Non-Fiction Catalogue: February 2020
All the books in this catalogue are new books due for release in February 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
Schweinfurt–Regensburg 1943: Eighth Air Force’s costly early daylight battles (Air Campaign 14)
Michel III, Marshall & Laurier, Jim (illustrator)
In 1943, the USAAF and RAF launched the Combined Bomber Offensive, designed to systematically destroy the industries that the German war machine relied on. At the top of the hit list were aircraft factories and plants making ball bearings – a component thought to be a critical vulnerability. Schweinfurt, in southern Germany, was home to much of the ball-bearing industry and, together with the Messerschmitt factory in Regensburg, which built Bf 109 fighters, it was targeted in a huge and innovative strike. Precision required that the targets were hit in daylight, but the raid was beyond the range of any existing escort fighter, so the B-17s would go in unprotected. The solution was to hit the two targets in a coordinated ‘double-strike’, with the Regensburg strike hitting first, drawing off the defending Luftwaffe fighters, and leaving the way clear for the Schweinfurt bombers. The Regensburg force would carry on over the Alps to North Africa, the first example of US ’shuttle bombing’. Although the attack on Regensburg was successful, the damage to Schweinfurt only temporarily stalled production, and the Eighth Air Force had suffered heavy losses. It would take a sustained campaign, not just a single raid, to cripple the Schweinfurt works. However, when a follow-up raid was finally launched two months later, the losses sustained were even greater. This title explains how the USAAF launched its daylight bombing campaign in 1943, the technology and tactics available for the Schweinfurt-Regensburg missions, and how these costly failures forced a change of tack.
Aviation history | PBK | $32.99
British Battleship vs Italian Battleship: the Mediterranean 1940–41 (Duel 101)
Stille, Mark & Gilliland, Alan; Wright, Paul (illustrators)
During World War II’s battle for control of the Mediterranean, both the British and Italian navies planned to bring their battle fleets into play. At the centre of both of these fleets was a core of battleships which both sides expected to play a decisive role in the conflict. On 9 July 1940, the two navies met in the central Mediterranean, as two Italian battleships faced off against three of their British counterparts. Christened the Battle of Calabria, the action allowed the ships to play to their strengths, engaging in a long-range gunnery duel, the very thing they had been designed for. Though both sides shot well, the only hit was scored by Warspite, on the Italian battleship Giulio Cesare. The Italians were forced to withdraw, and the action ended up being indecisive, but it was the largest fleet action fought in the Mediterranean during the war. As well as this battle, there were other occasions during the war when both British and Italian battleships were present and influential, but during which they never engaged each other directly – the Battle of Spartivento on 27 November 1940, and the Battle of Cape Matapan, on 28–29 March 1941. Packed with full-colour artwork, carefully selected archive photographs and expert analysis, this title explores in detail the role played by British and Italian battleships in these encounters, and their influence in the Mediterranean theatre of World War II.
Naval history | PBK | $32.99
Zona Alfa: Salvage and Survival in the Exclusion Zone (Osprey Wargames 25)
Todoroff, Patrick & Lamont, Sam (illustrator)
Zona Alfa is a set of simple, fast-play skirmish rules for scavenging, exploring, and surviving in a near-future, post-apocalyptic Eastern European setting. Players take on the role of bandits, mercenaries, and military units fighting over the blasted Exclusion Zone and its abandoned artefacts. Customise your fighters with a variety of weapons and specialisms to create your ideal warband. With extended rules for campaigns, character progression, terrain, and environmental hazards, Zona Alfa contains all the tools required to engage in blistering firefights within the Exclusion Zone.
Wargaming | PBK | $29.99
The Complete and Essential Jack the Ripper
Begg, Paul & Bennett, John
The definite account of the Jack the Ripper mystery. Discover the truth behind the myth. Whitechapel, 1988: a spate of brutal murders becomes the most notorious criminal episode in London’s history. The killer, chillingly nicknamed ‘The Whitechapel Murderer’, ‘Leather Apron’, and, most famously, ‘Jack the Ripper’, is never brought to justice for the slaughter and mutilation of at least five women in the slums of East London. But the mystery is deepened by a letter sent ‘From Hell’ to Scotland Yard, accompanied by half of a preserved human kidney… In this comprehensive account of London’s most infamous killer, the foremost authorities on the case explore the facts behind the most grisly episode of the Victorian era. Setting the scene in the impoverished East End, the authors’ meticulous research offers detailed accounts of the lives of the victims and an examination of the police investigation. The Complete Jack the Ripper is the definitive book by Paul Begg and John Bennett, exploring both the myth and reality behind the allusive killer.
True crime | PBK | $22.99
Darwin Devolves: the New Science About DNA that Challenges Evolution
Behe, Michael J
The scientist who has been dubbed the ‘Father of Intelligent Design’ and author of the ground-breaking book Darwin’s Black Box contends that recent scientific discoveries further disprove Darwinism and strengthen the case for an intelligent creator. In his controversial bestseller Darwin’s Black Box, biochemist Michael Behe challenged Darwin’s theory of evolution, arguing that science itself has proven that intelligent design is a better explanation for the origin of life. In Darwin Devolves, Behe advances his argument, presenting new research that offers a startling reconsideration of how Darwin’s mechanism works, weakening the theory’s validity even more. A system of natural selection acting on random mutation, evolution can help make something look and act differently. But evolution never creates something organically. Behe contends that Darwinism actually works by a process of devolution – damaging cells in DNA, in order to create something new at the lowest biological levels. This is important, he makes clear, because it shows the Darwinian process cannot explain the creation of life itself. ‘A process that so easily tears down sophisticated machinery is not one which will build complex, functional systems,’ he writes. In addition to disputing the methodology of Darwinism and how it conflicts with the concept of creation, Behe reveals that what makes Intelligent Design unique – and right – is that it acknowledges causation. Evolution proposes that organisms living today are descended with modification from organisms that lived in the distant past. But Intelligent Design goes a step further asking, what caused such astounding changes to take place What is the reason or mechanism for evolution For Behe, this is what makes Intelligent Design so important.
Science | TP | $29.99
A Scheme of Heaven: Astrology and the Birth of Science
How the search for our destiny in the stars taught humanity how to think about data. Despite a resurgence in popularity, horoscopes are generally considered to be pseudoscience today, but they were once a cutting-edge scientific tool. In this ingenious work of history, data scientist Alexander Boxer examines a treasure trove of esoteric classical sources to expose the deep imaginative framework by which – for millennia – we made sense of our fates. Astrology, he argues, was the ancient world’s most ambitious applied mathematics problem, a grand data-analysis enterprise sustained by some of history’s most brilliant minds, from Ptolemy to al-Kindi to Kepler. Boxer explores the extraordinary subtleties of astrological ideas and tells the stories of their inventors and most influential exponents. And he puts them through their paces using modern data sets – finding that the methods of today’s scientists are often uncomfortably close to those of astrology’s ancient sages. Humans are pattern-matching creatures, and astrology is our grandest pattern-matching game. Our future really was written in the stars, but not in the way we guessed.
History of science | HC | $39.99
Possible Minds: Twenty-Five Ways of Looking at AI
Science world luminary John Brockman assembles twenty-five of the most important scientific minds, people who have been thinking about the field artificial intelligence for most of their careers, for an unparalleled round-table examination about mind, thinking, intelligence and what it means to be human. ‘Artificial intelligence is today’s story – the story behind all other stories. It is the Second Coming and the Apocalypse at the same time: good AI versus evil AI.’ – John Brockman. More than sixty years ago, mathematician-philosopher Norbert Wiener published a book on the place of machines in society that ended with a warning: ‘we shall never receive the right answers to our questions unless we ask the right questions… The hour is very late, and the choice of good and evil knocks at our door.’ In the wake of advances in unsupervised, self-improving machine learning, a small but influential community of thinkers is considering Wiener’s words, again. In Possible Minds, John Brockman gathers their disparate visions of where AI might be taking us. The fruit of the long history of Brockman’s profound engagement with the most important scientific minds who have been thinking about AI – from Alison Gopnik and David Deutsch to Frank Wilczek and Stephen Wolfram – Possible Minds is an ideal introduction to the landscape of crucial issues AI presents. The collision between opposing perspectives is salutary and exhilarating; some of these figures, such as computer scientist Stuart Russell, Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn, and physicist Max Tegmark, are deeply concerned with the threat of AI, including the existential one, while others, notably robotics entrepreneur Rodney Brooks, philosopher Daniel Dennett, and bestselling author Steven Pinker, have a very different view. Serious, searching and authoritative, Possible Minds lays out the intellectual landscape of one of the most important topics of our time.
Artificial intelligence | TP | $27.99
Professor Maxwell’s Duplicitous Demon: the Life and Science of James Clerk Maxwell
The great conundrum that has taxed the finest minds in physics. Asked to name a great physicist, most people would mention Newton… or Einstein, Feynman, or Hawking. But ask a physicist and there’s no doubt that James Clerk Maxwell will be near the top of the list. Maxwell, an unassuming Victorian Scotsman, explained how we perceive colour. He uncovered the way gases behave. And, most significantly, he transformed the way physics was undertaken in his explanation of the interaction of electricity and magnetism, revealing the nature of light and laying the groundwork for everything from Einstein’s special relativity to modern electronics. Along the way, he set up one of the most enduring challenges in physics, one that has taxed the best minds ever since. ‘Maxwell’s demon’ is a tiny but thoroughly disruptive thought experiment that suggests the second law of thermodynamics – the law that governs the flow of time, itself – can be broken. This is the story of a ground-breaking scientist, a great contributor to our understanding of the way the world works, and his duplicitous demon.
Science/Biography | HC | $32.99
A Dictionary of Interesting and Important Dogs
Conradi, Peter J
Tin Tin’s Snowy, Odysseus’ Argos, Darwin’s Polly, Mary Queen of Scots’ 22 lap-dogs, Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Flush… Behind every great man or woman is a dog. A Dictionary of Interesting and Important Dogs is a rich compendium of the world’s most significant and beloved dogs. Embracing the intriguing and the provocative, the essential and the trivial, Peter J Conradi forays into history, literature and personal anecdotes to unearth a treasure trove of canine characters. Discover the stories behind Karl Marx’s and his daughter’s Dogberry Club; the lapdogs who were secreted in first-class cabins on the Titanic and how they survived; Edinburgh’s Greyfriars Bobby, who stayed by his master’s grave for 14 years; and the one undisputed fact about Shakespeare – his singular dislike for dogs. A Dictionary of Interesting and Important Dogs is a wonderful and witty homage to man’s most faithful friend.
Dogs | HC | $24.99
Origins: How the Earth Shaped Human History
When we talk about human history, we focus on great leaders, mass migration and decisive wars. But how has the Earth itself determined our destiny? How has our planet made us? As a species we are shaped by our environment. Geological forces drove our evolution in East Africa; mountainous terrain led to the development of democracy in Greece; and today voting behaviour in the United States follows the bed of an ancient sea. The human story is the story of these forces, from plate tectonics and climate change, to atmospheric circulation and ocean currents. How are the Himalayas linked to the orbit of the Earth, and to the formation of the British Isles? By taking us billions of years into our planet’s past, Professor Lewis Dartnell tells us the ultimate origin story. When we reach the point, where history becomes science, we see a vast web of connections that underwrites our modern world and helps us face the challenges of the future. From the cultivation of the first crops to the founding of modern states, Origins reveals the Earth’s awesome impact on the shape of human civilisations.
Science | TP | $35.00
The Demon in the Machine:
How Hidden Webs of Information Are Finally Solving the Mystery of Life
An astonishing new contribution to our ongoing quest for the secret of life itself. When Darwin set out to explain the origin of species, he made no attempt to answer the deeper question: what is life? For generations, scientists have struggled to make sense of this fundamental question. Life really does look like magic: even a humble bacterium accomplishes things so dazzling that no human engineer can match it. And yet, huge advances in molecular biology over the past few decades have served only to deepen the mystery. So, can life be explained by known physics and chemistry, or do we need something fundamentally new? In this penetrating and wide-ranging new analysis, world-renowned physicist and science communicator Paul Davies searches for answers in a field so new and fast-moving that it lacks a name, a domain where computing, chemistry, quantum physics and nanotechnology intersect. At the heart of these diverse fields, Davies explains, is the concept of information: a quantity with the power to unify biology with physics, transform technology and medicine, and even to illuminate the age-old question of whether we are alone in the universe. From life’s murky origins to the microscopic engines that run the cells of our bodies, The Demon in the Machine is a breath-taking journey across the landscape of physics, biology, logic and computing. Weaving together cancer and consciousness, two-headed worms and bird navigation, Davies reveals how biological organisms garner and process information to conjure order out of chaos, opening a window on the secret of life itself.
Science | PBK | $22.99
The Love That Remains
An extraordinary memoir about secrets, life’s shocking twists, and unconditional love. How could I write about the importance of truth and not tell the whole truth, myself? After twenty years spent searching for her biological parents, 52-year-old Susan Hull unexpectedly meets the great love of her life – a goldminer, named Wayne Francis. He is a gentle giant of a man, who promises Susan the world. Two years later, they throw in their jobs, marry, and sell everything they own – embarking on an incredible adventure, to start a new life in the romantic city of Granada; where they learn Spanish and enjoy too much tapas. In love, and enthralled by the splendour of a European springtime, the pair treasure every moment together. Until a shocking series of events alters everything. Riveting, heartfelt, and remarkably honest, Susan Francis’ The Love that Remains explores unconditional love, and the lies we tell to safeguard our happiness.
Memoir | TP | $29.99
What We Need to Do Now: Towards a Green New Deal
A perfect blueprint for a zero carbon future. What We Need To Do Now sets out a comprehensive programme of action, to counter the threats to our environment. It is a manifesto for groups around the world that are seeking urgent action on climate breakdown and other threats. Emphasising the importance and relative simplicity of decarbonising our energy supply, the book also stresses that this is a small part of the switch to a sustainable planet. Among many other urgent transitions, we also need to focus on changing the agricultural system and reducing our hugely wasteful use of resources. As importantly, we need to make sure that the transition to a zero carbon world benefits the less well-off, and reinvigorates the smaller cities and towns around the world that have been left behind. This is a practical, original and inspiring book: a new green deal for an inhabitable earth.
Climate change | PBK | $24.99
Fire and Fury: the Allied Bombing of Germany and Japan
When does war end… and slaughter begin? During World War II, Allied bombing obliterated every major German and Japanese city. Before the dropping of the atomic bombs, conventional bombing had killed approximately 400,000 Germans and 330,000 Japanese, the vast majority civilians. Fully 83,000 British, Commonwealth, and American airmen lost their lives, all but some 3,000 over Germany. Two-thirds of Germans who died under the bombs did so in 1944 and 1945; and, in the last year of the war, cities with little military were obliterated. In Japan, American bombers destroyed all but three major Japanese cities, and the people in them, after March 1945. These raids occurred, in other words, when Allied victory was assured and when precision bombing techniques were far more advanced than they were, earlier in the war. Based on extensive archival sources, interviews with bombing survivors, airmen, and published first-hand accounts, the book looks at the bombing campaign from an avowedly human perspective – Allied, German, and Japanese. It recreates the experience of living through the death of a city. It presents the complex personalities of the senior airmen, and explores why bombing campaigns that seem so excessive seventy-five years later seemed reasonable, to many, at the time. It explains why those campaigns became so murderous, so late in the war. And it asks, with the full benefits of time’s fullness, whether it was all worth it.
Military history | TP | $29.99
The Spy in Moscow Station: a Counterspy’s Hunt for a Deadly Cold War Threat
Moscow, in the late 1970s: one by one, CIA assets are disappearing. The perils of American arrogance, mixed with bureaucratic infighting, had left the country unspeakably vulnerable to ultra-sophisticated Russian electronic surveillance… The Spy in Moscow Station tells of a time, when – much like today – Russian spy craft was proving itself far ahead of the best technology the US had to offer. This is the true story of unorthodox, underdog intelligence officers who fought an uphill battle against their government to prove that the KGB had pulled off the most devastating and breathtakingly thorough penetration of US national security in history. Incorporating declassified internal CIA memos and diplomatic cables, this suspenseful narrative reads like a thriller – but real lives were at stake, and every twist is true as the US and USSR attempt to wrong foot each other in eavesdropping technology and tradecraft. The book also carries a chilling warning for the present: like the State and CIA officers who were certain their ‘sweeps’ could detect any threat in Moscow, we don’t know what we don’t know. Includes a foreword by Michael V Hayden (Retired).
Espionage history | PBK | $22.99
The Periodic Table: a visual guide to the elements
Which is the densest element? Which has the largest atoms? And why are some elements radioactive? From the little-known uses of gold in medicine to the development of the hydrogen bomb, this is a fresh new look at the Periodic Table. Combining cutting edge science with fascinating facts and stunning infographics, this book looks at the extraordinary stories of discovery, amazing properties and surprising uses of each elements, whether solid, liquid or gas – naturally occurring, synthesised, or theoretical! From hydrogen to oganesson, this is a fact-filled visual guide to each element, each accompanied by technical date (category, atomic number, weight, boiling point), as well as fun facts and stories about their discovery and surprising uses.
Science | PBK | $19.99
the new era in brain enhancement revolutionising the way we think, work and heal
Brain science is at the dawn of a new era, and the technologies now emerging will alter all our lives forever. Welcome to what tech pioneer and inventor Tan Le calls ‘the NeuroGeneration’. It will blow your mind. Technology now allows us to unlock the amazing potential of the human brain in ways we never dreamt were possible. Join award-winning inventor and entrepreneur Tan Le, as she criss-crosses the globe, introducing the brilliant neurotech innovators and neuroscientists at the frontiers of brain enhancement. The NeuroGeneration offers an exciting glimpse into the new brain technologies that sound like science fiction, but are quickly becoming reality. They can enhance our ability to focus and learn, restore lost memories, improve our health, and offer life-changing assistance for people with disabilities. Tan Le shares fascinating stories from people whose lives have been transformed by these inventions: an endurance racer paralysed in a fall, who now walks thanks to neural stimulation and an exoskeleton; a man who drives a racing car with his mind; and a musician who masters Bach faster with headphones that zap his brain with electrical currents. She reveals a dizzying array of technologies in development: helping people whose brains have been impaired by dementia, epilepsy, stroke and injury; providing cranial stimulation to accelerate learning; and designing video games that may replace medications. For anyone working in business, marketing, health, psychology, education, or sport, The NeuroGeneration reveals the extraordinary opportunities that lie before us over the next decade.
Science | TP | $32.99
Facebook: the Inside Story
From renowned tech writer Steven Levy, the complete history of one of the world’s most controversial and successful companies. In his sophomore year of college, Mark Zuckerberg created a simple website to serve as a campus social network. But the site caught on like wildfire, and soon students nationwide were on Facebook. Today, Facebook is nearly unrecognisable from Zuckerberg’s first, modest iteration. It has grown into a tech giant, the largest social media platform and one of the most gargantuan companies in the world, with over 2.23 billion global users. Love it or hate it, there is no denying the power and omnipresence of Facebook in daily life. And in light of growing scandals surrounding election-influencing ‘fake news’ accounts, the mining of its users’ personal data, and growing discontent with the actions of its founder and CEO, never has the company been more central to the international conversation.
Impact of technology | TP | $35.00
The Nine Hundred:
the Extraordinary Young Women of the First Official Jewish Transport to Auschwitz
Macadam, Heather Dune
On March 25, 1942, nearly a thousand young, unmarried Jewish women boarded a train in Poprad, Slovakia. Filled with a sense of adventure and national pride, they left their parents’ homes wearing their best clothes and confidently waving good – bye. Believing they were going to work in a factory for a few months, they were eager to report for government service. Instead, the young women – many of them teenagers – were sent to Auschwitz. Their government paid 500 Reichsmarks (about $160) apiece for the Nazis to take them as slave labour. Of those 999 innocent deportees, only a few would survive. The facts of the first official Jewish transport to Auschwitz are little known, yet profoundly relevant today. These were not resistance fighters or prisoners of war. There were no men among them. Sent to almost certain death, the young women were powerless and insignificant, not only because they were Jewish – but also because they were female. Now, acclaimed author Heather Dune Macadam reveals their poignant stories, drawing on extensive interviews with survivors, and consulting with historians, witnesses, and relatives of those first deportees to create an important addition to Holocaust literature and women’s history.
Holocaust history | TP | $34.99
Because Internet: Understanding how language is changing
Because Internet is for anyone who’s ever puzzled over how to punctuate a text message, or wondered where memes come from. It’s the perfect book for understanding how the internet is changing the English language, why that’s a good thing, and what our online interactions reveal about who we are. Language is humanity’s most spectacular open-source project, and the internet is making our language change faster, and in more interesting ways, than ever before. Internet conversations are structured by the shape of our apps and platforms, from the grammar of status updates to the protocols of comments and @replies. Linguistically inventive online communities spread new slang and jargon with dizzying speed. What’s more, social media is a vast laboratory of unedited, unfiltered words where we can watch language evolve in real time. Even the most absurd-looking slang has genuine patterns behind it. Internet linguist Gretchen McCulloch explores the deep forces that shape human language and influence the way we communicate with one another. She explains how your first social internet experience influences whether you prefer ‘LOL’ or ‘lol’; why sparkly tildes succeeded, where centuries of proposals for irony punctuation had failed; what emoji have in common with physical gestures; and how the artfully-disarrayed language of animal memes like lolcats and doggo made them more likely to spread.
Evolution of language | HC | $29.99
Goliath: Why the West Isn’t Winning. and What We Must Do About It
We are living in an age overshadowed by war. We can’t stop it, but we can survive it. Here’s ten ways how. Everything you think you know about war is wrong. War is timeless. Some things change – weapons, tactics, leadership – but our desire to go into battle does not. We are in the midst of an age of conflict: global terrorism, Russia’s resurgence and China’s rise, international criminal empires, climate change and dwindling natural resources. The stakes are high, and we are dangerously unprepared. As a former paratrooper and military contractor, Sean McFate has been on the front lines of deep state conflicts. He has seen firsthand the horrors of battle and as a strategist, understands the complexity of the current military situation. The West is playing the same old war games, but the enemy has changed the rules. In this new age of war: technology will not save us; victory will belong to the cunning, not the strong; plausible deniability is more potent than firepower; and, corporations, mercenaries, and rogue states have more power than nation states, and loyalty will sit with the highest bidder. This is The Art of War for the 21st century. Adapt and we can prevail. Fail, and size and strength won’t protect us. Learn how to triumph in the coming age of conflict in ten new rules.
Military history | PBK | $22.99
The Story of Pop Art
MacKay, Andy Stewart
Discover the colourful history of the 20th century’s most important art movement. In this age of insta-stardom and selfies, Pop Art still defines the world we live in. Emerging in the 1950s, Pop Art arrived in an explosion of colour, offering bold representations and plenty of humour. All of the celebrities, events and politics that came to define two turbulent decades are encapsulated in their work. Pop Art challenged the establishment and offered a new modernism, blurring the line between art and mass production. Uncover 100 stories in this essential guide to a ground-breaking movement. Enjoy enlightening critiques of iconic works; meet key figures including Warhol and Hockney; and discover inspirational ideas and novel new methods.
Art history | PBK | $39.99
Dresden: the Fire and the Darkness
The bestselling historian’s gripping account of the Allied bombing of Dresden for the 75th anniversary. In February 1945, the Allies obliterated Dresden, the ‘Florence of the Elbe’. Explosive bombs weighing over 1000lbs fell every seven and a half seconds and an estimated 25,000 people were killed. Was Dresden a legitimate military target, or was the bombing a last act of atavistic mass murder in a war already won? From the history of the city to the attack itself, conveyed in a minute-by-minute account from the first of the flares to the flames almost a mile high – the wind so searingly hot that the lungs, of those in its path, were instantly scorched – through the eerie period of reconstruction, here bestselling author Sinclair McKay creates a vast canvas and brings it alive with telling human detail. Along the way, we encounter, for example, a Jewish woman who thought the English bombs had been sent from Heaven, novelist Kurt Vonnegut who wrote that the smouldering landscape was like walking on the surface of the moon, and 15-year-old Winfried Bielb – who, having spent the evening ushering refugees, wanted to get home to his stamp collection. He was not to know that there was not enough time. Impeccably researched and deeply moving, McKay uses never-before-seen sources to relate the untold stories of civilians and the military. This is a master historian at work.
Military history | HC | $45.00
First You Write a Sentence: the Elements of Reading, Writing… and Life
Advanced maths has no practical use, and is understood by few. A symphony can be widely appreciated, but created only by a genius. Good writing, however, can be written (and read) by anyone, if we give it the gift of our time. And a sentence might be as near as many of us will get to orchestrating beauty. Enter universally praised historian Professor Joe Moran. Using minimal technical terms, First You Write a Sentence is his unpedantic explanation of how the most ordinary words can be turned into verbal constellations of extraordinary grace. With examples from the Bible and Shakespeare to Orwell and Diana Athill, and with support from scientific studies of what most fires people’s minds, he shows how we can all write in a way that is vivid, clear and engaging. With chapters from tools of the trade (from typewriters to texting and the impact this has on the craft); and writing and the senses (how to make the world visible and touchable); to how to find the ideal word, build a sentence, and construct a paragraph, First You Write a Sentence informs by light example. It’s an elegant gem in praise of the English sentence.
Writing | HC | $35.00
Spiders of the World: a Natural History
Bark spiders spin webs ten times stronger than Kevlar. Jumping spiders are capable of learning, recognising, and remembering colours. Recluse spiders can tolerate six months of extreme drought and have a toxin-laden bite that can necessitate skin grafts. This title explores the huge diversity of spider species and their fascinating traits. An introduction outlining the spider’s natural history is followed by 117 illustrated profiles spanning the taxonomic spider families. Photographs of species from each family are shown, along with population distribution maps, tables of essential information, and commentaries revealing notable characteristics. The family profiles are also organised phylogenetically, and the commentaries in each account reflect different aspects of a spider’s biology.
Science | HC | $39.99
How to Argue with a Racist: History, Science, Race and Reality
An illuminating manifesto for a twenty-first century understanding of human evolution and variation – and a weapon against scientific racism – by the author of A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived. Race is real because we perceive it. Racism is real because we enact it. But the appeal to science to strengthen racist ideologies is on the rise – and increasingly part of the public discourse on politics, migration, education, sport and intelligence. Stereotypes and myths about race are expressed not just by overt racists, but also by well-intentioned people whose experience and cultural baggage steer them towards views that are not supported by the modern study of human genetics. Even some scientists are uncomfortable expressing opinions deriving from their research where it relates to race. Yet, if understood correctly, science and history can be powerful allies against racism, granting the clearest view of how people actually are, rather than how we judge them to be. How to Argue With a Racist is a vital manifesto for a twenty-first century understanding of human evolution and variation, and a timely weapon against the misuse of science to justify bigotry.
Science | HC | $29.99
Gunpowder and Geometry: the Life of Charles Hutton, Pit Boy, Mathematician and Scientific Rebel
August, 1755. Newcastle, on the north bank of the Tyne. In the fields, men and women are getting the harvest in. Sunlight, or rain. Scudding clouds and backbreaking labour. Three hundred feet underground, young Charles Hutton is at the coalface. Cramped, dust-choked, wielding a five-pound pick by candlelight. Eighteen years old, he’s been down the pits on and off for more than a decade, and now it looks like a life sentence. No unusual story, although Charles is a clever lad – gifted at maths and languages – and for a time he hoped for a different life. Many hoped. Charles Hutton, astonishingly, would actually live the life he dreamed of. Twenty years later, you’d have found him in Slaughter’s coffee house in London, eating a few oysters with the President of the Royal Society. By the time he died, in 1823, he was a fellow of scientific academies in four countries, while the Lord Chancellor of England counted himself fortunate to have known him. Hard work, talent, and no small share of luck would take Charles Hutton out of the pit to international fame, wealth, admiration and happiness. The pit-boy turned professor would become one of the most revered British scientists of his day. This book is his incredible story.
Science/History | PBK | $24.99
The Goodness Paradox: How Evolution Made Us Both More and Less Violent
It may not always seem so, but day-to-day interactions between individual humans are extraordinarily peaceful. That is not to say that we are perfect, just far less violent than most animals, especially our closest relatives, the chimpanzee and their legendarily docile cousins, the Bonobo. Perhaps surprisingly, we rape, maim, and kill many fewer of our neighbours than all other primates and almost all undomesticated animals. But there is one form of violence that humans exceed all other animals in by several degrees: organised proactive violence against other groups of humans. It seems, we are the only animal that goes to war. In The Goodness Paradox, Richard Wrangham wrestles with this paradox at the heart of human behaviour. Drawing on new research by geneticists, neuroscientists, primatologists, and archaeologists, he shows that what domesticated our species was nothing less than the invention of capital punishment which eliminated the least cooperative and most aggressive among us. But that development is exactly what laid the groundwork for the worst of our atrocities.
Science | PBK | $24.99