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Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
by Yuval Noah Harari

Language

English

Pages

469

Publication Date

February 10, 2015

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Customer Reviews
<p><strong><em>New York Times</em> Bestseller</strong></p><p><strong>A Summer Reading Pick for President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg </strong></p><p>From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.”</p><p>One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us?</p><p>Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, <em>Sapiens</em> integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas.</p><p>Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become?</p><p>Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations/diagrams, this provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential reading for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.</p>
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
by Jared Diamond

Language

English

Pages

528

Publication Date

March 07, 2017

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Customer Reviews
<p><strong>"Fascinating.... Lays a foundation for understanding human history."—Bill Gates</strong></p><br />In this "artful, informative, and delightful" (William H. McNeill, <em>New York Review of Books</em>) book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed religion --as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war --and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, <em>Guns, Germs, and Steel</em> chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, the Rhone-Poulenc Prize, and the Commonwealth club of California's Gold Medal.
Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Bl...
by Margot Lee Shetterly

Language

English

Pages

370

Publication Date

September 06, 2016

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Customer Reviews
<p><strong><em>The #1 New York Times bestseller</em></strong></p><p><em>The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space. Soon to be a major motion picture starring </em><em>Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst, and Kevin Costner. </em></p><p>Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. </p><p>Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South’s segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America’s aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right stuff. Suddenly, these overlooked math whizzes had a shot at jobs worthy of their skills, and they answered Uncle Sam’s call, moving to Hampton, Virginia and the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory. </p><p>Even as Virginia’s Jim Crow laws required them to be segregated from their white counterparts, the women of Langley’s all-black “West Computing” group helped America achieve one of the things it desired most: a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and complete domination of the heavens. </p><p>Starting in World War II and moving through to the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement and the Space Race, <em>Hidden Figures</em> follows the interwoven accounts of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden, four African American women who participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes. It chronicles their careers over nearly three decades they faced challenges, forged alliances and used their intellect to change their own lives, and their country’s future.</p><p> </p>
21 Lessons for the 21st Century
by Yuval Noah Harari

Language

English

Pages

356

Publication Date

September 04, 2018

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<b>#1 <i>NEW YORK TIMES </i>BESTSELLER </b>• <b>In<i> Sapiens, </i>he explored our past. In <i>Homo Deus, </i>he looked to our future<i>. </i>Now, one of the most innovative thinkers on the planet turns to the present to make sense of today’s most pressing issues.</b><br /><br /><b>“Fascinating . . . a crucial global conversation about how to take on the problems of the twenty-first century.”—Bill Gates, <i>The New York Times Book Review</i></b><br /><br /><b>NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY <i>FINANCIAL TIMES </i>AND <b>PAMELA PAUL, KQED </b></b><br /><br /> How do computers and robots change the meaning of being human? How do we deal with the epidemic of fake news? Are nations and religions still relevant? What should we teach our children? <br /><br />Yuval Noah Harari’s <i>21 Lessons for the 21st Century</i> is a probing and visionary investigation into today’s most urgent issues as we move into the uncharted territory of the future. As technology advances faster than our understanding of it, hacking becomes a tactic of war, and the world feels more polarized than ever, Harari addresses the challenge of navigating life in the face of constant and disorienting change and raises the important questions we need to ask ourselves in order to survive.<br /><br /> In twenty-one accessible chapters that are both provocative and profound, Harari builds on the ideas explored in his previous books, untangling political, technological, social, and existential issues and offering advice on how to prepare for a very different future from the world we now live in: How can we retain freedom of choice when Big Data is watching us? What will the future workforce look like, and how should we ready ourselves for it? How should we deal with the threat of terrorism? Why is liberal democracy in crisis?<br /><br /> Harari’s unique ability to make sense of where we have come from and where we are going has captured the imaginations of millions of readers. Here he invites us to consider values, meaning, and personal engagement in a world full of noise and uncertainty. When we are deluged with irrelevant information, clarity is power. Presenting complex contemporary challenges clearly and accessibly, <i>21 Lessons for the 21st Century</i> is essential reading.<br /><b><br />“If there were such a thing as a required instruction manual for politicians and thought leaders, Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari’s <i>21 Lessons for the 21st Century</i> would deserve serious consideration. In this collection of provocative essays, Harari . . . tackles a daunting array of issues, endeavoring to answer a persistent question: ‘What is happening in the world today, and what is the deep meaning of these events?’”—<i>BookPage </i>(top pick)</b>
American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race
by Douglas Brinkley

Language

English

Pages

576

Publication Date

April 02, 2019

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<p><strong>Instant <em>New York Times</em> Bestseller</strong></p><p>As the fiftieth anniversary of the first lunar landing approaches, the award winning historian and perennial <em>New York Times</em> bestselling author takes a fresh look at the space program, President John F. Kennedy’s inspiring challenge, and America’s race to the moon.<br /><br />“<em>We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win.</em>”—President John F. Kennedy</p><p>On May 25, 1961, JFK made an astonishing announcement: his goal of putting a man on the moon by the end of the decade. In this engrossing, fast-paced epic, Douglas Brinkley returns to the 1960s to recreate one of the most exciting and ambitious achievements in the history of humankind. <em>American Moonshot</em> brings together the extraordinary political, cultural, and scientific factors that fueled the birth and development of NASA and the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo projects, which shot the United States to victory in the space race against the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War. </p><p>Drawing on new primary source material and major interviews with many of the surviving figures who were key to America’s success, Brinkley brings this fascinating history to life as never before. <em>American Moonshot</em> is a portrait of the brilliant men and women who made this giant leap possible, the technology that enabled us to propel men beyond earth’s orbit to the moon and return them safely, and the geopolitical tensions that spurred Kennedy to commit himself fully to this audacious dream. Brinkley’s ensemble cast of New Frontier characters include rocketeer Wernher von Braun, astronaut John Glenn and space booster Lyndon Johnson.</p><p>A vivid and enthralling chronicle of one of the most thrilling, hopeful, and turbulent eras in the nation’s history, <em>American Moonshot</em> is an homage to scientific ingenuity, human curiosity, and the boundless American spirit. </p>
Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World's Greatest N...
by Adam Higginbotham

Language

English

Pages

561

Publication Date

February 12, 2019

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Customer Reviews
<b><i>NEW YORK TIMES</i> BESTSELLER</b><BR> <BR><b>Journalist Adam Higginbotham’s definitive, years-in-the-making account of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster—and a powerful investigation into how propaganda, secrecy, and myth have obscured the true story of one of the twentieth century’s greatest disasters.</b><BR><BR>Early in the morning of April 26, 1986, Reactor Number Four of the Chernobyl Atomic Energy Station exploded, triggering history’s worst nuclear disaster. In the thirty years since then, Chernobyl has become lodged in the collective nightmares of the world: shorthand for the spectral horrors of radiation poisoning, for a dangerous technology slipping its leash, for ecological fragility, and for what can happen when a dishonest and careless state endangers its citizens and the entire world. But the real story of the accident, clouded from the beginning by secrecy, propaganda, and misinformation, has long remained in dispute.<BR> <BR>Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews conducted over the course of more than ten years, as well as letters, unpublished memoirs, and documents from recently-declassified archives, Adam Higginbotham has written a harrowing and compelling narrative which brings the disaster to life through the eyes of the men and women who witnessed it firsthand. The result is a masterful nonfiction thriller, and the definitive account of an event that changed history: a story that is more complex, more human, and more terrifying than the Soviet myth.<BR> <BR><i>Midnight in Chernobyl </i>is an indelible portrait of one of the great disasters of the twentieth century, of human resilience and ingenuity, and the lessons learned when mankind seeks to bend the natural world to his will—lessons which, in the face of climate change and other threats, remain not just vital but necessary.
Bringing Columbia Home: The Untold Story of a Lost Space Shuttle ...
by , Jonathan H. Ward

Language

English

Pages

400

Publication Date

January 23, 2018

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<B>Timed to release for the 15th Anniversary of the <I>Columbia</I> space shuttle disaster, this is the epic true story of one of the most dramatic, unforgettable adventures of our time.</B><BR><BR>On February 1, 2003, <I>Columbia</I> disintegrated on reentry before the nation’s eyes, and all seven astronauts aboard were lost. Author Mike Leinbach, Launch Director of the space shuttle program at NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center was a key leader in the search and recovery effort as NASA, FEMA, the FBI, the US Forest Service, and dozens more federal, state, and local agencies combed an area of rural east Texas the size of Rhode Island for every piece of the shuttle and her crew they could find. Assisted by hundreds of volunteers, it would become the largest ground search operation in US history. This comprehensive account is told in four parts:<BR><BR><li> Parallel Confusion<BR><li> Courage, Compassion, and Commitment<BR><li> Picking Up the Pieces<BR><li> A Bittersweet Victory<BR><BR>For the first time, here is the definitive inside story of the <I>Columbia</I> disaster and recovery and the inspiring message it ultimately holds. In the aftermath of tragedy, people and communities came together to help bring home the remains of the crew and nearly 40 percent of shuttle, an effort that was instrumental in piecing together what happened so the shuttle program could return to flight and complete the International Space Station. <B><I>Bringing</I> Columbia <I>Home</B></I> shares the deeply personal stories that emerged as NASA employees looked for lost colleagues and searchers overcame immense physical, logistical, and emotional challenges and worked together to accomplish the impossible.<BR><BR>Featuring a foreword and epilogue by astronauts Robert Crippen and Eileen Collins, and dedicated to the astronauts and recovery search persons who lost their lives, this is an incredible, compelling narrative about the best of humanity in the darkest of times and about how a failure at the pinnacle of human achievement became a story of cooperation and hope.
The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women
by Kate Moore

Language

English

Pages

496

Publication Date

April 18, 2017

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<p><strong>A<em> New York Times</em>, <em>USA Today, </em>and<em> Wall Street Journal</em> Bestseller!</strong><br /><strong>Emma Watson's Our Shared Shelf Bookclub Selection - May/June 2018 </strong></p><p>"<strong>the glowing ghosts of the radium girls haunt us still</strong>."—NPR Books </p><p><em>The incredible true story of the women who fought America's Undark danger</em></p><p>The Curies' newly discovered element of radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty, and wonder drug of the medical community. From body lotion to tonic water, the popular new element shines bright in the otherwise dark years of the First World War.</p><p>Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil amidst the glowing dust of the radium-dial factories. The glittering chemical covers their bodies from head to toe; they light up the night like industrious fireflies. With such a coveted job, these "shining girls" are the luckiest alive — until they begin to fall mysteriously ill.</p><p>But the factories that once offered golden opportunities are now ignoring all claims of the gruesome side effects, and the women's cries of corruption. And as the fatal poison of the radium takes hold, the brave shining girls find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America's early 20th century, and in a groundbreaking battle for workers' rights that will echo for centuries to come. </p><p>Written with a sparkling voice and breakneck pace, <em>The Radium Girls</em> fully illuminates the inspiring young women exposed to the "wonder" substance of radium, and their awe-inspiring strength in the face of almost impossible circumstances. Their courage and tenacity led to life-changing regulations, research into nuclear bombing, and ultimately saved hundreds of thousands of lives...</p>
An Elegant Defense: The Extraordinary New Science of the Immune S...
by Matt Richtel

Language

English

Pages

324

Publication Date

March 12, 2019

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<p><strong>A magnificently reported and soulfully crafted exploration of the human immune system–<em>the</em> key to health and wellness, life and death. An epic, first-of-its-kind book, entwining leading-edge scientific discovery with the intimate stories of four individual lives, by the Pulitzer Prize–winning <em>New York Times</em> journalist.</strong></p><p>“<em>An Elegant Defense </em>by Matt Richtel is one of those rare nonfiction books that transcends the genre. On one level it is a fascinating and engrossing account of the latest, and quite astonishing, discoveries involving the human immune system and how it works. But it is also a story about people facing mortality, about the passion of scientists searching for truth, and a meditation on death and how all of us struggle with the ultimate mystery. Heartfelt and moving, full of compassion, love, and the human drama, this is the work of a writer of high ethical character who is grappling with big issues and deep humanistic problems. What an inspiring and wonderful read. I highly recommend this extraordinary book.” —DOUGLAS PRESTON, #1 bestselling author of <em>The Lost City of the Monkey God</em></p><p><strong><em> </p></strong></em>
Eye of the Beholder: Johannes Vermeer, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, an...
by Laura J. Snyder

Language

English

Pages

465

Publication Date

March 16, 2015

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<p><strong>The remarkable story of how an artist and a scientist in seventeenth-century Holland transformed the way we see the world.</strong></p><br /><p>On a summer day in 1674, in the small Dutch city of Delft, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek—a cloth salesman, local bureaucrat, and self-taught natural philosopher—gazed through a tiny lens set into a brass holder and discovered a never-before imagined world of microscopic life. At the same time, in a nearby attic, the painter Johannes Vermeer was using another optical device, a camera obscura, to experiment with light and create the most luminous pictures ever beheld.</p><br /><p>“See for yourself!” was the clarion call of the 1600s. Scientists peered at nature through microscopes and telescopes, making the discoveries in astronomy, physics, chemistry, and anatomy that ignited the Scientific Revolution. Artists investigated nature with lenses, mirrors, and camera obscuras, creating extraordinarily detailed paintings of flowers and insects, and scenes filled with realistic effects of light, shadow, and color. By extending the reach of sight the new optical instruments prompted the realization that there is more than meets the eye. But they also raised questions about how we see and what it means to see. In answering these questions, scientists and artists in Delft changed how we perceive the world.</p><br /><p>In <em>Eye of the Beholder</em>, Laura J. Snyder transports us to the streets, inns, and guildhalls of seventeenth-century Holland, where artists and scientists gathered, and to their studios and laboratories, where they mixed paints and prepared canvases, ground and polished lenses, examined and dissected insects and other animals, and invented the modern notion of seeing. With charm and narrative flair Snyder brings Vermeer and Van Leeuwenhoek—and the men and women around them—vividly to life. The story of these two geniuses and the transformation they engendered shows us why we see the world—and our place within it—as we do today.</p><br /><p><em>Eye of the Beholder</em> was named "A Best Art Book of the Year" by Christie's and "A Best Read of the Year" by <em>New Scientist </em>in 2015.</p>

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