The fascinating, often surprising story of how a simple black rock has altered the course of history. Prized as "the best stone in Britain" by Roman invaders who carved jewelry out of it, coal has transformed societies, powered navies, fueled economies, and expanded frontiers. It made China a twelfth-century superpower, inspired the writing of the Communist Manifesto, and helped the northern states win the American Civil War.
For 2,000 years, cadavers—some willingly, some unwittingly—have been involved in science's boldest strides and weirdest undertakings. In this fascinating, ennobling account, Mary Roach visits the good deeds of cadavers over the centuries and, in so doing, tells the engrossing story of our bodies when we are no longer with them.
An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror
Stephen Kinzer Michael Prichard
In a cloak-and-dagger story of spies, saboteurs, and secret agents, Stephen Kinzer reveals the involvement of Eisenhower, Churchill, Kermit Roosevelt, and the CIA in Operation Ajax, which restored Mohammad Reza Shah to power in Iran.
Cayce Pollard is a new kind of prophet - a world renowned "coolhunter" who predicts the hottest trends. While in London to evaluate the redesign of a famous corporate logo, she's offered a different assignment: find the creator of the obscure, enigmatic video clips being uploaded on the Internet - footage that is generating massive underground buzz worldwide.
Ireland's patron saint has long been shrouded in legend: he drove the snakes out of Ireland; he triumphed over Druids and their super-natural powers; he used a shamrock to explain the Christian mystery of the Trinity. But his true story is more fascinating than the myths.
Using a mix of experiential reportage, personal storytelling, and fresh scientific discovery, Steven Johnson describes how the brain works — its chemicals, structures, and subroutines — and how these systems connect to the day-to-day realities of individual lives. For a hundred years, he says, many of us have assumed that the most powerful route to self-knowledge took the form of lying on a couch, talking about our childhoods. The possibility entertained in this book is that you can follow another path, in which learning about the brain's mechanics can widen one's self-awareness as powerfully as any therapy or meditation or drug.
On the Front Lines with the Disease Detectives of the Epidemic Intelligence Service
Maryn McKenna Ellen Archer
IN THE WAR AGAINST DISEASES, THEY ARE THE SPECIAL FORCES.
They always keep a bag packed. They seldom have more than twenty-four hours' notice before they are dispatched. The phone calls that tell them to head to the airport, sometimes in the middle of the night, may give them no more information than the country they are traveling to and the epidemic they will tackle when they get there.
Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism
Bob Edwards Bob Edwards
Good Night, and Good Luck nominated for 6 Academy Awards!
Long before the era of the news anchor, the pundit, and the mini-cam, one man blazed a trail that thousands would follow. Edwards brings to life the great stories Murrow covered and brought into American living rooms for the first time—the rooftop reports of the London Blitz, bombing raids over Berlin, and the 1954 broadcast that helped bring down Senator Joe McCarthy—as well as the ups and downs of his career at CBS. Edwards reveals how Murrow dramatically impacted public opinion and how the high standards he lived by influenced an entire generation of broadcasters. Includes LIVE radio broadcasts.
The Popes' Secret Plot to Capture Rome from the New Italian State
David I. Kertzer Alan Sklar
Based on a wealth of documents long buried in the Vatican archives, Prisoner of the Vatican tells the story of the Church's secret attempt to block the unification of Italy and seize control - not in ancient times, but in the late nineteenth century. For more than fifty years, the pope was a self-imposed prisoner within the Vatican walls, planning to flee Italy, to return only as the restored ruler of Rome and the Papal States. The scheme to dismantle the newborn Italian nation involved not only the cardinals and the Curia but also attempts to exploit the rivalries among France, Germany, Austria, Spain, and England.
The extraordinary story of the little South African boy whose bravery and fierce determination to make a difference despite being born with AIDS has made him the human symbol of the world's fight against the disease, told by the veteran American journalist whose life he changed.
In the twenty-fifth century, humankind has spread throughout the galaxy, monitored by the watchful eye of the U.N. While divisions in race, religion, and class still exist, advances in technology have redefined life itself. Now, assuming one can afford the expensive procedure, a person's consciousness can be stored in a cortical stack at the base of the brain and easily downloaded into a new body (or "sleeve") making death nothing more than a minor blip on a screen.
Welcome to the bizarre court of Henry VIII, where even a princess fears losing her head like her mother. Elizabeth hides her tenacious personality from everyone, especially her father. Your 21st-century kid will enjoy Elizabeth's "treasonous thoughts" and glimpse the daily life of a young woman who ascended the throne at 25 and went on to rule her country for 45 years.
From earliest experimentation to habitual excess to full-blown abuse, twenty-four-year-old Koren Zailckas leads us through her experience of a terrifying trend among young girls, exploring how binge drinking becomes routine, how it becomes "the usual."
The riveting story of one of the greatest scientific accomplishments of the twentieth century, from the coauthor of the #1 New York Times bestseller Apollo 13.
With rivalries, reversals, and a race against time, the struggle to eradicate polio is one of the great tales of modern history. It begins with the birth of Jonas Salk, shortly before one of the worst polio epidemics in United States history. At the time, the disease was a terrifying enigma: striking from out of nowhere, it afflicted tens of thousands of children in this country each year and left them-literally overnight-paralyzed, and sometimes at death's door.
Cynical, quick-on-the-trigger Takeshi Kovacs, the ex-U.N. envoy turned private eye, has changed careers, and bodies, once more…trading sleuthing for soldiering as a warrior-for-hire, and helping a far-flung planet's government put down a bloody revolution.
Jazz saxophonist and arranger Ray Sherwood, touring with the Jack Donovan Orchestra, is haunted by personal tragedy. But when a beautiful and talented Berkeley student named Gail Prentice seeks his help in orchestrating a highly original composition called Swing Around the Sun, which is slated to premiere at the Golden Gate Exposition on the newly created Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay, Ray finds himself powerfully drawn to the beguiling coed. Within moments of first setting eyes on her, Ray also witnesses a horrifying sight: a young woman plunging to her death from the island's emblematic Tower of the Sun.
In The Sociopath Next Door, Harvard psychologist Martha Stout reveals that one in twenty-five everyday Americans is secretly a sociopath. They could be your colleague, your neighbor, even family, and they can do literally anything at all and feel absolutely no guilt.
The Inside Story of the Secret Saudi-U.S. Connection
Gerald Posner Alan Sklar
In its final report, the 9/11 Commission famously called the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia "a problematic ally in combating Islamic extremism." To Gerald Posner, the bestselling author of Why America Slept: The Failure to Prevent 9/11, this is a gross understatement. In his new book, Secrets of the Kingdom, Posner exposes the undeniable truth about U.S.-Saudi relations-and how the Saudis' influence on American business and politics poses a grave threat to our security.
Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley, and the Beginnings of Superstardom in America
Larry McMurtry Michael Prichard
From the early 1800s to the end of his life in 1917, Buffalo Bill Cody was as famous as anyone could be. Annie Oakley was his most celebrated protégée, the "slip of a girl" from Ohio who could (and did) outshoot anybody to become the most celebrated star of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. To each other, they were always "Missie" and "Colonel" To the rest of the world, they were cultural icons, setting the path for all that followed. Larry McMurtry—a writer who understands the West better than any other—recreates their astonishing careers and curious friendship in a fascinating history that reads like the very best of his fiction.
Based on a wealth of groundbreaking research, a leading psychologist's fascinating investigation of why we are all "wired to kill".
Reporting on findings that are often startling and counterintuitive-the younger woman involved in a love triangle is at a high risk of being killed-he puts forth a bold new general theory of homicide, arguing that the human psyche has evolved specialized adaptations whose function is to kill. Taking readers through the surprising twists and turns of the evolutionary logic of murder, he explains exactly when each of us is most at risk, both of being murdered and of becoming a murderer. His findings about the high-risk situations alone will be news making.
An Accidental Soldier's Account of the War in Iraq
John Crawford Patrick Lawlor
A young soldier's personal account of the United States' involvement in Iraq.
John Crawford joined the Florida National Guard to pay for his college tuition—it had seemed a small sacrifice to give up one weekend a month and two weeks a year in exchange for a free education. But one semester short of graduating, and newly married, he was called to active duty-to serve in Kuwait, then on the front lines of the invasion of Iraq, and ultimately in Baghdad. While serving in Iraq, Crawford began writing short nonfiction stories, his account of what he and his fellow soldiers experienced in the war. At the urging of a journalist embedded with his unit, he began sending his pieces out of the country via an anonymous Internet e-mail account.
How the Rise of the Next Superpower Challenges America and the World
Ted C. Fishman Alan Sklar
China today is visible everywhere — in the news, in the economic pressures battering America, in the workplace, and in every trip to the store. Provocative, timely, and essential, this dramatic account of china's growing dominance as an industrial super-power by journalist Ted C. Fishman explains how the profound shift in the global economic order has occurred — and why it already affects us all.