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A Jewish child born into the worst of times in Europe grows up during the best of times in North America-only to recognize that it could be moving back in the opposite direction. First came parents with the good sense to flee Europe in 1940 and the good fortune to reach the land of freedom. Their daughter, Ruth, grew up in the shadow of genocide-but in tandem with the birth of Israel, which remained her lodestar. She learned that although Jewishness is biologically transmitted, democracy is not, and both require intensive, intelligent transmission through education in each and every generation. They need adults with the confidence to teach their importance. Ruth tried to take on that challenge as dangers to freedom mounted and shifted sides on the political spectrum. At the high point of her teaching at Harvard University, she witnessed the unraveling of standards of honesty and truth until the academy she left was no longer the one she had entered.Show more
A history of how anti-Semitism evolved into the Holocaust in Germany: 'If any book can tell what Hitlerism was like, this is it' (Alfred Kazin). Lucy Dawidowicz's groundbreaking The War Against the Jews inspired waves of both acclaim and controversy upon its release in 1975. Dawidowicz argues that genocide was, to the Nazis, as central a war goal as conquering Europe, and was made possible by a combination of political, social, and technological factors. She explores the full history of Hitler's 'Final Solution,' from the rise of anti-Semitism to the creation of Jewish ghettos to the brutal tactics of mass murder employed by the Nazis. Written with devastating detail, The War Against the Jews is the definitive and comprehensive book on one of history's darkest chapters.Show more
A selection of the most provocative, incendiary, and brilliant pieces from one of America's most significant left-leaning journalists and activists. 'One of our great iconoclasts, lucid, thought-provoking and instructive' - the Guardian A self-proclaimed 'myth buster by trade', over her long-ranging career as a journalist and political activist Barbara Ehrenreich has delved with devastating wit and insight into the social and political fabric of America. Had I Known gathers together Ehrenreich's most significant articles and excerpts from the last four decades - some of which became the starting point for her bestselling books - from her award-winning article 'Welcome to Cancerland', published shortly after she was diagnosed with breast cancer, to her groundbreaking investigative journalism in 'Nickel and Dimed', which explored living in America on the minimum wage. Issues she identified as far back as the 80s and 90s such as work poverty, rising inequality, the gender divide and medicalised health care, are top of the social and political agenda today. Written with remarkable tenderness, humour and incisiveness, Ehrenreich's describes an America of struggle, inequality, racial bias and injustice. Her extraordinarily prescient and relevant perspective announces her as one of most significant thinkers of our day.Show more
Is our sexuality determined primarily by our genes? Or is it shaped by the social norms and expectations we happen to be born into? This Very Short Introduction provides an accessible, thoughtful, and thought-provoking introduction to major debates around sexuality in the modern world, highlighting the social and political aspects of sexuality. It critically explores different ways of defining and thinking about sexuality and shows that many of our assumptions about what is 'natural' in the sexual domain have, in reality, varied greatly in different historical or cultural contexts. The volume also examines ways in which governments have tried to regulate citizens' sexualities in the past-through policies and laws concerning public health, HIV/Aids, prostitution, and sex education-paying special attention to the particular zeal with which women's sexuality has been policed. The volume concludes by discussing political activism around sexuality more widely, focusing on the ways in which feminists, lesbians, and gay men, as well as religious fundamentalists, have transformed our ways of thinking about sexuality in the past few decades.Show more
What is music? How is it constructed? How is it consumed? Why do you enjoy it at all? In Music: A Very Short Introduction, Nicholas Cook invites us to really think about music and the role it plays in our lives and our ears. Drawing on a number of accessible examples, the author prompts us to call on our own musical experiences in order to think more critically about the roles of the performers and the listener, about music as a commodity and an experience, what it means to understand music, and the values we ascribe to it. This Very Short Introduction, written with both humor and flair, begins with a sampling of music as human activity and then goes on to consider the slippery phenomenon of how music has become an object of thought. Covering not only Western and classical music, Cook touches on all types from rock to Indonesian music and beyond. Incorporating musical forms from every continent, Music will be enjoyable for beginner and expert alike.Show more
The French Revolution is a time of history made familiar from Dickens, Baroness Orczy, and Tolstoy, as well as the legends of let them eat cake, and tricolors. Beginning in 1789, this period of extreme political and social unrest saw the end of the French monarchy, the death of an extraordinary number of people beneath the guillotine's blade during the Terror, and the rise of Napoleon, as well as far reaching consequences still with us today, such as the enduring ideology of human rights, and decimalization. In this Very Short Introduction, William Doyle introduces the French old regime and considers how and why it collapsed. Retelling the unfolding events of the revolution, he analyzes why the revolutionaries quarreled with the king, the church, and the rest of Europe, why this produced Terror, and finally how it accomplished rule by a general. Doyle also discusses how and why the revolution destroyed the age-old cultural, institutional, and social structures in France and beyond. In this new edition, Doyle includes new sections highlighting the main developments in the field since the first edition, before exploring the legacy of the revolution in the form of rationality in public affairs and responsible government.Show more
Brought to you by Penguin. The bestselling and prize-winning study of one of the most legendary American Presidents in history, Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin is the book that inspired Barack Obama in his presidency. When Barack Obama was asked which book he could not live without in the White House, his answer was instant: Team of Rivals. This monumental and brilliant work has given Obama the model for his presidency, showing how Abraham Lincoln saved America by appointing his fiercest rival to key cabinet positions. As well as a thrilling piece of narrative history, it's an inspiring study of one of the greatest leaders the world has ever seen. 'A wonderful book . . . a remarkable study in leadership' Barack Obama 'A portrait of Lincoln as a virtuosic politician and managerial genius' The New York Times 'I have not enjoyed a history book as much for years' Robert Harris Doris Kearns Goodwin is the doyenne of US presidential historians, and one of the most acclaimed non-fiction authors in the world. Her works include Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream, The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys: An American Saga, and No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, for which she won the Pulitzer Prize for History in 1995. © Doris Kearns Goodwin 2009 (P) Penguin Audio 2021Show more
More than ever before, the Renaissance stands out as one of the defining moments in world history. Between 1400 and 1600, European perceptions of society, culture, politics, and even humanity itself emerged in ways that continue to affect not only Europe but the entire world. In this wide-ranging exploration of the Renaissance, Jerry Brotton shows the period as a time of unprecedented intellectual excitement, cultural experimentation, and interaction on a global scale, alongside a darker side of religion, intolerance, slavery, and massive inequality of wealth and status. Brotton skillfully guides us through the key issues that defined the Renaissance period, from its art, architecture, and literature, to advancements in the fields of science, trade, and travel. In its incisive account of the complexities of the political and religious upheavals of the period, the book argues that there are significant parallels between the Renaissance and our own era. This is the first clear and concise account of the Renaissance as a global phenomenon, an important new vision of the Renaissance for the twenty-first century written by a young Renaissance scholar of a new generation.Show more
This concise, accessible introduction provides an analytical narrative of the main events and developments in Soviet Russia between 1917 and 1936. It examines the impact of the revolution on society as a whole-on different classes, ethnic groups, the army, men and women, youth. Its central concern is to understand how one structure of domination was replaced by another. The book registers the primacy of politics, but situates political developments firmly in the context of massive economic, social, and cultural change. Since the fall of Communism there has been much reflection on the significance of the Russian Revolution. The book rejects the currently influential, liberal interpretation of the revolution in favor of one that sees it as rooted in the contradictions of a backward society which sought modernization and enlightenment and ended in political tyranny.Show more
Since H. P. Lovecraft first invited colleagues such as Frank Belknap Long and Robert Bloch (among others) to join in his creation of what has come to be known as the "Cthulhu Mythos" (over Lovecraft's less invocative name of "Yog-Sothery"), dozens of authors have tried their hand at adding to this vast tapestry with varying degrees of success. Some, like the then teenage Ramsey Campbell, used the Mythos as a starting point to his own career while still finding his own authorial voice. Others, like Stephen King and Neil Gaiman, did so at the height of their careers, paying homage to an author who had been such a tremendous inspiration to them. But no one, absolutely no one, has contributed such a body of brilliant and profoundly original work to the Mythos as has Caitlín R. Kiernan. In this remarkable collection the author has selected over two dozen of her best Lovecraftian tales ranging from 2000s "Valentia" to her more recent classic "A Mountain Walked" as well as including the complete Dandridge Cycle, as well as a new story, "M Is for Mars." In short, this is a cornerstone volume for Kiernan fans and Mythos devotees alike.Show more
Don't be intimidated by Shakespeare! These popular guides make the Bard's plays accessible and enjoyable. Each No Fear guide contains: - The complete text of the original play - A line-by-line translation that puts Shakespeare into everyday language - A complete list of characters with descriptions - Plenty of helpful commentary When Shakespeare's words make your head spin, our audio translations will help you sort out what's happening, who's saying what, and why!Show more
Marguerite Duras, the Elena Ferrante of French literature, rose to global stardom with her erotic masterpiece The Lover (L'Amant), which won the prestigious Prix Goncourt, has over a million copies in print in English, has been translated into forty-three languages, and was adapted into a canonical film in 1992. While almost all of Duras's novels have been translated into English, her debut The Impudent Ones (Les Impudents) has been a glaring exception-until now. Fans of Duras will be thrilled to discover the germ of her bold, vital prose and signature blend of memoir and fiction in this intense and mournful story of the Taneran family, which introduces Duras's classic themes of familial conflict, illicit romance, and scandal in the sleepy suburbs and southwest provinces of postwar France. With storytelling that evokes in equal parts beauty and brutality, Duras depicts the scalding effect of seduction and disrepute on the soul of a young French girl. Duras's great gift was her ability to bring to vivid and passionate life characters with whom society may not have sympathized, but with whom readers certainly do. Through its striking prose and strong feminist themes, The Impudent Ones will delight established Duras fans and new audiences alike.Show more
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