Non-Fiction Catalogue: May 2019
All the books in this catalogue are new books due for release in May 2019.
Because they are new books, we are at the whim of the publishers and, to some extent, the shipping companies – books can sometimes arrive later (or earlier) than, or occasionally be a different retail price, than originally quoted. Because space is a luxury, we bring in limited quantities of books. Prices are subject to change without notice.
Please reserve copies of anything you want, so you don’t miss out – ASAP! If a book has sold out by the time we receive your order, we will back-order and supply, when available. Pulp Fiction has access to thousands of books not shown in our monthly catalogues. We are only too happy to order anything, if we don’t have it on the shelves.
If you can’t make it into the shop, you can post, phone, or e-mail your order. We accept Mastercard, Visa, AMEX, cheques, and Australia Post Money Orders. Approximate current postage (base rate), within Australia, is:
- 1–2 paperbacks (up to 500g), $8.30
- 2–10 paperbacks or any trade paperbacks or hardcovers, within Brisbane, is $10.85
- outside Brisbane metro area (over 500g up to 3kg), $13.40
- anything above 3kg charged at Australia Post rates.
Abbreviations used in this catalogue: PBK = ‘A’ or ‘B’ format (standard size) paperback;TP = ‘B+’ or ‘C’ format (oversize) trade paperback;HC = hardcover or cloth binding.
Until next time, good reading!
New Osprey military history titles
Hitler’s Death: the Case Against Conspiracy (general military)
Did Hitler shoot himself in the Führerbunker, or did he slip past the Soviets and escape to South America? Countless documentaries, newspaper articles and internet pages written by conspiracy theorists have led the ongoing debate surrounding Hitler’s last days. Historians have not yet managed to make a serious response. Until now. This book is the first attempt by an academic to return to the evidence of Hitler’s suicide, in order to scrutinise the most recent arguments of conspiracy theorists using scientific methods. Through analysis of recently declassified MI5 files, previously unpublished sketches of Hitler’s bunker, personal accounts of intelligence officers along with stories of shoot-outs, plunder and secret agents, this scrupulously researched book takes on the doubters to tell the full story of how Hitler died.
History | HC | $29.99
European Ironclads 1860–75: the Gloire Sparks the Great Ironclad Arms Race (New Vanguard 269)
Konstam, Angus & Wright, Paul (illustrator)
From Spain to Russia, and from Ottoman Turkey to Bismarck’s Prussia, this book explores 15 years that transformed European naval warfare. When the Gloire slid down the Toulon slipway in 1859, it changed sea power forever. With this ship, the world’s first ocean-going ironclad, France had a warship that could sink any other, and which was proof against the guns of any wooden ship afloat. Instantly, an arms race began between the great navies of Europe – first to build their own ironclads, and then to surpass each other’s technology and designs. As both armour and gun technology rapidly improved, naval architects found new ways to mount and protect guns. The ram briefly came back into fashion, and Italian and Austro-Hungarian fleets fought the ironclad era’s great battle, at Lissa. By the end of this revolutionary period, the modern battleship was becoming recognisable, and new naval powers were emerging to dominate Europe’s waters.
Naval history | PBK | $24.99
A6M Zero-sen Aces 1940–42 (Aircraft of the Aces 137)
Millman, Nicholas & Olsthoorn, Ronnie (illustrator)
The Mitsubishi A6M Zero-sen was Japan’s Spitfire. In continuous development and operational service from the time of the Sino-Japanese war in 1940, to the end of the Pacific War in 1945, it is held in almost mythical awe, similar to Britain’s legendary fighter aircraft. At the time of its operational debut the fighter’s design features offered the revolutionary combination of an all-round vision canopy, cannon armament and a jettisonable drop tank; giving it phenomenal range. Together with the flying and tactical proficiency of superbly trained pilots, this made the Zero-sen a true strategic fighter, spearheading Japan’s offensive in the Pacific. It was also the mount of a plethora of successful and flamboyant naval aces engaged in both sea and land campaigns. This volume covers the use of the A6M2 variant, from its debut in China to the Solomons Campaign, and also tells the story of the A6M2-N ‘Rufe’ floatplane fighter aces.
Aviation history | PBK | $29.99
Armies of the Baltic Independence Wars 1918–20 (Elite 227)
Thomas, Nigel; Boltowsky, Toomas & Shumate, Johnny (illustrator)
Immediately following the end of World War I, amid the collapse of the German, Austro-Hungarian, and Russian Empires, bitter fighting broke out in the Baltic region as Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania struggled for their independence, and Red and White Russian armies began their civil war. There were also German forces still active, in what had been the northern end of Germany’s Eastern Front. This book offers a concise but detailed introduction to this whole theatre of war, focusing on the Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, and relevant German and Russian forces; plus Finnish, Danish, and Swedish contingents. For each region there is a detailed map, as well as meticulous orders of battle, and insignia charts. Detailed for the first time in the English language, this fascinating book concisely tells the story of the birth of these Baltic nation states.
Military history | PBK | $29.99
Incredible Journeys: Exploring the Wonders of Animal Navigation
A book about animal navigation – how creatures, great and small, find their way and how brilliantly they manage without benefit of maps or instruments. In Incredible Journeys, award-winning author David Barrie takes us on a tour of the cutting-edge science of animal navigation, where breakthroughs are allowing scientists to unravel, for the first time, how animals as various as butterflies, birds, crustaceans, fish, reptiles and even people find their way. Weaving interviews with leading experts on animal behaviour with the ground-breaking discoveries of Nobel-Prize-winning neuroscientists, Barrie shines a light on the astounding skills of animals of every stripe. Dung beetles that steer by the light of the Milky Way. Ants and bees that navigate using patterns of light invisible to humans. Sea turtles, spiny lobsters and moths that find their way using the Earth’s magnetic field. Salmon that return to their birthplace, by following their noses. Baleen whales that swim thousands of miles, while holding a rock-steady course; and birds that can locate their nests on a tiny island after crisscrossing an entire ocean. There’s a stunning diversity of animal navigators out there, often using senses and skills we humans don’t have access to ourselves. For the first time, Incredible Journeys reveals the wonders of these animals in a whole new light.
Science | TP | $32.99
Arnhem: the Battle for the Bridges, 1944
On 17 September 1944, General Kurt Student, the founder of Nazi Germany’s parachute forces, heard the growing roar of aero engines. He went out on to his balcony above the flat landscape of southern Holland to watch the vast air armada of Dakotas and gliders, carrying the British 1st Airborne and the American 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions. He gazed up in envy at the greatest demonstration of paratroop power ever seen. Operation Market Garden, the plan to end the war by capturing the bridges leading to the Lower Rhine and beyond, was a bold concept: the Americans thought it unusually bold for Field Marshal Montgomery. But the cost of failure was horrendous, above all for the Dutch who risked everything to help. German reprisals were cruel and lasted until the end of the war. The British fascination for heroic failure has clouded the story of Arnhem in myths, not least that victory was possible when in fact the plan imposed by Montgomery and General ‘Boy’ Browning was doomed from the start. Antony Beevor, using many overlooked and new sources from Dutch, British, American, Polish, and German archives, has reconstructed the terrible reality of this epic clash. Yet, this book, written in Beevor’s inimitable and gripping narrative style, is about much more than a single dramatic battle. It looks into the very heart of war.
Military history | PBK | $24.99
The Ultimate Scratch and Sniff Guide to Loving Beer
Betts, Richard & Raffe, Rotem
There are few things in the world as beloved as beer. Today, more than six thousand microbreweries in the United States have elevated this keg-party staple into a true art form. By far and away, the most popular alcoholic beverage, our traditional view of beer is that of a simple, refreshing drink brought to us by recognisable brand names, but there is so much more to this miracle beverage than we know, and Richard Betts cleverly and fragrantly breaks down the history, science, ingredients, and processes behind the beloved brew. What’s the difference between a pilsner and a stout? Why is water so important to beer? What’s the best temperature to serve a lager, an ale, or a stout? What the heck is a hop, anyway? Betts makes the science and history of beer as refreshing as an ice-cold one on a hot summer day; and couples accessible information with beautiful illustrations, and sixteen scratch and sniff scents. Everyone from frat bros to the snootiest beer snobs will learn something new. With this knowledge in hand, and some scratching and sniffing, you’ll have the tools to make informed decisions about the brews that will make you smile, every time. Cheers!
Beer | HC | $29.99
Stephen Biesty’s Cross-Sections Castle
History comes alive in this incredible children’s illustrated book about castles. Slicing through different areas of a medieval fortress, extraordinary views reveal the people busy inside, and preparing for battle – as an enemy army approaches. Packed with facts, you’ll find out what it takes to build a massive 14th-century castle, dress a knight in armour, or prepare a feast fit for a king or queen. From the drawbridge to the dungeon, Cross-Sections Castle swarms with the people who keep the castle ticking over – the workers, craftsmen, and servants. And, as you pore over every page, look out for the villainous spy. Is he in the well… the keep… the moat? No? Keep looking, he’s there, somewhere! Back in print after 20 years, you can cheer on jousters, be entertained by a troubadour, and witness the gory details of a traitor’s demise. This unique, illustrated book for kids is not just the story of a castle – it brings medieval history to life.
History/Architecture | HC | $29.99
Stephen Biesty’s Incredible Cross-Sections
This children’s book explores the innermost workings of some extraordinary buildings and machines. From helicopters to submarines, skyscrapers to coal mines, open up a fascinating world packed with unique and detailed cutaway drawings. Whether it’s a Spanish galleon or a medieval castle, each cross-section slice or exploded view reveals what’s going on inside. See the people swarming inside the Empire State Building, the workers busy backstage at the opera house, and where the crew sleep on a jumbo jet. Included also are two impressive fold-outs – showing an ocean liner and a steam train. There are lots of fun facts to be discovered, and curious details are highlighted and explained. Did you know one of the funnels of the Queen Mary liner was fake, and used for storing deckchairs? And in almost every scene, there’s the challenge to find a man on the toilet! With more than a million copies sold, Stephen Biesty’s award-winning illustrated books are as fascinating today, as they were when first published, in 1992. Incredible Cross Sections is the ultimate way to see how things work.
Architecture/Engineering | HC | $29.99
The Science of Fate:
Why Your Future is More Predictable Than You Think
Are we really the masters of our own destiny? So many of us believe that we are free to shape our own destiny. But what if free will doesn’t exist? What if our lives are largely predetermined, hardwired in our brains – and our choices over what we eat, who we fall in love with, even what we believe are not real choices, at all? Neuroscience is challenging everything we think we know about ourselves, revealing how we make decisions and form our own reality, unaware of the role of our unconscious minds. Leading neuroscientist Hannah Critchlow draws vividly from everyday life and other experts in their field to show the extraordinary potential, as well as dangers, which come with being able to predict our likely futures – and looking at how we can alter what’s in store for us. Lucid, illuminating, awe-inspiring The Science of Fate revolutionises our understanding of who we are – and empowers us to help shape a better future – for ourselves, and the wider world.
Science | TP | $32.99
The Lost Gutenberg:
the astounding true story of one book’s five-hundred-year odyssey
Davis, Margaret Leslie
A gripping exploration of the life of the world’s oldest and most famous printed book. For rare-book collectors, an original copy of the Gutenberg Bible – of which there are fewer than fifty, in existence – represents the ultimate prize. In this brilliantly-researched narrative, Margaret Leslie Davis recounts five centuries in the life of one copy, from its creation by Johannes Gutenberg, through the hands of monks, an earl, the heir to the Worcestershire sauce empire and a nuclear physicist to its ultimate resting place, a steel vault in Tokyo. The Lost Gutenberg draws readers into this incredible saga, immersing them in the lust for beauty, prestige and knowledge that this rarest of books sparked in its owners. In exploring the rich and fascinating life of a single copy, Davis illuminates the origins and history of the mechanically printed book, and the extraordinary work of Johannes Gutenberg that changed our world. ‘A gripping account of the importance of books as cultural artefacts and of one particular work that transformed the world.’ – Library Journal.
Literary history | TP | $29.99
30-Second AI and Robotics: 50 key notions, fields, and events
in the rise of intelligent machines, each explained in half a minute
de Miranda, Luis
This comprehensive presentation of the core concepts and historical landmarks in robotics and artificial intelligence is a must-read for those who want to understand the important changes happening now in our everyday lives, in the workplace, and in our minds and bodies. What is deep in ‘deep learning’? Can artificial intelligence really think? What will robots really look like in the near future? Is there a new class divide between those who understand technology and those who fear it? A clear and exhaustive introduction for non-specialists, 30-Second AI and Robotics will help the reader to navigate the world of ubiquitous computers, smart cities, and collaborative robots. At last, an optimistic and friendly book about our human possibilities, in the time of automata.
Science/engineering | HC | $19.99
Upheaval: How Nations Cope with Crisis and Change
In his landmark international bestsellers Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse, Jared Diamond transformed our understanding of what makes civilisations rise and fall. Now, in the third book in this monumental trilogy, he reveals how successful nations recover from crisis. Diamond shows us how seven countries have survived defining upheavals in the recent past – from the forced opening up of Japan and the Soviet invasion of Finland to the Pinochet regime in Chile – through selective change, a process of painful self-appraisal and adaptation, more commonly associated with personal trauma. Looking ahead to the future, he investigates whether the United States, and the world, are squandering their natural advantages and are on a devastating path toward catastrophe. Is this fate inevitable? Or can we still learn from the lessons of the past? Exhibiting the awe-inspiring grasp of history, geography, economics and anthropology that marks all Diamond’s work, Upheaval reveals how both nations and individuals can become more resilient. The result is a book epic in scope, but also his most personal, yet.
Society and culture/History | TP | $35.00
Hello World: How to be Human in the Age of the Machine
You are accused of a crime. Who would you rather, determined your fate – a human or an algorithm? An algorithm is more consistent and less prone to error of judgement. Yet, a human can look you in the eye, before passing sentence. Welcome to the age of the algorithm, the story of a not-too-distant future where machines rule supreme, making important decisions – in healthcare, transport, finance, security, what we watch, where we go even who we send to prison. So how much should we rely on them? What kind of future do we want? Hannah Fry takes us on a tour of the good, the bad and the downright ugly of the algorithms that surround us. In Hello World, she lifts the lid on their inner workings, demonstrates their power, exposes their limitations, and examines whether they really are an improvement on the humans they are replacing.
Technology/Society and culture | PBK | $19.99
Six Impossible Things:
the ‘Quanta of Solace’ and the Mysteries of the Subatomic World
A short guide to the six theories that try to explain the wild world of the quantum. Quantum physics is strange. It tells us that a particle can be in two places at once. Indeed, that particle is also a wave, and everything in the quantum world can be described entirely in terms of waves, or entirely in terms of particles, whichever you prefer. All of this was clear by the end of the 1920s. But to the great distress of many physicists, let alone ordinary mortals, nobody has ever been able to come up with a common sense explanation of what is going on. Physicists have sought ‘quanta of solace’ in a variety of more or less convincing interpretations. Popular science master John Gribbin takes us on a delightfully mind-bending tour through the ‘big six’, from the Copenhagen interpretation via the pilot wave and many worlds approaches. All of them are crazy, and some are crazier than others; but, in this world, crazy does not necessarily mean wrong… and being more crazy does not necessarily mean more wrong.
Science | HC | $19.99
Alpha Girls: the Women Upstarts Who Took on Silicon Valley’s Male Culture
and Made the Deals of a Lifetime
Silicon Valley has long been at the forefront of innovation, but it is renowned for its archaic sexist culture. Alpha Girls is the inspiring story of how a group of talented women have achieved success in a tech world run by ‘bro-grammers’ through sheer grit and determination. For all its trailblazing, world-shaping innovation, Silicon Valley has long been a mysterious, male-dominated world and, at its worst, a toxic environment in which to be a woman. Recent exposes have revealed sexist ‘bro-cultures’ at top tech companies, ranging from sexual harassment lawsuits, in which women are routinely excluded from all-male ski trips to the partner at a leading VC firm who, when asked by a reporter whether there were talented females candidates on the job market, replied, ‘we’re not prepared to lower our standards.’ How is it possible that a community with such forward-looking technology, could take such a backward approach to gender relations? Alpha Girls dives into this enigmatic world, going behind the scenes at Facebook, Microsoft, McAfee, Google, Tesla, and more to reveal the history of Silicon Valley – from the point of view of the women who have witnessed and participated in its rise to global domination of the business landscape. Julian Guthrie focuses on a small group of self-made women who, outnumbered and underestimated, helped launch the modern computer industry, and are today renowned figures in the VC world of the Valley. Alpha Girls is an inspiring, ground-breaking, true story about women taking enormous risks, playing by the men’s rules, juggling work and family, all the while refusing to be limited by the expectations of others. These alpha girls – as well as men in the industry – have granted Julian incredible, unprecedented access to an otherwise closed community.
Biography/business culture | TP | $32.99
Medieval Bodies: Life, Death and Art in the Middle Ages
Dripping with blood and gold, fetishised and tortured, gateway to earthly delights and point of contact with the divine, forcibly divided and powerful even beyond death, there was no territory more contested than the body, in the medieval world. In Medieval Bodies, art historian Jack Hartnell uncovers the complex and fascinating ways, in which the people of the Middle Ages thought about, explored and experienced their physical selves. In paintings and reliquaries that celebrated the – sometimes bizarre – martyrdoms of saints, the sacred dimension of the physical left its mark on their environment. In literature and politics, hearts and heads became powerful metaphors that shaped governance and society in ways that are still visible, today. And doctors and natural philosophers were at the centre of a collision between centuries of sophisticated medical knowledge, and an ignorance of physiology as profound as its results were gruesome. Like a medieval pageant, this striking and unusual history brings together medicine, art, poetry, music, politics, cultural and social history and philosophy to reveal what life was really like for the men and women who lived and died in the Middle Ages.
History | PBK | $24.99
Symphony in C: Carbon and the Evolution of (Almost) Everything
Carbon. It’s in the fibres in your hair, the timbers in your walls, the food that you eat, and the air that you breathe. It’s worth billions as a luxury and half a trillion as a necessity, but there are still mysteries yet to be solved about the element that can be both diamond and coal. Where does it come from, what does it do, and why, above all, does life need it? With sparkling prose and engaging narrative, earth scientist Robert Hazen leads us on a vibrant journey through the origin and evolution of life’s most ubiquitous element. The story unfolds in four movements – Earth, Air, Fire and Water – and transports us through 14 billion years of cosmic history. From the outer reaches of the universe to the cliffs of Scotland and into the precious-metal mines of Namibia, Symphony in C is a sweeping chronicle of carbon: the most essential element on Earth.
Science | TP | $34.99
She-Merchants, Buccaneers and Gentlewomen:
British Women in India 1600–1900
An extraordinary and illuminating book that tells the incredible stories of the first British women to set foot in India – 250 years before the Raj. The first British women to set foot in India did so in the very early seventeenth century, two and a half centuries before the Raj. Women made their way to India, for exactly the same reasons men did – to carve out a better life for themselves. In the early days, India was a place where the slates of ‘blotted pedigrees’ were wiped clean; bankrupts given a chance to make good; a taste for adventure satisfied – for women. They went and worked as milliners, bakers, dressmakers, actresses, portrait painters, maids, shopkeepers, governesses, teachers, boarding house proprietors, midwives, nurses, missionaries, doctors, geologists, plant-collectors, writers, travellers, and – most surprising of all – traders. As wives, courtesans and she-merchants, these tough adventuring women were every bit as intrepid as their men, the buccaneering sea captains and traders in whose wake they followed; their voyages to India were extraordinarily daring leaps into the unknown. The history of the British in India has cast a long shadow over these women; Memsahibs, once a word of respect, is now more likely to be a byword for snobbery, and even racism. And it is true: prejudice of every kind – racial, social, imperial, religious – did cloud many aspects of British involvement in India. But was not invariably the case. In this landmark book, celebrated chronicler, Katie Hickman uncovers stories, until now hidden from history: here is Charlotte Barry, who in 1783 left London a high-class courtesan and arrived in India as Mrs William Hickey, a married ‘lady’; Poll Puff who sold her apple puffs for ‘upwards of thirty years, growing grey in the service’; Mrs Hudson who, in 1617, was refused as a trader in indigo by the East Indian Company, and instead turned a fine penny in cloth; Julia Inglis, a survivor of the siege of Lucknow; Amelia Horne, who witnessed the death of her entire family during the Cawnpore massacres of 1857; and Flora Annie Steel, novelist and a pioneer in the struggle to bring education to purdah women. For some it was painful exile, but for many it was exhilarating. Through diaries, letters and memoirs (many still in manuscript form), this exciting book reveals the extraordinary life and times of hundreds of women who made their way across the sea and changed history.
History | TP | $32.99
Normandy ’44: D-Day and the Battle for France
Renowned World War Two historian, James Holland presents an entirely new perspective on one of the most important moments in recent history. Unflinchingly examining the brutality and violence that characterised the campaign, it’s time to draw some radically different conclusions. D-Day and the 76 days of bitter fighting in Normandy that followed have come to be seen as a defining episode in the Second World War. Its story has been endlessly retold, and yet it remains a narrative burdened by both myth and assumed knowledge. In this re-examined history, James Holland presents a broader overview, one that challenges much of what we think we know about D-Day and the Normandy campaign. The sheer size and scale of the Allies’ war machine ultimately dominates the strategic, operational and tactical limitations of the German forces. This was a brutal campaign. In terms of daily casualties, the numbers were worse than for any one battle during the First World War. Normandy ’44 draws on unseen archives and testimonies from around the world; introduces a cast of eyewitnesses that includes foot soldiers, tank men, fighter pilots and bomber crews, sailors, civilians, resistance fighters, and those directing the action; and is an epic telling that will profoundly recalibrate our understanding of its true place, in the tide of human history.
Military history | TP | $35.00
Superhuman: Life at the Extremes of Mental and Physical Ability
Superhuman is a fascinating, eye-opening, and inspiring celebration of the best that the current human species has to offer. This is a book about what it feels like to be exceptional – and what it takes to get there. Why can some people achieve greatness when others can’t, no matter how hard they try? What are the secrets of long life and happiness? Just how much potential does our species have? In this inspirational book, New Scientist Managing Editor Rowan Hooper takes us on a tour of the peaks of human achievement. We sit down with some of the world’s finest minds, from a Nobel-prize-winning scientist to a double Booker-prize-winning author; we meet people whose power of focus has been the difference between a world record and death; we learn from international opera stars; we go back in time with memory champions, and we explore the transcendent experience of ultrarunners. We meet people who have rebounded from near-death, those who have demonstrated exceptional bravery, and those who have found happiness in the most unexpected ways. Drawing on interviews with a wide range of superhumans, as well as those who study them; Hooper assesses the science of peak potential, reviewing the role of genetics, alongside the famed 10,000 hours of practice. For anyone who ever felt that they might be able to do something extraordinary in life, for those who simply want to succeed, and for anyone interested in incredible human stories, Superhuman is a must-read.
Science | PBK | $22.99
Surprise, Kill, Vanish:
the Definitive History of Secret CIA Assassins, Armies and Operators
Since 1947, domestic and foreign assassinations have been executed under the CIA-led covert action operations team. Before that time, responsibility for taking out America’s enemies abroad was even more shrouded in mystery. Despite Hollywood notions of last-minute, rogue operations, and external secret hires; covert action is, actually, a cog in a colossal foreign policy machine; moving through, among others, the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, the House and Senate Select Committees. At the end of the day, it is the President, not the CIA, who is singularly in charge. When diplomacy fails and overt military action is not feasible, the President often calls on the Special Activities Division, the most secretive and lowest-profile branch of the CIA. It is this paramilitary team that undertakes dramatic and little-known assignments: hostage rescues, sabotage, and, of course, assassinations. For the first time, Annie Jacobsen takes us deep inside this top-secret history. With unparalleled access to former operatives, ambassadors, and even past directors of the Secret Service and CIA operations, Jacobsen reveals the inner workings of these teams, and just how far a US president may go, covertly but lawfully, to pursue the nation’s interests.
Espionage/military history | TP | $34.99
The Future of Humanity:
Terraforming Mars, Interstellar Travel, Immortality, and Our Destiny Beyond
Human civilisation is on the verge of spreading beyond Earth. More than a possibility, it is becoming a necessity: whether our hand is forced by climate change and resource depletion or whether future catastrophes compel us to abandon Earth, one day we will make our homes among the stars. World-renowned physicist and futurist Michio Kaku explores, in rich, accessible detail, how humanity might gradually develop a sustainable civilisation in outer space. With his trademark storytelling verve, Kaku shows us how science fiction is becoming reality: mind-boggling developments in robotics, nanotechnology, and biotechnology could enable us to build habitable cities on Mars; nearby stars might be reached by microscopic spaceships sailing through space on laser beams; and technology might one day allow us to transcend our physical bodies entirely. With irrepressible enthusiasm and wonder, Dr Kaku takes readers on a fascinating journey to a future in which humanity could finally fulfil its long-awaited destiny among the stars – and, perhaps, even achieve immortality.
Science | PBK | $24.99
The Return of Marco Polo’s World:
War, Strategy, and American Interests in the Twenty-first Century
Kaplan, Robert D
A bracing assessment of US foreign policy and world disorder over the past two decades; anchored by a major new Pentagon-commissioned essay about changing power dynamics among China, Eurasia, and America. In the major lead essay, recently released by the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment, Robert D Kaplan lays out a blueprint of the world’s changing power politics that recalls Marco Polo’s decades-long trek from Venice to China, in the late thirteenth century. As Europe fractures from changes in culture and migration, Eurasia coheres into a single conflict system. China is constructing a land bridge to Europe. Iran and India are trying to link the oil fields of Central Asia to the Indian Ocean. America’s ability to influence the power balance in Eurasia is declining. This is Kaplan’s first collection of essays, since his classic The Coming Anarchy was published in 2000. Drawing on decades of firsthand experience as a foreign correspondent and military embed for The Atlantic, as well as encounters with pre-eminent realist thinkers, Kaplan outlines the timeless principles that should shape America’s role in a turbulent world.
Philosophy | TP | $29.99
All the Ghosts in the Machine:
Illusions of Immortality in the Digital Age
A fascinating and thought-provoking journey into the problematic world of our digital afterlife. Seen any ghosts on your smartphone, lately? As we’re compelled to capture, store and share more and more of our personal information, there’s something we often forget. All that data doesn’t just disappear, when our physical bodies shuffle off this mortal coil. If the concept of remaining socially active – after you’re no longer breathing – sounds crazy, you might want to get used to the idea. Digital afterlives are a natural consequence of the information age, a reality that barely anyone has prepared for – and that ‘anyone’ probably includes you. In All the Ghosts in the Machine, psychologist Elaine Kasket sounds a clarion call to everyone who’s never thought about death, in the digital age. When someone’s hyper-connected, hyper-personal digital footprint is transformed into their lasting legacy, she asks, who is helped, who is hurt, and who’s in charge? And why is now such a critical moment to take our heads out of the sand? Weaving together personal, moving true stories and scientific research, All the Ghosts in the Machine takes you on a fascinating tour through the valley of the shadow of digital death. In the process, it will transform how you think about your life and your legacy, in a time when our technologies are tantalising us with fantasies of immortality.
Impact of Technology/Psychology | TP | $32.99
Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching
Le Guin, Ursula K
A rich, poetic, and socially-relevant version of the great spiritual and philosophical classic of Taoism, from one of America’s leading literary figures. Most people know Ursula K Le Guin for her extraordinary science fiction and fantasy writing. Fewer know just how pervasive Taoist themes are, to so much of her work. And in Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching, we are treated to Le Guin’s unique take on Taoist philosophy’s founding classic. Reflecting more than forty years of Le Guin’s personal study and contemplation, her rendering of the text is a brilliant testament to her deep-seated understanding of Taoist principles, and their value for our troubled world today. Avoiding traditional patriarchal interpretations, scholarly fixations, and esotericism, she imbues the Tao Te Ching with transformative, awe-inspiring power like no other. Also included are Le Guin’s personal reflections and notes on the text throughout. To anyone who has enjoyed Le Guin’s writing and yearns for a deeper window into her mind – or to all who simply wish to explore the philosophical bedrock that shaped an incredible, historically significant author – Le Guin’s Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching will be an incomparable treasure.
Religion/Philosophy | TP | $27.99
a Panorama of Our Glitches, from Pointless Bones to Broken Genes
An illuminating, entertaining tour of the physical imperfections, from faulty knees to junk DNA, that make us human – and a unique approach to telling our evolutionary history. We like to think of ourselves as highly evolved creatures. But if we are evolution’s greatest creation, why are we so badly designed? We have retinas that face backward, the stump of a tail, and way too many bones in our wrists. We must find vitamins and nutrients in our diets that other animals simply make for themselves. Millions of us can’t reproduce successfully without help from modern science. We have nerves that take bizarre paths, muscles that attach to nothing, and lymph nodes that do more harm than good. And that’s just the beginning of the story. As biologist Nathan H Lents explains, our evolutionary history is a litany of mistakes, each more entertaining and enlightening than the last. As we will discover, by exploring human shortcomings, we can peer into our past, because each of our flaws tells a story about our species’ evolutionary history. A rollicking, deeply informative tour of our four-billion-year-long evolutionary saga, Human Errors both celebrates our imperfections – for our mutations are, in their own way, a testament to our species’ greatness – and offers an unconventional accounting of the cost of our success.
Science | PBK | $22.99
Yasuke: the true story of the legendary African Samurai
Lockley, Thomas & Girard, Geoffrey
A riveting story about one of history’s most enigmatic warriors. Warrior. Samurai. Legend. The remarkable life of history’s first foreign-born samurai, and his astonishing journey from Northeast Africa, to the heights of Japanese society. The man, who came to be known as Yasuke, arrived in Japan in the 16th century, an indentured mercenary arriving upon one of the Portuguese ships carrying a new language, a new religion, and an introduction to the slave trade. Curiously tall, bald, massively built and black skinned, he was known as a steadfast bodyguard of immense strength and stature, and swiftly captured the interest, and thence the trust, of the most powerful family in all of Japan. Two years later, he vanished. Yasuke is the story of a legend that still captures the imagination of people across the world. It brings to life a little-known side of Japan – a gripping narrative about an extraordinary figure in a fascinating time and place.
History | TP | $32.99
Bookworm: a Memoir of Childhood Reading
When Lucy Mangan was little, stories were everything. They opened up different worlds and cast new light on this one. She was whisked away to Narnia – and Kirrin Island – and Wonderland. She ventured down rabbit holes and womble burrows, into midnight gardens and chocolate factories. No wonder, she only left the house for her weekly trip to the library. In Bookworm, Lucy brings the favourite characters of our collective childhoods back to life and disinters a few forgotten treasures poignantly, wittily using them to tell her own story, that of a born, and unrepentant, bookworm.
Reading/Memoir | PBK | $22.99
The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Ground-Breaking Scientists
and Their Conflicting Visions of the Future of Our Planet
Mann, Charles C
An incisive portrait of the two little-known twentieth-century scientists, Norman Borlaug and William Vogt, whose diametrically-opposed views shaped our ideas about the environment, laying the groundwork for how people in the twenty-first century will choose to live in tomorrow’s world. In forty years, Earth’s population will reach ten billion. Can our world support that? What kind of world will it be? Those answering these questions generally fall into two deeply divided groups – Wizards and Prophets, as Charles Mann calls them in this balanced, authoritative, non-polemical new book. The Prophets, he explains, follow William Vogt, a founding environmentalist, who believed that in using more than our planet has to give, our prosperity will lead us to ruin. Cut back! was his mantra. Otherwise, everyone will lose! The Wizards are the heirs of Norman Borlaug, whose research, in effect, wrangled the world in service to our species to produce modern high-yield crops that then saved millions from starvation. Innovate! was Borlaug’s cry. Only in that way, can everyone win! Mann delves into these diverging viewpoints, to assess the four great challenges humanity faces – food, water, energy, climate change – grounding each in historical context and weighing the options for the future. With our civilisation on the line, the author’s insightful analysis is an essential addition to the urgent conversation about how our children will fare, on an increasingly-crowded Earth.
Science/Biography | PBK | $24.99
The Future in Minutes
Two hundred futuristic concepts, technologies, and their consequences, explained in an instant. What does the future hold? How will we live, work and entertain ourselves? What new technologies will emerge? Will humanity evolve – and perhaps live forever? Or are we facing threats that could end us – and even the whole universe? The Future in Minutes tackles these and many other fundamental questions, concisely and lucidly explaining everything from cryptocurrencies and world governments to gene therapy and colonising planets – and painting our options for utopia or disaster. Contents include: Predicting the future; How we’ll live; Shifts in society; Technology of the future; Scarcity and solutions; Politics, warfare and ethics; the quest for immortality; Transhumans and post-humans; Artificial intelligence; Threats to humanity; Space travel and colonisation; Super-advanced science; and the Fate of the Earth and the Universe.
Futurism | PBK | $22.99
An Impeccable Spy: Richard Sorge, Stalin’s Master Agent
The thrilling true story of Richard Sorge – the man John le Carré called ‘the spy to end spies’, and whose actions turned the tide of the Second World War. Richard Sorge was a man with two homelands. Born of a German father and a Russian mother in Baku in 1895, he moved in a world of shifting alliances and infinite possibility. A member of the angry and deluded generation who found new, radical faiths after their experiences on the battlefields of the First World War, Sorge became a fanatical communist – and the Soviet Union’s most formidable spy. Like many great spies, Sorge was an effortless seducer, combining charm with ruthless manipulation. He did not have to go undercover to find out closely-guarded state secrets – his victims willingly shared them. As a foreign correspondent, he infiltrated and influenced the highest echelons of German, Chinese and Japanese society in the years leading up to and including the Second World War. His intelligence regarding Operation Barbarossa and Japanese intentions not to invade Siberia in 1941 proved pivotal to the Soviet counteroffensive in the Battle of Moscow, which in turn determined the outcome of the war. Never before has Sorge’s story been told from the Russian side, as well as the German and Japanese. Owen Matthews takes a sweeping historical perspective and draws on a wealth of declassified Soviet archives – along with testimonies from those who knew and worked with Sorge – to rescue the riveting story of the man described, by Ian Fleming, as ‘the most formidable spy in history’.
Espionage history | TP | $29.99
D-Day: the Soldiers’ Story
The definitive soldier-on-the-beach account of the greatest invasion in history. D-Day was the greatest invasion, in history. An epic battle that involved 156,000 men, 7,000 ships and 20,000 armoured vehicles, the desperate struggle that unfolded on 6 June was, above all, a story of individual heroics – men who were driven to keep fighting, until the German defences were smashed, and the precarious beachheads secured. In D-Day, Giles Milton paints a dazzling canvas of the opening day of battle, exploring the momentous events through the prism of those who took part. Sweeping from the principal architects at Supreme Command to the graphic testimonies of the men who struggled ashore on the morning of 6 June, his narrative lays bare the absolute terror of those on both sides trapped in the frontline massacres of Operation Overlord. In an overview that is both meticulous and vast, ‘the longest day’ is revealed, as never before – less a masterpiece of strategic planning, than a day on which thousands of scared, young men found themselves staring death in the face – told through the eyes of those who took part, as we approach the 75th anniversary of the battle: in 2019.
Military history | PBK | $22.99
The Moth Presents: Occasional Magic – True Stories of Defying the Impossible
Moth, The & Burns, Catherine
Before television and radio, people would gather on porches, on the steps outside their homes, and tell stories. Their bewitched listeners would sit and listen long into the night as moths flitted around overhead. Storytelling phenomenon The Moth recaptures this lost each week in cities across America, Britain, Australia and beyond, playing to packed crowds at sold-out live events. Occasional Magic is a selection of 50 of the finest Moth stories from recent shows, from storytellers who found the courage to face their deepest fears. The stories feature voices familiar and new. Alongside Neil Gaiman, Adam Gopnik, Andrew Solomon, Rosanne Cash, and Cristina Lamb, there are stories from around the world – describing moments of strength, passion, courage, and humour… and when a little magic happened. In finest Moth tradition, Occasional Magic encourages us all to be more open, vulnerable and alive.
Memoirs | TP | $29.99
Wayfinding: the science and mystery of how humans navigate the world
O’Connor, M R
In this compelling narrative, O’Connor seeks out neuroscientists, anthropologists and master navigators to understand how navigation ultimately gave us our humanity. Biologists have been trying to solve the mystery of how organisms have the ability to migrate and orient with such precision – especially since our own adventurous ancestors spread across the world without maps or instruments. O’Connor goes to the Arctic, the Australian bush, and the South Pacific to talk to masters of their environment who seek to preserve their traditions, at a time when anyone can use a GPS to navigate. O’Connor explores the neurological basis of spatial orientation within the hippocampus. Without it, people inhabit a dream state, becoming amnesiacs incapable of finding their way, recalling the past, or imagining the future. Studies have shown that the more we exercise our cognitive mapping skills, the greater the grey matter and health of our hippocampus. O’Connor talks to scientists studying how atrophy in the hippocampus is associated with afflictions such as impaired memory, dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, depression and PTSD.
Science | TP | $32.99
Chernobyl: History of a Tragedy
On the morning of 26 April 1986, Europe witnessed the worst nuclear disaster in history: the explosion of a reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Soviet Ukraine. The outburst put the world on the brink of nuclear annihilation. In the end, less than five percent of the reactor’s fuel escaped, but that was enough to contaminate over half of Europe with radioactive fallout. In Chernobyl, Serhii Plokhy recreates these events in all of their drama, telling the stories of the fire-fighters, scientists, engineers, workers, soldiers, and policemen who found themselves caught in a nuclear Armageddon and succeeded in doing the seemingly impossible: extinguishing the nuclear inferno and putting the reactor to sleep. While it is clear that the immediate cause of the accident was a turbine test gone wrong, Plokhy shows how the deeper roots of Chernobyl lay in the nature of the Soviet political system, and the flaws of its nuclear industry. A little more than five years later, the Soviet Union would fall apart, destroyed from within by its unsustainable communist ideology and the dysfunctional managerial and economic systems laid bare in the wake of the disaster. A poignant, fast-paced account of the drama of heroes, perpetrators, and victims, Chernobyl is the definitive history of the world’s worst nuclear disaster.
History/Science | PBK | $22.99
Losing Earth: the Decade We Could Have Stopped Climate Change
By 1979, we knew all that we know now about the science of climate change – what was happening, why it was happening, and how to stop it. Over the next ten years, we had the very real opportunity to stop it. Obviously, we failed. Nathaniel Rich’s ground-breaking account of that failure – and how tantalisingly close we came to signing binding treaties that would have saved us all, before the fossil fuels industry and politicians committed to anti-scientific denialism – is already a journalistic blockbuster, a full issue of the New York Times Magazine that has earned favourable comparisons to Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and John Hersey’s Hiroshima. Rich has become an instant, in-demand expert and speaker. A major movie deal is already in place. It is the story, perhaps, that can shift the conversation. In the book Losing Earth, Rich is able to provide more of the context for what did – and didn’t – happen in the 1980s and, more important, is able to carry the story fully into the present day and wrestle with what those past failures mean for us, in 2019. It is not just an agonising revelation of historical missed opportunities, but a clear-eyed and eloquent assessment of how we got to now, and what we can and must do before it’s, truly, too late.
Climate change | TP | $32.99
The Deep: the Hidden Wonders of Our Oceans and How We Can Protect Them
From one of the world’s pre-eminent marine biologists – and a scientific consultant on the BBC’s Blue Planet series – comes a dazzling account of the wonders that lie beneath the ocean’s surface, and an empowering vision of how we can protect them. Fewer people have been to the deepest part of the ocean than have been to the moon. Even now, the vast majority of this wilderness – which covers over 70% of the planet and forms its largest ecosystem – has never been seen by human eyes, let alone explored or investigated by scientists. Yet, our oceans contain perhaps 90% of all life, and the physical and biological processes within it are critical to supporting our existence on Earth. Professor Alex Rogers has spent the past 30 years studying life in the deep ocean. In this book, he takes us on an epic and utterly unforgettable voyage to an alien world; and brings us right to the edge of what is known about our oceans, today. Introducing us to glittering coral gardens, submarine mountains and a range of bizarre and breathtaking sea creatures – many of which he discovered, first hand – Rogers not only illustrates the ocean’s enormous and untold impact on our lives, but also shows how we are damaging it catastrophically through pollution, overfishing, and the insidious and global effects of climate change. Imbued with the author’s infectious sense of wonder, and replete with stunning photography of underwater life, The Deep is a magisterial study of a world we are only just beginning to understand – and a profoundly hopeful call to arms for us to reshape our relationship with it, before it is too late.
Science | TP | $32.99
The Book of Humans: the Story of How We Became Us
We like to think of ourselves as exceptional beings, but is there really anything special about us that sets us apart from other animals? Humans are the slightest of twigs on a single, family tree that encompasses four billion years, a lot of twists and turns, and a billion species. All of those organisms are rooted in a single origin, with a common code that underwrites our existence. This paradox – that our biology is indistinct from all life, yet we consider ourselves to be special – lies at the heart of who we are. In this original and entertaining tour of life on Earth, Adam Rutherford explores how many of the things once considered to be exclusively human are not: we are not the only species that communicates, makes tools, utilises fire, or has sex for reasons other than to make new versions of ourselves. Evolution has, however, allowed us to develop our culture to a level of complexity that outstrips any other observed in nature. The Book of Humans tells the story of how we became the creatures we are today, bestowed with the unique ability to investigate what makes us who we are. Illuminated by the latest scientific discoveries, it is a thrilling compendium of what unequivocally fixes us as animals, and reveals how we are extraordinary among them.
Science | PBK | $22.99
Everything in its Place: First Loves and Last Tales
A final volume of essays that showcase Sacks’ broad range of interests – from his passion for ferns, swimming, and horsetails, to his final case histories exploring schizophrenia, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. Oliver Sacks, scientist and storyteller, is beloved by readers for his neurological case histories and his fascination and familiarity with human behaviour at its most unexpected and unfamiliar. Everything in Its Place is a celebration of Sacks’ myriad interests, told with his characteristic compassion and erudition, and in his luminous prose.
Essays | HC | $39.99
Spaceflight: the Complete Story from Sputnik to Shuttle and Beyond
This compelling story of exploration charts and celebrates humankind in space, from Sputnik’s launch in 1957, through the Apollo Moon landings and the International Space Station to future missions to Mars and beyond. Spaceflight chronicles how, in the six decades that followed Sputnik, the world was revolutionised by space travel and exploration. The opening up of Earth’s orbit to satellites led to a revolution in communications, monitoring of the environment, and materials science. For the human imagination, the impact has been even greater – The voyages of robotic space probes have transformed our view of the Solar System, while Earth-orbiting satellites and missions to the Moon have forever changed our view of ourselves. This book is a celebration of human ingenuity and imagination. From the work of pioneers like Wernher von Braun, Yuri Gagarin, and Neil Armstrong to the triumphs and tragedies that followed, it reveals the people, science, and technology that have propelled us into the Space Age. Foreword by Buzz Aldrin.
Space exploration | HC | $49.99
Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto
Stern, Alan & Grinspoon, David
On July 14, 2015, something amazing happened. More than three billion miles from Earth, a small NASA spacecraft called New Horizons screamed past Pluto, at more than 32,000 miles per hour, focusing its instruments on the long mysterious icy worlds of the Pluto system, and then continued on its journey out into the beyond. Nothing like this has occurred in a generation – a raw exploration of new worlds unparalleled since NASA’s Voyager missions – and nothing like it is planned to happen again. The photos that New Horizons sent back to Earth graced the front pages of newspapers on all seven continents, and NASA’s website for the mission received more than two billion hits, in the days surrounding the flyby. At a time when so many think our most historic achievements are in the past, the most distant planetary exploration ever attempted not only succeeded but made history and captured the world’s imagination. How did this happen? Chasing New Horizons is the story of the men and women behind the mission: of their decades-long commitment; of the political fights within and outside of NASA; of the sheer human ingenuity it took to design, build, and fly the mission. Told from the insider’s perspective of Dr Alan Stern, Chasing New Horizons is a riveting story of scientific discovery, and of how far humanity can go, when we work together toward an incredible goal.
Space exploration | TP | $26.99
Infinite Powers: the Story of Calculus – the Language of the Universe
A magisterial history of calculus (and the people behind it) from one of the world’s foremost popularisers of mathematics, the author of The Joy of X. This is the captivating story of mathematics’ greatest ever idea: calculus. Without it, there would be no computers, no microwave ovens, no GPS, and no space travel. But before it gave modern man almost infinite powers, calculus was behind centuries of controversy, competition, and even death. Taking us on a thrilling journey through three millennia, professor Steven Strogatz charts the development of this seminal achievement from the days of Aristotle, to today’s million-dollar reward that awaits whoever cracks Reimann’s hypothesis. Filled with idiosyncratic characters from Pythagoras to Euler, Infinite Powers is a compelling human drama that reveals the legacy of calculus on nearly every aspect of modern civilisation, including science, politics, ethics, philosophy, and much, besides.
Mathematics/History | TP | $29.99
Weird. Wonderful. Indispensable. the Ones Who Run Our World
A journey into the weird, wonderful and truly astonishing lives of the small but mighty creatures who keep the world turning. Out of sight, underfoot, unseen beyond fleeting scuttles or darting flights, insects occupy a hidden world, yet are essential to sustaining life on earth. Insects influence our ecosystem like a ripple effect on water. They arrived when life first moved to dry land, they preceded – and survived – the dinosaurs, they outnumber the grains of sand on all the world’s beaches, and they will be here long after us. Working quietly but tirelessly, they give us food, uphold our ecosystems, can heal our wounds and even digest plastic. They could also provide us with new solutions to the antibiotic crisis, assist in disaster zones, and inspire airforce engineers with their flying techniques. But their private lives are also full of fun, intrigue and wonder –musical mating rituals; house-hunting for armies of beetle babies; metamorphosing into new characters; throwing parties in fermenting sap; cultivating fungi for food; farming smaller species for honey dew and always ensuring that what is dead is decomposed, ready to become life, once again. Here, we will discover life and death, drama and dreams, all on a millimetric scale. Like it or not, Earth is the planet of insects, and this is their extraordinary story.
Science | TP | $32.99
National Trust Comfort Food
In this cookbook, the National Trust serves up a hot soothing bowl of all your favourite comfort foods, inspired by the recipes from their cafes, which make the best of our delicious British seasonal produce. There are over 100 recipes for casseroles, soups, stews, pies and hot puddings, along with ideas for rustic salads, quick suppers, and indulgent dinner party desserts. Along with the favourite dishes cooked in the National Trust cafes, there are recipes that have been found in National Trust archives, or link to the history of the places. In the Lake District, Lamb and Hawkshead Red stew celebrates two great local ingredients in one taste of home – Herdwick lamb and award-winning Hawkshead Red beer. During his time as Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon of Kedleston Hall might have encountered a chickpea and coconut curry typical of the southern region, a comforting meat-free alternative for veggies and vegans. Or indulge with the chestnut, rum and chocolate pavlova cake, inspired by the ancient chestnuts planted at Sizergh. Whatever the season, National Trust Comfort Food presents a wealth of regional and international dishes, each one devoted to our love for homely, comforting cooking. From colourful summer favourites such as goat’s-cheese gnocchi, or Panzanella made with ripe, summer tomatoes, or a picnic pie served with a tangy chutney, to winter warmers like venison stew or chicken and mustard casserole, these dishes are simple and irresistible.
Recipes/Social history | HC | $39.99
Feminism in Minutes
200 key ideas, movements and feminists explained in an instant. Never has having an understanding of feminism been so important. But what really is feminism – in all its forms? Who were the key feminists – and what are their beliefs? What do feminists think about abortion, sex, religion, pornography and beauty? And have we achieved equality – or is there still much to do? Feminism in Minutes is the quickest, easiest way to understand the big ideas and history of feminism, from its ancient roots to the #MeToo movement of today. Contents include: Basic concepts; Schools of feminism; Marriage and motherhood; Sex, power and sexuality; Activism and justice; Gender, religion and war; Women’s achievements in science and medicine and Feminism and the arts, as well as the ideas of essential feminists such as Simone de Beauvoir, Emmeline Pankhurst, Sojouner Truth, Germaine Greer, Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Pussy Riot, and Malala Yousafzai, among many others.
Feminism | PBK | $22.99
Unravelling the Double Helix: the Lost Heroes of DNA
An engaging and original history of the first hundred years of DNA, one of the greatest triumphs of modern science. Unravelling the Double Helix covers the most colourful period in the history of DNA, from the discovery of ‘nuclein’ in the late 1860s to the landmark publication of James Watson’s The Double Helix, in 1968. These hundred years included the advent of the Nobel Prize, antibiotics, x-ray crystallography, and the atom bomb; as well as two devastating world wars – events which are strung along the narrative thread of DNA, like beads on a necklace. The story of DNA is a saga packed with awful mistakes, as well as brilliant science, with a wonderful cast of heroes and villains. Surprisingly, much of it is unfamiliar. The elucidation of the double helix was one of the most brilliant gems of twentieth-century science, but some of the scientists – who played crucial roles – have been airbrushed out of history. Others were plunged into darkness, when the spotlight fell on James Watson, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins, and Rosalind Franklin. Watson and Crick solved a magnificent mystery, but Gareth Williams shows that their contribution was to click into place the last few pieces of a gigantic jigsaw puzzle assembled over several decades.
Science/History/Biography | TP | $32.99
Exactly: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World
Bestselling author Simon Winchester writes a magnificent history of the pioneering engineers who developed precision machinery – to allow us to see as far as the moon, and as close as the Higgs boson. Precision is the key to everything. It is an integral, unchallenged and essential component of our modern social, mercantile, scientific, mechanical and intellectual landscapes. The items we value in our daily lives – a camera, phone, computer, bicycle, car, a dishwasher perhaps – all sport components that fit together with precision and operate with near perfection. We also assume that the more precise a device the better it is. And, yet, while we live lives peppered and larded with precision, we are not, when we come to think about it, entirely sure what precision is, or what it means. How and when did it begin to build the modern world? Simon Winchester seeks to answer these questions through stories of precision’s pioneers. Exactly takes us back to the origins of the Industrial Age, to Britain where he introduces the scientific minds that helped usher in modern production: John ‘Iron-Mad’ Wilkinson, Henry Maudslay, Joseph Bramah, Jesse Ramsden, and Joseph Whitworth. Thomas Jefferson exported their discoveries to the United States as manufacturing developed in the early twentieth century, with Britain’s Henry Royce developing the Rolls Royce and Henry Ford mass producing cars, Hattori’s Seiko and Leica lenses, to today’s cutting-edge developments from Europe, Asia and North America. As he introduces the minds and methods that have changed the modern world, Winchester explores fundamental questions. Why is precision important? What are the different tools we use to measure it? Who has invented and perfected it? Has the pursuit of the ultra-precise, in so many facets of human life, blinded us to other things of equal value, such as an appreciation for the age-old traditions of craftsmanship, art, and high culture? Are we missing something that reflects the world as it is, rather than the world as we think we would wish it to be? And can the precise and the natural co-exist in society? Shortlisted for the Royal Society Science Book Prize 2018.
Science/Engineering | PBK | $24.99
The Invention of Nature: the Adventures of Alexander von Humboldt,
the Lost Hero of Science
Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859) is the great lost scientist – more things are named after him than anyone else. There are towns, rivers, mountain ranges, the ocean current that runs along the South American coast, there’s a penguin, a giant squid – even the Mare Humboldtianum, on the moon. His colourful adventures read like something out of a Boy’s Own story: Humboldt explored deep into the rainforest, climbed the world’s highest volcanoes, and inspired princes and presidents, scientists and poets alike. Napoleon was jealous of him; Simon Bolivar’s revolution was fuelled by his ideas; Darwin set sail on the Beagle, because of Humboldt; and Jules Verne’s Captain Nemo owned all his many books. He simply was, as one contemporary put it, ‘the greatest man since the Deluge’. Taking us on a fantastic voyage in his footsteps – racing across anthrax-infected Russia, or mapping tropical rivers alive with crocodiles – Andrea Wulf shows why his life and ideas remain so important, today. Humboldt predicted human-induced climate change, as early as 1800, and The Invention of Nature traces his ideas as they go on to revolutionise and shape science, conservation, nature writing, politics, art and the theory of evolution. He wanted to know and understand everything, and his way of thinking was so far ahead of his time that it’s only coming into its own, now. Alexander von Humboldt really did invent the way we see nature.
Science/History/Biography | PBK | $22.99
The Adventures of Alexander von Humboldt (graphic novel-style companion volume)
Wulf, Andrea & Melcher, Lilian
Meet Alexander von Humboldt: the great lost scientist, visionary, thinker and daring explorer; the man who first predicted climate change, who has more things named after him than anyone else (including a sea on the moon), and who has inspired generations of writers, thinkers, and revolutionaries… In The Adventures of Alexander von Humboldt, 88-year-old Humboldt takes us on a fantastic voyage, back through his life, tracing his footsteps around the rainforests, mountains, and crocodile-infested rivers of South America – when he was a young man. Travel with him to Venezuela, to Lake Valencia, the Llanos and the Orinoco; and follow him during his time in Cuba, Cartagena, Bogotá, and his one-year trek across the Andes – as he climbs the volcano Chimborazo, explores Inca monuments, and visits Washington DC to meet Thomas Jefferson and campaign for the abolition of slavery. With encounters with indigenous peoples, missionaries, colonists, and jaguars, and incorporating Humboldt’s own sketches, drawings, and manuscripts, this is a thrilling adventure story of history’s most daring scientist.
Science/History/Biography | HC | $45.00