness with his trademark vividness, eye for telling detail, and delicious humor. In that year America stepped out onto the world stage as the main event, and One Summer transforms it all into narrative nonfiction of the highest order.

 

 

In middle age, Ehrenreich came across the journal she had kept during her tumultuous adolescence and set out to reconstruct that quest, which had taken her to the study of science and through a cataclysmic series of uncanny-or as she later learned to call them, "mystical"-experiences. A staunch atheist and rationalist, she is profoundly shaken by the implications of her life-long search. 

Part memoir, part philosophical and spiritual inquiry, LIVING WITH A WILD GOD brings an older woman's wry and erudite perspective to a young girl's uninhibited musings on the questions that, at one point or another, torment us all. Ehrenreich's most personal book ever will spark a lively and heated conversation about religion and spirituality, science and morality, and the "meaning of life." 
Certain to be a classic, LIVING WITH A WILD GOD combines intellectual rigor with a frank account of the inexplicable, in Ehrenreich's singular voice, to produce a true literary achievement.

 

 

 

Featuring an essay written by Kodiak College English Professor Jared Griffin!

Critical Insights: The Graphic Novel offers an examination and analysis of the contemporary graphic novel as literature. Specific attention will be paid to the use of narrative genre in the graphic novel (e.g. the superhero graphic novel, the crime narrative graphic novel, the horror graphic novel, and the realistic/fantastic graphic novel).

 

 

 

 

 

The American supermarket seems to represent the best in America: abundance, freedom, choice. But that turns out to be an illusion. The rotisserie chicken, the pepperoni, the cordon bleu, the frozen pot pie, and the bacon virtually all come from four companies.

In The Meat Racket, investigative reporter Christopher Leonard delivers the first-ever account of how a handful of companies have seized the nation's meat supply. He shows how they built a system that puts farmers on the edge of bankruptcy, charges high prices to consumers, and returns the industry to the shape it had in the 1900s before the meat monopolists were broken up. At the dawn of the twenty-first century, the greatest capitalist country in the world has an oligarchy controlling much of the food we eat and a high-tech sharecropping system to make that possible.
Forty years ago, more than thirty-six companies produced half of all the chicken Americans ate. Now there are only three that make that amount, and they control every aspect of the process, from the egg to the chicken to the chicken nugget. These companies are even able to raise meat prices for consumers while pushing down the price they pay to farmers. And tragically, big business and politics have derailed efforts to change the system.

 

 

 

In 1958, Charles David Keeling began measuring the concentration of carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. His project kicked off a half century of research that has expanded our knowledge of climate change. Despite more than fifty years of research, however, our global society has yet to find real solutions to the problem of global warming. Why?In "Behind the Curve," Joshua Howe attempts to answer this question. He explores the history of global warming from its roots as a scientific curiosity to its place at the center of international environmental politics. The book follows the story of rising CO2--illustrated by the now famous Keeling Curve--through a number of historical contexts, highlighting the relationships among scientists, environmentalists, and politicians as those relationships changed over time.

The nature of the problem itself, Howe explains, has privileged scientists as the primary spokespeople for the global climate. But while the "science first" forms of advocacy they developed to fight global warming produced more and better science, the primacy of science in global warming politics has failed to produce meaningful results. In fact, an often exclusive focus on science has left advocates for change vulnerable to political opposition and has limited much of the discussion to debates about the science itself.

As a result, while we know much more about global warming than we did fifty years ago, CO2 continues to rise. In 1958, Keeling first measured CO2 at around 315 parts per million; by 2013, global CO2 had soared to 400 ppm. The problem is not getting better - it's getting worse. "Behind the Curve" offers a critical and levelheaded look at how we got here.
Joshua P. Howe teaches history and environmental studies at Reed College.

 

 

 

At seven o'clock in the morning on February 21, 1916, the ground in northern France began to shake. For the next ten hours, twelve hundred German guns showered shells on a salient in French lines. The massive weight of explosives collapsed dugouts, obliterated trenches, severed communication wires, and drove men mad. As the barrage lifted, German troops moved forward, darting from shell crater to shell crater. The battle of Verdun had begun. 

In Verdun, historian Paul Jankowski provides the definitive account of the iconic battle of World War I. A leading expert on the French past, Jankowski combines the best of traditional military history-its emphasis on leaders, plans, technology, and the contingency of combat-with the newer social and cultural approach, stressing the soldier's experience, the institutional structures of the military, and the impact of war on national memory. Unusually, this book draws on deep research in French and German archives; this mastery of sources in both languages gives Verdun unprecedented authority and scope. In many ways, Jankowski writes, the battle represents a conundrum. It has an almost unique status among the battles of the Great War; and yet, he argues, it was not decisive, sparked no political changes, and was not even the bloodiest episode of the conflict. It is said that Verdun made France, he writes; but the question should be, What did France make of Verdun? Over time, it proved to be the last great victory of French arms, standing on their own. And, for France and Germany, the battle would symbolize the terror of industrialized warfare, "a technocratic Moloch devouring its children," where no advance or retreat was possible, yet national resources poured in ceaselessly, perpetuating slaughter indefinitely.

 

 

 

In 1975, fresh out of law school and working a numbing job at the Treasury Department, John Rizzo took a total shot in the dark and sent his resume to the Central Intelligence Agency. He had no notion that more than thirty years later, after serving under eleven CIA directors and seven presidents, he would become a notorious public figure; a symbol and a victim of the toxic winds swirling in post-9/11 Washington. From serving as the point person answering for the Iran-contra scandal to approving the rules that govern waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques,; John Rizzo witnessed and participated in virtually all of the significant operations of the CIA's modern history.

In Company Man, Rizzo charts the CIA's  evolution from shadowy entity to an organization exposed to new laws, rules, and a seemingly neverending string of public controversies. Rizzo offers a direct window into the CIA in the years after the 9/11 attacks, when he served as the agency's top lawyer, with oversight of actions that remain the subject of intense debate today. In Company Man, Rizzo is the first CIA official to ever describe what black sites look like from the inside and he provides the most comprehensive account ever written of the torture tape fiasco surrounding the interrogation of Al Qaeda suspect Abu Zubaydah and the birth, growth, and death of the enhanced interrogation program.
Spanning more than three decades, Company Man is the most authoritative insider account of the CIA ever written; a groundbreaking, timely, and remarkably candid history of American intelligence.

 

 

 

No college basketball coach has ever dominated the sport like John Wooden. His UCLA teams reached unprecedented heights in the 1960s and ’70s capped by a run of ten NCAA championships in twelve seasons and an eighty-eight-game winning streak, records that stand to this day. Wooden also became a renowned motivational speaker and writer, revered for his “Pyramid of Success.”

Seth Davis of Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports has written the definitive biography of Wooden, an unflinching portrait that draws on archival research and more than two hundred interviews with players, opponents, coaches, and even Wooden himself. Davis shows how hard Wooden strove for success, from his All-American playing days at Purdue through his early years as a high school and college coach to the glory days at UCLA, only to discover that reaching new heights brought new burdens and frustrations. Davis also reveals how at the pinnacle of his career Wooden found himself on questionable ground with alumni, referees, assistants, and even some of his players. His was a life not only of lessons taught, but also of lessons learned.

Woven into the story as well are the players who powered Wooden’s championship teams – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton, Walt Hazzard, and others – many of whom speak frankly about their coach. The portrait that emerges from Davis’s remarkable biography is of a man in full, whose life story still resonates today.

 

 

 

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, working-class Americans had eating habits that were distinctly shaped by jobs, families, neighborhoods, and the tools, utilities, and size of their kitchens along with their cultural heritage. How the Other Half Ate is a deep exploration by historian and lecturer Katherine Turner that delivers an unprecedented and thoroughly researched study of the changing food landscape in American working-class families from industrialization through the 1950s. 

Relevant to readers across a range of disciplines history, economics, sociology, urban studies, women s studies, and food studies this work fills an important gap in historical literature by illustrating how families experienced food and cooking during the so-called age of abundance. Turner delivers an engaging portrait that shows how America s working class, in a multitude of ways, has shaped the foods we eat today.

 

 

 

From the author of Black Hawk Down comes the story of the battle between those determined to exploit the internet and those committed to protect it—the ongoing war taking place literally beneath our fingertips.


The Conficker worm infected its first computer in November 2008 and within a month had infiltrated 1.5 million computers in 195 countries. Banks, telecommunications companies, and critical government networks (including the British Parliament and the French and German military) were infected. No one had ever seen anything like it. By January 2009 the worm lay hidden in at least eight million computers and the botnet of linked computers that it had created was big enough that an attack might crash the world. This is the gripping tale of the group of hackers, researches, millionaire Internet entrepreneurs, and computer security experts who united to defend the Internet from the Conficker worm: the story of the first digital world war

 

 

The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history.

 A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings along his wife, son, and flamboyant daughter, Martha. At first Martha is entranced by the parties and pomp, and the handsome young men of the Third Reich with their infectious enthusiasm for restoring Germany to a position of world prominence. Enamored of the “New Germany,” she has one affair after another, including with the suprisingly honorable first chief of the Gestapo, Rudolf Diels. But as evidence of Jewish persecution mounts, confirmed by chilling first-person testimony, her father telegraphs his concerns to a largely indifferent State Department back home. Dodd watches with alarm as Jews are attacked, the press is censored, and drafts of frightening new laws begin to circulate. As that first year unfolds and the shadows deepen, the Dodds experience days full of excitement, intrigue, romance—and ultimately, horror, when a climactic spasm of violence and murder reveals Hitler’s true character and ruthless ambition.
 Suffused with the tense atmosphere of the period, and with unforgettable portraits of the bizarre Göring and the expectedly charming--yet wholly sinister--Goebbels, In the Garden of Beasts lends a stunning, eyewitness perspective on events as they unfold in real time, revealing an era of surprising nuance and complexity. The result is a dazzling, addictively readable work that speaks volumes about why the world did not recognize the grave threat posed by Hitler until Berlin, and Europe, were awash in blood and terror.

 

Drawing from the horizons of science, today's leading thinkers reveal the hidden threats nobody is talking about—and expose the false fears everyone else is distracted by.

What should we be worried about? That is the question John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org ("The world's smartest website"—The Guardian), posed to the planet's most influential minds. He asked them to disclose something that, for scientific reasons, worries them—particularly scenarios that aren't on the popular radar yet. Encompassing neuroscience, economics, philosophy, physics, psychology, biology, and more—here are 150 ideas that will revolutionize your understanding of the world.

Steven Pinker uncovers the real risk factors for war * Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi peers into the coming virtual abyss * Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek laments our squandered opportunities to prevent global catastrophe * Seth Lloyd calculates the threat of a financial black hole * Alison Gopnik on the loss of childhood * Nassim Nicholas Taleb explains why firefighters understand risk far better than economic "experts" * Matt Ridley on the alarming re-emergence of superstition * Daniel C. Dennett and george dyson ponder the impact of a major breakdown of the Internet * Jennifer Jacquet fears human-induced damage to the planet due to "the Anthropocebo Effect" * Douglas Rushkoff fears humanity is losing its soul * Nicholas Carr on the "patience deficit" * Tim O'Reilly foresees a coming new Dark Age * Scott Atran on the homogenization of human experience * Sherry Turkle explores what's lost when kids are constantly connected * Kevin Kelly outlines the looming "underpopulation bomb" * Helen Fisher on the fate of men * Lawrence Krauss dreads what we don't know about the universe * Susan Blackmore on the loss of manual skills * Kate Jeffery on the death of death * plus J. Craig Venter, Daniel Goleman, Virginia Heffernan, Sam Harris, Brian Eno, Martin Rees, and more

 

 

 

Digital data collection and surveillance gets more pervasive and invasive by the day; but the best ways to protect yourself and your data are all steps you can take yourself. The devices we use to get just-in-time coupons, directions when we re lost, and maintain connections with loved ones no matter how far away they are, also invade our privacy in ways we might not even be aware of. Our devices send and collect data about us whenever we use them, but that data is not safeguarded the way we assume it would be. Privacy is complex and personal. Many of us do not know the full extent to which data is collected, stored, aggregated, and used. As recent revelations indicate, we are subject to a level of data collection and surveillance never before imaginable. While some of these methods may, in fact, protect us and provide us with information and services we deem to be helpful and desired, others can turn out to be insidious and over-arching. Privacy in the Age of Big Data highlights the many positive outcomes of digital surveillance and data collection while also outlining those forms of data collection to which we may not consent, and of which we are likely unaware. Payton and Claypoole skillfully introduce readers to the many ways we are watched, and how to adjust our behaviors and activities to recapture our privacy. The authors suggest the tools, behavior changes, and political actions we can take to regain data and identity security. Anyone who uses digital devices will want to read this book for its clear and no-nonsense approach to the world of big data and what it means for all of us

 

 

 

Nate Silver built an innovative system for predicting baseball performance, predicted the 2008 election within a hair’s breadth, and became a national sensation as a blogger—all by the time he was thirty. The New York Times now publishes FiveThirtyEight.com, where Silver is one of the nation’s most influential political forecasters.

Drawing on his own groundbreaking work, Silver examines the world of prediction, investigating how we can distinguish a true signal from a universe of noisy data. Most predictions fail, often at great cost to society, because most of us have a poor understanding of probability and uncertainty. Both experts and laypeople mistake more confident predictions for more accurate ones. But overconfidence is often the reason for failure. If our appreciation of uncertainty improves, our predictions can get better too. This is the “prediction paradox”: The more humility we have about our ability to make predictions, the more successful we can be in planning for the future.
In keeping with his own aim to seek truth from data, Silver visits the most successful forecasters in a range of areas, from hurricanes to baseball, from the poker table to the stock market, from Capitol Hill to the NBA. He explains and evaluates how these forecasters think and what bonds they share. What lies behind their success? Are they good—or just lucky? What patterns have they unraveled? And are their forecasts really right? He explores unanticipated commonalities and exposes unexpected juxtapositions. And sometimes, it is not so much how good a prediction is in an absolute sense that matters but how good it is relative to the competition. In other cases, prediction is still a very rudimentary—and dangerous—science.
Silver observes that the most accurate forecasters tend to have a superior command of probability, and they tend to be both humble and hardworking. They distinguish the predictable from the unpredictable, and they notice a thousand little details that lead them closer to the truth. Because of their appreciation of probability, they can distinguish the signal from the noise.
With everything from the health of the global economy to our ability to fight terrorism dependent on the quality of our predictions, Nate Silver’s insights are an essential read

 

 

 

Jan Karski's "Story of a Secret State" stands as one of the most poignant and inspiring memoirs of World War II and the Holocaust. This definitive edition — which includes a foreword by Madeleine Albright, a biographical essay by Yale historian Timothy Snyder, an afterword by Zbigniew Brzezinski, previously unpublished photos, notes, further reading, and a glossary — is an apt legacy for this hero of conscience during the most fraught and fragile moment in modern history.

With elements of a spy thriller, documenting his experiences in the Polish Underground, and as one of the first accounts of the systematic slaughter of the Jews by the German Nazis, this volume is a remarkable testimony of one man's courage and a nation's struggle for resistance against overwhelming oppression.

Karski was a brilliant young diplomat when war broke out in 1939 with Hitler's invasion of Poland. Taken prisoner by the Soviet Red Army, which had simultaneously invaded from the East, Karski narrowly escaped the subsequent Katyn Forest Massacre. He became a member of the Polish Underground, the most significant resistance movement in occupied Europe, acting as a liaison and courier between the Underground and the Polish government-in-exile. He was twice smuggled into the Warsaw Ghetto, and entered the Nazi's Izbica transit camp disguised as a guard, witnessing first-hand the horrors of the Holocaust.
Karski's courage and testimony, conveyed in a breathtaking manner in "Story of a Secret State," offer the narrative of one of the world's greatest eyewitnesses and an inspiration for all of humanity, emboldening each of us to rise to the challenge of standing up against evil and for human rights

 

 

Around the world, citizens have lost faith in their political and economic institutions leading to unprecedented levels of political instability and economic volatility. From Moscow to Brussels, from Washington to Cairo, the failure of democracies and autocracies to manage the fiscal and political crises facing us has led to a profound disquiet, spawning protest movements of the left, right, and center. In The End of Authority, Douglas E. Schoen systematically analyzes the leadership crises facing democracies and autocratic governments alike. He presents a firsthand, detailed assessment for why this collapse in trust happened; and offers a comprehensive blueprint for how we can restore public trust in government and economic institutions in a world of division, dissension, and governments clearly lacking in responsiveness to citizen concerns. Schoen outlines bold and clear solutions and offers practical steps to fix our democracy and rebuild international institutions.

 

 

The New York Times best-selling author of Physics of the Impossible, Physics of the Future and Hyperspace tackles the most fascinating and complex object in the known universe: the human brain.


For the first time in history, the secrets of the living brain are being revealed by a battery of high tech brain scans devised by physicists. Now what was once solely the province of science fiction has become a startling reality. Recording memories, telepathy, videotaping our dreams, mind control, avatars, and telekinesis are not only possible; they already exist.
The Future of the Mind gives us an authoritative and compelling look at the astonishing research being done in top laboratories around the world—all based on the latest advancements in neuroscience and physics. One day we might have a "smart pill" that can enhance our cognition; be able to upload our brain to a computer, neuron for neuron; send thoughts and emotions around the world on a "brain-net"; control computers and robots with our mind; push the very limits of immortality; and perhaps even send our consciousness across the universe. 
Dr. Kaku takes us on a grand tour of what the future might hold, giving us not only a solid sense of how the brain functions but also how these technologies will change our daily lives. He even presents a radically new way to think about "consciousness" and applies it to provide fresh insight into mental illness, artificial intelligence and alien consciousness. 
With Dr. Kaku's deep understanding of modern science and keen eye for future developments, The Future of the Mind is a scientific tour de force--an extraordinary, mind-boggling exploration of the frontiers of neuroscience.

 

 

 

This anthology, designed for use in undergraduate courses in environmental ethics, includes new and classic readings by leading writers in the field, full-length case studies, and many short discussion cases. Introductions and discussion questions are provided for all the essays, with each chapter introduced by a summary of the issues and appropriate philosophic, historical and scientific background. Exploring ethical theory, environmental ethics, science and the environmental movement, Earthcare also offers suggestions for students on how to think about ethics and the environment. Through many worldviews, religions and philosophical perspectives, this collection grapples with environmental ethics issues from valuing nature, concerns about the atmosphere, water, land, animals, and human population as well as the interlocking and often problematic interests of business, consumption, energy and sustainability. This book also features examples of a wide variety of environmentally engaged individuals, giving students a way of seeing the connections between the material studied and what they themselves might accomplish.

 

 

Coffee: A Comprehensive Guide to the Bean, the Beverage, and the Industry offers a definitive guide to the many rich dimensions of the bean and the beverage around the world. Leading experts from business and academia consider coffee’s history, global spread, cultivation, preparation, marketing, and the environmental and social issues surrounding it today. They discuss, for example, the impact of globalization; the many definitions of organic, direct trade, and fair trade; the health of female farmers; the relationships among shade, birds, and coffee; roasting as an art and a science; and where profits are made in the commodity chain. Drawing on interviews and the lives of people working in the business—from pickers and roasters to coffee bar owners and consumers—this book brings a compelling human side to the story. The authors avoid romanticizing or demonizing any group in the business. They consider basic but widely misunderstood issues such as who adds value to the bean, the constraints of peasant life, and the impact of climate change. Moving beyond simple answers, they represent various participants in the supply chain and a range of opinions about problems and suggested solutions in the industry. Coffeeoffers a multidimensional examination of a deceptively everyday but extremely complex commodity that remains at the center of many millions of lives. Tracing coffee’s journey from field to cup, this handbook to one of the world’s favorite beverages is an essential guide for professionals, coffee lovers, and students alike.

 

 

Flourishing in the First Five Years: Connecting Mind, Brain, and Education Research to the Development of Young Children will take you on a fascinating journey of discovery about what you can do to experience the thrill of helping all young children realize more of their unique potential. Packed with practical strategies and inspiring research about how learning changes the brain this book will empower you with ideas you can apply right away that can positively change children s lives forever.

 

 

 

"This is a hugely informative book, stocked full of careful analysis."--Amy Best, Associate Professor of Sociology, George Mason University Accused by many of creating a global health crisis, the American diet has been a source of controversy for years. The way Americans eat--and the disastrous health problems that can often result--is debated on daytime talk shows and in political arenas, written about in bestselling manifestos, and exposed in Oscar-nominated documentaries. Yet, despite all the attention from the media and the scientific community, few studies have looked seriously at the mass-market forces underlying our Western diet. In The Industrial Diet, Anthony Winson chronicles the forces that have transformed our natural resources into an industry that produces edible commodities, an industry that far too often subverts our well-being instead of nourishing us. Tracing the industrial diet's history from its roots in the nineteenth century through to the present day, Winson looks at the role of technology, population growth, and political and economic factors in the constitution and transformation of mass dietary regimes. In addition to providing new evidence linking broad-based dietary changes with negative health effects in the developed and developing world, Winson also outlines realistic and innovative strategies that can lead to a healthier future. A fresh new look at the degradation of food and the emergent struggle for healthful eating, this book is an eye-opening tour of the state of nutrition and food culture today. Anthony Winson is Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada

 

The Myth of Individualism offers a concise introduction to sociology and sociological thinking. This engaging supplemental text challenges the dominant belief that human behavior is the result of free choices made by autonomous actors. Drawing upon personal stories, historical events and sociological research, Callero shows how powerful social forces shape individual lives in subtle but compelling ways. Chapters examine the fundamental importance of cultural symbols, the pressures of group conformity, the influence of family, the impact of social class, the wide reach of global capitalism and the revolutionary potential of collective action. An organizing theme of the book is that humans are fundamentally social beings. Even parts of our life that we tend to think of as personal, such as identity, cognition, and emotion, are conditioned and structured by a web of intersecting social relationships. By acknowledging the limits of individual effort and control, we gain insight into our own lives and the lives of others. We also achieve a more informative outlook on enduring social problems and we begin the process of developing a sociological perspective

 

 In the Heart of the Sea brings to new life the incredible story of the wreck of the whaleship Essex—an event as mythic in its own century as theTitanic disaster in ours, and the inspiration for the climax of Moby-Dick. In a harrowing page-turner, Nathaniel Philbrick restores this epic story to its rightful place in American history.


In 1820, the 240-ton Essex set sail from Nantucket on a routine voyage for whales. Fifteen months later, in the farthest reaches of the South Pacific, it was repeatedly rammed and sunk by an eighty-ton bull sperm whale. Its twenty-man crew, fearing cannibals on the islands to the west, made for the 3,000-mile-distant coast of South America in three tiny boats. During ninety days at sea under horrendous conditions, the survivors clung to life as one by one, they succumbed to hunger, thirst, disease, and fear.

In the Heart of the Sea tells perhaps the greatest sea story ever. Philbrick interweaves his account of this extraordinary ordeal of ordinary men with a wealth of whale lore and with a brilliantly detailed portrait of the lost, unique community of Nantucket whalers. Impeccably researched and beautifully told, the book delivers the ultimate portrait of man against nature, drawing on a remarkable range of archival and modern sources, including a long-lost account by the ship's cabin boy. At once a literary companion and a page-turner that speaks to the same issues of class, race, and man's relationship to nature that permeate the works of Melville, In the Heart of the Sea will endure as a vital work of American history.

 

Each year wild Pacific salmon leave their oceanic feeding grounds and swim hundreds of miles back to their home rivers. The salmon’s annual return is a place-defining event in the Pacific Northwest, with immense ecological, economic, and social significance. However, despite massive spending, efforts to significantly alter the endangered status of salmon have failed.
In Salmon, People, and Place, acclaimed fisheries biologist Jim Lichatowich eloquently exposes the misconceptions underlying salmon management and recovery programs that have fueled the catastrophic decline in Northwest salmon populations for more than a century. These programs will continue to fail, he suggests, so long as they regard salmon as products and ignore their essential relationship with their habitat.
But Lichatowich offers hope. In Salmon, People, and Place he presents a concrete plan for salmon recovery, one based on the myriad lessons learned from past mistakes. What is needed to successfully restore salmon, Lichatowich states, is an acute commitment to healing the relationships among salmon, people, and place.
A significant contribution to the literature on Pacific salmon, Salmon, People, and Place: A Biologist’s Search for Salmon Recovery is an essential read for anyone concerned about the fate of this Pacific Northwest icon.

 

One of the greatest untapped resources of today isn’t offshore oil or natural gas—it’s data. Gigabytes, exabytes (that’s one quintillion bytes) of data are sitting on servers across the world. So how can we start to access this explosion of information, this "big data,” and what can it tell us?
  Erez Aiden and Jean-Baptiste Michel are two young scientists at Harvard who started to ask those questions. They teamed up with Google to create the Ngram Viewer, a Web-based tool that can chart words throughout the massive Google Books archive, sifting through billions of words to find fascinating cultural trends. On the day that the Ngram Viewer debuted in 2010, more than one million queries were run through it.
 
On the front lines of Big Data, Aiden and Michel realized that this big dataset—the Google Books archive that contains remarkable information on the human experience—had huge implications for looking at our shared human history. The tool they developed to delve into the data has enabled researchers to track how our language has evolved over time, how art has been censored, how fame can grow and fade, how nations trend toward war. How we remember and how we forget. And ultimately, how Big Data is changing the game for the sciences, humanities, politics, business, and our culture.

 

The never-before-told full story of the 1971 history-changing break-in of the FBI offices in Media, Pennsylvania, by a group of unlikely activists--quiet, ordinary, hardworking Americans--that made clear the shocking truth and confirmed what some had long suspected, that J. Edgar Hoover had created and was operating his own shadow Bureau of Investigation.
The book shows how the break-in, and subsequent release of the contents of the FBI's files to newspapers across the country, upended the public's perception of the up-till-then inviolate head of the Bureau, paving the way for the FBI's overhaul for the first time since its inception forty-seven years before, in 1924, and setting the stage for the sensational release three months later by Daniel Ellsberg of the top-secret seven-thousand-page Pentagon study of U.S. decision making regarding the Vietnam War that became known as the Pentagon Papers.

 

 

Last fall, a writer using the pseudonym Ed Dante wrote an explosive article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, confessing to writing term papers for a living. Technically, they are "study guides," and the companies that sell them-there are quite a few-are completely legal and easily found with Google. For about $10-20 a page, Dante's former employers will give you a custom essay, written to your specifications. During Dante's career, he wrote made-to-order papers for everything from introductory college courses to Ph.D. dissertations. There was never a shortage of demand. The Shadow Scholar is Dante's account of this dubious but all-too-relevant career. In stories embarrassing, absurd, hilarious, and ultimately sobering, he explores not merely his own misdeeds but the bureaucratic and cash-hungry colleges, lazy students, and even misguided parents who helped make it all possible. With unemployment pushing 10 percent and many college grads living with their parents, the need for this book has never been more urgent. As this bitingly funny memoir reveals, colleges and graduate schools are victims not merely of tough economic times but of a profound sense of entitlement and apathy. Here is a searing, often maddening indictment of the big business of college.

 

 Over the course of a dozen years, Scottish plant collector Isobel Wylie Hutchison (1889–1982) explored northern latitudes from the Lofoten Islands of Norway to the far reaches of the American Aleutians. To achieve her goals, she traveled by any means available, from rowboats in Greenland to trading schooners and coast-guard vessels in Alaska. When necessary, she journeyed by snowshoe or sled in pursuit of her botanical specimens, accompanied only by strangers who served as guides. In Flowers in the Snow, Gwyneth Hoyle paints a vivid portrait of a woman gloriously out of the step with the conventions of her time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful Alaska--a peaceful, natural land where you know your neighbors and don't have to lock your doors. For most people, it's the perfect place to experience nature; for Robert Hansen, it was the perfect place for murder.


Between 1980 and 1983, Hansen went on a murderous rampage killing between 17 and 37 women in the Anchorage, Alaska area. Hansen, a small-business owner and pillar of the community, was also an avid hunter, and used young girls as prey when he decided he needed a more challenging hunt. This book is the gripping account of the hunt and eventual capture of an unlikely killer, who almost got away with it.

 

 

 

 

If the conscious mind—the part you consider you—accounts for only a tiny fraction of the brain’s function, what is all the rest doing? This is the question that David Eagleman—renowned neuroscientist and acclaimed author of Sum—answers in a book as accessible and entertaining as it is deeply informed by startling, up-to-the-minute research.

 Our behavior, thoughts, and experiences are inseparably yoked to a vast, wet, electrochemical network called the nervous system. The machinery is utterly alien to us, and yet, somehow, it is us. In this dazzling journey, David Eagleman plumbs the depths of the brain to illuminate surprising mysteries: Why does the conscious mind know so little about itself? Why can your foot jump halfway to the brake pedal before you become consciously aware of danger ahead? What do Odysseus and the subprime mortgage meltdown have in common? Why do strippers make more money at certain times of the month? Why are people whose name begins with J more likely to marry other people whose name begins with J? Why did Thomas Edison electrocute an elephant? Why is it so difficult to keep a secret?

 This mind-blowing voyage into the inner cosmos includes stopovers in mate-selection, synesthesia, beauty, free will, infidelity, artificial intelligence, visual illusions, dreams, and the future of criminal law. Throughout, Eagleman helps us understand how our perceptions of ourselves and our world result from the hidden workings of the most wondrous thing we have ever encountered: the human brain.

 

For twenty years, James Carville and Mary Matalin have held the mantle of the nation’s most politically opposed, ideologically mismatched, and intensely opinionated couple. In this follow-up to their groundbreaking All’s Fair: Love, War, and Running for President, Carville and Matalin take a look at how they—and America—have changed in the last two decades. If nothing else, this new collaboration proves that after twenty years of marriage they can still manage to agree on a few things.

  Love & War traces, in their two distinct voices, James and Mary’s story from the end of the 1992 presidential campaign—where he managed Bill Clinton’s electoral triumph while she suffered defeat as George H. W. Bush’s key strategist—till now. Mary focuses on issues of family, faith, and foreign enemies and offers insights from her kitchen table as well as the White House Cabinet Room, while James’s concentration is politics and love—the triumphant and troubled Clinton era, George W. Bush’s complicated presidency, the election of Barack Obama, the rise of the corrosive partisanship that dominates political life in Washington today, and the overriding abiding romance he holds for his native Louisiana and his wife and children. Together, the Carville-Matalins reflect on raising two daughters in the pressure cooker of the nation’s capital, and their momentous 2008 decision to leave D.C. and move their family to New Orleans. Post-Katrina, James and Mary’s efforts to rebuild and promote that city have become a central part of their lives—and a poignant metaphor for moving the nation forward.

 

Since the Viking ascendancy in the Middle Ages, the Atlantic has shaped the lives of people who depend upon it for survival. And just as surely, people have shaped the Atlantic. In his innovative account of this interdependency, W. Jeffrey Bolster, a historian and professional seafarer, takes us through a millennium-long environmental history of our impact on one of the largest ecosystems in the world.

While overfishing is often thought of as a contemporary problem, Bolster reveals that humans were transforming the sea long before factory trawlers turned fishing from a handliner's art into an industrial enterprise. The western Atlantic's legendary fishing banks, stretching from Cape Cod to Newfoundland, have attracted fishermen for more than five hundred years. Bolster follows the effects of this siren's song from its medieval European origins to the advent of industrialized fishing in American waters at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Blending marine biology, ecological insight, and a remarkable cast of characters, from notable explorers to scientists to an army of unknown fishermen, Bolster tells a story that is both ecological and human: the prelude to an environmental disaster. Over generations, harvesters created a quiet catastrophe as the sea could no longer renew itself. Bolster writes in the hope that the intimate relationship humans have long had with the ocean, and the species that live within it, can be restored for future generations