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America and Americans

America and Americans

by John Steinbeck

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More than four decades after his death, John Steinbeck remains one of the nation's most beloved authors. Yet few know of his career as a journalist who covered world events from the Clutch Plague to Vietnam. Now, this distinctive collection offers a portrait of the artist as citizen, deeply engaged in the world around him. In addition to the complete text of Steinbeck's last published book, America and Americans, this volume brings together for the first time more than fifty of Steinbeck's finest essays and journalistic pieces on Salinas, Sag Harbor, Arthur Miller, Woody Guthrie, the Vietnam War and more.
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The Art of Thinking

The Art of Thinking

by Ernest Dimnet

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Journey into the realm of introspection and intellectual growth with 'The Art of Thinking'. While once a prominent figure alongside self-help guru Dale Carnegie in the 1930s, Jacques Maritain's masterpiece has regrettably faded from memory. Unearthed from obscurity, this book beckons readers to engage in true contemplation rather than superficial ruminations. Maritain unveils the power of focused thought, offering practical techniques to enhance concentration and tackle profound questions like "Who am I?" and "What is originality?" Delving into the essence of self-discovery, the author illuminates the path to authentic thinking.
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Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity

by Katherine Boo

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ISBN 10 / ISBN 13
9781400067558 / 1400067553
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In this brilliant, breathtaking book by Pulitzer Prize winner Katherine Boo, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human through the dramatic story of families striving toward a better life in Annawadi, a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport. As India starts to prosper, the residents of Annawadi are electric with hope. Abdul, an enterprising teenager, sees a fortune beyond counting in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Meanwhile Asha, a woman of formidable ambition, has identified a shadier route to the middle class. With a little luck, her beautiful daughter, Annawadi s most-everything girl, might become its first female college graduate. And even the poorest children, like the young thief Kalu, feel themselves inching closer to their dreams. But then Abdul is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power, and economic envy turn… Read More
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Best American Essays 2002

Best American Essays 2002

by Stephen Jay Gould

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ISBN 10 / ISBN 13
9780618049325 / 0618049320
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The Best American Essays features a selection of the year's outstanding essays works of literary achievement that show an awareness of craft and forcefulness of thought. Hundreds of essays are gathered annually from a wide variety of national and regional publications. These essays are then screened, and approximately one hundred are turned over to a distinguished guest editor, who may add a few personal discoveries and who makes the final selections. This year's volume is dedicated to the memory of Stephen Jay Gould, who died in May of this year, soon after he made his final choices and wrote his introduction.
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Bitch Doctrine

Bitch Doctrine

by Laurie Penny

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Smart and provocative, witty and uncompromising, this collection of Laurie Penny's celebrated essays establishes her as one of the most important and vibrant feminist voices of our time. From the shock of Donald Trump's election and the victories of the far right to online harassment and the transgender rights movement, this darkly humorous collection is an unflinching look at the definitive issues of our age.
Penny is lyrical and passionate in her desire to confront injustice; she writes at the raw edge of the zeitgeist at a time when it has never been more vital to challenge social norms. This revelatory, revolutionary collection will give readers hope and tools for change from a bitch who wants to get stuff done.
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Black Cool: One Thousand Streams of Blackness

Black Cool: One Thousand Streams of Blackness

by Rebecca Walker

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Black Cool explores the ineffable state and aesthetic of Black Cool. From the effortless reserve of Miles Davis in khakis on an early album cover, to the shock of resistance in black womens fashion from Angela Davis to Rihanna, to the cadence of poets as diverse as Staceyann Chin and Audre Lorde, Black Cool looks at the roots of Black Cool and attempts to name elements of the phenomena that have emerged to shape the global expectation of cool itself.Buoyed by some of Americas most innovative thinkers on the subjectgraphic novelist Mat Johnson, Brown University Professor of African Studies Tricia Rose, critical thinking and cultural icon bell hooks, Macarthur winner Kara Walker, and many morethe book is at once a handbook, a map, a journey into the matrix of another cosmology. Its a literal periodic table of cool, wherein each writer names and defines their element of choice. Dream Hampton writes about Audacity. Helena Andrews about Reserve, Margo Jefferson on Eccentricity, Veronica Chambers on Genius,… Read More
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Blood Rites

Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War

by Barbara Ehrenreich

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ISBN 10 / ISBN 13
9780805050776 / 0805050779
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In Blood Rites, Barbara Ehrenreich confronts the mystery of the human attraction to violence: What draws our species to war and even makes us see it as a kind of sacred undertaking? Blood Rites takes us on an original journey from the elaborate human sacrifices of the ancient world to the carnage and holocaust of twentieth-century "total war." Sifting through the fragile records of prehistory, Ehrenreich discovers the wellspring of war in an unexpected place--not in a "killer instinct" unique to the males of our species but in the blood rites early humans performed to reenact their terrifying experience of predation by stronger carnivores. Brilliant in conception, rich in scope, Blood Rites is a monumental work that will transform our understanding of the greatest single threat to human life.
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The Book on the Book Shelf

The Book on the Book Shelf

by Henry Petroski

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Buried Alive

Buried Alive

by Jan Bondeson

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ISBN 10 / ISBN 13
9780393322224 / 039332222X
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Readers of Edgar Allan Poe's tales--just think of --may comfort themselves with the notion that Poe must have exaggerated: surely people of the 1800s could not have been at risk of being buried alive? But such stories filled medical journals as well as fiction, and fear in the populace was high. It was speculated, from the number of skeletons found in horrific, contorted positions inside their coffins, that ten out of every one hundred people were buried before they were dead. With over fifty illustrations, explores the medicine, folklore, history, and literature of Europe and the United States to uncover why such fears arose and whether they were warranted.
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Caste

Caste: The Origins of our Discontents

by Isabel Wilkerson

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ISBN 10 / ISBN 13
9780593230251 / 0593230256
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In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings.
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Cultish

Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism

by Amanda Montell

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ISBN 10 / ISBN 13
9780062993151 / 0062993151
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Through juicy storytelling and cutting original research, Montell exposes the verbal elements that make a wide spectrum of communities "cultish," revealing how they affect followers of groups as notorious as Heaven's Gate, but also how they pervade our modern start-ups, Peloton leaderboards, and Instagram feeds. Incisive and darkly funny, this enrapturing take on the curious social science of power and belief will make you hear the fanatical language of "cultish" everywhere.
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The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity

The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity

by David Graeber & David Wengrow

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ISBN 10 / ISBN 13
9780374157357 / 0374157359
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or generations, our remote ancestors have been cast as primitive and childlike — either free and equal innocents, or thuggish and warlike. Civilization, we are told, could be achieved only by sacrificing those original freedoms or, alternatively, by taming our baser instincts. David Graeber and David Wengrow show how such theories first emerged in the eighteenth century as a conservative reaction to powerful critiques of European society posed by Indigenous observers and intellectuals. Revisiting this encounter has startling implications for how we make sense of human history today, including the origins of farming, property, cities, democracy, slavery, and civilization itself.
Drawing on pathbreaking research in archaeology and anthropology, the authors show how history becomes a far more interesting place once we learn to throw off our conceptual shackles and perceive what's really there. If humans did not spend 95 percent of their evolutionary past in tiny bands of hunter-gatherers, what were… Read More
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Descartes' Bones

Descartes' Bones: A Skeletal History of the Conflict Between Faith and Reason

by Russell Shorto

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9780307275660 / 0307275663
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Sixteen years after Rene Descartes' death in Stockholm in 1650, a pious French ambassador exhumed the remains of the controversial philosopher to transport them back to Paris. Thus began a 350-year saga that saw Descartes' bones traverse a continent, passing between kings, philosophers, poets, and painters.
But as Russell Shorto shows in this deeply engaging book, Descartes' bones also played a role in some of the most momentous episodes in history, which are also part of the philosopher's metaphorical remains: the birth of science, the rise of democracy, and the earliest debates between reason and faith. Descartes' Bones is a flesh-and-blood story about the battle between religion and rationalism that rages to this day.
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The Desperate People

The Desperate People

by Farley Mowat

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The Dominion of the Dead

The Dominion of the Dead

by Robert Pogue Harrison

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9780226317939 / 0226317935
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How do the living maintain relations to the dead? Why do we bury people when they die? And what is at stake when we do? In The Dominion of the Dead, Robert Pogue Harrison considers the supreme importance of these questions to Western civilization, exploring the many places where the dead cohabit the world of the living—the graves, images, literature, architecture, and monuments that house the dead in their afterlife among us.This elegantly conceived work devotes particular attention to the practice of burial. Harrison contends that we bury our dead to humanize the lands where we build our present and imagine our future. As long as the dead are interred in graves and tombs, they never truly depart from this world, but remain, if only symbolically, among the living. Spanning a broad range of examples, from the graves of our first human ancestors to the empty tomb of the Gospels to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Harrison also considers the authority of predecessors in both modern and premodern… Read More
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Endangered Pleasures

Endangered Pleasures: In Defense of Naps, Bacon, Martinis, Profanity, and Other Indulgences

by Barbara Holland

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ISBN 10 / ISBN 13
9780060956479 / 006095647X
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Here is a refreshing look at life as it ought to be. Bare feet, gardening, dawdling over the newspaper, oversleeping, and idle summer vacations are infinitely more satisfying than counting fat grams, eating only vegetables, and sitting behind that desk every day. So toss out the guilt and rebel. Don't just stop and smell the flowers--call in sick and lie among them, preferably with a good friend, a bottle of wine, and a handful of chocolates. Endangered Pleasures is a delightful reminder that rest and relaxation are more rewarding than a job performance review. After all, life's too short. Why not have some fun while you're supposed to be living it?
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Fallingwater

Fallingwater

by Carla Lind

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Probably the most famous modern house in America, Fallingwater -- the Pennsylvania country home placed right over a waterfall -- was Frank Lloyd Wright's greatest triumph. Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater captures the excitement of this exceptional design, tracing its creation and construction as well as showing its breathtaking spaces inside and out.
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The Gay Talese Reader

The Gay Talese Reader

by Gay Talese

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ISBN 10 / ISBN 13
9780802776754 / 0802776752
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Attention to detail and observation of the unnoticed is the hallmark of Talese's writing and The Gay Talese Reader brings together the best of his essays and classic profiles.
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George Steiner at The New Yorker

George Steiner at The New Yorker

by George Steiner

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ISBN 10 / ISBN 13
9780811217040 / 0811217043
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Between 1967 and 1997, George Steiner wrote more than 130 pieces on a great range of topics for , making new books, difficult ideas, and unfamiliar subjects seem compelling not only to intellectuals but to "the common reader." He possesses a famously dazzling mind: paganism, the Dutch Renaissance, children's games, war-time Britain, Hitler's bunker, and chivalry attract his interest as much as Levi-Strauss, Cellini, Bernhard, Chardin, Mandelstam, Kafka, Cardinal Newman, Verdi, Gogol, Borges, Brecht, Wittgenstein, Chomsky, and art historian/spy Anthony Blunt. Steiner makes an ideal guide from the Risorgimento in Italy to the literature of the Gulag, from the history of chess to the enduring importance of George Orwell. Again and again everything Steiner looks at in his New Yorker essays is made to bristle with some genuine prospect of turning out to be freshly thrilling or surprising.
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Godel, Escher, Bach

Godel, Escher, Bach

by Douglas R. Hofstadter

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ISBN 10 / ISBN 13
9789784650265 / 9784650266
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First published in 1979, this is a genuine interdisciplinary work of nonfiction, with dozens of historical references and subtexts. Critics and reviewers have summed up its meaning in varying ways, yet consistently with praise. A mixture of art, philosophy, music, math, technology, and cognitive science, the book's title only reflects one aspect of its subject matter; namely, the connection between the work of mathematician Kurt Gödel, the artist M. C. Escher, and the composer J. S. Bach.
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