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The Blue Buick: New and Selected Poems

by B. H. Fairchild

"[B. H. Fairchild] is the American voice at its best: confident and conflicted, celebratory and melancholic."--New York Times Gathering works from five of B. H. Fairchild's previous volumes stretching over thirty years, and adding twenty-six brilliant new poems, The Blue Buick showcases the career of a poet who represents "the American voice at its best: confident and conflicted, celebratory and melancholic" (New York Times). Fairchild's poetry covers a wide range, both geographically and intellectually, though it finds its center in the rural Midwest: in oilfields and dying small towns, in taverns, baseball fields, one-screen movie theaters, and skies "vast, mysterious, and bored." Ultimately, its cultural scope--where Mozart stands beside Patsy Cline, with Grunewald, Gödel, and Rothko only a subway ride from the Hollywood films of the 1950s--transcends region and decade to explore the relationship of memory to the imagination and the mysteries of time and being. And finally there is the character of Roy Eldridge Garcia, a machinist/poet/philosopher who sees in the landscape and silence of the high plains the held breath of the earth, "as if we haven't quite begun to exist. That coming into being still going on." From the machine work elevated to high art that is the subject of The Arrival of the Future (1985) to the despairing dreamers of Early Occult Memory Systems of the Lower Midwest (2002) to the panoramic, voice-driven structure of Usher (2009), Fairchild's work, "meaty, maximalist, driven by narrative, stakes out an American mythos" (David Ulin, Los Angeles Times). From "The Blue Buick:" A boy standing on a rig deck looks across the plains. A woman walks from a trailer to watch the setting sun. A man stands beside a lathe, lighting a cigar. Imagined or remembered, a girl in Normandy Sings across a sea, that something may remain.

Eavesdropping: A Memoir of Blindness and Listening

by Stephen Kuusisto

A memoir of blindness and listening rendered with a poet's delight by the author of the acclaimed Planet of the Blind. Blind people are not casual listeners. Blind since birth, Stephen Kuusisto recounts with a poet's sense of detail the surprise that comes when we are actively listening to our surroundings. There is an art to eavesdropping. Like Annie Dillard's An American Childhood or Dorothy Allison's One or Two Things I Know for Sure, Kuusisto's memoir highlights periods of childhood when a writer first becomes aware of his curiosity and imagination. As a boy he listened to Caruso records in his grandmother's attic and spent hours in the New Hampshire woods learning the calls of birds. As a grown man the writer visits cities around the world in order to discover the art of sightseeing by ear. Whether the reader is interested in disability, American poetry, music, travel, or the art of eavesdropping, he or she will find much to hear and even "see" in this unique celebration of a hearing life.

The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty: A Novel

by Amanda Filipacchi

"A sure comic touch...smart and sweet...a tribute to the pleasures of friendship." --The New Yorker "Readers who'd like to spend a little time at the corner where a brisker Haruki Murakami meets a drier '30 Rock' would do well to seek out Filipacchi's radiantly intelligent and very funny novel." --San Francisco Chronicle A magical and comedic take on modern love, the power of friendship, and the allure of disguise. In the heart of New York City, a group of artistic friends struggles with society's standards of beauty. At the center are Barb and Lily, two women at opposite ends of the beauty spectrum, but with the same problem: each fears she will never find a love that can overcome her looks. Barb, a stunningly beautiful costume designer, makes herself ugly in hopes of finding true love. Meanwhile, her friend Lily, a brilliantly talented but plain-looking musician, goes to fantastic lengths to attract the man who has rejected her--with results that are as touching as they are transformative. To complicate matters, Barb and Lily discover that they may have a murderer in their midst, that Barb's calm disposition is more dangerously provocative than her beauty ever was, and that Lily's musical talents are more powerful than anyone could have imagined. Part literary whodunit, part surrealist farce, The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty serves as a smart, modern-day fairy tale. With biting wit and offbeat charm, Amanda Filipacchi illuminates the labyrinthine relationship between beauty, desire, and identity, asking at every turn: what does it truly mean to allow oneself to be seen?

Einstein's Clocks and Poincare's Maps: Empires of Time

by Peter Galison

"More than a history of science; it is a tour de force in the genre."--New York Times Book Review A dramatic new account of the parallel quests to harness time that culminated in the revolutionary science of relativity, Einstein's Clocks, Poincaré's Maps is "part history, part science, part adventure, part biography, part meditation on the meaning of modernity....In Galison's telling of science, the meters and wires and epoxy and solder come alive as characters, along with physicists, engineers, technicians and others....Galison has unearthed fascinating material" (New York Times). Clocks and trains, telegraphs and colonial conquest: the challenges of the late nineteenth century were an indispensable real-world background to the enormous theoretical breakthrough of relativity. And two giants at the foundations of modern science were converging, step-by-step, on the answer: Albert Einstein, an young, obscure German physicist experimenting with measuring time using telegraph networks and with the coordination of clocks at train stations; and the renowned mathematician Henri Poincaré, president of the French Bureau of Longitude, mapping time coordinates across continents. Each found that to understand the newly global world, he had to determine whether there existed a pure time in which simultaneity was absolute or whether time was relative. Esteemed historian of science Peter Galison has culled new information from rarely seen photographs, forgotten patents, and unexplored archives to tell the fascinating story of two scientists whose concrete, professional preoccupations engaged them in a silent race toward a theory that would conquer the empire of time.

North Dakota: A History

by Robert P. Wilkins Wynona H. Wilkins

The area's extreme remoteness, great size, and sparse population have shaped the North Dakota character from the beginning of settlement a century ago. Theirs was not an easy land to master; and of those who tried, it demanded strength, endurance, and few illusions, but it had rewards. Today, as world shortages of food and fuel raise new possibilities--and new problems--North Dakotans face the future with the cautious optimism they learned long ago in sod houses and cold winters on the far northern edge of their country.

Kansas: A History

by Kenneth Davis

No state's creation was more dramatic, more at the center of national attention, more involved in fundamental moral conflict, than that of Kansas. In a sense, the state's history began with the arrival of the first Puritans of New England and the first slaves of Virginia. The States And The Nation Series, of which this volume is a part, is designed to assist the American people in a serious look at the ideals they have espoused and the experiences they have undergone in the history of the nation.

Colorado: A History (States and the Nation)

by American Association for State and Local History Marshall Sprague

Those who travel to look at Colorado will find as much meaning in Marshall Sprague's well-told story of its historical conflict as will those who live with the beauty--and the challenge. Mountains--so beautiful, the land dominated by the Colorado Rockies, that miners who "thought of returning to the comfort and dull security of their homes back east," in Marshall Sprague's words, "found themselves held by the appeal of their giddy environment, the spaciousness, the violence and serenity of the climate, the brightness of stars and the gorgeous sunups." The beauty itself could encourage a miner's belief that surely his luck would turn.

Arkansas: A History

by Harry S. Ashmore

South and West, delta and mountains, black and white, rich and poor, Arkansas is a complex state whose history has not been widely understood. In this graceful and good-humored account, author Harry S. Ashmore takes us on an instructive journey over the state's fascinating terrain and offers important new insights into Arkansas's historical character. Arkansas lies west of the Mississippi River and has shared much with that vast western region. Yet it also joined the Confederate States of America and has prided itself on its southern heritage. In the early nineteenth century, Arkansas was little removed from its wilderness beginnings, but the Indians who first made its hills and forests their home soon learned that the white man's frontier meant their demise. Later in the antebellum era, the young state searched for a sense of identity, covering with a patina of gentility the energy and violence that was characteristic of frontier America. The Civil War and Reconstruction brought both suffering and freedom and for the future left a mixed legacy. In the last hundred years, Arkansans struggled with old problems in a new context--race, cotton, sharecropping, and a colonial economy--and they discovered anew the need for hard work and good faith. On rich delta plantations and spare upland farms, in small towns and in cities like Little Rock and Fort Smith, the plain people of this state applied themselves to the pursuit of prosperity and hoped for a richer near future for their children.

Arizona: A Bicentennial History

by Lawrence Clark Powell

With the polished style that characterizes all his works, Dr. Lawrence Clark Powell portrays Arizona in a way that will enthrall readers in any state, concluding with recognition that, like the ancient Indians and Spaniards, "We too hold the land in brief tenancy." "O yes," said Senator Wade of Ohio, "I have heard of that country--it is just like hell." Such was the reaction to Arizona Territory of the nineteenth-century politicians who opposed making it a state and forced it to wait for statehood almost half a century. Now an opposite idea--Arizona as paradise--attracts tourists and the retired by the thousands. Cliches about a land of cowboys and Indians have yielded to visions of swimming pools, golf courses, and desert sunsets. Author Lawrence Clark Powell probes deeper to a nobler Arizona of dramatic history and human achievement.

Alaska: A Bicentennial History

by William R. Hunt

Cliches about Alaska are legion: to mention the name is to conjure up images of the Frozen North, mushing huskies, and grizzled sourdoughs panning for gold. In this book, author William R. Hunt shows how misleading such images are. Alaska, writes William R. Hunt, is not the "last wilderness," and it has not been built solely by the self-reliant efforts of hardy pioneers. Instead, it has struggled from its earliest days as an American possession until today for government aid to support commercial and economic development. The real story of Alaska is the story inherent in the disparity between government policies urged by Alaskans and government policies actually dictated from Washington, DC. The issue of conservation versus development makes Alaska of special interest to all Americans today. Our northernmost state is not what most Americans on the "Outside" think it is; but as author Hunt shows, all Americans have a stake in the future of Alaska and therefore can benefit from understanding the reality of its colorful history.

University Boulevard: A Novel

by Alan B. Hollingsworth

Chipper DeHart and court jester Peachy Waterman, Jr. leave the dry-boned village of El Viento, Oklahoma, to start life anew as college freshmen and fraternity brothers. It's 1967, and while the world is turning topsy-turvy, the twosome seeks refuge within the walls of Sigma Zeta Chi. But Peachy's bid to pledge doesn't come easy; in fact, he finagles his way into the frat house, along with the first non-white to ever pledge a college fraternity in Oklahoma, a full-blood Kickapoo Indian named Larry Twohatchets. And when the pledge class seems it couldn't take on one more misfit, along comes Smokey Ray Divine, a golfing hippie that lives on the razor's edge. Amy, Audora, and Cassie are the three muskarettes who steer the boys through college life, helping to protect them from the Vietnam tentacles that keep trying to reach through the windows of the fraternity house and pull the members into the jungle. But as the fraternity men cope by building their walls thicker and thicker, they discover that the enemy comes from within. Over the course of their four college years, faith is born through the death of their dreams. The Age of Aquarius meets The Age of Apollo in this flirtation with a mystical college life on University Boulevard.

Pleasure Wars: The Bourgeois Experience Victoria to Freud (The Bourgeois Experience: Victoria to Freud)

by Peter Gay

A master historian shows us a new side of the Victorian Era--the role of the Bourgeois as reactionaries, revolutionaries, and middle-of-the-roaders in the passage of high culture toward modernism. The Victorians in this richly peopled narrative maneuvered through decades marked by frequent shifts in taste, some seeking safety in traditional styles, others drawn to the avant-garde of artists, composers, and writers. Peter Gay's panoramic survey offers a fresh view of the ideas and sensibilities that dominated Victorian culture.

Divine Nothingness: Poems

by Gerald Stern

From the National Book Award-winning author of This Time, a new volume of poems that explore the very nature of existence. Divine Nothingness is a meditative reflection on the poet's past and an elegy to love and the experience of the senses in the face of mortality. From the Jersey side of the Delaware River in Lambertville, Gerald Stern explores questions about who and why we are, locating nothingness in the divine and the divine in nothingness. From "What Brings Me Here?" Here I am again and what brings me here to the same wooden bench preaching to the city of Lambertville surrounded by mayapples? For who in the hell is going to lie down with whom in the hell, either inside or outside?

The Wilderness: Poems

by Sandra Lim

From the winner of the 2013 Barnard Women Poets Prize, chosen by Louise Glück, a daring and exuberant new collection. Moving through myths of the American landscape, the fatalism of American Puritanism, family history, New England winters, aesthetic theory, and the suavities and anxieties of contemporary life, the poems in this astonishing collection ultimately speak about the individual soul's struggle with its own meaning. "In its stern and quiet way Sandra Lim's The Wilderness is one of the most thrilling books of poetry I have read in many years" (Louise Glück). From "Aubade" From the last stars to sunrise the world is dark and enduring and emptiness has its place. Then, to wake each day to the world's unwavering limits, you have to think about passion differently, again.

Rocket and Lightship: Essays on Literature and Ideas

by Adam Kirsch

A collection of essays from a "great poet-critic-intellectual" (Daily Beast). Adam Kirsch has been described as "elegant and astute...[a] critic of the very first order" (Michiko Kakutani, New York Times). In these brilliant, wide-ranging essays, published over the last eight years in the New Republic, The New Yorker, and elsewhere, Kirsch shows how literature can illuminate questions of meaning, ethics, and politics, and how those questions shape the way we take pleasure in art. In Rocket and Lightship he examines the work and life of writers past and present, from intellectuals Susan Sontag, Hannah Arendt, and Walter Benjamin to novelists including E. M. Forster, David Foster Wallace, and Zadie Smith. Kirsch quotes G. M. Hopkins: "Nor rescue, only rocket and lightship, shone." So shines literature, in these unflinchingly bold and provocative essays--as an illuminating, regenerative, and immortalizing force.

The Cultivation of Hatred: The Bourgeois Experience: Victoria to Freud (The Bourgeois Experience: Victoria to Freud)

by Peter Gay

With the same sweep, authority, and originality that marked his best-selling Freud: A Life for Our Time, Peter Gay here takes us on a remarkable journey through middle-class Victorian culture. Gay's search through middle-class Victorian culture, illuminated by lively portraits of such daunting figures as Bismarck, Darwin and his acolytes, George Eliot, and the great satirists Daumier and Wilhelm Busch, covers a vast terrain: the relations between men and women, wit, demagoguery, and much more. We discover the multiple ways in which the nineteenth century at once restrained aggressive behavior and licensed it. Aggression split the social universe into insiders and outsiders. "By gathering up communities of insiders," Professor Gay writes, the Victorians "discovered--only too often invented--a world of strangers beyond the pale, of individuals and classes, races and nations it was perfectly proper to debate, patronize, ridicule, bully, exploit, or exterminate." The aggressions so channeled or bottled could not be contained forever. Ultimately, they exploded in the First World War.

The Naked Heart: The Bourgeois Experience Victoria to Freud (The Bourgeois Experience: Victoria to Freud)

by Peter Gay

In The Naked Heart, Peter Gay explores the bourgeoisie's turn inward. At the very time that industrialists, inventors, statesmen, and natural scientists were conquering new objective worlds, Gay writes, "the secret life of the self had grown into a favorite and wholly serious indoor sport." Following the middle class's preoccupation with inwardness through its varied cultural expressions (such as fiction, art, history, and autobiography), Gay turns also to the letters and confessional diaries of both obscure and prominent men and women. These revealing documents help to round out a sparkling portrait of an age.

Gluten-Free Flour Power: Bringing Your Favorite Foods Back to the Table

by Aki Kamozawa H. Alexander Talbot

At last, delicious gluten-free recipes that work. Aki Kamozawa and Alex Talbot make their living devising clever solutions for the culinary world's toughest problems. Bringing years of experience in professional kitchens--and countless hours experimenting on their own--they maximize flavor, texture, and taste. When they realized the need for smart alternatives to the present forms of gluten-free food, they rose to the challenge. Their answers are here, based on three all-purpose flour blends (for soy, dairy, and corn allergies) expressed in over 90 recipes. Gluten-Free Flour Power is the indispensable cookbook for home cooks who recognize the value of having reliable, easy-to-make, delicious recipes in their repertoire. Starting with their original flour blends, Aki and Alex provide perfected gluten-free recipes for deliciously fluffy blueberry muffins, rich triple chocolate cake, hearty spiced pumpkin waffles, chewy chocolate chip cookies, and much more. They create foolproof recipes that are right at home on the family dinner table: bacon and onion tart, homemade pizza, and cheesecake. Innovators at heart, Aki and Alex also develop new dishes like homemade doughnuts with buttermilk brioche, seamless ravioli with pepperoni bolognese, and kimchi cavatelli, each dish reliably gluten-free and certifiably delicious. But this is more than just a cookbook--it is a book of ideas. Readers will learn Aki and Alex's easy tricks for boosting flavor at every turn: using tapioca starch to get that perfectly thick texture in homemade ice cream; adding potato starch for light, crispy, fully-flavored fried chicken; or transforming biscuit and cake batters with toasted milk powder. With fully illustrated step-by-step instructions accompanying nearly every recipe, Gluten-Free Flour Power belongs right next to the cutting board and the mixing bowl as an essential tool in the kitchen. Forward-thinking and entirely original, Gluten-Free Flour Power will change the way you plan everyday meals, whether or not yours is a gluten-free kitchen.

How to Speak Money: What the Money People Say-And What It Really Means

by John Lanchester

An entertaining and indispensable guide to the language of finance and economics by the writer hailed for "explain[ing] complex stuff in a down-to-earth and witty style" (The Economist). To those who don't speak it, the language of money can seem impenetrable and its ideas too complex to grasp. In How to Speak Money, John Lanchester--author of the New York Times best-selling book on the financial crisis, I.O.U.--bridges the gap between the money people and the rest of us. With characteristic wit and candor, Lanchester reveals how the world of finance really works: from the terms and conditions of your personal checking account to the evasions of bankers appearing in front of Congress. As Lanchester writes, we need to understand what the money people are talking about so that those who speak the language don't just write the rules for themselves. Lanchester explains more than 300 words and phrases from "AAA rating" and "amortization" to "yield curve" and "zombie bank." He covers things we say or hear every day--such as GDP, the IMF, credit, debt, equity, and inflation--and explains how hedge funds work, what the World Bank does, and why the language of money has gotten so complicated. Along the way he draws on everything from John Maynard Keynes to the Wu-Tang Clan, Friedrich Hayek to Thomas Piketty, The Wealth of Nations to Game of Thrones. A primer, a polemic, and a reference book, How to Speak Money makes economics understandable to anyone. After all, "money," as Lanchester writes, "is a lot like babies, and once you know the language, the rule is the same as that put forward by Dr. Spock: 'Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.'"

Brain Fever: Poems

by Kimiko Hahn

Rooted in traditional Japanese aesthetics and meditations on contemporary neuroscience, a stunning new volume from an essential American poet. Acclaimed as "one of the most fascinating female poets of our time" (BOMB), Kimiko Hahn is a shape-shifter, a poet who seeks novel forms for her utterly original subject matter and "stands as a welcome voice of experimentation and passion" (Bloomsbury Review). In Brain Fever, Hahn integrates the recent findings of science, ancient Japanese aesthetics, and observations from her life as a woman, wife, mother, daughter, and artist. Rooted in meditations on contemporary neuroscience, Brain Fever takes as its subject the mysteries of the human mind--the nature of dreams and memories, the possibly illusory nature of linear time, the complexity of conveying love to a child. In one poem, "A Bowl of Spaghetti," she cites a comparison that researchers draw between unraveling "the millions of miles of wires in the [human] brain" and "untangling a bowl of spaghetti," and thus she untangles a memory of her own: "I have an old photo: Rei in her high chair intently / picking out each strand to mash in her mouth. // Was she two? Was that sailor dress from mother? / Did I cook that sauce from scratch? If so, there was a carrot in the pot." Equally inspired by Sei Shonagon's tenth-century Pillow Book and the latest findings of cognitive research, Brain Fever is a thrilling blend of the timely and the timeless.

In the City: Random Acts of Awareness

by Colette Brooks

An award-winning kaleidoscope of a book that "shocks and stirs the urban heart," capturing city life on the edge of the twenty-first century. What kind of person is a city person? This is a question of increasing importance, Colette Brooks suggests, as the city begins to spread, inexorably, into the furthest reaches of the modern mind. One possibility: a city person is someone "who doesn't feel the need to finish a jigsaw puzzle, who relishes jagged edges and orphaned curves, stray bits of data, stories parsed from sentences half overheard on the streets." Someone who is willing, sometimes eager, to immerse herself in mystery. Winner of the PEN/Jerard Fund Award, In the City is an idiosyncratic, lyrical, edgy exploration of the urban experience. This daring, unpredictable work breathes new life into the nonfiction form. Chronicling the often haphazard lives of city dwellers and cities themselves, In the City is a window into the urban psyche. An unnamed narrator roams the streets of an unnamed city, practicing "random acts of awareness" as she gathers disjointed pieces of the puzzle. She is sometimes in a city that seems to be New York, and sometimes in cities halfway around the world. In her wanderings she collects bits of stories, some taken from the headlines, some from the streets, some from the distant past. She studies criminals, innocent bystanders, commuters; a renowned painter who fled to the country; a bomber who sends unsuspecting city dwellers lethal packages marked "personal"; a blind, deaf woman who loves to ride the subway; a young cabdriver who keeps an open dictionary at his side as he drives, struggling to learn a strange language; a perplexed explorer who finds himself, against all expectation, stranded at the very edge of the earth. All of these people, she discovers, are city people, whether they know it yet or not. Some will flourish, others will be lost, victims of chance and mischance: the woman who drinks by herself in a brownstone apartment; the ancient city dwellers who couldn't outrun fire or flood; the children whose faces end up on posters on a wall. Those who survive learn, sooner or later, that everyone keeps company with ghosts who walk alongside. In the City shows us that the city is a place where past and present are commingled, where questions rarely have answers, where danger, difficulty, and exhilaration are interwoven in ways we can hardly begin to explain. Welcome to the city, the place where all contrary indications hold true.

Reprobates: The Cavaliers of the English Civil War

by John Stubbs

"Stubbs [has] a storyteller's gift for atmosphere and drama."--Wall Street Journal From disastrous foreign forays to syphilitic poets, from political intrigues to ambitious young playwrights keen to curry favor with the king, John Stubbs brings alive the vibrant cast of characters that was at the center of the English Civil War. In Reprobates, the acclaimed biographer John Stubbs finds his new subject in England's turbulent decades of the mid-seventeenth century. With conflict between the monarchy and Parliament threatening to explode, a group of courtiers and army officers known as the Cavaliers emerged to defend the king. They were jeeringly labeled "Cavaliers"--then a term for a gallant or a rogue--by their opponents on the streets of London. Their movement was soon memorialized by poets such as Robert Herrick, whose poem "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time"--which begins, "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may"--later became a carpe diem anthem for their lost cause. Often imagined as elegant gentlemen, chivalrous and dandified, the Cavaliers were also originally to be found in the form of the gambler and poet Sir John Suckling or his syphilitic friend William Davenant. Stubbs sheds new light on this groundbreaking group of men, on their world and their journeys through it, in peace and war, from the Blackfriars Playhouse to the battlefields of King Charles's kingdoms.

The Modern Element: Essays on Contemporary Poetry

by Adam Kirsch

A collection of bold, insightful, and controversial essays by "a poetry critic of the very first order" (New York Times). Over the last ten years, through essays in The New Republic, The New Yorker, and other magazines, Adam Kirsch--"one of the most promising young poet-critics in America" (Los Angeles Times)--has established himself among the most controversial and fearless critics writing today. Sure to cause heated debate, this collection of essays surveys the world of contemporary poetry with boldness and insight, whether Kirsch is scrutinizing the reputation of popular poets such as Billy Collins and Sharon Olds or admiring the achievement of writers as different as Derek Walcott, Czeslaw Milosz, and Frederick Seidel. For readers who want an introduction to the complex world of contemporary American poetry, from major figures like Jorie Graham to the most promising poets of the younger generation, Kirsch offers close readings and bold judgments. For readers who already know that world, The Modern Element will offer a surprising and thought-provoking new perspective.

The Wounded Surgeon: Confession and Transformation in Six American Poets: The Poetry of Lowell, Bishop, Berryman, Jarrell, Schwartz, and Plath

by Adam Kirsch

"One of the most promising young poet-critics in America" (Los Angeles Times) examines a revolutionary generation of poets. Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath, John Berryman, Randall Jarrell, and Delmore Schwartz formed one of the great constellations of talent in American literature. In the decades after World War II, they changed American poetry forever by putting themselves at risk in their poems in a new and provocative way. Their daring work helped to inspire the popular style of poetry now known as "confessional." But partly as a result of their openness, they have become better known for their tumultuous lives--afflicted by mental illness, alcoholism, and suicide--than for their work. This book reclaims their achievement by offering critical "biographies of the poetry"--tracing the development of each poet's work, exploring their major themes and techniques, and examining how they transformed life into art. An ideal introduction for readers coming to these major American poets for the first time, it will also help veteran readers to appreciate their work in a new light.

The Story of Western Science: From the Writings of Aristotle to the Big Bang Theory

by Susan Wise Bauer

A riveting road map to the development of modern scientific thought. In the tradition of her perennial bestseller The Well-Educated Mind, Susan Wise Bauer delivers an accessible, entertaining, and illuminating springboard into the scientific education you never had. Far too often, public discussion of science is carried out by journalists, voters, and politicians who have received their science secondhand. The Story of Western Science shows us the joy and importance of reading groundbreaking science writing for ourselves and guides us back to the masterpieces that have changed the way we think about our world, our cosmos, and ourselves. Able to be referenced individually, or read together as the narrative of Western scientific development, the book's twenty-eight succinct chapters lead readers from the first science texts by Hippocrates, Plato, and Aristotle through twentieth-century classics in biology, physics, and cosmology. The Story of Western Science illuminates everything from mankind's earliest inquiries to the butterfly effect, from the birth of the scientific method to the rise of earth science and the flowering of modern biology. Each chapter recommends one or more classic books and provides entertaining accounts of crucial contributions to science, vivid sketches of the scientist-writers, and clear explanations of the mechanics underlying each concept. The Story of Western Science reveals science to be a dramatic undertaking practiced by some of history's most memorable characters. It reminds us that scientific inquiry is a human pursuit--an essential, often deeply personal, sometimes flawed, frequently brilliant way of understanding the world. The Story of Western Science is an "entertaining and unique synthesis" (Times Higher Education), a "fluidly written" narrative that "celebrates the inexorable force of human curiosity" (Wall Street Journal), and a "bright, informative resource for readers seeking to understand science through the eyes of the men and women who shaped its history" (Kirkus). Previously published as The Story of Science.

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