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YA Book Club POSTPONED! Due to unforeseen circumstances, we have had to cancel this Saturday's YA book club meeting. We will reschedule and post it here and on our social media as soon as we can. 

General History

GROWTH: FROM MICROORGANISMS TO

GROWTH: FROM MICROORGANISMS TO

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A systematic investigation of growth in nature and society, from tiny organisms to the trajectories of empires and civilizations.

Growth has been both an unspoken and an explicit aim of our individual and collective striving. It governs the lives of microorganisms and galaxies; it shapes the capabilities of our extraordinarily large brains and the fortunes of our economies. Growth is manifested in annual increments of continental crust, a rising gross domestic product, a child's growth chart, the spread of cancerous cells. In this magisterial book, Vaclav Smil offers systematic investigation of growth in nature and society, from tiny organisms to the trajectories of empires and civilizations.

Smil takes readers from bacterial invasions through animal metabolisms to megacities and the global economy. He begins with organisms whose mature sizes range from microscopic to enormous, looking at disease-causing microbes, the cultivation of staple crops, and human growth from infancy to adulthood. He examines the growth of energy conversions and man-made objects that enable economic activities--developments that have been essential to civilization. Finally, he looks at growth in complex systems, beginning with the growth of human populations and proceeding to the growth of cities. He considers the challenges of tracing the growth of empires and civilizations, explaining that we can chart the growth of organisms across individual and evolutionary time, but that the progress of societies and economies, not so linear, encompasses both decline and renewal. The trajectory of modern civilization, driven by competing imperatives of material growth and biospheric limits, Smil tells us, remains uncertain.

GUNS GERMS & STEEL

GUNS GERMS & STEEL

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

HABSBURGS: TO RULE THE WORLD

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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

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"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 Peloponnesian War: Revised Edition (Revised)

History of the Peloponnesian War: Revised Edition (Revised)

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The Peloponnesian War (431-404 B.C.E.) was the greatest "disturbance" in Greek history to that time. The bitter rivalry between the two chief city-states, Athens and Sparta, and their respective allies ended with the ruin of Athens' naval hegemony and what the Greek historian Thucydides (ca. 460-400 B.C.E.) called a "convulsion" affecting all humankind. With the detachment of a clinician and the dramatic skill of a poet, Thucydides recreates the often savage events of the war and brings to life its chief protagonists: Pericles, Nicias, Cleon, Alcibiades, and others. The first of the "scientific" historians, Thucydides makes use of documentary material and relies on eyewitness accounts; even where direct documentary evidence is lacking, his keen understanding of human nature helps him to uncover the truth of what actually happened. The loftiness of its ideals, its painstaking research, and its beauty of expression have made the History of the Peloponnesian War a work that is in the author's own words, "a possession for all time."
HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN 1000 O

HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN 1000 O

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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.

HOMO DEUS

HOMO DEUS

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Official U.S. edition with full color illustrations throughout.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Yuval Noah Harari, author of the critically-acclaimed New York Times bestseller and international phenomenon Sapiens, returns with an equally original, compelling, and provocative book, turning his focus toward humanity's future, and our quest to upgrade humans into gods.

Over the past century humankind has managed to do the impossible and rein in famine, plague, and war. This may seem hard to accept, but, as Harari explains in his trademark style--thorough, yet riveting--famine, plague and war have been transformed from incomprehensible and uncontrollable forces of nature into manageable challenges. For the first time ever, more people die from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals put together. The average American is a thousand times more likely to die from binging at McDonalds than from being blown up by Al Qaeda.

What then will replace famine, plague, and war at the top of the human agenda? As the self-made gods of planet earth, what destinies will we set ourselves, and which quests will we undertake? Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century--from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution. This is Homo Deus.

With the same insight and clarity that made Sapiens an international hit and a New York Times bestseller, Harari maps out our future.

Humankind: A Hopeful History

Humankind: A Hopeful History

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AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

The "lively" (The New Yorker), "convincing" (Forbes), and "riveting pick-me-up we all need right now" (People) that proves humanity thrives in a crisis and that our innate kindness and cooperation have been the greatest factors in our long-term success as a species.

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.

"The Sapiens of 2020." --The Guardian

"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


INCONVENIENT INDIAN: A CURIOUS

INCONVENIENT INDIAN: A CURIOUS

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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.

LIVES RUINS PB

LIVES IN RUINS

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The author of The Dead Beat and This Book is Overdue! turns her piercing eye and charming wit to the real-life avatars of Indiana Jones--the archaeologists who sort through the muck and mire of swamps, ancient landfills, volcanic islands, and other dirty places to reclaim history for us all.

Pompeii, Machu Picchu, the Valley of the Kings, the Parthenon--the names of these legendary archaeological sites conjure up romance and mystery. The news is full of archaeology: treasures found (British king under parking lot) and treasures lost (looters, bulldozers, natural disaster, and war). Archaeological research tantalizes us with possibilities (are modern humans really part Neandertal?). Where are the archaeologists behind these stories? What kind of work do they actually do, and why does it matter?

Marilyn Johnson's Lives in Ruins is an absorbing and entertaining look at the lives of contemporary archaeologists as they sweat under the sun for clues to the puzzle of our past. Johnson digs and drinks alongside archaeologists, chases them through the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, and even Machu Picchu, and excavates their lives. Her subjects share stories we rarely read in history books, about slaves and Ice Age hunters, ordinary soldiers of the American Revolution, children of the first century, Chinese woman warriors, sunken fleets, mummies.

What drives these archaeologists is not the money (meager) or the jobs (scarce) or the working conditions (dangerous), but their passion for the stories that would otherwise be buried and lost.