Confrontations with naked human bodies can provoke powerful, and often contradictory, impressions and feelings. Just as they might either thrill or revolt, they can signal innocence or sexiness, frankness or madness, a oneness with nature or a separation from society. Advertisers and the media are very aware of the complex and highly subjective associations that most of us have towards nakedness, ..
For nearly thirty years, during which it has been continuously in print, Jeffrey Russell’s A History of Witchcraft has been the one authoritative concise illustrated history of witchcraft. Now, in collaboration with Brooks Alexander, this classic book has been fully revised with additional chapters accompanied by new illustrations. It now includes an analysis of the importance of the Internet and ..
Although boredom is something that we have all suffered from at some point in our lives, and has become one of the central preoccupations of our age, very few of us can explain precisely what it is. In this book, Lars Svendsen examines the nature of boredom, how it originated, its history, how and why it afflicts us, and why we cannot seem to overcome it by any act of will. A diverse and vague phe..
Loneliness is a difficult subject to address, because it has such negative connotations. But the truth is that wherever there are people, there is loneliness: everyone is lonely at some point in their lives. You can belonely in a crowd or at home, outdoors or in an empty church, and countless songs have been written about the condition. For many people, loneliness can significantly impact their qu..
In this book philosopher Arne Johan Vetlesen addresses pain in many forms: the pain inflicted in torture and the pain suffered in incurable disease; the pain accompanying anxiety, grief, and depression; the pain brought by violence; and, the pain exposed in the television show 'Big Brother'. He also examines the dual nature of pain: how we avoid it as much as possible in our daily lives; yet conve..
A Philosophy of Tragedy explores the tragic condition of man in modernity. Nietzsche knew it, as have countless characters in literature, and the modern age places us squarely before it: the sheer contingency and instability of our existence, our homelessness, our unredeemed suffering, our fractured relation to morality. Christopher Hamilton draws as much on literature, including the tragic theatr..
A comic history of humankind's love affair with booze, from the Sunday Times No. 1 bestselling author of The Etymologicon'Haha! . . . Highly suitable for Xmas!' - Margaret AtwoodAlmost every culture on earth has drink, and where there's drink there's drunkenness. But in every age and in every place drunkenness is a little bit different. It can be religious, it can be sexual, it can be the duty of ..
Another Kyoto is an insider's meditation on the hidden wonders of Japan's most enigmatic city. Drawing on decades living in Kyoto, and on lore gleaned from artists, Zen monks and Shinto priests, Alex Kerr illuminates the simplest things - a temple gate, a wall, a sliding door - in a new way.
'A rich book of intimate proportions ... In Kyoto, facts and meaning are often hidden in plain sight. Kerr..
'I learned much from this book. Priya Parker has created both an art and a science to gathering in ways that can bring joy and fulfillment to any meeting.' - Deepak Chopra MD'This is a must-read!' - Chris Anderson, owner and curator of TED'A fantastic book' - Forbes'Remarkable' - BustleWe spend our lives gathering - first in classrooms and then in meetings, weddings, conferences and away days. Yet..
"Radical and inspiring ... Yanagi's vision puts the connection between heart and hand before the transient and commercial" - Edmund de WaalThe daily lives of ordinary people are replete with objects, common things used in commonplace settings. These objects are our constant companions in life. As such, writes Soetsu Yanagi, they should be made with care and built to last, treated with respect and ..
There was life before the fall.1989 was a year of astonishing and rapid change: the fall of the Berlin Wall marked the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and an end to an entire way of life for millions of people behind the Iron Curtain. Bloc Life collects first hand testimony of the people who lived in East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Romania during the Cold War era, and reveals a rich tapes..
A Brief History of Death offers a topical survey of views concerning death and its aftermath in the Western tradition, from prehistory to the present. It explores how humans understand and come to terms with the fact of mortality and looks at the physical and social aspects of death, how dying people are treated, how the dying conduct themselves in the knowledge of their approaching demise and how..
Cat traces the relationship between humans and the cat from its original domestication in ancient Egypt c. 2000 BC, through the centuries as a utilitarian rodent catcher, its gradual acceptance as a charming and amiable pet, and its present status as a companion on a par with the dog. Long before people valued cats, however, they recognized something special about them. Their graceful, fluid movem..
Covering ancient ceremonies, mythology, the gospels and traditions from around the world, Andy Thomas uncovers the fascinating background to one of the biggest festive seasons – Christmas.Have you ever wondered where Christmas comes from? Or why and how it has been celebrated throughout the centuries? This book takes you on an intriguing and entertaining journey through its social history.Learn ab..
An eclectic history of human curiosity, a great feast of ideas, and a memoir of a reading life from an internationally celebrated reader and thinker Curiosity has been seen through the ages as the impulse that drives our knowledge forward and the temptation that leads us toward dangerous and forbidden waters. The question "Why?" has appeared under a multiplicity of guises and in vastly different c..
'A breeze of a read, makes you see our male-manufactured world a little differently' Matt Haig'GRAYSON PERRY FOR KING AND QUEEN OF ENGLAND. Imagine how BRILLIANT our country would look if he was' Caitlin MoranGrayson Perry has been thinking about masculinity - what it is, how it operates, why little boys are thought to be made of slugs and snails - since he was a boy. Now, in this funny and necess..
A decimated Shiite shrine in Iraq. The smoking World Trade Center site. The scorched cityscape of 1945 Dresden. Among the most indelible scars left by war is the destroyed landscapes, and such architectural devastation damages far more than mere buildings. Robert Bevan argues here"that shattered buildings are not merely "collateral damage," but rather calculated acts of cultural annihilation.From ..
Essential reading for the #MeToo era: a powerful, lucid analysis of how misogyny works from a remarkable philosopherMisogyny is a hot topic, yet it's often misunderstood. What is misogyny exactly? Who deserves to be called a misogynist? How does misogyny contrast with sexism, and why is it prone to persist - or increase - even when sexist gender roles are waning?In Down Girl moral philosopher Kate..
'Magnificent ... groundbreaking ... a triumph' Peter Frankopan, author of The Silk Roads'A masterpiece, a delight to read ... a rare and beautiful thing' Gerard DeGroot, The TimesWhat we consume has become the defining feature of our lives: our economies live or die by spending, we are treated more as consumers than workers, and even public services are presented to us as products in a supermarket..
An examination of remedies for violent rage rediscovered in ancient Greek myths Millennia ago, Greek myths exposed the dangers of violent rage and the need for empathy and self-restraint. Homer's Iliad, Euripides' Hecuba, and Sophocles' Ajax show that anger and vengeance destroy perpetrators and victims alike. Composed before and during the ancient Greeks' groundbreaking movement away from autocra..
In Everyday Life Joseph A. Amato offers a panoramic account of the evolution of our daily existence and reflects on the complex and changing textures of everyday life. Beginning with societies of scarcity and relative lack of change and ending with our own twenty-first-century lives, he ranges widely through topics as varied as dirt and muck, walking and the charm of spices, and through time from ..
SHORTLISTED FOR THE ROYAL SOCIETY SCIENCE BOOK PRIZE 2018Bestselling 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, mechanic..
How dangerous were fairies? In the late seventeenth century, they could still scare people to death. Little wonder, as they were thought to be descended from fallen angels, and to have the power to destroy the world itself. Such beliefs, along with some remarkably detailed sightings, lingered on well into the twentieth century. In literature and art fairies often retained this edge of danger. From..
An exploration of the convulsive history of the 20th century's first five decades, seen through the lens of families and family life In this masterly twentieth-century history, Paul Ginsborg places the family at center stage, a novel perspective from which to examine key moments of revolution and dictatorship. His groundbreaking book spans 1900 to 1950 and encompasses five nation states in the thr..
When the Sex Pistols swore live on tea-time telly in 1976, there was outrage across Britain. Headlines screamed. Christians marched. TVs were kicked in. Thirty years on, all those words are media-mainstream - bandied about with impunity on TV and in the papers. This is the story of our bad language and its three-decade journey from the fringes of decency to the working centre of a more linguistica..
Surveys the history of changing tastes in food and fine dining – what was available for people to eat, and how it was prepared and served – from prehistory to the present daySince earliest times food has encompassed so much more than just what we eat – whole societies can be revealed and analysed by their cusines. In this wide-ranging book, leading historians from Europe and America piece together..
'The most influential thinker, in my life, has been the psychologist Richard Nisbett. He basically gave me my view of the world.'-Malcolm Gladwell"One of the world's leading thinkers" Daily TelegraphWhen Richard Nisbett showed an animated underwater scene to his American students, they zeroed in on a big fish swimming among smaller fish. Japanese subjects, on the other hand, made observations abou..
**WINNER OF THE RATHBONES FOLIO PRIZE**‘A remarkable and deeply moving book’ Henry Marsh, bestselling author of Do No Harm‘A breathtaking, extraordinary work of non-fiction’ Times Literary SupplementOn 11 March 2011, a massive earthquake sent a 120-foot-high tsunami smashing into the coast of north-east Japan. It was Japan’s greatest single loss of life since the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. Richar..
In the history of the numinous there are few things more common than the belief in ghosts. From the earliest writings such as the Epic of Gilgamesh to today's ghost-hunting reality TV shows, ghosts have chilled the air of nearly every era and every culture in human history. In this book, now available in B-format paperback, Lisa Morton wrangles together history's most enduring ghosts into an enter..
50 stunning maps reveal our globalized world like never beforeExplore how cities are expanding beyond the reach of their nations, uncover the ways bananas, cobalt and water bottles link the most unlikely of places, and discover how modern phenomena such as messenger apps and sharing platforms are changing not just our interactions, but how we interconnect.Globalography uncovers the myriad ways we ..
Gleaming and perfect, gold has beguiled humankind for many millennia, attracting treasure hunters, adorning the living and the dead, and symbolizing wealth, power, divinity and eternity. This book offers a lively, critical look at the cultural history of this most regal metal, from its use in religious ceremonies to colonial expeditions to modern science, examining its importance across many cultu..
After the record-smashing success of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls and Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 2--the New York Times bestsellers that have reached more than 500,000 families and have been translated into 30 languages--the authors are back with a keepsake postcard set. Here are 50 postcards (50 pieces of art) that celebrate all of your favorite heroes. The cards are organized with..
Tracing the complete story of reading from the age when symbol first became sign through to the electronic texts of the present day, Steven Roger Fischer's fascinating A History of Reading offers a sweeping view across time and geography of our evolving relationship with text. Turning to ancient forms of reading, Fischer takes us to Asia and the Americas and discusses the forms and developments of..
A richly illustrated and extremely enjoyable reference book on the historical evolution of the nude. From the Palaeolithic “Great Mothers” to the Greek athletes, from the Venus of Urbino by Titian to Leonardo’s Virtuvian Man, from the Odalisque by Boucher to those by Ingres, to the amazons of Helmut Newton and the desolate lifeless bodies of Andres Serrano, the nude is the theme of artistic repres..
Honey is now thought of mostly as a sweetener, but in its long history around the world, it has been treated as a food, tonic, medicine and preservative. It was also used in religious rituals as a sacred food from the gods. And its creators - bees - are vital to the pollination of wild plants as well as many domesticated crops. Lucy M. Long explores the fascinating history of honey, tracing its us..
An 'entertaining, informative and utterly depressing global history of an important commodity . . . By alerting readers to the ways that modernity's very origins are entangled with a seemingly benign and delicious substance, How Sugar Corrupted the World raises fundamental questions about our world.'Sven Beckert, the Laird Bell professor of American history at Harvard University and the author of ..
W. Heath Robinson is best known for his hilarious drawings of zany contraptions, though his work ranged across a wide variety of topics covering many aspects of British life in the decades following the First World War. Starting out as a watercolour artist, he quickly turned to the more lucrative field of book illustration and developed his forte in satirical drawings and cartoons. He was regularl..
In Miniature is a delightful, entertaining and illuminating investigation into our peculiar fascination with making things small, and what small things tell us about the world at large.Here you will find the secret histories of tiny Eiffel Towers, the truth about the flea circus, a doll's house made for a queen, eerie tableaux of crime scenes, miniature food, model villages and railways, and more...
A leading contrarian thinker explores the ethical paradox at the heart of history's wounds The conventional wisdom about historical memory is summed up in George Santayana's celebrated phrase, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Today, the consensus that it is moral to remember, immoral to forget, is nearly absolute. And yet is this right? David Rieff, an independent w..
'The best book on the subject I've read. Quite brilliant' Tony Jordan, creator/writer, Life on Mars, HustleWe all love stories. But why do we tell them? And why do all stories function in an eerily similar way? John Yorke, creator of the BBC Writers' Academy, has brought a vast array of drama to British screens. Here he takes us on a journey to the heart of storytelling, revealing that there truly..
When we are born, we are each assigned a gender based on our physical anatomy. But why is it that some people experience such dissonance between their biological sex and their inner identity? Is gender something we are or something we do? Is our expression of gender inborn or does it develop as we grow? Are the traditional binary male and female gender roles relevant in an increasingly fluid and f..
A timely exploration of the exceptional power and intrinsic vulnerability of manhoodIn the wake of the #MeToo movement and the upsurge in feminist and men’s rights activism, traditional masculinity has become a topic of impassioned debate. But what exactly do we mean by ‘masculinity’ and in what ways can it be said to be harmful? This incisive volume evaluates modern masculinity’s capacity for goo..
This is a fresh and surprising account of Japan's culture from the 'opening up' of the country in the mid-nineteenth century to the present.'How much I admired it, what a lot I learned from it and, above all, how very much I enjoyed it ... Masterly.' Neil MacGregorIt is told through the eyes of people who greeted this change not with the confidence and grasping ambition of Japan's modernizers and ..
A New Statesman Book of the YearLondon. A city apart. Inimitable. Or so it once seemed.Spiralling from the outer limits of the Overground to the pinnacle of the Shard, Iain Sinclair encounters a metropolis stretched beyond recognition. The vestiges of secret tunnels, the ghosts of saints and lost poets lie buried by developments, the cycling revolution and Brexit. An electrifying final odyssey, Th..
By the author of the best-selling, prize-winning Stuff Matters'A truly delightful read' Jim Al-Khalili, author of Paradox'Exciting, anarchic and surprising' Katy Guest, The GuardianThis fascinating new book by the bestselling scientist and engineer Mark Miodownik is an expert tour of the world of the droplets, heartbeats and ocean waves that we come across every day. Structured around a plane jour..
'Fresh, compelling ... an important book, revealing that 50 years on, 1968 is still unfinished business' Andrew Hussey, Financial Times'A thoughtful, readable account of a moment in history that deserves to be dwelt on' Andrew Marr, The Times1968 saw an extraordinary range of protests across much of the western world. Some of these were genuinely revolutionary - around ten million French workers w..
In the glorious, boozy party after the first World War, a new being burst defiantly onto the world stage: the so-called flapper. Young, impetuous, and flirtatious, she was an alluring, controversial figure, celebrated in movies, fiction, plays, and the pages of fashion magazines. But, as this book argues, she didn't appear out of nowhere. This spirited, beautifully illustrated history presents a f..