Basic Books

  • Anglais Bit by Bit

    Andrew Ervin

    An acclaimed novelist and critic argues that video games are the most vital art form of our time Video games have seemingly taken over our lives. Whereas gamers once constituted a small and largely male subculture, today 67 percent of American households play video games. The average gamer is now thirty-four years old and spends eight hours each week playing-and there is a 40 percent chance this person is a woman. In Bit by Bit, Andrew Ervin sets out to understand the explosive popularity of video games. He travels to government laboratories, junk shops, and arcades. He interviews scientists and game designers, both old and young. In charting the material and technological history of video games, from the 1950s to the present, he suggests that their appeal starts and ends with the sense of creativity they instill in gamers. As Ervin argues, games can be art because they are beautiful, moving, and even political.

  • How George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and John Adams navigated the nation through four major crises and caused the first stirrings of American nationalism Today the United States is the dominant power in world affairs, and that status seems assured. Yet in the decade following the ratification of the Constitution, the republic's existence was contingent and fragile, challenged by domestic rebellions, foreign interference, and the always-present danger of collapse into mob rule. Carol Berkin reveals that the nation survived almost entirely due to the actions of the Federalist leadership-George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and John Adams. Reacting to successive crises, they extended the power of the federal government and fended off foreign attempts to subvert American sovereignty. As Berkin argues, the result was a spike in nationalism, as ordinary citizens began to identify with their nation first, their home states second. While the Revolution freed the states and the Constitution linked them as never before, this landmark work shows that it was the Federalists who transformed the states into an enduring nation.

  • An engaging guide to how Stoicism--the ancient philosophy of Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius--can provide lessons for living in the modern world Whenever we worry about what to eat, how to love, or simply how to be happy, we are worrying about how to lead a good life. No goal is more elusive. In How to Be a Stoic, philosopher Massimo Pigliucci offers Stoicism, the ancient philosophy that inspired the great emperor Marcus Aurelius, as the best way to attain it. Stoicism is a pragmatic philosophy that teaches us to act depending on what is within our control and separate things worth getting upset about from those that are not. By understanding Stoicism, we can learn to answer crucial questions: Should we get married or divorced? How should we bank in a world nearly destroyed by a financial crisis? How can we survive great personal tragedy? Whoever you are, Stoicism has something for you-and How to Be a Stoic is your essential guide.

  • @90@@20@In this entertaining and insightful analysis, cognitive scientist Don Norman hails excellence of design as the most important key to regaining the competitive edge in influencing consumer behavior.@21@@91@@90@@16@@91@@90@Even the smartest among us can feel inept as we fail to figure out which light switch or oven burner to turn on, or whether to push, pull, or slide a door. The fault, argues this ingenious-even liberating-book, lies not in ourselves, but in product design that ignores the needs of users and the principles of cognitive psychology. The problems range from ambiguous and hidden controls to arbitrary relationships between controls and functions, coupled with a lack of feedback or other assistance and unreasonable demands on memorization.@91@@90@@18@@16@@19@@91@@90@@18@The Design of Everyday Things@19@ shows that good, usable design is possible. The rules are simple: make things visible, exploit natural relationships that couple function and control, and make intelligent use of constraints. The goal: guide the user effortlessly to the right action on the right control at the right time.@16@@16@@18@The Design of Everyday Things@19@ is a powerful primer on how-and why-some products satisfy customers while others only frustrate them.@16@@91@


  • Atlanta is on the verge of tremendous rebirth-or inexorable decline. A kind of Petri dish for cities struggling to reinvent themselves, Atlanta has the highest income inequality in the country, gridlocked highways, suburban sprawl, and a history of racial injustice. Yet it is also an energetic, brash young city that prides itself on pragmatic solutions.
    Today, the most promising catalyst for the city's rebirth is the BeltLine, which the New York Times described as "a staggeringly ambitious engine of urban revitalization." A long-term project that is cutting through forty-five neighborhoods ranging from affluent to impoverished, the BeltLine will complete a twenty-two-mile loop encircling downtown, transforming a massive ring of mostly defunct railways into a series of stunning parks connected by trails and streetcars.
    Acclaimed author Mark Pendergrast presents a deeply researched, multi-faceted, up-to-the-minute history of the biggest city in America's Southeast, using the BeltLine saga to explore issues of race, education, public health, transportation, business, philanthropy, urban planning, religion, politics, and community.
    An inspiring narrative of ordinary Americans taking charge of their local communities, City of the Verge provides a model for how cities across the country can reinvent themselves.

  • Anglais The Collapse of Parenting

    Leonard Sax

    @90@In @18@The Collapse of Parenting@19@, physician, psychologist, and internationally acclaimed author Leonard Sax presents data documenting a dramatic decline in the achievement and psychological health of American children. Sax argues that rising levels of obesity, depression, and anxiety among young people@95@#151;as well as the explosion in prescribing psychiatric medications to kids@95@#151;can all be traced to parents letting their kids call the shots.@16@ @95@#160;@16@ Many parents are afraid of seeming too dictatorial and end up abdicating their authority rather than taking a stand with their own children. If kids refuse to eat anything green and demand pizza instead, some parents give in, inadvertently raising children who are more likely to become obese. If children are given smartphones and allowed to spend the bulk of their free time texting, playing video games, and surfing the Internet, they become increasingly reliant on peers and the media for guidance on how to live, rather than getting such guidance at home. And if they won@95@#39;t sit still in class or listen to adults, they@95@#39;re often prescribed medication, a quick fix that actually undermines their self-control. In short, Sax argues, parents are failing to prioritize the parent-child relationship and are allowing a child-peer dynamic to take precedence. The result is children who have no absolute standard of right and wrong, who lack discipline, and who look to their peers and the Internet for direction, instead of looking to their parents.@16@ @95@#160;@16@ But there is hope. Sax shows how parents can help their kids by reasserting their authority@95@#151;by limiting time with screens, by encouraging better habits at the dinner table and at bedtime, and by teaching humility and perspective. Drawing on more than twenty-five years of experience as a family physician and psychologist, along with hundreds of interviews with children, parents, and teachers across the United States and around the world, Sax offers a blueprint parents can use to refresh and renew their relationships with their children to help their children thrive in an increasingly complicated world.@16@@91@

  • With the publication of Running on Ritalin in 1998, Dr. Lawrence Diller established himself as the country's leading expert on the use of psychiatric drugs to treat children. Since then, parents have clamored for his expertise on psychological problems beyond ADD, drugs beyond Ritalin, and, most important, how to decide whether or not drugs really are the best option for their children. More and more parents are asking the simple question: Should I medicate my child? In this authoritative and plainspoken book, which features a detailed, easy-to-access "Quick Guide to Psychiatric Drugs," Dr. Diller gives parents the tools they need to regain faith in their own judgment and make wise choices for their children.

  • Anglais Digital Soul

    Thomas Georges

    Should the day come when intelligent machines not only make computations but also think and experience emotions as humans do, how will we distinguish the “human" from the “machine"? This introduction to artificial intelligence – and to its potentially profound social, moral, and ethical implications – is designed for readers with little or no technical background. In accessible, focused, engaging discussions, physicist and award-winning science writer Thomas Georges explores the fundamental issues: What is consciousness? Can computers be conscious? If machines could think and even feel, would they then be entitled to “human" rights? Will machines and people merge into a biomechanical race? Should we worry that super-intelligent machines might take over the world? Even now we continue to put increasingly sophisticated machines in control of critical aspects of our lives in ways that may hold unforeseen consequences for the human race. Digital Soul challenges all of us, before it's too late, to think carefully and rationally about the kind of world we will want to live in – with intelligent machines ever closer by our sides.

  • In Conversations on the Dark Secrets of Physics, Teller returns to the fundamentals of physics to share with readers his unbridled enthusiasm for the world of physical reality--from the nature of molecules to quantum mechanics and superconductors, from the elementary laws of thermodynamics to how planets, asteroids, and comets develop their orbits. By simplifying the math and forgoing the often-confusing technical jargon, Teller helps the reader break through physic's bewildering formulas and equations and get to the wonders of our physical universe. A timeless and personal explanation of the importance of physics in our life, Conversations on the Dark Secrets of Physics is certain to become a classic.

  • Anglais A Dark Muse

    Gary Lachman

    The occult was a crucial influence on the Renaissance, and it obsessed the popular thinkers of the day. But with the Age of Reason, occultism was sidelined; only charlatans found any use for it. Occult ideas did not disappear, however, but rather went underground. It developed into a fruitful source of inspiration for many important artists. Works of brilliance, sometimes even of genius, were produced under its influence. In A Dark Muse, Lachman discusses the Enlightenment obsession with occult politics, the Romantic explosion, the futuristic occultism of the fin de siècle, and the deep occult roots of the modernist movement. Some of the writers and thinkers featured in this hidden history of western thought and sensibility are Emanuel Swedenborg, Charles Baudelaire, J. K. Huysmans, August Strindberg, William Blake, Goethe, Madame Blavatsky, H. G. Wells, Edgar Allan Poe, and Malcolm Lowry.

  • During the Soviet years, Russian science was touted as one of the greatest successes of the regime. Russian science was considered to be equal, if not superior, to that of the wealthy western nations. The Perversion of Knowledge, a history of Soviet science that focuses on its control by the KGB and the Communist Party, reveals the dark side of this glittering achievement. Based on the author's firsthand experience as a Soviet scientist, and drawing on extensive Russian language sources not easily available to the Western reader, the book includes shocking new information on biomedical experimentation on humans as well as an examination of the pernicious effects of Trofim Lysenko's pseudo-biology. Also included are many poignant case histories of those who collaborated and those who managed to resist, focusing on the moral choices and consequences. The text is accompanied by the author's own translations of key archival materials, making this work an essential resource for all those with a serious interest in Russian history.

  • Militant atheism is on the rise. In recent years Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens have produced a steady stream of best-selling books denigrating religious belief. These authors are merely the leading edge of a larger movement that includes much of the scientific community.In response, mathematician David Berlinski, himself a secular Jew, delivers a biting defense of religious thought. The Devil's Delusion is a brilliant, incisive, and funny book that explores the limits of science and the pretensions of those who insist it is the ultimate touchstone for understanding our world.

  • Everyone in the newsroom agrees that copy editors are the unsung heroes in the business who, until now, have never had a succinct and authoritative guide for on-the-job use. From counting the headline to line breaks, from decks to jumps, from editing numbers and photo captions to editing for organization, The Copy Editing and Headline Handbook is the complete source of essential information for the copy editor. Whether copy editing on a computer or on the printed page, for a newspaper or for a magazine, Barbara Ellis shows how to clean, organize, and proof copy like a pro. With special sections on libel, captions, forbidden words, job hazards, and head counts, as well as a section of the most commonly used symbols in copy editing and proofreading, the Handbook is essential for every copy editor's bookshelf.

  • "She remains a thinker and activist who 'insists upon complexity.' "Reamy Jansen, San Francisco Chronicle*Some of Us Did Not Die brings together a rich sampling of the late poet June Jordan's prose writings. The essays in this collection, which include her last writings and span the length of her extraordinary career, reveal Jordan as an incisive analyst of the personal and public costs of remaining committed to the ideal and practice of democracy. Willing to venture into the most painful contradictions of American culture and politics, Jordan comes back with lyrical honesty, wit, and wide-ranging intelligence in these accounts of her reckoning with life as a teacher, poet, activist, and citizen.

  • Anglais Out There

    Darryl Pinckney

    With this appreciation of three very different black writers, novelist Darryl Pinckney reminds us that marginal or neglected literary figures have a lot to tell us about the history of a people who are always "outsiders." Born in Jamaica in 1883, J. A. Rogers was an early member of the Harlem Renaissance--a newspaper columnist, historian of Negro achievement, polemicist against white supremacy, and amateur sociologist of interracial sex as evidenced in his massive three-volume work Sex and Race. Vincent O. Carter, who came of age in 1920's Kansas City, wrote The Bern Book, an exploration of being black in a Swiss rather than an American setting. Caryl Phillips, a son of the generation of black Caribbeans who returned to Great Britain after the Second World War, has explored the psychology of migration in fiction and nonfiction that include The Final Passage, Higher Ground, and The Nature of Blood. Pinckney's essays on these writers, drawn from his Alain Locke Lectures at Harvard University, give us a rich understanding of what it has meant to be "children of the diaspora" over the past century.

  • "Be original. See what happens." So Todd Gitlin advises the young mind burning to take action to right the wrongs of the world but also looking for bearings, understanding, direction, and practical examples.In Letters to a Young Activist, Todd Gitlin looks back at his eventful life, recalling his experience as president of the formidable Students for a Democratic Society in the '60s, contemplating the spirit of activism, and arriving at some principles of action to guide the passion and energy of those wishing to do good. He considers the three complementary motives of duty, love, and adventure, and reflects on the changing nature of idealism and how righteous action requires realistic as well as idealistic thinking. And he looks forward to an uncertain future that is nevertheless full of possibility, a future where patriotism and intelligent skepticism are not mutually exclusive.Gitlin invites the young activist to enter imaginatively into some of the dilemmas, moral and practical, of being a modern citizen--the dilemmas that affect not only the problems of what to think but also the problems of what to love and how to live.

  • Over the past several years, while visible protests against the World Bank and the I.M.F. made front-page news, there has been a growing field of scholarship that looks at the role of globalization for national and international state identities. The first truism of globalization--that we live in an increasingly interconnected world, one in which it is impossible to separate the fate of one nation from that of the others--was dramatically illustrated on September 11, 2001, when the seemingly distant effects of a civil war in Afghanistan so murderously interrupted life in the United States.Implicating Empire is the first book to look at four crucial dimensions of globalization: first, its role vis-à-vis the current war; second, the impact of globalization on domestic U.S. policy; third, how globalization will necessarily alter national security, both in its definition as well as how it is pursued, and, finally, the future of globalization. Including original essays by Stanley Aronowitz, Ahmed Rashid, Tariq Ali, Manning Marable, Michael Hardt, and Ellen Willis, among others, Implicating Empire will set the agenda for how globalization is debated--and resisted--in the future.

  • With the wit of Bill Bryson and the spirit of Natalie Angier, Idan Ben- Barak takes us on a fantastic voyage into the infinitesimal world of microbiology. In The Invisible Kingdom, he introduces us to the amazing lives and workings of genes, proteins, bacteria, and viruses, and the ways in which they interact to shape life on Earth. Exploring everything from radioactive waste and insect sex-change operations to the inner workings of antibiotics, Ben-Barak reveals how important these tiny critters are to all of us. He brings this largely unseen world to life with refreshing analogies and metaphors: cells “pop like bubbles" and bacteria “dream of rain." On the journey, we learn about the teamwork required to rot human teeth, the origins of diseases, what really goes on inside cow stomachs, and the ways in which microbes benefit human life. An infectious and informative scientific exploration, The Invisible Kingdom will change the way we see the world around us.

  • Over the last five years, the number of women-owned businesses has grown at twice the rate of all U.S. firms; in the next few years, the number is expected to surpass the six million mark. Kitchen Table Entrepreneurs tells the inspirational stories of eleven low-income women who have marshaled the creative energy, confidence, and capital necessary to start their own small businesses. These women, who have used their entrepreneurial skills as a route out of poverty, give an American face to an economic empowerment tool that has enjoyed great success in developing countries. By becoming their own bosses, they not only provide for their children but also inspire them. Though each of their businesses is unique, all eleven of these women have discovered previously unknown strengths as they've struggled to overcome personal and bureaucratic obstacles. All received important assistance from nonprofit organizations supported by the Ms. Foundation for Women, the pioneer funding entity of microenterprise programs in the United States. Updated with a new epilogue.

  • A Harvard Business Review Top-10 Business Book of 2001Gonzo Marketing is a knuckle-whitening ride to the place where social criticism, biting satire, and serious commerce meet--and where the outdated ideals of mass marketing and broadcast media are being left in the dust. Invoking the spirit of gonzo journalism, Locke rails against business practices that treat customers like cattle, and urges marketers of all stripes to tap into Web-based communities, or "micromarkets," based on candor, trust, passion, and a general disdain for anything that smacks of corporate smugness. Gonzo Marketing shows how companies that support and promote these communities can have everything they've always wanted: greater market share, customer loyalty, and brand equity. Laced with Locke's inimitable wit and penetrating point of view, Gonzo Marketing is the raucous wake-up call that no one in business--from the trading-room floor to the boardroom--can afford to ignore.

  • Ancient Greece, the culture that brought us democracy, philosophy, comedy and tragedy, and the Olympic Games, and ancient Rome, best known for its military prowess, technological achievements, and imperial administration, are justly renowned for their contributions to Western civilization. Wisdom from the Ancients brings alive for today's managers the timeless insights of such larger-than-life figures as Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Trajan, Pericles, and dozens of other colorful and enigmatic leaders. Through direct quotations of ancient texts, engaging commentary, and period art, the authors illuminate the strategies and tactics that have withstood the test of time-from leadership and delegation to managing conflict to effective and persuasive communication.

  • This important new book brings together the work of top scholars and clinicians at leading universities and medical centers on the benefits and risks of transpersonal therapy. After comparing a variety of multicultural approaches Zen Buddhism, existential phenomenology, and Christian mysticism, among many others the book offers a wealth of information on specific disorders and the application of transpersonal psychology techniques such as visualization, breathwork, and “past lives" regression.With solid scholarship, wide scope, and accessible style, Textbook of Transpersonal Psychiatry and Psychology will become the standard work for students, researchers, clinicians, and lay readers interested in extending psychiatry and psychology into sciences that describe the functioning of the human mind, thereby building bridges between those disciplines and spirituality.

  • Anglais Legacy Of The Prophet

    Anthony Shadid

    Now available in paperback, Legacy of the Prophetis a sweeping, first-person account of the transformation in the style and message of Islamic politics at the beginning of the twenty-first century. As terrorism floods our headlines, this book offers a rare but much-needed counterpoint: it shows that Islamic activists have increasingly renounced violence in order to form political parties, engage in grass-roots work, and enter into civil society to bring about peaceful reform in their authoritarian societies. Drawing on his years of reporting in more than a dozen countries of the Muslim world, Anthony Shadid charts the way in which the adolescence of yesterday's Islamic militants is yielding to the maturity of today's activists. Through personal interviews and extensive travel, he chronicles that new generation, which is finding a more realistic and potentially more successful future through democratic politics. Complete with a new introduction, Legacy of the Prophetpromises to redefine the debate over the future of political Islam.

  • September 11 marked the beginning of a new era--an age of terror in which counter-terrorism will be one of the highest priorities of national governments and international institutions. How we proceed in this new war depends in large measure on the answer to a prior question: what exactly happened here and why? In The Age of Terror, eight leading historians and policymakers address this question and examine the considerations and objectives of policy decisions in post-September 11 America. Co-published with the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization

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