21 Lessons for the 21st Century

21 Lessons for the 21st Century

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - In Sapiens, he explored our past. In Homo Deus, he looked to our future. Now, one of the most innovative thinkers on the planet turns to the present to make sense of today's most pressing issues.

"Fascinating . . . a crucial global conversation about how to take on the problems of the twenty-first century."--Bill Gates, The New York Times Book Review

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY FINANCIAL TIMES AND PAMELA PAUL, KQED

How do computers and robots change the meaning of being human? How do we deal with the epidemic of fake news? Are nations and religions still relevant? What should we teach our children?

Yuval Noah Harari's 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is a probing and visionary investigation into today's most urgent issues as we move into the uncharted territory of the future. As technology advances faster than our understanding of it, hacking becomes a tactic of war, and the world feels more polarized than ever, Harari addresses the challenge of navigating life in the face of constant and disorienting change and raises the important questions we need to ask ourselves in order to survive.

In twenty-one accessible chapters that are both provocative and profound, Harari builds on the ideas explored in his previous books, untangling political, technological, social, and existential issues and offering advice on how to prepare for a very different future from the world we now live in: How can we retain freedom of choice when Big Data is watching us? What will the future workforce look like, and how should we ready ourselves for it? How should we deal with the threat of terrorism? Why is liberal democracy in crisis?

Harari's unique ability to make sense of where we have come from and where we are going has captured the imaginations of millions of readers. Here he invites us to consider values, meaning, and personal engagement in a world full of noise and uncertainty. When we are deluged with irrelevant information, clarity is power. Presenting complex contemporary challenges clearly and accessibly, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is essential reading.

"If there were such a thing as a required instruction manual for politicians and thought leaders, Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari's 21 Lessons for the 21st Century would deserve serious consideration. In this collection of provocative essays, Harari . . . tackles a daunting array of issues, endeavoring to answer a persistent question: 'What is happening in the world today, and what is the deep meaning of these events?'"--BookPage (top pick)

Born in Blackness: Africa, Africans, and the Making of the Modern World, 1471 to the Second World War

Born in Blackness: Africa, Africans, and the Making of the Modern World, 1471 to the Second World War

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Traditional accounts of the making of the modern world afford a place of primacy to European history. Some credit the fifteenth-century Age of Discovery and the maritime connection it established between West and East; others the accidental unearthing of the "New World." Still others point to the development of the scientific method, or the spread of Judeo-Christian beliefs; and so on, ad infinitum. The history of Africa, by contrast, has long been relegated to the remote outskirts of our global story. What if, instead, we put Africa and Africans at the very center of our thinking about the origins of modernity?

In a sweeping narrative spanning more than six centuries, Howard W. French does just that, for Born in Blackness vitally reframes the story of medieval and emerging Africa, demonstrating how the economic ascendancy of Europe, the anchoring of democracy in the West, and the fulfillment of so-called Enlightenment ideals all grew out of Europe's dehumanizing engagement with the "dark" continent. In fact, French reveals, the first impetus for the Age of Discovery was not--as we are so often told, even today--Europe's yearning for ties with Asia, but rather its centuries-old desire to forge a trade in gold with legendarily rich Black societies sequestered away in the heart of West Africa.

Creating a historical narrative that begins with the commencement of commercial relations between Portugal and Africa in the fifteenth century and ends with the onset of World War II, Born in Blackness interweaves precise historical detail with poignant, personal reportage. In so doing, it dramatically retrieves the lives of major African historical figures, from the unimaginably rich medieval emperors who traded with the Near East and beyond, to the Kongo sovereigns who heroically battled seventeenth-century European powers, to the ex-slaves who liberated Haitians from bondage and profoundly altered the course of American history.

While French cogently demonstrates the centrality of Africa to the rise of the modern world, Born in Blackness becomes, at the same time, a far more significant narrative, one that reveals a long-concealed history of trivialization and, more often, elision in depictions of African history throughout the last five hundred years. As French shows, the achievements of sovereign African nations and their now-far-flung peoples have time and again been etiolated and deliberately erased from modern history. As the West ascended, their stories--siloed and piecemeal--were swept into secluded corners, thus setting the stage for the hagiographic "rise of the West" theories that have endured to this day.

"Capacious and compelling" (Laurent Dubois), Born in Blackness is epic history on the grand scale. In the lofty tradition of bold, revisionist narratives, it reframes the story of gold and tobacco, sugar and cotton--and of the greatest "commodity" of them all, the twelve million people who were brought in chains from Africa to the "New World," whose reclaimed lives shed a harsh light on our present world.

FABRIC OF CIVILIZATION: HOW TExtiles made the world (USED)

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JFK, Oswald and Ruby: Politics, Prejudice and Truth

JFK, Oswald and Ruby: Politics, Prejudice and Truth

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In this book, former Warren Commission lawyer Burt Griffin examines anew the Kennedy assassination, its various investigations, its effects on the Cold War and the civil rights movement, and the motives of Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby. Griffin begins with his own skeptical reaction to the assassination, proceeds to the Dallas police investigation, and continues with the efforts of himself and his colleagues to sift truth from those who concealed, withheld, or exaggerated evidence.

After nearly six decades of study, Judge Griffin is satisfied that Oswald acted alone. He concludes that violence in the Cold War and civil rights movement caused Oswald to believe that blame for Kennedy's death might be placed on followers of rightwing activist and former U.S. Army general Edwin Walker. Walker was an outspoken enemy of Oswald's idol, Cuban president Fidel Castro, and a firm opponent of racial integration--and Oswald had already attempted to murder Walker in April 1963. The author gives the Walker movement a more prominent place in the assassination story and traces the conflicting ambitions of Walker, Oswald, Kennedy and Ruby as they collided in October and November 1963. This book will help serious readers separate truth from fiction and to become examiners of how insignificant, unsuspected, powerless people driven by very personal needs and fears can, with the help of a firearm, alter the course of history.

Kindertransport: A Rescued Child

Kindertransport: A Rescued Child

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King, Kaiser, Tsar: Three Royal Cousins Who Led the World to War (1st US printing) (USED)

King, Kaiser, Tsar: Three Royal Cousins Who Led the World to War (1st US printing) (USED)

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The extraordinary family story of George V, Wilhelm II, and Nicholas II: they were tied to one another by history, and history would ultimately tear them apart.

Known among their families as Georgie, Willy, and Nicky, they were, respectively, the royal cousins George V of England, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, and Nicholas II of Russia--the first two grandsons of Queen Victoria, the latter her grandson by marriage. In 1914, on the eve of world war, they controlled the destiny of Europe and the fates of millions of their subjects. The outcome and their personal endings are well known--Nicky shot with his family by the Bolsheviks, Willy in exile in Holland, Georgie still atop his throne. Largely untold, however, is the family saga that played such a pivotal role in bringing the world to the precipice.

Drawing widely on previously unpublished royal letters and diaries, made public for the first time by Queen Elizabeth II, Catrine Clay chronicles the riveting half century of the royals' overlapping lives, and their slow, inexorable march into conflict. They met frequently from childhood, on holidays, and at weddings, birthdays, and each others' coronations. They saw themselves as royal colleagues, a trade union of kings, standing shoulder to shoulder against the rise of socialism, republicanism, and revolution. And yet tensions abounded between them.

Clay deftly reveals how intimate family details had deep historical significance: the antipathy Willy's mother (Victoria's daughter) felt toward him because of his withered left arm, and how it affected him throughout his life; the family tension caused by Otto von Bismarck's annexation of Schleswig and Holstein from Denmark (Georgie's and Nicky's mothers were Danish princesses); the surreality surrounding the impending conflict. "Have I gone mad?" Nicholas asked his wife, Alexandra, in July 1914, showing her another telegram from Wilhelm. "What on earth does Willy mean pretending that it still depends on me whether war is averted or not?" Germany had, in fact, declared war on Russia six hours earlier. At every point in her remarkable book, Catrine Clay sheds new light on a watershed period in world history.

Red Menace: How Lipstick Changed the Face of American History

Red Menace: How Lipstick Changed the Face of American History

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In America, lipstick is the foundation of empires; it's a signature of identity; it's propaganda, self-expression, oppression, freedom, and rebellion. It's a multi-billion-dollar industry and one of our most iconic accessories of gender. This engaging and entertaining history of lipstick in America throughout the twentieth century and into the present will give readers a new view of the little tube's big place in modern America; marching with the Suffragettes, building Fortune 500 businesses, being present at Stonewall, and engineered for space travel.

The Bright Ages: A New History of Medieval Europe

The Bright Ages: A New History of Medieval Europe

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"The beauty and levity that Perry and Gabriele have captured in this book are what I think will help it to become a standard text for general audiences for years to come....The Bright Ages is a rare thing--a nuanced historical work that almost anyone can enjoy reading."--Slate

"Incandescent and ultimately intoxicating." --The Boston Globe

A lively and magisterial popular history that refutes common misperceptions of the European Middle Ages, showing the beauty and communion that flourished alongside the dark brutality--a brilliant reflection of humanity itself.

The word "medieval" conjures images of the "Dark Ages"--centuries of ignorance, superstition, stasis, savagery, and poor hygiene. But the myth of darkness obscures the truth; this was a remarkable period in human history. The Bright Ages recasts the European Middle Ages for what it was, capturing this 1,000-year era in all its complexity and fundamental humanity, bringing to light both its beauty and its horrors.

The Bright Ages takes us through ten centuries and crisscrosses Europe and the Mediterranean, Asia and Africa, revisiting familiar people and events with new light cast upon them. We look with fresh eyes on the Fall of Rome, Charlemagne, the Vikings, the Crusades, and the Black Death, but also to the multi-religious experience of Iberia, the rise of Byzantium, and the genius of Hildegard and the power of queens. We begin under a blanket of golden stars constructed by an empress with Germanic, Roman, Spanish, Byzantine, and Christian bloodlines and end nearly 1,000 years later with the poet Dante--inspired by that same twinkling celestial canopy--writing an epic saga of heaven and hell that endures as a masterpiece of literature today.

The Bright Ages reminds us just how permeable our manmade borders have always been and of what possible worlds the past has always made available to us. The Middle Ages may have been a world "lit only by fire" but it was one whose torches illuminated the magnificent rose windows of cathedrals, even as they stoked the pyres of accused heretics.

The Bright Ages contains an 8-page color insert.

The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz

The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - The author of The Devil in the White City and Dead Wake delivers an intimate chronicle of Winston Churchill and London during the Blitz--an inspiring portrait of courage and leadership in a time of unprecedented crisis

"One of [Erik Larson's] best books yet . . . perfectly timed for the moment."--Time - "A bravura performance by one of America's greatest storytellers."--NPR

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review - Time - Vogue - NPR - The Washington Post - Chicago Tribune - The Globe & Mail - Fortune - Bloomberg - New York Post - The New York Public Library - Kirkus Reviews - LibraryReads - PopMatters

On Winston Churchill's first day as prime minister, Adolf Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two weeks away. For the next twelve months, Hitler would wage a relentless bombing campaign, killing 45,000 Britons. It was up to Churchill to hold his country together and persuade President Franklin Roosevelt that Britain was a worthy ally--and willing to fight to the end.

In The Splendid and the Vile, Erik Larson shows, in cinematic detail, how Churchill taught the British people "the art of being fearless." It is a story of political brinkmanship, but it's also an intimate domestic drama, set against the backdrop of Churchill's prime-ministerial country home, Chequers; his wartime retreat, Ditchley, where he and his entourage go when the moon is brightest and the bombing threat is highest; and of course 10 Downing Street in London. Drawing on diaries, original archival documents, and once-secret intelligence reports--some released only recently--Larson provides a new lens on London's darkest year through the day-to-day experience of Churchill and his family: his wife, Clementine; their youngest daughter, Mary, who chafes against her parents' wartime protectiveness; their son, Randolph, and his beautiful, unhappy wife, Pamela; Pamela's illicit lover, a dashing American emissary; and the advisers in Churchill's "Secret Circle," to whom he turns in the hardest moments.

The Splendid and the Vile takes readers out of today's political dysfunction and back to a time of true leadership, when, in the face of unrelenting horror, Churchill's eloquence, courage, and perseverance bound a country, and a family, together.