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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Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews conducted over the course of more than ten years, as well as letters, unpublished memoirs, and documents from recently-declassified archives, Adam Higginbotham has written a harrowing and compelling narrative which brings the disaster to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.
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>
Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis
by Jared Diamond

Language

English

Pages

486

Publication Date

May 07, 2019

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Customer Reviews
<div><b>A Bill Gates Summer Reading Pick</b></div> <b><div><b><br /></b></div>A "riveting and illuminating" (Yuval Noah Harari) new theory of how and why some nations recover from trauma and others don't, by the Pulitzer-Prize-winning author of the landmark bestsellers <i>Guns, Germs, and Steel</i> and <i>Collapse</i>.</b><b><br /></b><div> <br />In his international bestsellers <i>Guns, Germs and Steel</i> and<i> Collapse</i>, Jared Diamond transformed our understanding of what makes civilizations rise and fall. Now, in his third book in this monumental trilogy, he reveals how successful nations recover from crises while adopting selective changes -- a coping mechanism more commonly associated with individuals recovering from personal crises.<br /><br />Diamond compares how six countries have survived recent upheavals -- ranging from the forced opening of Japan by U.S. Commodore Perry's fleet, to the Soviet Union's attack on Finland, to a murderous coup or countercoup in Chile and Indonesia, to the transformations of Germany and Austria after World War Two. Because Diamond has lived and spoken the language in five of these six countries, he can present gut-wrenching histories experienced firsthand. These nations coped, to varying degrees, through mechanisms such as acknowledgment of responsibility, painfully honest self-appraisal, and learning from models of other nations. Looking to the future, Diamond examines whether the United States, Japan, and the whole world are successfully coping with the grave crises they currently face. Can we learn from lessons of the past? <div><br /></div><div>Adding a psychological dimension to the in-depth history, geography, biology, and anthropology that mark all of Diamond's books, <i>Upheaval </i>reveals factors influencing how both whole nations and individual people can respond to big challenges. The result is a book epic in scope, but also his most personal book yet.</div></div>
One Giant Leap: The Impossible Mission That Flew Us to the Moon
by Charles Fishman

Language

English

Pages

480

Publication Date

June 11, 2019

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Customer Reviews
<b>The remarkable story of the trailblazers and the ordinary Americans on the front lines of the epic mission to reach the moon.</b><BR><BR>President John F. Kennedy astonished the world on May 25, 1961, when he announced to Congress that the United States should land a man on the Moon by 1970. No group was more surprised than the scientists and engineers at NASA, who suddenly had less than a decade to invent space travel.<BR> <BR>When Kennedy announced that goal, no one knew how to navigate to the Moon. No one knew how to build a rocket big enough to reach the Moon, or how to build a computer small enough (and powerful enough) to fly a spaceship there. No one knew what the surface of the Moon was like, or what astronauts could eat as they flew there. On the day of Kennedy’s historic speech, America had a total of fifteen minutes of spaceflight experience—with just five of those minutes outside the atmosphere. Russian dogs had more time in space than U.S. astronauts. Over the next decade, more than 400,000 scientists, engineers, and factory workers would send 24 astronauts to the Moon. Each hour of space flight would require one million hours of work back on Earth to get America to the Moon on July 20, 1969.<BR> <BR>Fifty years later, <i>One Giant Leap</i> is the sweeping, definitive behind-the-scenes account of the furious race to complete one of mankind’s greatest achievements. It’s a story filled with surprises—from the item the astronauts almost forgot to take with them (the American flag), to the extraordinary impact Apollo would have back on Earth, and on the way we live today.<BR> <BR>Charles Fishman introduces readers to the men and women who had to solve 10,000 problems before astronauts could reach the Moon. From the research labs of MIT, where the eccentric and legendary pioneer Charles Draper created the tools to fly the Apollo spaceships, to the factories where dozens of women sewed spacesuits, parachutes, and even computer hardware by hand, Fishman captures the exceptional feats of these ordinary Americans. <i>One Giant Leap</i> is the captivating story of men and women charged with changing the world as we knew it—their leaders, their triumphs, their near disasters, all of which led to arguably the greatest success story, and the greatest adventure story, of the twentieth century.
Sea People: The Puzzle of Polynesia
by Christina Thompson

Language

English

Pages

376

Publication Date

March 12, 2019

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<p>A blend of Jared Diamond’s <em>Guns, Germs, and Steel</em> and Simon Winchester’s <em>Pacific</em>, a thrilling intellectual detective story that looks deep into the past to uncover who first settled the islands of the remote Pacific, where they came from, how they got there, and how we know. <br /><br />For more than a millennium, Polynesians have occupied the remotest islands in the Pacific Ocean, a vast triangle stretching from Hawaii to New Zealand to Easter Island. Until the arrival of European explorers they were the only people to have ever lived there. Both the most closely related and the most widely dispersed people in the world before the era of mass migration, Polynesians can trace their roots to a group of epic voyagers who ventured out into the unknown in one of the greatest adventures in human history. </p><p>How did the earliest Polynesians find and colonize these far-flung islands? How did a people without writing or metal tools conquer the largest ocean in the world? This conundrum, which came to be known as the Problem of Polynesian Origins, emerged in the eighteenth century as one of the great geographical mysteries of mankind.</p><p>For Christina Thompson, this mystery is personal: her Maori husband and their sons descend directly from these ancient navigators. In <em>Sea People</em>, Thompson explores the fascinating story of these ancestors, as well as those of the many sailors, linguists, archaeologists, folklorists, biologists, and geographers who have puzzled over this history for three hundred years. A masterful mix of history, geography, anthropology, and the science of navigation, Sea People combines the thrill of exploration with the drama of discovery in a vivid tour of one of the most captivating regions in the world.</p><p><em>Sea People</em> includes an 8-page photo insert, illustrations throughout, and 2 endpaper maps.</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>
The Mercury 13: The Untold Story of Thirteen American Women and t...
by Martha Ackmann

Language

English

Pages

256

Publication Date

June 03, 2003

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<b>For readers of <i>The Astronaut Wives Club, The Mercury 13 </i>reveals the little-known true story of the remarkable women who trained for NASA space flight.</b><br /><br />In 1961, just as NASA launched its first man into space, a group of women underwent secret testing in the hopes of becoming America’s first female astronauts. They passed the same battery of tests at the legendary Lovelace Foundation as did the Mercury 7 astronauts, but they were summarily dismissed by the boys’ club at NASA and on Capitol Hill. The USSR sent its first woman into space in 1963; the United States did not follow suit for another twenty years.<br /><br /> For the first time, Martha Ackmann tells the story of the dramatic events surrounding these thirteen remarkable women, all crackerjack pilots and patriots who sometimes sacrificed jobs and marriages for a chance to participate in America’s space race against the Soviet Union. In addition to talking extensively to these women, Ackmann interviewed Chuck Yeager, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, and others at NASA and in the White House with firsthand knowledge of the program, and includes here never-before-seen photographs of the Mercury 13 passing their Lovelace tests. <br /><br /> Despite the crushing disappointment of watching their dreams being derailed, the Mercury 13 went on to extraordinary achievement in their lives: Jerrie Cobb, who began flying when she was so small she had to sit on pillows to see out of the cockpit, dedicated her life to flying solo missions to the Amazon rain forest; Wally Funk, who talked her way into the Lovelace trials, went on to become one of the first female FAA investigators; Janey Hart, mother of eight and, at age forty, the oldest astronaut candidate, had the political savvy to steer the women through congressional hearings and later helped found the National Organization for Women. <br /><br /> A provocative tribute to these extraordinary women, The Mercury 13 is an unforgettable story of determination, resilience, and inextinguishable hope.
The Shadow War: Inside Russia's and China's Secret Operations to ...
by Jim Sciutto

Language

English

Pages

316

Publication Date

May 14, 2019

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<p><strong>Are we losing a war few of us realize we’re fighting? </strong></p><p>Poisoned dissidents. Election interference. Armed invasions. International treaties thrown into chaos. Secret military buildups. Hackers and viruses. Weapons deployed in space. China and Russia (and Iran and North Korea) spark news stories here by carrying out bold acts of aggression and violating international laws and norms. Isn’t this just bad actors acting badly? </p><p>That kind of thinking is outdated and dangerous. Emboldened by their successes, these countries are, in fact, waging a brazen, global war on the US and the West. This is a new Cold War, which will not be won by those who fail to realize they are fighting it. The enemies of the West understand that while they are unlikely to win a shooting war, they have another path to victory. And what we see as our greatest strengths—open societies, military innovation, dominance of technology on Earth and in space, longstanding leadership in global institutions—these countries are undermining or turning into weaknesses.</p><p>In <em>The Shadow War</em>,<em> </em>CNN anchor and chief national security correspondent Jim Sciutto provides us with a revealing and at times disturbing guide to this new international conflict. This Shadow War is already the greatest threat to America’s national security, even though most Americans know little or nothing about it. With on-the-ground reporting from Ukraine to the South China Sea, from a sub under the Arctic to unprecedented access to America’s Space Command, Sciutto draws on his deep knowledge, high-level contacts, and personal experience as a journalist and diplomat to paint the most comprehensive and vivid picture of a nation targeted by a new and disturbing brand of warfare.</p><p>Thankfully, America is adapting and fighting back. In <em>The Shadow War</em>, Sciutto introduces readers to the dizzying array of soldiers, sailors, submariners and their commanders, space engineers, computer scientists, civilians, and senior intelligence officials who are on the front lines of this new kind of forever war. Intensive and disturbing, this invaluable and important work opens our eyes and makes clear that the war of the future is already here.</p>
Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms,a...
by Simon Winchester

Language

English

Pages

495

Publication Date

November 02, 2010

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<p>"Variably genial, cautionary, lyrical, admonitory, terrifying, horrifying and inspiring…A lifetime of thought, travel, reading, imagination and memory inform this affecting account." —<em>Kirkus Reviews</em> (starred review)</p><p>Blending history and anecdote, geography and reminiscence, science and exposition, <em>New York Times</em> bestselling author Simon Winchester tells the breathtaking saga of the Atlantic Ocean. A gifted storyteller and consummate historian, Winchester sets the great blue sea's epic narrative against the backdrop of mankind's intellectual evolution, telling not only the story of an ocean, but the story of civilization. Fans of Winchester's <em>Krakatoa, The Man Who Loved China</em>, and <em>The Professor and the Madman</em> will love this masterful, penetrating, and resonant tale of humanity finding its way across the ocean of history.</p>
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
by Jared Diamond

Language

English

Pages

528

Publication Date

March 07, 2017

Product Description
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.

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