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It is one of the most disturbing aspects of our universe: only four per cent of it consists of the matter that makes up every star, planet, and every book. The rest is completely unknown. Acclaimed science writer Richard Panek tells the story of the handful of scientists who have spent the past few decades on a quest to unlock the secrets of "dark matter" and the even stranger substance called "dark energy". These are perhaps the greatest mysteries in science,and solving them will reshape our understanding of the universe and our place in it. The stakes could not be higher. Panek's fast-paced narrative, filled with original, in-depth reporting and intimate, behind-the-scenes details, brings this epic story to life for the very first time.
Octopus is a real-life thriller that tells the inside story of a GBP300 million hedge fund fraud and the wild-goose chase through Europe by its drug-fuelled manager for a lucrative "secret market" beneath the financial market we all know. Sam Israel was a man who seemed to have it all. Born into one of the world's richest families, he founded his own hedge fund, promising his investors guaranteed profits. But, after suffering devastating losses and faking tax returns, Israel knew his real performance would soon be discovered. So when a former CIA-operative turned conman told him about a "secret market" run by the Federal Reserve, Israel bet his last $150 million of other people's money on a chance to make it all back. So began his crazy year-long adventure in a world populated by clandestine bankers, conspiracy theories, and gun-toting spooks issuing cryptic warnings about a mysterious cabal known only as the Octopus.
In Priceless, bestselling author William Poundstone reveals the hidden psychology of value and explores how we react to the most pervasive persuader of all: price. Charting the burgeoning growth of price-consultants who advise retailers from Nike to Nokia, Poundstone shows how behavioural decision theory has revolutionised the pricing strategies of major corporations. Informed by fascinating behavioural experiments and packed with real-life examples, Priceless explains why prices are so important, and the tricks that companies use to sell their goods. It will prove indispensable to anyone who buys, sells, or negotiates.
After the financial crash and the great recession, the media rediscovered Karl Marx, socialist theory, and the very idea that capitalism can be questioned. But in spite of the publicity, the main paths of contemporary critical thought have gone unexplored outside of the academy. Benjamin Kunkel's Utopia or Bust leads readers - whether politically committed or simply curious - through the most important critical theory today. Written with the wit and verve of Kunkel's best-selling novel, Indecision, this introduction to contemporary Leftist thinkers engages with the revolutionary philosophy of Slavoj i ek, the economic analyses of David Graeber and David Harvey, and the cultural diagnoses of Fredric Jameson. Discussing the ongoing crisis of capitalism in light of ideas of full employment, debt forgiveness, and "fictitious capital," Utopia or Bust is a tour through the world of Marxist thought and an examination of the basis of Western society today.From the Trade Paperback edition.
The Chicago Teachers Union strike was the most important domestic labor struggle so far this century--and perhaps for the last forty years--and the strongest challenge to the conservative agenda for restructuring education, which advocates for more charter schools and tying teacher salaries to standardized testing, among other changes.In 2012, Chicago teachers built a grassroots movement through education and engagement of an entire union membership, taking militant action in the face of enormous structural barriers and a hostile Democratic Party leadership. The teachers won massive concessions from the city and have become a new model for school reform led by teachers themselves, rather than by billionaires. Strike for America is the story of this movement, and how it has become the defining struggle for the labor movement today.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Recent years have seen a panic over "online red-light districts," which supposedly seduce vulnerable young women into a life of degradation, and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof's live tweeting of a Cambodian brothel raid. But rarely do these fearful, salacious dispatches come from sex workers themselves, and rarely do they deviate from the position that sex workers must be rescued from their condition, and the industry simply abolished -- a position common among feminists and conservatives alike. In Playing the Whore, journalist Melissa Gira Grant turns these pieties on their head, arguing for an overhaul in the way we think about sex work. Based on ten years of writing and reporting on the sex trade, and grounded in her experience as an organizer, advocate, and former sex worker, Playing the Whore dismantles pervasive myths about sex work, criticizes both conditions within the sex industry and its criminalization, and argues that separating sex work from the "legitimate" economy only harms those who perform sexual labor. In Playing the Whore, sex workers' demands, too long relegated to the margins, take center stage: sex work iswork, and sex workers' rights are human rights.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Henri Lefebvre's magnum opus: a monumental exploration of contemporary society.Henri Lefebvre's three-volume Critique of Everyday Life is perhaps the richest, most prescient work by one of the twentieth century's greatest philosophers. Written at the birth of post-war consumerism, the Critique was a philosophical inspiration for the 1968 student revolution in France and is considered to be the founding text of all that we know as cultural studies, as well as a major influence on the fields of contemporary philosophy, geography, sociology, architecture, political theory and urbanism. A work of enormous range and subtlety, Lefebvre takes as his starting-point and guide the "trivial" details of quotidian experience: an experience colonized by the commodity, shadowed by inauthenticity, yet one which remains the only source of resistance and change.This is an enduringly radical text, untimely today only in its intransigence and optimism.
"The essential public good that Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair and now Cameron sell is not power stations, or trains, or hospitals. It's the public itself. it's us." In a little over a generation the bones and sinews of the British economy - rail, energy, water, postal services, municipal housing - have been sold to remote, unaccountable private owners, often from overseas. In a series of brilliant portraits the award-winning novelist and journalist James Meek shows how Britain's common wealth became private, and the impact it has had on us all: from the growing shortage of housing to spiralling energy bills. Meek explores the human stories behind the incremental privatization of the nation over the last three decades. He shows how, as our national assets are sold, ordinary citizens are handed over to private tax-gatherers, and the greatest burden of taxes shifts to the poorest. In the end, it is not only public enterprises that have become private property, but we ourselves. Urgent, powerfully written and deeply moving, this is a passionate anatomy of the state of the nation: of what we have lost and what losing it cost us - the rent we must pay to exist on this private island.
Presented here for the first time in English is a remarkable screenplay about the apostle Paul by Pier Paolo Pasolini, legendary filmmaker, novelist, poet, and radical intellectual activist. Written between the appearance of his renowned film Teorema and the shocking, controversial Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom, St Paul was deemed too risky for investors. At once a political intervention and cinematic breakthrough, the script forces a revolutionary transformation on the contemporary legacy of Paul. In Pasolini's kaleidoscope, we encounter fascistic movements, resistance fighters, and faltering revolutions, each of which reflects on aspects of the Pauline teachings. From Jerusalem to Wall Street and Greenwich Village, from the rise of SS troops to the death of Martin Luther King, Jr, here--as Alain Badiou writes in the foreword--'Paul's text crosses all these circumstances intact, as if it had foreseen them all'. This is a key addition to the growing debate around St Paul and to the proliferation of literature centred on the current turn to religion in philosophy and critical theory, which embraces contemporary figures such as Alain Badiou, Slavoj i ek and Giorgio Agamben.From the Hardcover edition.
Luciana Castellina is one of Italy's most prominent left intellectuals and a cofounder of the newspaper il manifesto. In this coming-of agememoir, based on her diaries, she recounts her political awakening as a teenage girl in Fascist Italy--where she used to play tennis with Mussolini's daughter--and the subsequent downfall of the regime. Discovery of the World is about war, anti-Semitism, anti-fascism, resistance, the belief in social justice, the craving for experience, travel, political rallies, cinema, French intellectuals and FIAT workers, international diplomacy and friendship. All this is built on an intricate web made of reason and affection, of rational questioning and ironic self-narration as well as of profound nostalgia, disappointment and discovery.From the Hardcover edition.
"It is only ideas gained from walking that have any worth." --Nietzsche In A Philosophy of Walking, a bestseller in France, leading thinker Frédéric Gros charts the many different ways we get from A to B - the pilgrimage, the promenade, the protest march, the nature ramble - and reveals what they say about us. Gros draws attention to other thinkers who also saw walking as something central to their practice. On his travels he ponders Thoreau's eager seclusion in Walden Woods; the reason Rimbaud walked in a fury, while Nerval rambled to cure his melancholy. He shows us how Rousseau walked in order to think, while Nietzsche wandered the mountainside to write. In contrast, Kant marched through his hometown every day, exactly at the same hour, to escape the compulsion of thought. Brilliant and erudite, A Philosophy of Walking is an entertaining and insightful manifesto for putting one foot in front of the other.From the Hardcover edition.
"I've always had difficulty imagining my father as a policeman. He seemed most himself in the informal setting of safari life, clothes disheveled, sometimes not shaving for days. So why did he join the Indian Police, with its rigid hierarchies and complex protocols?"Setting Sun is the story of the dying days of an empire, combined with gripping family history, in an extraordinary literary voyage across India.When a letter from an Indian historian arrives out of the blue, informing leading academic Moore Gilbert that his beloved, deceased father, a member of the Indian Police before Independence, partook in the abuse of civilians, Moore Gilbert's world is shaken as his cherished childhood memories are challenged. He sets out in search of the truth--discovering much about the end of empire, the state of India today, and whether his father, as one of the many characters on his quest claims, really was a terrorist.Crisscrossing western India, and following leads from bustling Mumbai to remote rural scenes, Moore-Gilbert finally pieces together the truth, ultimately discovering that the same story links the past with the present, colonial India with its modern incarnation, terrorism through the ages and father with son.
Today, the Indian state claims to embody the values of a stable political democracy, a harmonious territorial unity, and a steadfast religious impartiality. Even many of those critical of the inequalities of Indian society underwrite such claims. The Indian Ideology suggests that the roots of the current ills of the Republic go much deeper, historically. They lie, in the way the struggle for independence culminated in the transfer of power from British rule to Congress in a divided subcontinent, not least in the roles played by Gandhi as the great architect of the movement, and Nehru as his appointed successor, in the catastrophe of Partition. Only an honest reckoning with that disaster, Perry Anderson argues, offers an understanding of what has gone wrong with the Republic since Independence. The "Idea of India," widely diffused not only in the official establishment, but more broadly in mainstream intellectual life, side-steps or suppresses many of these uncomfortable realities, past and present. For its own reasons, much of the left has yet to challenge the upshot: what has come to be the neo-Nehruvian consensus of the time. The Indian Ideology, revisiting the events of over a century in the light of how millions of Indians fare in the Republic today, suggests another way of looking at the country.
The long-awaited biography of the frontier Founding Father whose heroic actions and neglected writings inspired an entire generation from Paine to Madison. On May 10, 1775, in the storm-tossed hours after midnight, Ethan Allen, the Revolutionary firebrand, was poised for attack. With only two boatloads of his scraggly band of Vermont volunteers having made it across the wind-whipped waters of Lake Champlain, he was waiting for the rest of his Green Mountain boys to arrive. But with the protective darkness quickly fading, Allen determined that he hold off no longer. While Ethan Allen, a canonical hero of the American Revolution, has always been defined by his daring, predawn attack on the British-controlled Fort Ticonderoga, Willard Sterne Randall, the author of Benedict Arnold, now challenges our conventional understanding of this largely unexamined Founding Father. Widening the scope of his inquiry beyond the Revolutionary War, Randall traces Allen's beginning back to his modest origins in Connecticut, where he was born in 1738. Largely self-educated, emerging from a relatively impoverished background, Allen demonstrated his deeply rebellious nature early on through his attraction to Deism, his dramatic defense of smallpox vaccinations, and his early support of separation of church and state. Chronicling Allen's upward struggle from precocious, if not unruly, adolescent to commander of the largest American paramilitary force on the eve of the Revolution, Randall unlocks a trove of new source material, particularly evident in his gripping portrait of Allen as a British prisoner-of-war. While the biography reacquaints readers with the familiar details of Allen's life--his capture during the aborted American invasion of Canada, his philosophical works that influenced Thomas Paine, his seminal role in gaining Vermont statehood, his stirring funeral in 1789--Randall documents that so much of what we know of Allen is mere myth, historical folklore that people have handed down, as if Allen were Paul Bunyan. As Randall reveals, Ethan Allen, a so-called Robin Hood in the eyes of his dispossessed Green Mountain settlers, aggrandized, and unabashedly so, the holdings of his own family, a fact that is glossed over in previous accounts, embellishing his own best-selling prisoner-of-war narrative as well. He emerges not only as a public-spirited leader but as a self-interested individual, often no less rapacious than his archenemies, the New York land barons of the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys. As John E. Ferling comments, "Randall has stripped away the myths to provide as accurate an account of Allen's life as will ever be written." The keen insights that he produces shed new light, not only on this most enigmatic of Founding Fathers, but on today's descendants of the Green Mountain Boys, whose own political disenfranchisement resonates now more than ever.
The epic story of one of England's greatest families, focusing on the towering figure of Winston Churchill. The first Duke of Marlborough (1650-1722) was a soldier of such genius that a lavish palace, Blenheim, was built to honor his triumphs. Succeeding generations of Churchills sometimes achieved distinction but also included profligates and womanizers, and were saddled with the ruinous upkeep of Blenheim. The family fortunes were revived in the nineteenth century by the huge dowries of New York society beauties Jennie Jerome (Winston's mother) and Consuelo Vanderbilt (wife to Winston's cousin). Mary S. Lovell brilliantly recounts the triumphant political and military campaigns, the construction of great houses, the domestic tragedies, and the happy marriage of Winston to Clementine Hosier set against the disastrous unions of most of his family, which ended in venereal disease, papal annulment, clinical depression, and adultery. The Churchills were an extraordinary family: ambitious, impecunious, impulsive, brave, and arrogant. Winston--recently voted "The Greatest Briton"--dominates them all. His failures and triumphs are revealed in the context of a poignant and sometimes tragic private life.
"Lauterbach's tribute . . . is welcome and overdue." --Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post For generations, "chitlin' circuit" has meant second tier--brash performers in raucous nightspots far from the big-city limelight. Now, music journalist Preston Lauterbach combines terrific firsthand reportage with deep historical research to offer a groundbreaking account of the birth of rock 'n' roll in black America.
"Lewis shows again why he is the leading journalist of his generation."--Kyle Smith, Forbes The tsunami of cheap credit that rolled across the planet between 2002 and 2008 was more than a simple financial phenomenon: it was temptation, offering entire societies the chance to reveal aspects of their characters they could not normally afford to indulge. Icelanders wanted to stop fishing and become investment bankers. The Greeks wanted to turn their country into a pinata stuffed with cash and allow as many citizens as possible to take a whack at it. The Germans wanted to be even more German; the Irish wanted to stop being Irish. Michael Lewis's investigation of bubbles beyond our shores is so brilliantly, sadly hilarious that it leads the American reader to a comfortable complacency: oh, those foolish foreigners. But when he turns a merciless eye on California and Washington, DC, we see that the narrative is a trap baited with humor, and we understand the reckoning that awaits the greatest and greediest of debtor nations.
"This is criticism at its best."--Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times Writing in the tradition of Susan Sontag and Elaine Scarry, Maggie Nelson has emerged as one of our foremost cultural critics with this landmark work about representations of cruelty and violence in art. From Sylvia Plath's poetry to Francis Bacon's paintings, from the Saw franchise to Yoko Ono's performance art, Nelson's nuanced exploration across the artistic landscape ultimately offers a model of how one might balance strong ethical convictions with an equally strong appreciation for work that tests the limits of taste, taboo, and permissibility.
A bold, illuminating new take on the love of animals that drove human evolution. Why do humans all over the world take in and nurture other animals? This behavior might seem maladaptive--after all, every mouthful given to another species is one that you cannot eat--but in this heartening new study, acclaimed anthropologist Pat Shipman reveals that our propensity to domesticate and care for other animals is in fact among our species' greatest strengths. For the last 2.6 million years, Shipman explains, humans who coexisted with animals enjoyed definite adaptive and cultural advantages. To illustrate this point, Shipman gives us a tour of the milestones in human civilization-from agriculture to art and even language--and describes how we reached each stage through our unique relationship with other animals. The Animal Connection reaffirms our love of animals as something both innate and distinctly human, revealing that the process of domestication not only changed animals but had a resounding impact on us as well.
An extraordinary achievement, Telling Times reflects the true spirit of the writer as a literary beacon, moral activist, and political visionary. Never before has Gordimer, awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991, published such a comprehensive collection of her nonfiction. Telling Times represents the full span of her works in that field--from the twilight of white rule in South Africa to the fight to overthrow the apartheid regime, and most recently, her role over the past seven years in confronting the contemporary phenomena of violence and the dangers of HIV. The range of this book is staggering, and the work in totality celebrates the lively perseverance of the life-loving individual in the face of political tumult, then the onslaught of a globalized world. The abiding passionate spirit that informs "A South African Childhood," a youthful autobiographical piece published in The New Yorker in 1954, can be found in each of the book's ninety-one pieces that span a period of fifty-five years. Returning to a lifetime of nonfiction work has become an extraordinary experience for Gordimer. She takes from one of her revered great writers, Albert Camus, the conviction that the writer is a "responsible human being" attuned not alone to dedication to the creation of fiction but to the political vortex that inevitably encompasses twentieth- and twenty-first-century life. Born in 1923, Gordimer, who as a child was ambitious to become a ballet dancer, was recognized at fifteen as a writing prodigy. Her sensibility was as much shaped by wide reading as it was to eye-opening sight, passing on her way to school the grim labor compounds where black gold miners lived. These twin decisives--literature and politics--infuse the book, which includes historic accounts of the political atmosphere, firsthand, after the Sharpeville Massacre of 1960 and the Soweto uprising of 1976, as well as incisive close-up portraits of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, among others. Gordimer revisits the eternally relevant legacies of Tolstoy, Proust, and Flaubert, and engages vigorously with contemporaries like Susan Sontag, Octavio Paz, and Edward Said. But some of her most sensuous writing comes in her travelogues, where the politics of Africa blend seamlessly with its awe-inspiring nature--including spectacular recollections of childhood holidays beside South Africa's coast of the Indian Ocean and a riveting account of her journey the length of the Congo River in the wake of Conrad. Gordimer's body of work is an extraordinary vision of the world that harks back to the sensibilities--political, moral, and social--of Dickens and Tolstoy, but with a decidedly vivid contemporary consciousness. Telling Times becomes both a literary exploration and extraordinary document of social and political history in our times.
Twenty-seven pioneering thinkers share their discovery of and commitment to feminism in this essential collection. In a series of autobiographical reflections, the contributors to True Confessions, including Gayatri Spivak, Sandra M. Gilbert, Hortense Spillers, and Martha Nussbaum, among others, tell us what experiences ground their activism and how they confronted the dilemmas they faced in the course of their training and careers. Why do a family's religious practices captivate or repel girls grappling with their parents' faith? What happens when a lesbian graduate student assumes she must be closeted, or when a female professor encounters hostility from other women on the faculty, or when a feminist professor is accused of sexually harassing her graduate students? Susan Gubar has selected the most influential thinkers in the humanities to elucidate the origins as well as the consequences of their commitment to feminism and its institutionalization in higher education. This is an indispensable book for anyone who cares about the place of feminism in today's landscape.
"Not only can Fox see, she can hear, she can feel."--Zadie Smith, Harper's This gathering of Paula Fox's short work spans her illustrious career, from 1965 to the present including perfectly turned stories; pointed, engaging essays; and raw yet eloquent memoir.
The definitive group biography of the Wailers--Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Bunny Livingston--chronicling their rise to fame and power. Over one dramatic decade, a trio of Trenchtown R&B crooners swapped their 1960s Brylcreem hairdos and two-tone suits for 1970s battle fatigues and dreadlocks to become the Wailers--one of the most influential groups in popular music. Colin Grant presents a lively history of this remarkable band from their upbringing in the brutal slums of Kingston to their first recordings and then international superstardom. With energetic prose and stunning, original research, Grant argues that these reggae stars offered three models for black men in the second half of the twentieth century: accommodate and succeed (Marley), fight and die (Tosh), or retreat and live (Livingston). Grant meets with Rastafarian elders, Obeah men (witch doctors), and other folk authorities as he attempts to unravel the mysteries of Jamaica's famously impenetrable culture. Much more than a top-flight music biography, The Natural Mystics offers a sophisticated understanding of Jamaican politics, heritage, race, and religion--a portrait of a seminal group during a period of exuberant cultural evolution.
Redefining the thriller's tale of the hunter and the hunted, This electrifying, hypnotically beautiful debut spins dark suspense and literary fantasy into a mesmerizing story of survival.Katherine Emerson was born to fulfill a dark prophecy centuries in the making, but she doesn't know it yet. However, one man does: a killer stalking the women of New York City, a monster the media dubs the "Sickle Man" because of the weapon he uses to turn his victims' bodies into canvases for his twisted art. People think he's the next Son of Sam, but we know how he thinks and how he feels . . . and discover that he is driven by darker, much more dangerous desires than we can bear to imagine. He takes more than just his victims' lives, and each death brings him closer to the one woman he must possess at any cost.Amid the city's escalating hysteria, Katherine is trying to unknot her tangled heart. Two very different men have entered her previously uneventful world--handsome and personable David, alluring yet aloof Sael--and turned it upside down. She finds herself involved in a complicated triangle . . . but how well does she really know either of them?Told from the alternating viewpoints of Katherine and the Sickle Man, Sophie Jaff's intoxicating narrative will pull you in and hold you close. As the body count rises, Katherine is haunted by harrowing visions that force her to question her sanity. All she wants is to find love. He just wants to find her.Ablaze with fear, mystery, and possibility, Love Is Red is the first book in the Night Song trilogy. With this unforgettable novel--one that combines the literary and the supernatural, fantasy and horror, the past and the present--Katherine's moment of awakening is here. And her story is only just beginning.
Fall in love with the magic of natural sugars!From honey and pure maple syrup to smoky muscovado, exotic coconut sugar, and more, there's a world of white-sugar alternatives just waiting to add mind-blowing flavor to your home baking. Real Sweet is the first naturally sweet baking book that's more "hip" than "hippie"--chockablock with eighty-plus recipes ranging from family-friendly favorites to dinner-party showstoppers. This irresistible collection includes Breakfast Cookies; Dark, Fudgy Muscovado Brownies; Raw Sugar and Mascarpone Caramels; and Maple Cream, Chocolate, and Walnut Tart--all without a speck of refined white sugar!Cookbook author and blogger Shauna Sever brings her fresh, modern, and charmingly funny style to this natural-sugars primer, along with tricks for converting your favorite white-sugar recipes, making Real Sweet the go-to inspiration source for the exciting range of natural and unrefined sugars and sweeteners on the market today.e guilt. Here are more than eighty sure-to-be-favorite recipes, including: All-Day Snacks and Lunchbox Treats: Baked Apple Cinnamon Doughnuts, Cracklin' Maple Popcorn, Fake-Out Caramel Dip Bake Sales and Edible Gifts: Dark, Fudgy Muscovado Brownies and Maple Sugar Butter Cookies Picnics and Potlucks: Maple Chocolate Cake, Oregon Berry Cream Crumble, Spiced, Bruleed Maple Pumpkin Pie Candies and Confections: Bonfire Toffee Pops and Sea Salt Caramels in the Raw Dinner Party Fancies: Honeyed Yogurt Cheesecake and Pistachio Sponge Cake with Honey and Citrus Scoops and Spoonables: Butterscotch Pots de Crème and Vegan Toasted Coconut Chip Ice CreamWhether you're entertaining, sharing a good meal with friends, contributing to the PTA, or looking for homemade holiday gifts, Real Sweet has the perfect treat for everyday and every occasion.
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