Non-Fiction Catalogue: April 2020
All the books in this catalogue are new books due for release in April 2020.
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. View our current postage rates, within Australia.
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
Soviet Airborne Forces 1930–91 (Elite 231)
Campbell, David & Shumate, Johnny (illustrator)
Established in 1932, the Vozdushno-desantnye voyska (‘air-landing forces’, or VDV) of the Red Army led the way in airborne doctrine and practice. Though they were initially handicapped by a lack of infrastructure, due in part to a turbulent political climate in the 1930s, they still conducted major drops during World War II, including at the Dnepr River in September 1943. After the war ended, the VDV became independent of the Air Force and were elevated to the role of strategic asset. The newly rebuilt divisions were, now, organised and trained to conduct deep insertions behind enemy lines, attacking command-and-control facilities, lines of communication, and key infrastructure targets such as nuclear power plants. This training came into play in numerous Cold War confrontations, including Soviet operations in Hungary (1956) and Czechoslovakia (1968). During the Soviet war in Afghanistan (1979–89), the VDV proved to be the most formidable of the Mujahideen’s opponents, with the development of the air assault concept – the transport, insertion and support of air-landed troops by helicopter rather than parachute. This title explores the development of the VDV from their conception in 1930 to their role in the Cold War, and in the later invasion of Afghanistan. Supported by contemporary photography and specially-commissioned artwork of uniforms and battle scenes, this title is a comprehensive and engaging guide to the history of airborne forces in the Soviet period.
Aviation history | PBK | $24.99
Legion versus Phalanx: the epic struggle for infantry supremacy in the ancient world
From the time of Ancient Sumeria, the heavy infantry phalanx dominated the battlefield. Armed with spears or pikes, standing shoulder to shoulder with shields interlocking, the men of the phalanx presented an impenetrable wall of wood and metal to the enemy. Until, that is, the Roman legion emerged to challenge them, as masters of infantry battle. Covering the period in which the legion and phalanx clashed (280–168 BC), Myke Cole delves into their tactics, arms and equipment, organisation and deployment. Drawing on original primary sources to examine six battles, in which the legion fought the phalanx – Heraclea (280 BC), Asculum (279 BC), Beneventum (275 BC), Cynoscephalae (197 BC), Magnesia (190 BC), and Pydna (168 BC) – he shows how and why the Roman legion, with its flexible organisation, versatile tactics and iron discipline, came to eclipse the hitherto untouchable Hellenistic phalanx and dominate the ancient battlefield.
Military history | TP | $29.99
World War II US Fast Carrier Task Force Tactics 1943–45 (Elite 232)
Herder, Brian Lane & Hook, Adam (illustrator)
Drawing on difficult-to-access wartime documents and other contemporary sources, this is the first compact, illustrated study of the tactics and techniques of the US fast carriers of Task Forces 50, 58 and 38 during the naval war against Japan in 1943–45. This title concentrates on exactly how these highly successful forces actually operated: their composition in ships, aircraft and men; the essential technology at their disposal; the evolving doctrine for their employment; the opposition and dangers they faced; and how they overcame them at the tactical level. It explains in straightforward terms the intricate details of topics such as how ships manoeuvred, how aircraft were deployed and recovered, the formations and approaches used by fighters, dive-bombers and torpedo-bombers against naval and land targets, and how Task Forces defended themselves. The text is supported by a wide range of wartime photos and full-colour illustrations, showing, for example, the formations employed by ships and aircraft, with altitudes and ranges throughout the course of attacks.
Naval history | PBK | $29.99
Battle of the Atlantic 1939–41: RAF coastal command’s hardest fight against the U-Boats
(Air Campaign 15)
Lardas, Mark & Groult, Edouard A (illustrator)
At the start of World War II, few thought the U-boat would be as devastating as it proved to be. But convoys and sonar-equipped escorts proved inadequate to defend the Allies’ merchantmen, and the RAF’s only offensive weapon was the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft. For RAF Coastal Command, the first two years of the war were the hardest. Although starved of resources, operating with outdated aircraft and often useless weaponry, they were still the only force that could take the fight to the U-boats. But in these two years, the RAF learned what it needed to win the Battle of the Atlantic. Gradually developing new tactics and technology, such as airborne radar, signals intelligence, and effective weaponry, the Allies ended 1941 in a position to defeat Dönitz’s growing fleet of U-boats. This book, the first of two volumes, explains the fascinating history of how the RAF kept the convoys alive against the odds, and developed the force that would prevail, in the climactic battles of 1942 and 1943.
Aviation history | PBK | $32.99
Sisters in Arms: Female warriors from antiquity to the new millennium (General military)
Sisters in Arms charts the evolution of women in combat, from the Scythian warriors who inspired the Amazonian myth, to the passing soldiers and sailors of the eighteenth century, and on to the re-emergence of women as official members of the armed forces in the twentieth century. Author Julie Wheelwright traces our fascination with these forgotten heroines, using their own words, including official documents, diaries, letters, and memoirs, to bring their experiences vividly to life. She examines their contemporary legacy and the current role of women in the armed forces, while calling into question the enduring relationship between masculinity and combat. ‘A long overdue assertion on the role of women on the battlefield. This book is going straight on my daughter’s bookshelf.’ – Dan Snow, historian, TV presenter, and broadcaster.
Feminist military history | HC | $39.99
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 – and what lessons there are for human beings. 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 | PBK | $22.99
Groupthink: a Study in Self Delusion
In Groupthink, his final book, the late, eminent journalist and bestselling author Christopher Booker seeks to identify the hidden key to understanding much that is disturbing about the world today. With reference to the ideas of a Yale professor who first identified the theory, and to the writings of George Orwell, from whose ‘newspeak’ the word was adapted; Booker sheds new light on the remarkable – and worrying – effects of ‘groupthink’, and its influence on our society. Booker defines the three rules of groupthink: the adoption of a common view or belief not based on objective reality; the establishment of a consensus of right-minded people, an ‘in group’; and the need to treat the views of anyone who questions the belief as wholly unacceptable. He shows how various interest groups, journalists and even governments in the twenty-first century have subscribed to this way of thinking, with deeply disturbing results. As Booker shows, such behaviour has led to a culture of fear, heralded by countless examples throughout history, from Revolutionary Russia to Napoleonic France and Hitler’s Germany. In the present moment it has caused countless errors in judgement and the division of society into highly polarised, oppositional factions. From the behaviour of the controversial Rhodes Must Fall movement to the sacking of James Damore of Google, society’s attitudes towards gender equality, the Iraq war and the ‘European Dream’, careers and lives have been lost as those in the ‘in-group’ police society with their new form of Puritanism. As Booker argues, only by examining its underlying causes can we understand the sinister power of groupthink which permeates all aspects of our lives.
Polemics | TP | $29.99
Appeasing Hitler: Chamberlain, Churchill and the Road to War
The first major account of the disastrous years of British indecision and infighting that enabled Hitler’s domination of Europe… On a wet afternoon in September 1938, Neville Chamberlain stepped off an aeroplane and announced that his visit to Hitler had averted the greatest crisis in recent memory. It was, he later assured the crowd in Downing Street, ‘peace for our time’. Less than a year later, Germany invaded Poland and the Second World War began. This is a vital new history of the disastrous years of indecision, failed diplomacy and parliamentary infighting that enabled Nazi domination of Europe. Drawing on previously-unseen sources, it sweeps from the advent of Hitler in 1933 to the beaches of Dunkirk; and presents an unforgettable portrait of the ministers, aristocrats, and amateur diplomats whose actions and inaction had devastating consequences.
History | PBK | $22.99
The Battles for Kokoda Plateau: Three weeks of hell defending the gateway to the Owen Stanleys
Cameron, David W
A powerful new insight into the critical first weeks of fighting to halt the Japanese advance across Papua New Guinea to Port Moresby. ‘The Japanese attacked us, they mortared us, they shelled us… they did everything.’ On 21 July 1942, a large Japanese reconnaissance mission landed along the north-eastern coastline of Papua, it would soon turn into an all-out attempt to capture Port Moresby. This is the powerful story of the three weeks of battle by a small Australian militia force, the 39th Battalion – supported by the 1st Papua Infantry Battalion, and the Royal Papuan Constabulary – to keep the Japanese at bay. Outnumbered by, at least, three to one, they fought courageously to hold the Kokoda Plateau – the gateway to the Owen Stanleys. Critically short of ammunition and food, and stranded in the fetid swamps and lowland jungles, they did everything they could to keep the Kokoda airstrip out of Japanese hands. Not far away, and desperately trying to reach the Australians, were two groups of Anglican missionaries, trapped behind enemy lines. With each passing day the parties grew, joined by lost Australian soldiers and downed American airmen. Theirs is a story of tragedy and betrayal. Using letters, diaries, and other first-hand accounts – from friend and foe, alike – leading military historian David W Cameron, has for the first time written a detailed, compelling and provocative account of what occurred at the northern foot of the Owen Stanleys in late July and early August 1942. These are stories that deserve to be firmly embedded into the Kokoda legend.
Military history | TP | $32.99
The Anti-Expert’s Guide to Everything (Chaser Quarterly 08)
This issue, CQ8: ‘The Anti-Expert’s Guide to Everything’: includes a FREE pull-out Homeopathy Degree with every copy! Features chilling exposes about how experts have taken over everything from medicine to astronomy to journalism, and even the climate debate. Includes: Senator Malcolm Roberts on why it takes more than five minutes to argue with him; five celebrities who were vaccinated and later died; How to be a Journalist in the Anti-Expert Era; Belle Gibson’s Top 4 Cancers of 2017; Andrew Hanson’s Anti-Expert Guide to Buying Property; and… much more fake news, including lots of fake, fake ads.
Fake news | PBK | $24.95
The Magicians: Great Minds and the Central Miracle of Science
The spellbinding story of the ‘magicians’: scientists whose eureka breakthroughs in modern physics reveal science’s mysterious predictive power. How does it feel to know something about the universe that no one has ever known before? And why is mathematics so magically good at revealing nature’s secrets? This is the story of the magicians: the scientists who predicted the existence of unknown planets, black holes, invisible force fields, ripples in the fabric of space-time, unsuspected subatomic particles, and even antimatter. The journey from prediction to proof transports us from seats of learning in Paris and Cambridge to the war-torn Russian front, to bunkers beneath nuclear reactors, observatories in Berlin and California, and huge tunnels under the Swiss-French border. From electromagnetism to Einstein’s gravitational waves to the elusive neutrino, Marcus Chown takes us on a breathtaking, mind-altering tour of the major breakthroughs of modern physics, and highlights science’s central mystery: its astonishing predictive power. ‘Marcus Chown rocks!’ – Brian May.
Science/History | TP | $29.99
What a Wonderful World: Life, the Universe and Everything in a Nutshell
Fun, accessible science explanations of the forces that shape our lives. Why do we breathe? What is money? How does the brain work? Why did life invent sex? Does time really exist? How does capitalism work – or not, as the case may be? Where do mountains come from? How do computers work? How did humans get to dominate the Earth? Why is there something, rather than nothing? In What a Wonderful World, Marcus Chown uses his vast scientific knowledge and deep understanding of extremely complex processes to answer simple questions about the workings of our everyday lives. Lucid, witty and hugely entertaining, it explains the basics of our essential existence, stopping along the way to show us why the Atlantic is widening by a thumb’s length each year, how money permits trade to time travel, why the crucial advantage humans had over Neanderthals was sewing, and why we are all living in a giant hologram.
Science | PBK | $24.99
Murder Your Darlings: and Other Gentle Writing Advice from Aristotle to Zinsser
Clark, Roy Peter
From one of America’s most influential writing teachers, a collection of 50 of the best writing strategies distilled from 50 writing and language books – from Aristotle to Strunk and White. With so many excellent writing guides lining bookstore shelves, it can be hard to know where to look for the best advice. Should you go with Natalie Goldberg or Anne Lamott? Maybe, William Zinsser or Donald Murray would be more appropriate. Then again, what about the classics – Strunk and White, or even Aristotle, himself? Thankfully, your search is over. In Murder Your Darlings, Roy Peter Clark – who, for more than 30 years, has been a beloved and revered writing teacher to children and Pulitzer prize-winners, alike – has compiled a remarkable collection of 50 of the best writing tips from 50 of the best writing books of all time. With a chapter devoted to each piece of advice, Clark expands and contextualises the original author’s suggestions and offers anecdotes about how each one helped him or other writers, sharpen their skills. An invaluable resource for scribblers of all kinds, Murder Your Darlings is an inspiring and edifying ode to the craft of writing.
Writing | HC | $39.99
More: the 10,000-Year Rise of the World Economy
A panoramic history of trade, industry, and economic thought – from prehistoric times to the present. More tracks the development of the world economy, starting with the first obsidian blades that made their way from what is now Turkey to the Iran–Iraq border, 7000 years before Christ, and ending with the Sino-American trade war that we are in right now. Taking history in great strides, More illustrates broad changes by examining details from the design of the standard medieval cottage to the stranglehold that Paris’ three belt-buckle-making guilds exercised over innovation, in the field of holding up trousers. Along the way, Coggan reveals that historical economies were far more sophisticated than we might imagine – tied together by webs of credit and financial instruments, much like the modern economy. Coggan shows how, at every step of our long journey, it was connections between people – allowing more trade, more specialisation, more ideas and more freedom – that always created the conditions of prosperity.
Economics | TP | $34.99
How to be Good: or, How to Be Moral and Virtuous in a Wicked World
What is goodness? Is goodness achievable, and if so, how? If being a good person is a matter of doing the right thing, then what is the right thing to do? Is it acting rationally, promoting happiness, exercising moderation in all things or respecting the freedom of others, or is it somehow a concoction of all these abilities, wisely adjusted to suit circumstances? In this instructive, entertaining and often humorous book, Gary Cox, bestselling author of How to Be an Existentialist and How to Be a Philosopher, investigates the phenomenon of goodness and what, if anything, it is to be a good person and a paragon of virtue. Part easygoing exploration of the age-old subject of moral philosophy, part personal development and improvement manual, How to Be Good carefully leads you on a fascinating journey through the often strange and surprising world of ethics.
Philosophy | TP | $34.99
Crucible of Hell: Okinawa – Stalingrad of the Pacific
From award-winning historian Saul David, an action-packed and powerful new narrative of the Battle of Okinawa – the last great clash of the Second World War, and one that had profound consequences for the modern world. For eighty-three blood-soaked days, the fighting on the island of Okinawa plumbed depths of savagery, as bad as anything seen on the Eastern Front. When it was over, almost a quarter of a million people had lost their lives, making it, by far, the bloodiest US battle of the Pacific. In Okinawa, the death toll included thousands of civilians lost to mass suicide, convinced by Japanese propaganda that they would otherwise be raped and murdered by the enemy. On the US side, David argues that the horror of the battle ultimately determined President Truman’s choice to use atomic bombs in August 1945. It is a brutal, heart-rending story, and one David tells with masterly attention to detail: the cramped cockpit of a kamikaze plane, the claustrophobic gun turret of a warship under attack, and a half-submerged foxhole amidst the squalor and battle detritus. The narrative follows generals, presidents, and emperors, as well as the humbler experiences of ordinary servicemen and families on both sides, and the Okinawan civilians – who were caught, so tragically, between the warring parties. Using graphic eyewitness accounts and declassified documents from archives in three continents, Saul David illuminates a shocking chapter of history that is too often missing from Western-centric narratives of the Second World War.
Military history | TP | $34.99
War the Definitive Visual History
A definitive illustrated history of warfare, from the ancient world to the 21st century. Follow the epic 5,000-year story of warfare – from the earliest battles to the War on Terror – with this guided tour of every major conflict. Combining a clear and compelling historical narrative with a wealth of fascinating eyewitness accounts and photography throughout, this is the ultimate guide to the history of military conflict, from the armies of Ancient Egypt to the rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq, and the ongoing Yemeni civil war. War explores the battles, the warriors, the tactics, and the weapons and technology that have shaped conflict worldwide, presenting the definitive visual guide to the art of war. Lavishly illustrated with paintings, photographs, artefacts, and maps, this book offers a uniquely detailed and visually rich view of all major aspects of human conflict. Whether on the bloody battlefields of the ancient world or in the modern era of drones and laser-guided missiles, this is the complete story of the wars that have shaped our world.
Military history | HC | $59.99
The Creativity Code: How AI Is Learning to Write, Paint and Think
du Sautoy, Marcus
As humans, we have an extraordinary ability to create works of art that elevate, expand, and transform what it means to be alive. Yet, in many other areas, new developments in AI are shaking up the status quo, as we find out how many of the tasks humans engage in can be done equally well, if not better, by machines. But can machines be creative? Will they soon be able to learn from the art that moves us, and understand what distinguishes it from the mundane? In The Creativity Code, Marcus du Sautoy examines the nature of creativity, as well as providing an essential guide into how algorithms work, and the mathematical rules underpinning them. He asks how much of our emotional response, to art, is a product of our brains reacting to pattern and structure; and exactly what it is to be creative, in mathematics, art, language, and music. Marcus finds out how long it might be, before machines come up with something creative, and whether they might jolt us into being more imaginative in turn. The result is a fascinating and very different exploration into both AI and the essence of what it means to be human.
Science | PBK | $24.99
Valkyrie: the Women of the Viking World
Friðriksdóttir, Jóhanna Katrín
Valkyries: the female supernatural beings that choose who dies and who lives on the battlefield. They protect some, but guide spears, arrows and sword blades into the bodies of others. Viking myths about valkyries attempt to elevate the banality of war – to make the pain and suffering, the lost limbs and deformities, the piles of lifeless bodies of young men, glorious and worthwhile. Rather than their death being futile, it is their destiny and good fortune, determined by divine beings. The women in these stories take full part in the power struggles and upheavals in their communities, for better or worse. Drawing on the latest historical and archaeological evidence, Valkyrie introduces readers to the dramatic and fascinating texts recorded in medieval Iceland, a culture able to imagine women in all kinds of roles carrying power, not just in this world, but pulling the strings in the other-world, too. In the process, this fascinating book uncovers the reality behind the myths and legends to reveal the dynamic, diverse lives of Viking women.
History/Myth & legend | HC | $40.00
The Scout Mindset: Why Some People See Things Clearly and Others Don’t
Learn how to combat biases and make smarter decisions by adopting a new ‘scout’ way of thinking. Learn how to combat biases and make smarter decisions. In The Scout Mindset, Julia Galef explores two different modes of thinking, the ‘soldier’ and the ‘scout’ mindset. Unfortunately, most of us naturally have a ‘soldier’ mindset, were we protect our beliefs aggressively and ignore any evidence that we might be wrong. But to be right, more often, we need to approach ideas more like a scout. A scout surveys the land, seeking accuracy and understanding to find all the available information – good and bad – to gain a more truthful picture. To help you make better decisions, this book will show you how to: gather information from multiple sources; weigh up short- and long-term gains; overcome inherent biases; transcend tribal thinking; and, avoid self-deception. Drawing on fascinating stories from Warren Buffett’s investing strategies to subreddit threads and modern partisan politics, Galef explores why our brains try to deceive us and how to see things more clearly – so, we make the right decision, more often.
Psychology | TP | $32.99
Something Doesn’t Add Up: Surviving Statistics in a Post-Truth World
A tour of the stupidest, most self-defeating, self-blinding ways, in which supposedly clever people use maths in everyday life. Some people fear and mistrust numbers. Others want to use them for everything. After a long career as a statistician, Paul Goodwin has learned the hard way that the ones who want to use them for everything are a very good reason for the rest of us to fear and mistrust them. Something Doesn’t Add Up is a field guide to the numbers that rule our world, even though they don’t make sense. Wry, witty and humane, Goodwin explains mathematical subtleties, so painlessly that you hardly need to think about numbers at all. He demonstrates how statistics that are meant to make life simpler often make it simpler than it actually is, but also reveals some of the ways we really can use maths to make better decisions. Enter the world of fitness tracking, the history of IQ testing, China’s social credit system, Effective Altruism, and learn how someone should have noticed that Harold Shipman was killing his patients – years, before they actually did. In the right hands, maths is a useful tool. It’s just a pity there are so many of the wrong hands about.
Mathematics | HC | $34.99
The Splendid and the Vile: a Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Bombing of London
A startling, gripping portrait of what it was like to be alive in Britain during the Blitz, and what it was like to be around Churchill. On Winston Churchill’s first day as prime minister, 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, the Nazis would wage a relentless bombing campaign, killing 45,000 Britons and destroying two million homes. In The Splendid and the Vile, Erik Larson gives a new and brilliantly cinematic account of how Britain’s most iconic leader set about unifying the nation at its most vulnerable moment, and teaching ‘the art of being fearless’. Drawing on once-secret intelligence reports and diaries, Larson takes readers from the shelled streets of London to Churchill’s own chambers, giving a vivid vision of true leadership, when – in the face of unrelenting horror – a leader of eloquence, strategic brilliance, and perseverance bound a country, and a family, together.
History | TP | $34.99
Signs and Symbols of the World: Over 1,001 Visual Signs Explained
McElroy, D R
This informative and engaging illustrated reference provides the stories behind 1,001 signs and symbols, from ancient hieroglyphs to modern-day political and subculture symbols. What in the world does the Greek letter for omega mean? And what about its meaning might have led my coffee date to tattoo it on his entire forearm? Where did the symbol ∞ originate, and what was its first meaning? How did the ampersand symbol & come about and how was it applied daily in book publishing? And what is the full story behind that staring eye on top of the pyramid on the American dollar bill? This comprehensive guide to signs and symbols explains. Find within: more than 1,000 illustrations; an extensive collection of written and cultural symbols, including animals, instruments, stones, shapes, numbers, colours, plants, food, parts of the body, religious and astrological symbols, emojis, and gestures; and, historical facts culled from a wide variety of sources. Learn all about the signs and symbols that surround us and their part in our rich world history.
Symbology | HC | $29.99
The Progress of This Storm: Nature and Society in a Warming World
In a world careening towards climate chaos, nature is dead. It can no longer be separated from society. Everything is a blur of hybrids, where humans possess no exceptional agency that sets them apart from dead matter. But is it really so? In this blistering polemic and theoretical manifesto, Andreas Malm develops a contrary argument: in a warming world, nature comes roaring back, and it is more important than ever to distinguish between the natural and the social. Only with a unique agency attributed to humans can resistance become conceivable. Deflating several prominent currents in contemporary theory – constructionism, hybridism, new materialism, posthumanism – and submitting the influential work of Bruno Latour to particularly biting critique, Malm shows that action against fossil fuels is best served by a theory that takes nature, society and the dialectics between them very seriously indeed.
Climate change | PBK | $24.99
Human Diversity: the Biology of Gender, Race, and Class
All people are equal but, as Human Diversity explores, all groups of people are not the same – a fascinating investigation of the genetics and neuroscience of human differences. The thesis of Human Diversity is that advances in genetics and neuroscience are overthrowing an intellectual orthodoxy that has ruled the social sciences for decades. The core of the orthodoxy consists of three dogmas: gender is a social construct; race is a social construct; and, class is a function of privilege. The problem is that all three dogmas are half truths. They have stifled progress in understanding the rich texture that biology adds to our understanding of the social, political, and economic worlds we live in. It is not a story to be feared. ‘There are no monsters in the closet,’ Murray writes, ‘no dread doors we must fear opening.’ But it is a story that needs telling. Human Diversity does so without sensationalism, drawing on the most authoritative scientific findings, celebrating both our many differences and our common humanity.
Science | HC | $49.99
Digital Minimalism: on Living Better with Less Technology
A new strategy to increase productivity, focus, happiness and creativity, through a mindful use of digital technology. Most of us know that we’re addicted to texting, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter not because we’re stupid or shallow, but because they provide real value in the form of connection, community, affirmation, and information. But these tools can also disrupt our ability to focus on meaningful work and live fully in the present. In Digital Minimalism, Cal Newport outlines a practical philosophy and plan for a mindful, intentional use of technology that maximises its benefits while minimising its drain on our attention, focus and time. Demonstrating how to implement a 30-day digital detox, this book will help you identify which uses of technology are actually helping you reach your goals, and which are holding you back.
Society and culture | PBK | $22.99
The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity
The world is in the early stages of what may be the deadliest pandemic of the past 100 years. Threats to humanity, and how we address them, define our time. We live during the most important era of human history. In the twentieth century, we developed the means to destroy ourselves – without developing the moral framework to ensure we won’t. This is the Precipice, and how we respond to it will be the most crucial decision of our time. Oxford moral philosopher Toby Ord explores the risks to humanity’s future, from the familiar manmade threats of climate change and nuclear war, to the potentially greater, more unfamiliar threats from engineered pandemics and advanced artificial intelligence. With clear and rigorous thinking, Ord calculates the various risk levels, and shows how our own time fits within the larger story of human history. We can say, with certainty, that the novel coronavirus, named COVID-19, does not pose such a risk. But could the next pandemic? And what can we do, in our present moment, to face the risks head on? A major work that brings together the disciplines of physics, biology, earth and computer science, history, anthropology, statistics, international relations, political science and moral philosophy, The Precipice is a call for a new understanding of our age: a major reorientation in the way we see the world, our history, and the role we play in it.
Philosophy | TP | $29.99
Pedantic: a hilarious and useful guide to the 100 terms smart people should know
Petras, Ross & Kathryn
A compendium of 100 words and phrases smart people use – even if they only kinda sorta (secretly don’t) know what they mean – with pithy definitions and fascinating etymologies, to solidify their meanings. Your boss makes a joke about Schrödinger’s cat – something you’ve heard of, but what exactly happened (or didn’t happen) with that cat? Or you’re reading a New Yorker article that explains that ‘Solecism slipped into solipsism into full-blown narcissistic projection.’ An excellent point… if you know what ‘solecism’ means… or, for that matter, ‘solipsism’. Language gurus Ross Petras and Kathryn Petras explain all of the words and phrases, smart people should know. Covering the worlds of science, the arts and philosophy, they explore broad topics, like quantum physics and ontology, and more specific ones, like shibboleth and bête noire. From Latin phrases, we often hear and read (prima facie, sui generis, and the like), to those pesky words that have entered our vocabularies from other languages (bildungsroman, sturm und drang), this book will inform and delight even the most pernickety word nerds.
Language | PBK | $19.99
Around the World in 80 Trains: a 45,000-Mile Adventure
From the cloud-skimming heights of Tibet’s Qinghai railway to silk-sheeted splendour on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, Around the World in 80 Trains is a celebration of the glory of train travel and a witty and irreverent look at the world. Packing up her rucksack – and her fiancé, Jem – Monisha Rajesh embarks on an unforgettable adventure that takes her from London’s St Pancras station to the vast expanses of Russia and Mongolia, North Korea, Canada, Kazakhstan, and beyond. The journey is one of constant movement and mayhem, as the pair strike up friendships and swap stories with the hilarious, irksome, and ultimately endearing travellers they meet on board, all while taking in some of the earth’s most breathtaking views.
Travelogue | PBK | $22.99
The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It
Reich, Robert B
Millions of Americans have lost confidence in their political and economic system. After years of stagnant wages, volatile job markets, and an unwillingness by those in power to deal with profound threats such as climate change, there is a mounting sense that the system is fixed, serving only those select few with enough money to secure a controlling stake. In The System, Robert B Reich shows how wealth and power have interacted to install an elite oligarchy, eviscerate the middle class, and undermine democracy. Addressing himself Jamie Dimon, the powerful banker and chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, Reich exposes how those at the top, be they Democrats or Republicans, propagate myths about meritocracy, national competitiveness, corporate social responsibility, and the ‘free market’ to distract most Americans from their own accumulation of extraordinary wealth, and their power over the system. Instead of answering the call to civic duty, they have chosen to uphold self-serving policies that line their own pockets and benefit their bottom line. Reich’s objective is not to foster cynicism, but rather to demystify the system so that American voters might instil fundamental change and demand that democracy works for the majority, once again.
Democracy | TP | $34.99
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 | PBK | $19.99
The Gendered Brain: the new neuroscience that shatters the myth of the female brain
An agenda-setting, myth-debunking book by neuroscientist Professor Gina Rippon that demolishes the idea of biology as destiny, and the myth of the male or female brain. Barbie or Lego? Reading maps or reading emotions? Do you have a female brain or a male brain? Or is that the wrong question? On a daily basis, we face deeply ingrained beliefs that our sex determines our skills and preferences, from toys and colours, to career choice and salaries. But what does this mean for our thoughts, decisions and behaviour? Using the latest cutting-edge neuroscience, Gina Rippon unpacks the stereotypes that bombard us from our earliest moments and shows how these messages mould our ideas of ourselves and even shape our brains. Rigorous, timely, and liberating, The Gendered Brain has huge repercussions for women and men, for parents and children, and for how we identify ourselves.
Science | PBK | $22.99
The Ship of Dreams: the Sinking of the Titanic and the End of the Edwardian Era
When the Titanic sank, so did the Edwardian age that created it. In this brilliantly original history, Gareth Russell recasts a tragedy we think we know to explore an era of seismic change. With new research and previously unseen first-hand accounts, Gareth Russell peers through the most famous portholes in the world, to follow six travellers. Amongst them, a Jewish-American immigrant, an American movie star, a member of the British nobility, and a titan of industry. Setting these lives against that of the Titanic, Russell investigates social class, technological advancement, political turmoil, and pioneering ambition – in an age that swang between folly and brilliance, hubris and triumph. A dramatic history of human endeavour told through extraordinary, diverse personalities, The Ship of Dreams dispels myth to revive the story of a ship that was to become symbolic of its own doomed era. (Previously published as The Darksome Bounds of a Failing World.)
History | PBK | $24.99
Virusphere: Ebola, AIDS, Influenza and the Hidden World of the Virus
A virologist’s insight into how viruses evolve, and why global epidemics are inevitable… In 1993, a previously healthy young man was drowning in the middle of a desert – in fluids produced by his own lungs. This was the beginning of the terrifying Sin Nombre hantavirus epidemic and the start of a scientific journey that would forever change our understanding of what it means to be human. After witnessing the Sin Nombre outbreak, Dr Frank Ryan began researching viral evolution and was astonished to discover that it’s inextricable from the evolution of all life on Earth. From AIDS and Ebola to the common cold, Ryan explores the role of the virus within every ecosystem on the planet. His gripping conclusions shed new light on the natural world, proving that what doesn’t kill you, really does make you (and your species) stronger.
Science/Medicine | PBK | $22.99
Soviet Space Graphics: Cosmic Visions from the USSR
Sankova, Alexandra (in collaboration with the Moscow Design Museum)
A wonderful, whimsical journey through the pioneering space-race graphics of the former Soviet Union… This otherworldly collection of Soviet space-race graphics takes readers on a cosmic adventure through Cold War-era Russia. Created against a backdrop of geopolitical uncertainty, the extraordinary images featured, taken from the period’s hugely successful popular-science magazines, were a vital tool for the promotion of state ideology. Presenting more than 250 illustrations – depicting daring discoveries, scientific innovations, futuristic visions, and extra-terrestrial encounters – Soviet Space Graphics unlocks the door to the creative inner workings of the USSR.
Art and design | HC | $49.95
Complete Creative Writing Course: Your complete companion for writing creative fiction
Learn how to write creatively with this comprehensive and practical course. The only comprehensive Creative Writing title on the market that goes beyond introducing the basic genres, to offering a complete journey along the writing path; including material on editing, redrafting, and polishing a piece of work. Featuring the unique Workshop exercises to encourage readers to hone their work, rather than just progressing through a number of exercises. Takes the reader from complete beginner or committed amateur to the point you’ve completed, edited, and redrafted your work and are ready for publication.
Writing | PBK | $34.99
Alan Turing (Little People, Big Dreams)
Vegara, Maria Isabel Sanchez
Discover the life of Alan Turing, the genius code cracker and father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. Alan grew up in England, where his best friends were numbers, and a little boy called Christopher. When his young friend died, Alan retreated to the world of numbers and codes – where he discovered how to crack the code of the Nazi Enigma machine. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos, and a detailed profile of the brilliant mathematician’s life.
Biography (children’s) | HC | $19.99
Climate Leviathan: a Political Theory of Our Planetary Future
Wainwright, Joel & Mann, Geoff
Despite all the science and summits, leading capitalist states have not managed to mitigate anything close to an adequate level of carbon emissions. There is no way the world will warm less than the critical 2°C threshold. What are the likely political-economic outcomes? Where is our warming world headed? Possibilities in the struggle for climate justice depend on our capacity to anticipate where the existing global order is likely to go. Climate Leviathan provides a radical way of thinking about how environmental change will intensify existing challenges to global order, unearthing the forces for a planetary variation on existing forms of sovereignty. Drawing on a wide range of political thought, Wainwright and Mann argue that rapid climate change will transform global political economy and our world’s basic political arrangements, leading toward a capitalist planetary sovereignty. Alternative futures must be constructed in the face of these transformations.
Climate change | TP | $24.99
Apollo 11: the Inside Story
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, David Whitehouse brings you the inside story of the astronauts, NASA engineers and political rivals that brought an end to the Space Race. Fifty years ago, in July 1969, Apollo 11 became the first manned mission to land on the moon, and Neil Armstrong the first man to step onto its surface. US President Nixon called it the greatest week, since creation. In the most authoritative book ever written about Apollo, David Whitehouse reveals the true drama behind the mission, telling the story in the words of those who took part – based around exclusive interviews with the key players. This enthralling book takes us from the early rocket pioneers to the shock America received from the Soviets’ launch of the first satellite, Sputnik; from the race to put the first person into space, through President Kennedy’s enthusiasm and later doubts, to the astronauts’ intense competition to leave the first footprint. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, here is the story as told by the crew of Apollo 11 and the many other astronauts who paved the way or followed themselves after the first man to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong, alongside Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins. Astronauts, engineers, politicians, NASA officials, Soviet rivals – all tell their own story of a great moment of human achievement.
Science/History | PBK | $22.99
The Maths of Life and Death
Maths is the story of the world around us, and the wisdom it gives us can be the difference between success and disaster. We are all doing maths, all the time, from the way we communicate with each other to the way we travel, from how we work to how we relax. Many of us are aware of this. But few of us really appreciate the full power of maths – the extent to which its influence is not only in every office and every home, but also in every courtroom and hospital ward. In this eye-opening and extraordinary book, Yates explores the true stories of life-changing events, in which the application – or misapplication – of mathematics has played a critical role: patients crippled by faulty genes and entrepreneurs bankrupted by faulty algorithms; innocent victims of miscarriages of justice and the unwitting victims of software glitches. We follow stories of investors who have lost fortunes, and parents who have lost children, all because of mathematical misunderstandings. Along the way, Yates arms us with simple mathematical rules and tools that can help us make better decisions in our increasingly quantitative society. You will discover why it’s always sensible to question a statistic; often vital to ask for a second opinion; and, sometimes, surprisingly handy to stick to the 37% rule…
Mathematics | PBK | $22.99