View your shopping cart.
1491 (SECOND EDITION)

1491 (SECOND EDITION)

$18.00
More Info

In this groundbreaking work of science, history, and archaeology, Charles C. Mann radically alters our understanding of the Americas before the arrival of Columbus in 1492.

Contrary to what so many Americans learn in school, the pre-Columbian Indians were not sparsely settled in a pristine wilderness; rather, there were huge numbers of Indians who actively molded and influenced the land around them. The astonishing Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan had running water and immaculately clean streets, and was larger than any contemporary European city. Mexican cultures created corn in a specialized breeding process that it has been called man's first feat of genetic engineering. Indeed, Indians were not living lightly on the land but were landscaping and manipulating their world in ways that we are only now beginning to understand. Challenging and surprising, this a transformative new look at a rich and fascinating world we only thought we knew.

1493

1493

$18.95
More Info

A deeply engaging new history of how European settlements in the post-Colombian Americas shaped the world, from the bestselling author of 1491.

Presenting the latest research by biologists, anthropologists, archaeologists, and historians, Mann shows how the post-Columbian network of ecological and economic exchange fostered the rise of Europe, devastated imperial China, convulsed Africa, and for two centuries made Mexico City--where Asia, Europe, and the new frontier of the Americas dynamically interacted--the center of the world. In this history, Mann uncovers the germ of today's fiercest political disputes, from immigration to trade policy to culture wars. In 1493, Mann has again given readers an eye-opening scientific interpretation of our past, unequaled in its authority and fascination.

Age of Wood: Our Most Useful Material and the Construction of Civilization

Age of Wood: Our Most Useful Material and the Construction of Civilization

$28.00
More Info
A groundbreaking examination of the role that wood and trees have played in our global ecosystem--including human evolution and the rise and fall of empires--in the bestselling tradition of Yuval Harari's Sapiens and Mark Kurlansky's Salt.

As the dominant species on Earth, humans have made astonishing progress since our ancestors came down from the trees. But how did the descendants of small primates manage to walk upright, become top predators, and populate the world? How were humans able to develop civilizations and produce a globalized economy? Now, in The Age of Wood, Roland Ennos shows for the first time that the key to our success has been our relationship with wood.

Brilliantly synthesizing recent research with existing knowledge in fields as wide-ranging as primatology, anthropology, archaeology, history, architecture, engineering, and carpentry, Ennos reinterprets human history and shows how our ability to exploit wood's unique properties has profoundly shaped our bodies and minds, societies, and lives. He takes us on a sweeping ten-million-year journey from Southeast Asia and West Africa where great apes swing among the trees, build nests, and fashion tools; to East Africa where hunter gatherers collected their food; to the structural design of wooden temples in China and Japan; and to Northern England, where archaeologists trace how coal enabled humans to build an industrial world. Addressing the effects of industrialization--including the use of fossil fuels and other energy-intensive materials to replace timber--The Age of Wood not only shows the essential role that trees play in the history and evolution of human existence, but also argues that for the benefit of our planet we must return to more traditional ways of growing, using, and understanding trees.

A winning blend of history and science, this is a fascinating and authoritative work for anyone interested in nature, the environment, and the making of the world as we know it.

BLACK FLAGS BLUE WATERS

BLACK FLAGS BLUE WATERS

$18.95
More Info

To be read alongside thrilling histories by Nathaniel Philbrick, Hampton Sides, and Rinker Buck, Black Flags, Blue Waters vividly reanimates the "Golden Age" of piracy in the Americas-- spanning the late 1600s through the early 1700s--when lawless pirates plied the coastal waters of North America and beyond. "Deftly blending scholarship and drama" (Richard Zacks), best-selling author Eric Jay Dolin illustrates how American colonists at first supported these outrageous pirates in an early display of solidarity against the Crown, not to mention in their own financial interest, and then violently opposed them. Through engrossing episodes of roguish glamour and extreme brutality, Dolin depicts the star pirates of this period, among them towering Blackbeard, illfated Captain Kidd, and sadistic Edward Low, who delighted in torturing his prey. Upending popular misconceptions and cartoonish stereotypes, Black Flags, Blue Waters is a "gripping" (BookPage) and "stirring history that reads like a novel" (Stephen Puleo).

Civilization and Capitalism, 15th-18th Century, Vol. I: The Structure of Everyday Life

Civilization and Capitalism, 15th-18th Century, Vol. I: The Structure of Everyday Life

$47.95
More Info
By examining in detail the material life of pre-industrial peoples around the world, Fernand Braudel significantly changed the way historians view their subject. Volume I describes food and drink, dress and housing, demography and family structure, energy and technology, money and credit, and the growth of towns.
Civilization and Capitalism, 15th-18th Century, Vol. II: The Wheels of Commerce

Civilization and Capitalism, 15th-18th Century, Vol. II: The Wheels of Commerce

$47.95
More Info
The subject of The Wheels of Commerce is the development of mechanisms of exchange--shops, markets, trade networks, and banking--in the pre-industrial stages of capitalism.
Civilization and Capitalism, 15th-18th Century, Vol. III: The Perspective of the World

Civilization and Capitalism, 15th-18th Century, Vol. III: The Perspective of the World

$47.95
More Info
Volume III investigates what Braudel terms world-economies--the economic dominance of a particular city at different periods of history, from Venice to Amsterdam, London, New York.
CLUB

CLUB

$20.00
More Info
The story of the group of extraordinary eighteenth-century writers, artists, and thinkers who gathered weekly at a London tavern

Named one of the 10 Best Books of 2019 by the New York Times Book Review - A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2019 - A Kirkus Best Book of 2019

"Damrosch brings the Club's redoubtable personalities--the brilliant minds, the jousting wits, the tender camaraderie--to vivid life."--New York Times Book Review

"Magnificently entertaining."--Washington Post

In 1763, the painter Joshua Reynolds proposed to his friend Samuel Johnson that they invite a few friends to join them every Friday at the Turk's Head Tavern in London to dine, drink, and talk until midnight. Eventually the group came to include among its members Edmund Burke, Adam Smith, Edward Gibbon, and James Boswell. It was known simply as "the Club."

In this captivating book, Leo Damrosch brings alive a brilliant, competitive, and eccentric cast of characters. With the friendship of the "odd couple" Samuel Johnson and James Boswell at the heart of his narrative, Damrosch conjures up the precarious, exciting, and often brutal world of late eighteenth-century Britain. This is the story of an extraordinary group of people whose ideas helped to shape their age, and our own.

Clutter: An Untidy History

Clutter: An Untidy History

$26.00
More Info
"I'm sitting on the floor in my mother's house, surrounded by stuff." So begins Jennifer Howard's Clutter, an expansive assessment of our relationship to the things that share and shape our lives. Sparked by the painful two-year process of cleaning out her mother's house in the wake of a devastating physical and emotional collapse, Howard sets her own personal struggle with clutter against a meticulously researched history of just how the developed world came to drown in material goods. With sharp prose and an eye for telling detail, she connects the dots between the Industrial Revolution, the Sears & Roebuck catalog, and the Container Store, and shines unsparing light on clutter's darker connections to environmental devastation and hoarding disorder. In a confounding age when Amazon can deliver anything at the click of a mouse and decluttering guru Marie Kondo can become a reality TV star, Howard's bracing analysis has never been more timely.
COLLAPSE

COLLAPSE

$21.00
More Info

In Jared Diamond's follow-up to the Pulitzer-Prize winning Guns, Germs and Steel, the author explores how climate change, the population explosion and political discord create the conditions for the collapse of civilization. Diamond is also the author of Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis


Environmental damage, climate change, globalization, rapid population growth, and unwise political choices were all factors in the demise of societies around the world, but some found solutions and persisted. As in Guns, Germs, and Steel, Diamond traces the fundamental pattern of catastrophe, and weaves an all-encompassing global thesis through a series of fascinating historical-cultural narratives. Collapse moves from the Polynesian cultures on Easter Island to the flourishing American civilizations of the Anasazi and the Maya and finally to the doomed Viking colony on Greenland. Similar problems face us today and have already brought disaster to Rwanda and Haiti, even as China and Australia are trying to cope in innovative ways. Despite our own society's apparently inexhaustible wealth and unrivaled political power, ominous warning signs have begun to emerge even in ecologically robust areas like Montana.

Brilliant, illuminating, and immensely absorbing, Collapse is destined to take its place as one of the essential books of our time, raising the urgent question: How can our world best avoid committing ecological suicide?

CR?FT: AN INQUIRY INTO THE ORI

CR?FT: AN INQUIRY INTO THE ORI

$16.95
More Info

Faced with an endless supply of mass-manufactured products, we find ourselves nostalgic for goods bearing the mark of authenticity--hand-made tools, local brews, and other objects produced by human hands. Archaeologist and medieval historian Alexander Langlands reaches as far back as the Neolithic period to recover our lost sense of craft, combining deep history with detailed scientific analyses and his own experiences making traditional crafts. Craft brims with vivid storytelling, rich descriptions of natural landscape, and delightful surprises that will convince us to introduce more craft into our lives.

DISTANT MIRROR

DISTANT MIRROR

$20.00
More Info
"Wise, witty, and wonderful . . . A great book, in a great historical tradition." Commentary
The 14th century gives us back two contradictory images: a glittering time of crusades and castles, cathedrals and chivalry, and a dark time of ferocity and spiritual agony, a world plunged into a chaos of war, fear and the Plague. Barbara Tuchman anatomizes the century, revealing both the great rhythms of history and the grain and texture of domestic life as it was lived.
Dress Codes: How the Laws of Fashion Made History

Dress Codes: How the Laws of Fashion Made History

$30.00
More Info
A revelatory exploration of fashion through the ages that asks what our clothing reveals about ourselves and our society.

Dress codes are as old as clothing itself. For centuries, clothing has been a wearable status symbol; fashion, a weapon in struggles for social change; and dress codes, a way to maintain political control. Merchants who dressed like princes and butchers' wives wearing gem-encrusted crowns were public enemies in medieval societies structured by social hierarchy and defined by spectacle. In Tudor England, silk, velvet, and fur were reserved for the nobility and ballooning pants called "trunk hose" could be considered a menace to good order. The Renaissance era Florentine patriarch Cosimo de Medici captured the power of fashion and dress codes when he remarked, "One can make a gentleman from two yards of red cloth." Dress codes evolved along with the social and political ideals of the day, but they always reflected struggles for power and status. In the 1700s, South Carolina's "Negro Act" made it illegal for Black people to dress "above their condition." In the 1920s, the bobbed hair and form-fitting dresses worn by free-spirited flappers were banned in workplaces throughout the United States and in the 1940s the baggy zoot suits favored by Black and Latino men caused riots in cities from coast to coast.

Even in today's more informal world, dress codes still determine what we wear, when we wear it--and what our clothing means. People lose their jobs for wearing braided hair, long fingernails, large earrings, beards, and tattoos or refusing to wear a suit and tie or make-up and high heels. In some cities, wearing sagging pants is a crime. And even when there are no written rules, implicit dress codes still influence opportunities and social mobility. Silicon Valley CEOs wear t-shirts and flip flops, setting the tone for an entire industry: women wearing fashionable dresses or high heels face ridicule in the tech world and some venture capitalists refuse to invest in any company run by someone wearing a suit.

In Dress Codes, law professor and cultural critic Richard Thompson Ford presents an insightful and entertaining history of the laws of fashion from the middle ages to the present day, a walk down history's red carpet to uncover and examine the canons, mores, and customs of clothing--rules that we often take for granted. After reading Dress Codes, you'll never think of fashion as superficial again--and getting dressed will never be the same.

Empires of the Sky: Zeppelins, Airplanes, and Two Men's Epic Duel to Rule the World

Empires of the Sky: Zeppelins, Airplanes, and Two Men's Epic Duel to Rule the World

$32.00
More Info
The Golden Age of Aviation is brought to life in this story of the giant Zeppelin airships that once roamed the sky--a story that ended with the fiery destruction of the Hindenburg.

"[An] exhilarating history of the dawn of modern air travel."--Publishers Weekly

At the dawn of the twentieth century, when human flight was still considered an impossibility, Germany's Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin vied with the Wright Brothers to build the world's first successful flying machine. As the Wrights labored to invent the airplane, Zeppelin fathered the remarkable airship, sparking a bitter rivalry between the two types of aircraft and their innovators that would last for decades, in the quest to control one of humanity's most inspiring achievements.

And it was the airship--not the airplane--that led the way. In the glittery 1920s, the count's brilliant protégé, Hugo Eckener, achieved undreamed-of feats of daring and skill, including the extraordinary Round-the-World voyage of the Graf Zeppelin. At a time when America's airplanes--rickety deathtraps held together by glue, screws, and luck--could barely make it from New York to Washington, D.C., Eckener's airships serenely traversed oceans without a single crash, fatality, or injury. What Charles Lindbergh almost died doing--crossing the Atlantic in 1927--Eckener had effortlessly accomplished three years before the Spirit of St. Louis even took off.

Even as the Nazis sought to exploit Zeppelins for their own nefarious purposes, Eckener built his masterwork, the behemoth Hindenburg--a marvel of design and engineering. Determined to forge an airline empire under the new flagship, Eckener met his match in Juan Trippe, the ruthlessly ambitious king of Pan American Airways, who believed his fleet of next-generation planes would vanquish Eckener's coming airship armada.

It was a fight only one man--and one technology--could win. Countering each other's moves on the global chessboard, each seeking to wrest the advantage from his rival, the struggle for mastery of the air was a clash not only of technologies but of business, diplomacy, politics, personalities, and the two men's vastly different dreams of the future.

Empires of the Sky is the sweeping, untold tale of the duel that transfixed the world and helped create our modern age.

Energy: A Human History

Energy: A Human History

$18.00
More Info
A "meticulously researched" (The New York Times Book Review) examination of energy transitions over time and an exploration of the current challenges presented by global warming, a surging world population, and renewable energy--from Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning author Richard Rhodes.

People have lived and died, businesses have prospered and failed, and nations have risen to world power and declined, all over energy challenges. Through an unforgettable cast of characters, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Rhodes explains how wood gave way to coal and coal made room for oil, as we now turn to natural gas, nuclear power, and renewable energy. "Entertaining and informative...a powerful look at the importance of science" (NPR.org), Rhodes looks back on five centuries of progress, through such influential figures as Queen Elizabeth I, King James I, Benjamin Franklin, Herman Melville, John D. Rockefeller, and Henry Ford.

In his "magisterial history...a tour de force of popular science" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review), Rhodes shows how breakthroughs in energy production occurred; from animal and waterpower to the steam engine, from internal-combustion to the electric motor. He looks at the current energy landscape, with a focus on how wind energy is competing for dominance with cast supplies of coal and natural gas. He also addresses the specter of global warming, and a population hurtling towards ten billion by 2100.

Human beings have confronted the problem of how to draw energy from raw material since the beginning of time. Each invention, each discovery, each adaptation brought further challenges, and through such transformations, we arrived at where we are today. "A beautifully written, often inspiring saga of ingenuity and progress...Energy brings facts, context, and clarity to a key, often contentious subject" (Booklist, starred review).

Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World

Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World

$30.00
More Info
From Paleolithic flax to 3D knitting, explore the global history of textiles and the world they weave together in this enthralling and educational guide.
The story of humanity is the story of textiles -- as old as civilization itself. Since the first thread was spun, the need for textiles has driven technology, business, politics, and culture.
In The Fabric of Civilization, Virginia Postrel synthesizes groundbreaking research from archaeology, economics, and science to reveal a surprising history. From Minoans exporting wool colored with precious purple dye to Egypt, to Romans arrayed in costly Chinese silk, the cloth trade paved the crossroads of the ancient world. Textiles funded the Renaissance and the Mughal Empire; they gave us banks and bookkeeping, Michelangelo's David and the Taj Mahal. The cloth business spread the alphabet and arithmetic, propelled chemical research, and taught people to think in binary code.
Assiduously researched and deftly narrated, The Fabric of Civilization tells the story of the world's most influential commodity.
Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age

Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age

$26.95
More Info

In Four Lost Cities, acclaimed science journalist Annalee Newitz takes readers on an entertaining and mind-bending adventure into the deep history of urban life. Investigating across the centuries and around the world, Newitz explores the rise and fall of four ancient cities, each the center of a sophisticated civilization: the Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük in Central Turkey, the Roman vacation town of Pompeii on Italy's southern coast, the medieval megacity of Angkor in Cambodia, and the indigenous metropolis Cahokia, which stood beside the Mississippi River where East St. Louis is today.

Newitz travels to all four sites and investigates the cutting-edge research in archaeology, revealing the mix of environmental changes and political turmoil that doomed these ancient settlements. Tracing the early development of urban planning, Newitz also introduces us to the often anonymous workers--slaves, women, immigrants, and manual laborers--who built these cities and created monuments that lasted millennia.

Four Lost Cities is a journey into the forgotten past, but, foreseeing a future in which the majority of people on Earth will be living in cities, it may also reveal something of our own fate.

GENGHIS KHAN AND THE MAKING OF

GENGHIS KHAN AND THE MAKING OF

$17.00
More Info
New York Times Bestseller - The startling true history of how one extraordinary man from a remote cornerof the world created an empire that led the world into the modern age.

The Mongol army led by Genghis Khan subjugated more lands and people in twenty-five years than the Romans did in four hundred. In nearly every country the Mongols conquered, they brought an unprecedented rise in cultural communication, expanded trade, and a blossoming of civilization. Vastly more progressive than his European or Asian counterparts, Genghis Khan abolished torture, granted universal religious freedom, and smashed feudal systems of aristocratic privilege.

From the story of his rise through the tribal culture to the explosion of civilization that the Mongol Empire unleashed, this brilliant work of revisionist history is nothing less than the epic story of how the modern world was made.

GREAT INFLUENZA: THE STORY OF

GREAT INFLUENZA: THE STORY OF

$19.00
More Info
#1 New York Times bestseller

"Barry will teach you almost everything you need to know about one of the deadliest outbreaks in human history."--Bill Gates, GatesNotes.com

Monumental... an authoritative and disturbing morality tale.--Chicago Tribune



The strongest weapon against pandemic is the truth. Read why in the definitive account of the 1918 Flu Epidemic.

Magisterial in its breadth of perspective and depth of research, The Great Influenza provides us with a precise and sobering model as we confront the epidemics looming on our own horizon. As Barry concludes, The final lesson of 1918, a simple one yet one most difficult to execute, is that...those in authority must retain the public's trust. The way to do that is to distort nothing, to put the best face on nothing, to try to manipulate no one. Lincoln said that first, and best. A leader must make whatever horror exists concrete. Only then will people be able to break it apart.

At the height of World War I, history's most lethal influenza virus erupted in an army camp in Kansas, moved east with American troops, then exploded, killing as many as 100 million people worldwide. It killed more people in twenty-four months than AIDS killed in twenty-four years, more in a year than the Black Death killed in a century. But this was not the Middle Ages, and 1918 marked the first collision of science and epidemic disease.

GUNS GERMS & STEEL

GUNS GERMS & STEEL

$18.95
More Info
"Fascinating.... Lays a foundation for understanding human history."--Bill Gates
HABSBURGS: TO RULE THE WORLD

HABSBURGS: TO RULE THE WORLD

$32.00
More Info
The definitive history of a powerful family dynasty who dominated Europe for centuries -- from their rise to power to their eventual downfall.
In The Habsburgs, Martyn Rady tells the epic story of a dynasty and the world it built -- and then lost -- over nearly a millennium. From modest origins, the Habsburgs gained control of the Holy Roman Empire in the fifteenth century. Then, in just a few decades, their possessions rapidly expanded to take in a large part of Europe, stretching from Hungary to Spain, and parts of the New World and the Far East. The Habsburgs continued to dominate Central Europe through the First World War.
Historians often depict the Habsburgs as leaders of a ramshackle empire. But Rady reveals their enduring power, driven by the belief that they were destined to rule the world as defenders of the Roman Catholic Church, guarantors of peace, and patrons of learning. The Habsburgs is the definitive history of a remarkable dynasty that forever changed Europe and the world.
HISTORIES

HISTORIES

$10.95
More Info
"The father of history," as Cicero called him, and a writer possessed of remarkable narrative gifts, enormous scope, and considerable charm, Herodotus has always been beloved by readers well-versed in the classics. Compelled by his desire to "prevent the traces of human events from being erased by time," Herotodus recounts the incidents preceding and following the Persian Wars. He gives us much more than military history, though, providing the fullest portrait of the classical world of the 5th and 6th centuries.

Translated by Robin Waterfield, a distinguished translator whose version of Plato's Republic has been described as `the best available', this readable new translation is supplemented with expansive notes to help the reader appreciate the book in depth.

About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN 1000 O

HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN 1000 O

$50.00
More Info
Discover how humans created their world from the objects they left behind - from the US Constitution to the first iPhone - in DK's latest history book.

From the beginning of human history, the one thing that has defined us is our talent for making things, from basic technology and everyday objects, such as bowls and hand axes, to high-tech inventions, such as supersonic aircraft, smart devices, and Mars rovers.

Objects speak volumes about a civilization, telling us how our ancestors lived - as well as what they believed in and valued. A bronze cat mummy shows us how highly the ancient Egyptians valued their feline companions, while a mechanical tiger toy tells the story of rising tensions between an Indian sultan and European colonizers. With stunning, exclusive photography, History of the World in 1000 Objects shows you the objects that our ancestors treasured - from the jewelry worn by the Mesopotamians to the prized ritual vessels used by the people of the Shang Dynasty - and gives you insight into what gave each culture its own identity.

From astrolabes and airplanes to vacuum cleaners and X-rays, DK uses its hallmark visual style to weave the extraordinary legacy of our creativity into a unique view of world history that will change the way you see the objects all around us.

HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN 12 MAP

HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN 12 MAP

$23.00
More Info
A New York Times Bestseller

"Maps allow the armchair traveler to roam the world, the diplomat to argue his points, the ruler to administer his country, the warrior to plan his campaigns and the propagandist to boost his cause... rich and beautiful." - Wall Street Journal

Throughout history, maps have been fundamental in shaping our view of the world, and our place in it. But far from being purely scientific objects, maps of the world are unavoidably ideological and subjective, intimately bound up with the systems of power and authority of particular times and places. Mapmakers do not simply represent the world, they construct it out of the ideas of their age. In this scintillating book, Jerry Brotton examines the significance of 12 maps - from the almost mystical representations of ancient history to the satellite-derived imagery of today. He vividly recreates the environments and circumstances in which each of the maps was made, showing how each conveys a highly individual view of the world. Brotton shows how each of his maps both influenced and reflected contemporary events and how, by considering it in all its nuances and omissions, we can better understand the world that produced it.

Although the way we map our surroundings is more precise than ever before, Brotton argues that maps today are no more definitive or objective than they have ever been. Readers of this beautifully illustrated and masterfully argued book will never look at a map in quite the same way again.

"A fascinating and panoramic new history of the cartographer's art."
- The Guardian

"The intellectual background to these images is conveyed with beguiling erudition.... There is nothing more subversive than a map."
- The Spectator

"A mesmerizing and beautifully illustrated book."
--The Telegraph

HUMANKIND: A HOPEFUL HISTORY

HUMANKIND: A HOPEFUL HISTORY

$30.00
More Info
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER. "The Sapiens of 2020."---The Guardian

From the author of the New York Times bestseller Utopia for Realists comes "the riveting pick-me-up we all need right now" (People), the #1 Dutch bestseller Humankind, which offers a "bold" (Daniel H. Pink), "extraordinary" (Susan Cain) argument that humans thrive in a crisis and that our innate kindness and cooperation have been the greatest factors in our long-term success on the planet.

"Humankind made me see humanity from a fresh perspective." ---Yuval Noah Harari, author of the #1 bestseller Sapiens

Longlisted for the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction

One of the Washington Post's 50 Notable Nonfiction Works in 2020

If there is one belief that has united the left and the right, psychologists and philosophers, ancient thinkers and modern ones, it is the tacit assumption that humans are bad. It's a notion that drives newspaper headlines and guides the laws that shape our lives. From Machiavelli to Hobbes, Freud to Pinker, the roots of this belief have sunk deep into Western thought. Human beings, we're taught, are by nature selfish and governed primarily by self-interest. But what if it isn't true? International bestseller Rutger Bregman provides new perspective on the past 200,000 years of human history, setting out to prove that we are hardwired for kindness, geared toward cooperation rather than competition, and more inclined to trust rather than distrust one another. In fact this instinct has a firm evolutionary basis going back to the beginning of Homo sapiens. From the real-life Lord of the Flies to the solidarity in the aftermath of the Blitz, the hidden flaws in the Stanford prison experiment to the true story of twin brothers on opposite sides who helped Mandela end apartheid, Bregman shows us that believing in human generosity and collaboration isn't merely optimistic---it's realistic. Moreover, it has huge implications for how society functions. When we think the worst of people, it brings out the worst in our politics and economics. But if we believe in the reality of humanity's kindness and altruism, it will form the foundation for achieving true change in society, a case that Bregman makes convincingly with his signature wit, refreshing frankness, and memorable storytelling.
IMMORTAL GAME

IMMORTAL GAME

$17.00
More Info

A fresh, engaging look at how 32 carved pieces on a Chess board forever changed our understanding of war, art, science, and the human brain.

Chess is the most enduring and universal game in history. Here, bestselling author David Shenk chronicles its intriguing saga, from ancient Persia to medieval Europe to the dens of Benjamin Franklin and Norman Schwarzkopf. Along the way, he examines a single legendary game that took place in London in 1851 between two masters of the time, and relays his own attempts to become as skilled as his Polish ancestor Samuel Rosenthal, a nineteenth-century champion. With its blend of cultural history and Shenk's lively personal narrative, The Immortal Game is a compelling guide for novices and aficionados alike.

INCONVENIENT INDIAN: A CURIOUS

INCONVENIENT INDIAN: A CURIOUS

$16.95
More Info

In The Inconvenient Indian, Thomas King offers a deeply knowing, darkly funny, unabashedly opinionated, and utterly unconventional account of Indian-White relations in North America since initial contact. Ranging freely across the centuries and the Canada-U.S. border, King debunks fabricated stories of Indian savagery and White heroism, takes an oblique look at Indians (and cowboys) in film and popular culture, wrestles with the history of Native American resistance and his own experiences as a Native rights activist, and articulates a profound, revolutionary understanding of the cumulative effects of ever-shifting laws and treaties on Native peoples and lands.

Suffused with wit, anger, perception, and wisdom, The Inconvenient Indian is at once an engaging chronicle and a devastating subversion of history, insightfully distilling what it means to be "Indian" in North America. It is a critical and personal meditation that sees Native American history not as a straight line but rather as a circle in which the same absurd, tragic dynamics are played out over and over again. At the heart of the dysfunctional relationship between Indians and Whites, King writes, is land: "The issue has always been land." With that insight, the history inflicted on the indigenous peoples of North America--broken treaties, forced removals, genocidal violence, and racist stereotypes--sharpens into focus. Both timeless and timely, The Inconvenient Indian ultimately rejects the pessimism and cynicism with which Natives and Whites regard one another to chart a new and just way forward for Indians and non-Indians alike.

LOST CITY OF THE MONKEY GOD: A

LOST CITY OF THE MONKEY GOD: A

$17.99
More Info
The #1 New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller, named one of the best books of the year by The Boston Globe and National Geographic: acclaimed journalist Douglas Preston takes readers on a true adventure deep into the Honduran rainforest in this riveting narrative about the discovery of a lost civilization -- culminating in a stunning medical mystery.
Since the days of conquistador Hernán Cortés, rumors have circulated about a lost city of immense wealth hidden somewhere in the Honduran interior, called the White City or the Lost City of the Monkey God. Indigenous tribes speak of ancestors who fled there to escape the Spanish invaders, and they warn that anyone who enters this sacred city will fall ill and die. In 1940, swashbuckling journalist Theodore Morde returned from the rainforest with hundreds of artifacts and an electrifying story of having found the Lost City of the Monkey God-but then committed suicide without revealing its location.

Three quarters of a century later, bestselling author Doug Preston joined a team of scientists on a groundbreaking new quest. In 2012 he climbed aboard a rickety, single-engine plane carrying the machine that would change everything: lidar, a highly advanced, classified technology that could map the terrain under the densest rainforest canopy. In an unexplored valley ringed by steep mountains, that flight revealed the unmistakable image of a sprawling metropolis, tantalizing evidence of not just an undiscovered city but an enigmatic, lost civilization.

Venturing into this raw, treacherous, but breathtakingly beautiful wilderness to confirm the discovery, Preston and the team battled torrential rains, quickmud, disease-carrying insects, jaguars, and deadly snakes. But it wasn't until they returned that tragedy struck: Preston and others found they had contracted in the ruins a horrifying, sometimes lethal-and incurable-disease.

Suspenseful and shocking, filled with colorful history, hair-raising adventure, and dramatic twists of fortune, THE LOST CITY OF THE MONKEY GOD is the absolutely true, eyewitness account of one of the great discoveries of the twenty-first century.

MAP THAT CHANGED THE WORLD: WI

MAP THAT CHANGED THE WORLD: WI

$14.99
More Info

From the author of the bestselling The Professor and the Madman comes the fascinating story of William Smith, the orphaned son of an English country blacksmith, who became obsessed with creating the world's first geological map and ultimately became the father of modern geology.

In 1793 William Smith, a canal digger, made a startling discovery that was to turn the fledgling science of the history of the earth -- and a central plank of established Christian religion -- on its head. He noticed that the rocks he was excavating were arranged in layers; more important, he could see quite clearly that the fossils found in one layer were very different from those found in another. And out of that realization came an epiphany: that by following the fossils, one could trace layers of rocks as they dipped and rose and fell -- clear across England and, indeed, clear across the world. Determined to publish his profoundly important discovery by creating a map that would display the hidden underside of England, he spent twenty years traveling the length and breadth of the kingdom by stagecoach and on foot, studying rock outcrops and fossils, piecing together the image of this unseen universe.

In 1815 he published his epochal and remarkably beautiful hand-painted map, more than eight feet tall and six feet wide. But four years after its triumphant publication, and with his young wife going steadily mad to the point of nymphomania, Smith ended up in debtors' prison, a victim of plagiarism, swindled out of his recognition and his profits. He left London for the north of England and remained homeless for ten long years as he searched for work. It wasn't until 1831, when his employer, a sympathetic nobleman, brought him into contact with the Geological Society of London -- which had earlier denied him a fellowship -- that at last this quiet genius was showered with the honors long overdue him. He was summoned south to receive the society's highest award, and King William IV offered him a lifetime pension.

The Map That Changed the World is, at its foundation, a very human tale of endurance and achievement, of one man's dedication in the face of ruin and homelessness. The world's coal and oil industry, its gold mining, its highway systems, and its railroad routes were all derived entirely from the creation of Smith's first map.; and with a keen eye and thoughtful detail, Simon Winchester unfolds the poignant sacrifice behind this world-changing discovery.

MUSEUM OF EARLY AMERICAN TOOLS

MUSEUM OF EARLY AMERICAN TOOLS

$11.95
More Info
This absorbing and profusely illustrated book describes in detail scores of early American tools and the wooden and metal artifacts made with them. Informally and expressively written, the text covers bulding tools and methods; farm and kitchen implements; and the tools of curriers, wheelwrights, coopers, blacksmiths, coachmakers, loggers, tanners, and many other craftsmen of the pre-industrial age. Scores of pen-and-ink sketches by the author accurately depict special tools for every job, among them a hollowing gouge, hay fork, cornering chisel, apple butter paddle, boring auger, mortising chisel, a holding dog, hauling sledge, winnowing tray, reaping hooks, splitting wedge, felling axe, propping saw horse, and other traditional implements. Sure to be prized by cultural historians, this volume will delight woodcrafters interested in making their own tools and thrill general readers with its store of Americana.
NOTRE DAME

NOTRE DAME

$17.00
More Info
"The wonderful cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, one of the greatest achievements of European civilization, was on fire. The sight dazed and disturbed us profoundly. I was on the edge of tears. Something priceless was dying in front of our eyes. The feeling was bewildering, as if the earth was shaking." --Ken Follett

"[A] treasure of a book." --The New Yorker

In this short, spellbinding book, international bestselling author Ken Follett describes the emotions that gripped him when he learned about the fire that threatened to destroy one of the greatest cathedrals in the world--the Notre-Dame de Paris. Follett then tells the story of the cathedral, from its construction to the role it has played across time and history, and he reveals the influence that the Notre-Dame had upon cathedrals around the world and on the writing of one of Follett's most famous and beloved novels, The Pillars of the Earth.

Ken Follett will donate his proceeds from this book to the charity La Fondation du Patrimoine.

PLAGUES AND PEOPLES

PLAGUES AND PEOPLES

$17.00
More Info
Upon its original publication, Plagues and Peoples was an immediate critical and popular success, offering a radically new interpretation of world history as seen through the extraordinary impact--political, demographic, ecological, and psychological--of disease on cultures. From the conquest of Mexico by smallpox as much as by the Spanish, to the bubonic plague in China, to the typhoid epidemic in Europe, the history of disease is the history of humankind. With the identification of AIDS in the early 1980s, another chapter has been added to this chronicle of events, which William McNeill explores in his new introduction to this updated editon.

Thought-provoking, well-researched, and compulsively readable, Plagues and Peoples is that rare book that is as fascinating as it is scholarly, as intriguing as it is enlightening. A brilliantly conceptualized and challenging achievement (Kirkus Reviews), it is essential reading, offering a new perspective on human history.

PRISONERS OF GEOGRAPHY

PRISONERS OF GEOGRAPHY

$18.00
More Info
In this New York Times bestseller, an award-winning journalist uses ten maps of crucial regions to explain the geo-political strategies of the world powers--"fans of geography, history, and politics (and maps) will be enthralled" (Fort Worth Star-Telegram).

Maps have a mysterious hold over us. Whether ancient, crumbling parchments or generated by Google, maps tell us things we want to know, not only about our current location or where we are going but about the world in general. And yet, when it comes to geo-politics, much of what we are told is generated by analysts and other experts who have neglected to refer to a map of the place in question.

All leaders of nations are constrained by geography. In "one of the best books about geopolitics" (The Evening Standard), now updated to include 2016 geopolitical developments, journalist Tim Marshall examines Russia, China, the US, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Japan, Korea, and Greenland and the Arctic--their weather, seas, mountains, rivers, deserts, and borders--to provide a context often missing from our political reportage: how the physical characteristics of these countries affect their strengths and vulnerabilities and the decisions made by their leaders.

Offering "a fresh way of looking at maps" (The New York Times Book Review), Marshall explains the complex geo-political strategies that shape the globe. Why is Putin so obsessed with Crimea? Why was the US destined to become a global superpower? Why does China's power base continue to expand? Why is Tibet destined to lose its autonomy? Why will Europe never be united? The answers are geographical. "In an ever more complex, chaotic, and interlinked world, Prisoners of Geography is a concise and useful primer on geopolitics" (Newsweek) and a critical guide to one of the major determining factors in world affairs.

PRIZE R/E

PRIZE R/E

$23.00
More Info
"The Prize" recounts the panoramic history of oil - and the struggle for wealth and power that has always surrounded oil. This struggle has shaken the world economy, dictated the outcome of wars, and transformed the destiny of men and nations. "The Prize" is as much a history of the twentieth century as of the oil industry itself. The canvas of history is enormous - from the drilling of the first well in Pennsylvania through two great world wars to the Iraqui invastion of Kuwait and Operation Desert Storm.
REVERENCE FOR WOOD

REVERENCE FOR WOOD

$8.99
More Info
Refreshingly written, delightfully illustrated book remarks expansively on the resourcefulness of early Americans in their use of this valuable commodity - from the crafting of furniture, tools, and buildings to the use of such by-products as charcoal and medicine. "One of Sloane's best books." -Library Journal.
SWERVE: HOW THE WORLD BECAME M

SWERVE: HOW THE WORLD BECAME M

$16.95
More Info
It was a beautiful poem of the most dangerous ideas: that the universe functions without the aid of gods, that religious fear is damaging to human life, that pleasure and virtue are not opposites but intertwined, and that matter is made up of very small material particles in eternal motion, randomly colliding and swerving in new directions. Its return to circulation changed the course of history. The poem's vision would shape the thought of Galileo and Freud, Darwin and Einstein, and--in the hands of Thomas Jefferson--leave its trace on the Declaration of Independence.

From the gardens of the ancient philosophers to the dark chambers of monastic scriptoria during the Middle Ages to the cynical, competitive court of a corrupt and dangerous pope, Greenblatt brings Poggio's search and discovery to life in a way that deepens our understanding of the world we live in now.

"An intellectually invigorating, nonfiction version of a Dan Brown-like mystery-in-the-archives thriller." --Boston Globe
UNWANTED: AMERICA, AUSCHWITZ,

UNWANTED: AMERICA, AUSCHWITZ,

$17.95
More Info
Published in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, a riveting story of Jewish families seeking to escape Nazi Germany.

In 1938, on the eve of World War II, the American journalist Dorothy Thompson wrote that a piece of paper with a stamp on it was the difference between life and death. The Unwanted is the intimate account of a small village on the edge of the Black Forest whose Jewish families desperately pursued American visas to flee the Nazis. Battling formidable bureaucratic obstacles, some make it to the United States while others are unable to obtain the necessary documents. Some are murdered in Auschwitz, their applications for American visas still pending.
Drawing on previously unpublished letters, diaries, interviews, and visa records, Michael Dobbs provides an illuminating account of America's response to the refugee crisis of the 1930s and 1940s. He describes the deportation of German Jews to France in October 1940, along with their continuing quest for American visas. And he re-creates the heated debates among U.S. officials over whether or not to admit refugees amid growing concerns about fifth columnists, at a time when the American public was deeply isolationist, xenophobic, and antisemitic.
A Holocaust story that is both German and American, The Unwanted vividly captures the experiences of a small community struggling to survive amid tumultuous world events.

UPHEAVAL

UPHEAVAL

$22.99
More Info
A "riveting and illuminating" Bill Gates Summer Reading pick about how and why some nations recover from trauma and others don't (Yuval Noah Harari), by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the landmark bestseller Guns, Germs, and Steel.
In his international bestsellers Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse, Jared Diamond transformed our understanding of what makes civilizations rise and fall. Now, in his third book in this monumental trilogy, he reveals how successful nations recover from crises while adopting selective changes -- a coping mechanism more commonly associated with individuals recovering from personal crises.
Diamond compares how six countries have survived recent upheavals -- ranging from the forced opening of Japan by U.S. Commodore Perry's fleet, to the Soviet Union's attack on Finland, to a murderous coup or countercoup in Chile and Indonesia, to the transformations of Germany and Austria after World War Two. Because Diamond has lived and spoken the language in five of these six countries, he can present gut-wrenching histories experienced firsthand. These nations coped, to varying degrees, through mechanisms such as acknowledgment of responsibility, painfully honest self-appraisal, and learning from models of other nations. Looking to the future, Diamond examines whether the United States, Japan, and the whole world are successfully coping with the grave crises they currently face. Can we learn from lessons of the past?
Adding a psychological dimension to the in-depth history, geography, biology, and anthropology that mark all of Diamond's books, Upheaval reveals factors influencing how both whole nations and individual people can respond to big challenges. The result is a book epic in scope, but also his most personal yet.
Why We Love Pirates: The Hunt for Captain Kidd and How He Changed Piracy Forever (Maritime History, Globalization, True Crime)

Why We Love Pirates: The Hunt for Captain Kidd and How He Changed Piracy Forever (Maritime History, Globalization, True Crime)

$18.95
More Info
For Fans of True-Life Pirate Stories

"Only someone who has lived in the shadows chasing faded pirates for an age, and is blessed with creativity, can pull off a book of this high caliber." --Wreck Watch Magazine

#1 New Release in Globalization

How the global manhunt for Captain Kidd turned pirates into the romantic antiheroes we love today.

Crime and punishment. During his life and even after his death, Captain William Kidd's name was well known in England and the American colonies. He was infamous for the very crime for which he was hanged, piracy. Rebecca Simon dives into the details of the two-year manhunt for Captain Kidd and the events that ensued. Captain Kidd was hanged in 1701, followed by a massive British-led hunt for all pirates during a period known as the Golden Age of Piracy. Ironically, public executions only increased the popularity of pirates. And, because the American colonies relied on pirates for smuggled goods such as spices, wines, and silks; pirates tended to be protected from capture.

The start of a story. The more pirates were hunted and executed, the more people became supportive of the "Robin Hoods of the Sea"―both because they saw the British's treatment of them as an injustice and because they treasured the goods pirates brought to them. These historical events were pivotal in creating the portrayal of pirates as we know them today. They grew into romantic antiheroes―which ultimately led to characters like the mischievous but lovable Captain Jack Sparrow. Simon has presented her research on the history of pirates around the world and now she's bringing the spectacular story of Captain Kidd to her readers.

Learn more about:

  • One of the most famous pirates in history
  • Real life pirates and the brutal executions they faced
  • The origin of our romanticized view of pirates
  • If you enjoyed books like Black Flags Blue Waters, Under the Black Flag, The Republic of Pirates, or Villains of All Nations, you'll love Why We Love Pirates.

    Year 1000: When Explorers Connected the World--And Globalization Began

    Year 1000: When Explorers Connected the World--And Globalization Began

    $30.00
    More Info
    From celebrated Yale professor Valerie Hansen, a groundbreaking work of history showing that bold explorations and daring trade missions connected all of the world's great societies for the first time at the end of the first millennium.

    People often believe that the years immediately prior to AD 1000 were, with just a few exceptions, lacking in any major cultural developments or geopolitical encounters, that the Europeans hadn't yet reached North America, and that the farthest feat of sea travel was the Vikings' invasion of Britain. But how, then, to explain the presence of blonde-haired people in Maya temple murals at Chichén Itzá, Mexico? Could it be possible that the Vikings had found their way to the Americas during the height of the Maya empire?

    Valerie Hansen, an award-winning historian, argues that the year 1000 was the world's first point of major cultural exchange and exploration. Drawing on nearly thirty years of research, she presents a compelling account of first encounters between disparate societies, which sparked conflict and collaboration eerily reminiscent of our contemporary moment.

    For readers of Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel and Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens, The Year 1000 is an intellectually daring, provocative account that will make you rethink everything you thought you knew about how the modern world came to be. It will also hold up a mirror to the hopes and fears we experience today.

    YEAR OF LEAR

    YEAR OF LEAR

    $18.00
    More Info
    Preeminent Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro, author of Shakespeare in a Divided America, shows how the tumultuous events in 1606 influenced three of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies written that year--King Lear, Macbeth, and Antony and Cleopatra. "The Year of Lear is irresistible--a banquet of wisdom" (The New York Times Book Review).

    In the years leading up to 1606, Shakespeare's great productivity had ebbed. But that year, at age forty-two, he found his footing again, finishing a play he had begun the previous autumn--King Lear--then writing two other great tragedies, Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra.

    It was a memorable year in England as well--a terrorist plot conceived by a small group of Catholic gentry had been uncovered at the last hour. The foiled Gunpowder Plot would have blown up the king and royal family along with the nation's political and religious leadership. The aborted plot renewed anti-Catholic sentiment and laid bare divisions in the kingdom.

    It was against this background that Shakespeare finished Lear, a play about a divided kingdom, then wrote a tragedy that turned on the murder of a Scottish king, Macbeth. He ended this astonishing year with a third masterpiece no less steeped in current events and concerns: Antony and Cleopatra.

    "Exciting and sometimes revelatory, in The Year of Lear, James Shapiro takes a closer look at the political and social turmoil that contributed to the creation of three supreme masterpieces" (The Washington Post). He places them in the context of their times, while also allowing us greater insight into how Shakespeare was personally touched by such events as a terrible outbreak of plague and growing religious divisions. "His great gift is to make the plays seem at once more comprehensible and more staggering" (The New York Review of Books). For anyone interested in Shakespeare, this is an indispensable book.