Basic Books

  • In The Russian Revolution, historian Sean McMeekin traces the origins and events of the Russian Revolution, which ended Romanov rule, ushered the Bolsheviks into power, and changed the course of world history. Between 1900 and 1920, Russia underwent a complete and irreversible transformation: by the end of these two decades, a new regime was in place, the economy had collapsed, and over 20 million Russians had died during the revolution and what followed. Still, Bolshevik power remained intact due to a remarkable combination of military prowess, violent terror tactics, and the failures of their opposition. And as McMeekin shows, Russia's revolutionaries were aided at nearly every step by countries like Germany and Sweden who sought to benefit--politically and economically--from the chaotic changes overtaking the country.
    The first comprehensive history of these momentous events in a decade, The Russian Revolution combines cutting-edge scholarship and a fast-paced narrative to shed new light on a great turning point of the twentieth century.

  • Ukraine is currently embroiled in a tense fight with Russia to preserve its territorial integrity and political independence. But today's conflict is only the latest in a long history of battles over Ukraine's territory and its existence as a sovereign nation. As the award-winning historian Serhii Plokhy argues in

  • Winner of the 1983 Pulitzer Prize and the Bancroft Prize in American History, this is a landmark history of how the entire American health care system of doctors, hospitals, health plans, and government programs has evolved over the last two centuries.
    "The definitive social history of the medical profession in America....A monumental achievement." H. Jack Geiger, M.D., New York Times Book Review

  • Anglais The War Behind Me

    Deborah Nelson

    In 2005, Deborah Nelson joined forces with military historian Nick Turse to investigate an extraordinary archive: the largest compilation of records on Vietnam-era war crimes ever to surface. The declassified Army papers were erroneously released and have since been pulled from public circulation. Few civilians have seen the documents.The files contain reports of more than 300 confirmed atrocities, and 500 other cases the Army either couldn't prove or didn't investigate. The archive has letters of complaint to generals and congressmen, as well as reports of Army interviews with hundreds of men who served. Far from being limited to a few bad actors or rogue units, atrocities occurred in every Army division that saw combat in Vietnam. Torture of detainees was routine; so was the random killing of farmers in fields and women and children in villages. Punishment for these acts was either nonexistent or absurdly light. In most cases, no one was prosecuted at all.In The War Behind Me Deborah Nelson goes beyond the documents and talks with many of those who were involved, both accusers and accused, to uncover their stories and learn how they deal with one of the most awful secrets of the Vietnam War.

  • No two people were more important to American conservatism in the postwar era than William F. Buckley Jr. and Ronald Reagan. Buckley's writings provided the intellectual underpinnings, while Reagan brought the conservative movement into the White House.They met in 1961 when Reagan introduced a speech by Buckley. When nobody could turn on the microphone, Reagan climbed out a window, walked along a ledge to the locked control room, broke in, and flipped the correct switch. Buckley later described this moment as “a nifty allegory of Reagan's approach to foreign policy: the calm appraisal of a situation, the willingness to take risks, and then the decisive moment leading to lights and sound."For over thirty years, the two men shared jokes and vacations, advised each other on politics, and counseled each other's children. The Reagan I Knew traces the evolution of an extraordinary friendship between two American political giants.

  • Anglais The Right Mistake

    Walter Mosley

    Living in south central L.A., Socrates Fortlow is a sixty-year-old ex-convict still strong enough to kill men with his bare hands. Filled with profound guilt about his own crimes and disheartened by the chaos of the streets, Socrates calls together local people of all races and social stations and begins to conduct a Thinkers' Club, where all can discuss life's unanswerable questions.Infiltrated by undercover cops and threatened by strain from within, the Thinkers' Club doesn't have it easy. But simply by debating racial authenticity, street justice, and the possibility of mutual understanding, Socrates and his unlikely crew actually begin to make a difference.The Right Mistake is Walter Mosley at his most incisive. At once an affectionate and coruscating portrait of ghetto life, it abides the possibility of personal redemption and even, with great struggle, social change.

  • In the early 1990s, a NASA-led team of scientists changed the way we view the universe. With the COBE (Cosmic Background Explorer) project, they showed that the microwave radiation that fills the universe must have come from the Big Bang effectively proving the Big Bang theory beyond any doubt. It was one of the greatest scientific findings of our generation, perhaps of all time. In The Very First Light, John Mather, one of COBE's leaders, and science writer John Boslough tell the story of how it was achieved. A gripping tale of big money, bigger egos, tense politics, and cutting-edge engineering, The Very First Light offers a rare insider's account of the world of big science.

  • Anglais The Unfinished Game

    Keith Devlin

    In the early seventeenth century, the outcome of something as simple as a dice roll was consigned to the realm of unknowable chance. Mathematicians largely agreed that it was impossible to predict the probability of an occurrence. Then, in 1654, Blaise Pascal wrote to Pierre de Fermat explaining that he had discovered how to calculate risk. The two collaborated to develop what is now known as probability theory a concept that allows us to think rationally about decisions and events.In The Unfinished Game, Keith Devlin masterfully chronicles Pascal and Fermat's mathematical breakthrough, connecting a centuries-old discovery with its remarkable impact on the modern world.

  • Anglais The Crime of Reason

    Robert B Laughlin

    We all agree that the free flow of ideas is essential to creativity. And we like to believe that in our modern, technological world, information is more freely available and flows faster than ever before. But according to Nobel Laureate Robert Laughlin, acquiring information is becoming a danger or even a crime. Increasingly, the really valuable information is private property or a state secret, with the result that it is now easy for a flash of insight, entirely innocently, to infringe a patent or threaten national security. The public pays little attention because this vital information is “technical" but, Laughlin argues, information is often labeled technical so it can be sequestered, not sequestered because it's technical. The increasing restrictions on information in such fields as cryptography, biotechnology, and computer software design are creating a new Dark Age: a time characterized not by light and truth but by disinformation and ignorance. Thus we find ourselves dealing more and more with the Crime of Reason, the antisocial and sometimes outright illegal nature of certain intellectual activities.The Crime of Reason is a reader-friendly jeremiad, On Bullshit for the Slashdot and Creative Commons crowd: a short, fiercely argued essay on a problem of increasing concern to people at the frontiers of new ideas.

  • Anglais Trading with the Enemy

    Tom Miller

    “Havana knew me by my shoes," begins Tom Miller's lively and entertaining account of his sojourn for more than eight months traveling through Cuba, mixing with its literati and black marketers, its cane cutters and cigar rollers. Granted unprecedented access to travel throughout the country, the author presents us with a rare insight into one of the world's only Communist countries. Its best-known personalities and ordinary citizens talk to him about the U.S. embargo and tell their favorite Fidel jokes as they stand in line for bread at the Socialism or Death Bakery. Miller provides a running commentary on Cuba's food shortages, exotic sensuality, and baseball addiction as he follows the scents of Graham Greene, José Marti, Ernest Hemingway, and the Mambo Kings. The result of this informed and adventurous journey is a vibrant, rhythmic portrait of a land and people too long shielded from American eyes.

  • America's status as a world power remains at a historic turning point. The strategies employed to win the wars of the twentieth century are no longer working, and the US must contend with the changing nature of power in a globalized world.In America and the World, two of the most respected figures in American foreign policy, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft, dissect the challenges facing the US today: the Middle East, Russia, and China, among others. In spontaneous conversations the two authors explore their agreements and disagreements. Defining the center of responsible opinion on American foreign policy, America and the World is an essential primer on a host of urgent issues at a time when our leaders' decisions could determine how long our nation remains a superpower.

  • We Who Dared to Say No to War uncovers some of the forgotten but compelling body of work from the American antiwar tradition speeches, articles, poetry, book excerpts, political cartoons, and more from people throughout our history who have opposed war. Beginning with the War of 1812, these selections cover every major American war up to the present and come from both the left and the right, from religious and secular viewpoints. There are many surprises, including a forgotten letter from a Christian theologian urging Confederate President Jefferson Davis to exempt Christians from the draft and a speech by Abraham Lincoln opposing the 1848 Mexican War. Among others, Daniel Webster, Mark Twain, Andrew Carnegie, Grover Cleveland, Eugene Debs, Robert Taft, Paul Craig Roberts, Patrick Buchanan, and Country Joe and the Fish make an appearance. This first-ever anthology of American antiwar writing offers the full range of the subject's richness and variety.

  • Anglais The Dictator's Shadow

    Heraldo Munoz

    Augusto Pinochet was the most important Third World dictator of the Cold War, and perhaps the most ruthless. In The Dictator's Shadow, United Nations Ambassador Heraldo Muñoz takes advantage of his unmatched set of perspectives as a former revolutionary who fought the Pinochet regime, as a respected scholar, and as a diplomat to tell what this extraordinary figure meant to Chile, the United States, and the world.Pinochet's American backers saw his regime as a bulwark against Communism; his nation was a testing ground for U.S.-inspired economic theories. Countries desiring World Bank support were told to emulate Pinochet's free-market policies, and Chile's government pension even inspired President George W. Bush's plan to privatize Social Security. The other baggage the assassinations, tortures, people thrown out of airplanes, mass murders of political prisoners was simply the price to be paid for building a modern state. But the questions raised by Pinochet's rule still remain: Are such dictators somehow necessary?Horrifying but also inspiring, The Dictator's Shadow is a unique tale of how geopolitical rivalries can profoundly affect everyday life.

  • Francis of Assisi is Catholicism’s most popular saint. Tens of millions of spiritual seekers summon his name and example. But the real Francis-both his complicated personality and his complex theology-have been misunderstood for centuries.
    In 1228, Pope Gregory IX rushed to canonize St. Francis only two years after his death. Soon thereafter, the Church eliminated significant aspects of his biography from the public record. For Francis’s early life was defined by his profligacy; shortly before dying, Francis himself warned his brothers: “Don’t be too quick to canonize me. I am perfectly capable of fathering a child.”
    In A Mended and Broken Heart, journalist Wendy Murray slices through the bowdlerized version of Francis’s life promoted within the Catholic tradition and reveals instead a saint who was in every way also a real man. Murray stresses in particular the crucial but completely neglected role that Clare of Assisi played in Francis’s life, both pre- and postconversion, and his theology.
    A profoundly humane portrait of a misunderstood saint, A Mended and Broken Heart makes a powerful case that St. Francis’s life and thought make him a role model for religious seekers of every faith.

  • Anglais Yes, You Can

    Sam Deep

    Yes, You Can! gives you good advice, and it gives you more: it tells how you can make that advice part of your daily life. Whether your goal is to speak eloquently, discover hidden talents, or find fulfillment at work, this book can help. It covers more than 125 personal goals with the clear, practical advice for which Deep and Sussman are known. The result is an inspiring guide to improving yourself and improving your relationships, balancing work and home, and building lasting success. Many books will tell you that you can achieve your goals. Yes, You Can! gives you the tools to make that happen.

  • The intersubjective perspective regards all psychological processes as emanating from personal interrelatedness. First presented by Robert D. Stolorow in his classic work Faces in a Cloud (1978), it is one of the most powerful concepts to be introduced into the post-Freudian era. In Worlds of Experience, Dr. Stolorow and two eminent colleagues elaborate on intersubjectivity, going beyond the clinical and theoretical questions of earlier work to explore the philosophical underpinnings of psychoanalytic theory and practice. The culmination of three decades of collaborative work, this book will be essential reading for academics, students, and clinicians.

  • In this widely acclaimed biographical essay, Christopher Hitchens assesses the life, the achievements, and the myth of the great political writer and participant George Orwell. In true emulative and contrarian style, Hitchens is both admiring and aggressive, sympathetic yet critical, taking true measure of his subject as hero and problem. Answering both the detractors and the false claimants, Hitchens tears down the facade of sainthood erected by the hagiographers and rebuts the critics point by point. He examines Orwell and his perspectives on fascism, empire, feminism, and Englishness, as well as his outlook on America, a country and culture towards which he exhibited much ambivalence. Whether thinking about empires or dictators, race or class, nationalism or popular culture, Orwell's moral outlook remains indispensable in a world that has undergone vast changes in the fifty years since his death. Combining the best of Hitchens's polemical punch and intellectual elegance in a tightly woven and subtle argument, this book addresses not only why Orwell matters today, but how he will continue to matter in a future, uncertain world.Christopher Hitchens, one of the most incisive minds of our own age, meets Orwell on the page in this provocative encounter of wit, contention and moral truth.

  • Anglais What Mad Pursuit

    Francis Crick

    Candid, provocative, and disarming, this is the widely-praised memoir of the co-discoverer of the double helix of DNA.

  • Anglais Water

    Alice Outwater

    An environmental engineer turned ecology writer relates the history of our waterways and her own growing understanding of why our waterways continue to be polluted and what needs to be done to save this essential natural resourse.Water: A Natural History takes us back to the diaries of the first Western explorers; it moves from the reservoir to the modern toliet, from the grasslands of the Midwest to the Everglades of Florida, throught the guts of a wastewater treatment plant and out to the waterways again. It shows how human-engineered dams, canals and farms replaces nature's beaver dams, prairie dog tunnels, and buffalo wallows. Step by step, Outwater makes clear what should have always been obvious: while engineering can depollute water, only ecologically interacting systems can create healthy waterways.Important reading for students of environmental studies, the heart of this history is a vision of our land and waterways as they once were, and a plan that can restore them to their former glory: a land of living streams, public lands with hundreds of millions of beaver-built wetlands, prairie dog towns that increase the amount of rainfall that percolates to the groundwater, and forests that feed their fallen trees to the sea.

  • What if there had been no American War of Independence? What if Hitler had invaded Britain? What if Kennedy had lived? What if Russia had won the Cold War? Niall Ferguson, author of the highly acclaimed The Pity of War, leads the charge in this historically rigorous series of separate voyages into “imaginary time" and provides far-reaching answers to these intriguing questions.Ferguson's brilliant 90-page introduction doubles as a manifesto on the methodology of counter-factual history. His equally masterful afterword traces the likely historical ripples that would have proceeded from the maintenance of Stuart rule in England. This breathtaking narrative gives us a convincing, detailed “alternative history" of the West from the accession of “James III" in 1701, to a Nazi-occupied England, to a U.S. Prime Minister Kennedy who lives to complete his term.

  • Anglais Unchained Memories

    Lenore Terr

    Can a long-forgotten memory of a horrible event suddenly resurface years later? How can we know whether a memory is true or false? Seven spellbinding cases shed light on why it is rare for a reclaimed memory to be wholly false. Here are unforgettable true stories of what happens when people remember what they've tried to forget plus one case of genuine false memory. In the best detective-story fashion, using her insights as a psychiatrist and the latest research on the mind and the brain, Lenore Terr helps us separate truth from fiction.

  • Anglais Too Scared To Cry

    Lenore Terr

    In 1976 twenty–six California children were kidnapped from their school bus and buried alive for motives never explained. All the children survived. This bizarre event signaled the beginning of Lenore Terr's landmark study on the effect of trauma on children. In this book Terr shows how trauma has affected not only the children she's treated but all of us.

  • Anglais Thread Of The Silkworm

    Iris Chang

    The definitive biography of Tsien Hsue-Shen, the pioneer of the American space age who was mysteriously accused of being a communist, deported, and became to America's continuing chagrin the father of the Chinese missile program.

  • In its first two decades, much of cognitive science focused on such mental functions as memory, learning, symbolic thought, and language acquisition --the functions in which the human mind most closely resembles a computer. But humans are more than computers, and the cutting-edge research in cognitive science is increasingly focused on the more mysterious, creative aspects of the mind. The Way We Think is a landmark synthesis that exemplifies this new direction. The theory of conceptual blending is already widely known in laboratories throughout the world; this book is its definitive statement. Gilles Fauconnier and Mark Turner argue that all learning and all thinking consist of blends of metaphors based on simple bodily experiences. These blends are then themselves blended together into an increasingly rich structure that makes up our mental functioning in modern society. A child's entire development consists of learning and navigating these blends. The Way We Think shows how this blending operates; how it is affected by (and gives rise to) language, identity, and concept of category; and the rules by which we use blends to understand ideas that are new to us. The result is a bold, exciting, and accessible new view of how the mind works.

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