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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Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews conducted over the course of more than ten years, as well as letters, unpublished memoirs, and documents from recently-declassified archives, Adam Higginbotham has written a harrowing and compelling narrative which brings the disaster to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.
The Right Stuff
by Tom Wolfe

Language

English

Pages

369

Publication Date

May 16, 2004

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Customer Reviews
<p><b>From "America's nerviest journalist" (<i>Newsweek</i>)--a breath-taking epic, a magnificent adventure story, and an investigation into the true heroism and courage of the first Americans to conquer space. "Tom Wolfe at his very best" (<i>The New York Times Book Review</i>)</b><br /><b></b><br />Millions of words have poured forth about man's trip to the moon, but until now few people have had a sense of the most engrossing side of the adventure; namely, what went on in the minds of the astronauts themselves - in space, on the moon, and even during certain odysseys on earth. It is this, the inner life of the astronauts, that Tom Wolfe describes with his almost uncanny empathetic powers, that made <i>The Right Stuff </i>a classic.</p>
The Perfectionists: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern Wo...
by Simon Winchester

Language

English

Pages

411

Publication Date

May 08, 2018

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<p>The revered <em>New York Times</em> bestselling author traces the development of technology from the Industrial Age to the Digital Age to explore the single component crucial to advancement—precision—in a superb history that is both an homage and a warning for our future.</p><p>The rise of manufacturing could not have happened without an attention to precision. At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution in eighteenth-century England, standards of measurement were established, giving way to the development of machine tools—machines that make machines. Eventually, the application of precision tools and methods resulted in the creation and mass production of items from guns and glass to mirrors, lenses, and cameras—and eventually gave way to further breakthroughs, including gene splicing, microchips, and the Hadron Collider.</p><p>Simon Winchester takes us back to origins of the Industrial Age, to England where he introduces the scientific minds that helped usher in modern production: John Wilkinson, Henry Maudslay, Joseph Bramah, Jesse Ramsden, and Joseph Whitworth. It was Thomas Jefferson who later exported their discoveries to the fledgling United States, setting the nation on its course to become a manufacturing titan. Winchester moves forward through time, to today’s cutting-edge developments occurring around the world, from America to Western Europe to Asia.</p><p>As he introduces the minds and methods that have changed the modern world, Winchester explores fundamental questions. Why is precision important? What are the different tools we use to measure it? Who has invented and perfected it? Has the pursuit of the ultra-precise in so many facets of human life blinded us to other things of equal value, such as an appreciation for the age-old traditions of craftsmanship, art, and high culture? Are we missing something that reflects the world as it is, rather than the world as we think we would wish it to be? And can the precise and the natural co-exist in society?</p>
Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World
by Cal Newport

Language

English

Pages

302

Publication Date

February 05, 2019

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Customer Reviews
<b>A <i>New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, </i>and <i>USA Today </i>bestseller<br /><br />"Newport is making a bid to be the Marie Kondo of technology: someone with an actual plan for helping you realize the digital pursuits that do, and don't, bring value to your life."--Ezra Klein, Vox<br /><br />Minimalism is the art of knowing how much is just enough. Digital minimalism applies this idea to our personal technology. It's the key to living a focused life in an increasingly noisy world.</b><br /><br />In this timely and enlightening book, the bestselling author of <i>Deep Work</i> introduces a philosophy for technology use that has already improved countless lives.<br /><br />Digital minimalists are all around us. They're the calm, happy people who can hold long conversations without furtive glances at their phones. They can get lost in a good book, a woodworking project, or a leisurely morning run. They can have fun with friends and family without the obsessive urge to document the experience. They stay informed about the news of the day, but don't feel overwhelmed by it. They don't experience "fear of missing out" because they already know which activities provide them meaning and satisfaction.<br /><br />Now, Newport gives us a name for this quiet movement, and makes a persuasive case for its urgency in our tech-saturated world. Common sense tips, like turning off notifications, or occasional rituals like observing a digital sabbath, don't go far enough in helping us take back control of our technological lives, and attempts to unplug completely are complicated by the demands of family, friends and work. What we need instead is a thoughtful method to decide what tools to use, for what purposes, and under what conditions.<br /><br />Drawing on a diverse array of real-life examples, from Amish farmers to harried parents to Silicon Valley programmers, Newport identifies the common practices of digital minimalists and the ideas that underpin them. He shows how digital minimalists are rethinking their relationship to social media, rediscovering the pleasures of the offline world, and reconnecting with their inner selves through regular periods of solitude. He then shares strategies for integrating these practices into your life, starting with a thirty-day "digital declutter" process that has already helped thousands feel less overwhelmed and more in control.<br /><br />Technology is intrinsically neither good nor bad. The key is using it to support your goals and values, rather than letting it use you. This book shows the way.
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>
Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Dis...
by Safi Bahcall

Language

English

Pages

347

Publication Date

March 19, 2019

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<p><b><i>*Wall Street Journal </i>bestseller *Next Big Idea Club selection—chosen by Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Dan Pink, and Adam Grant as one of the "two most groundbreaking new nonfiction reads of the season" </b><b><i>* Washington Post's</i> "10 Leadership Books to Watch for in 2019" * Newsweek's "Best of Summer Books" *Financial Times' "Summer Books of 2019 * Thrive Global's "Top Books on Leadership" *Inc.com's "10 Business Books You Need to Read in 2019" *Business Insider's "14 Books Everyone Will Be Reading in 2019" *Management Today's "Top Business Books to Read in 2019"</b><br /><b></b><br /><b>“This book has everything: new ideas, bold insights, entertaining history and convincing analysis. Not to be missed by anyone who wants to understand how ideas change the world.” </b>—<b>Daniel Kahneman, winner of the Nobel Prize and author of <i>Thinking, Fast and Slow</i></b> </p><p>What do James Bond and Lipitor have in common? What can we learn about human nature and world history from a glass of water?</p><p>In <i>Loonshots</i>, physicist and entrepreneur Safi Bahcall reveals a surprising new way of thinking about the mysteries of group behavior that challenges everything we thought we knew about nurturing radical breakthroughs.</p><p>Drawing on the science of <i>phase transitions</i>, Bahcall shows why teams, companies, or any group with a mission will suddenly change from embracing wild new ideas to rigidly rejecting them, just as flowing water will suddenly change into brittle ice. Mountains of print have been written about <i>culture</i>. <i>Loonshots </i>identifies the small shifts in <i>structure</i> that control this transition, the same way that temperature controls the change from water to ice.</p><p>Using examples that range from the spread of fires in forests to the hunt for terrorists online, and stories of thieves and geniuses and kings, Bahcall shows how this new kind of science helps us understand the behavior of companies and the fate of empires. <i>Loonshots </i>distills these insights into lessons for creatives, entrepreneurs, and visionaries everywhere.</p><p>Over the past decade, researchers have been applying the tools and techniques of phase transitions to understand how birds flock, fish swim, brains work, people vote, criminals behave, ideas spread, diseases erupt, and ecosystems collapse. If twentieth-century science was shaped by the search for fundamental laws, like quantum mechanics and gravity, the twenty-first will be shaped by this new kind of science. <i>Loonshots </i>is the first to apply these tools to help all of us unlock our potential to create and nurture the crazy ideas that change the world.</p>
Empires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to El...
by Jill Jonnes

Language

English

Pages

464

Publication Date

August 19, 2003

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<b>The gripping history of electricity and how the fateful collision of Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and George Westinghouse left the world utterly transformed.</b><br /><br />In the final decades of the nineteenth century, three brilliant and visionary titans of America’s Gilded Age—Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and George Westinghouse—battled bitterly as each vied to create a vast and powerful electrical empire. In <i>Empires of Light</i>, historian Jill Jonnes portrays this extraordinary trio and their riveting and ruthless world of cutting-edge science, invention, intrigue, money, death, and hard-eyed Wall Street millionaires. At the heart of the story are Thomas Alva Edison, the nation’s most famous and folksy inventor, creator of the incandescent light bulb and mastermind of the world’s first direct current electrical light networks; the Serbian wizard of invention Nikola Tesla, elegant, highly eccentric, a dreamer who revolutionized the generation and delivery of electricity; and the charismatic George Westinghouse, Pittsburgh inventor and tough corporate entrepreneur, an industrial idealist who in the era of gaslight imagined a world powered by cheap and plentiful electricity and worked heart and soul to create it. <br /><br /> Edison struggled to introduce his radical new direct current (DC) technology into the hurly-burly of New York City as Tesla and Westinghouse challenged his dominance with their alternating current (AC), thus setting the stage for one of the eeriest feuds in American corporate history, the War of the Electric Currents. The battlegrounds: Wall Street, the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, Niagara Falls, and, finally, the death chamber—Jonnes takes us on the tense walk down a prison hallway and into the sunlit room where William Kemmler, convicted ax murderer, became the first man to die in the electric chair.
Voices from Chernobyl (Lannan Selection)
by Svetlana Alexievich

Language

English

Pages

257

Publication Date

October 16, 2015

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<b>Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature and Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award</b> A journalist by trade, who now suffers from an immune deficiency developed while researching this book, presents personal accounts of what happened to the people of Belarus after the nuclear reactor accident in 1986, and the fear, anger, and uncertainty that they still live with. The Nobel Prize in Literature 2015 was awarded to Svetlana Alexievich "for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time."
The Death of Expertise: The Campaign against Established Knowledg...
by Tom Nichols

Language

English

Pages

252

Publication Date

February 01, 2017

Product Description
Customer Reviews
Technology and increasing levels of education have exposed people to more information than ever before. These societal gains, however, have also helped fuel a surge in narcissistic and misguided intellectual egalitarianism that has crippled informed debates on any number of issues. Today, everyone knows everything: with only a quick trip through WebMD or Wikipedia, average citizens believe themselves to be on an equal intellectual footing with doctors and diplomats. All voices, even the most ridiculous, demand to be taken with equal seriousness, and any claim to the contrary is dismissed as undemocratic elitism.<br /><br />Tom Nichols' <em>The Death of Expertise</em> shows how this rejection of experts has occurred: the openness of the internet, the emergence of a customer satisfaction model in higher education, and the transformation of the news industry into a 24-hour entertainment machine, among other reasons. Paradoxically, the increasingly democratic dissemination of information, rather than producing an educated public, has instead created an army of ill-informed and angry citizens who denounce intellectual achievement. When ordinary citizens believe that no one knows more than anyone else, democratic institutions themselves are in danger of falling either to populism or to technocracy or, in the worst case, a combination of both. An update to the 2017breakout hit, the paperback edition of <em>The Death of Expertise</em> provides a new foreword to cover the alarming exacerbation of these trends in the aftermath of Donald Trump's election. Judging from events on the ground since it first published, The <em>Death of Expertise</em> issues a warning about the stability and survival of modern democracy in the Information Age that is even more important today.
How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy
by Jenny Odell

Language

English

Pages

241

Publication Date

April 23, 2019

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<b>A galvanizing critique of the forces vying for our attention—and our personal information—that redefines what we think of as productivity, reconnects us with the environment, and reveals all that we’ve been too distracted to see about ourselves and our world</b><br /><br />Nothing is harder to do these days than nothing. But in a world where our value is determined by our 24/7 data productivity . . . doing nothing may be our most important form of resistance. <br /><br />So argues artist and critic Jenny Odell in this field guide to doing nothing (at least as capitalism defines it). Odell sees our attention as the most precious—and overdrawn—resource we have. Once we can start paying a new kind of attention, she writes, we can undertake bolder forms of political action, reimagine humankind’s role in the environment, and arrive at more meaningful understandings of happiness and progress. <br /><br />Far from the simple anti-technology screed, or the back-to-nature meditation we read so often, <i>How to do Nothing</i> is an action plan for thinking outside of capitalist narratives of efficiency and techno-determinism. Provocative, timely, and utterly persuasive, this book is a four-course meal in the age of Soylent.

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