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  • Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won't Go Away

    Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won't Go Away

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Rebecca Goldstein
    Format:   
    Publisher:   Pantheon (2014, Mar 4th).
    Pages:   

    Is philosophy obsolete? Are the ancient questions still relevant in the age of cosmology and neuroscience, not to mention crowd-sourcing and cable news? The acclaimed philosopher and novelist Rebecca Newberger Goldstein provides a dazzlingly original plunge into the drama of philosophy, revealing its hidden role in today’s debates on religion, morality, politics, and science. At the origin of Western philosophy stands Plato, who got about as much wrong as one would expect from a thinker who lived 2,400 years ago. But Plato’s role in shaping philosophy was pivotal. On her way to considering the place of philosophy in our ongoing intellectual life, Goldstein tells a new story of its origin, re-envisioning the extraordinary culture that produced the man who produced philosophy. more

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  • The Sugar Season: A Year in the Life of Maple Syrup, and One Family’s Quest for the Sweetest Harvest

    The Sugar Season: A Year in the Life of Maple Syrup, and One Family’s Quest for the Sweetest Harvest

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Douglas Whynott
    Format:   
    Publisher:   Da Capo Press (2014, Mar 4th).
    Pages:   

    A year in the life of one New England family as they work to preserve an ancient, lucrative, and threatened agricultural art--the sweetest harvest, maple syrup...How has one of America's oldest agricultural crafts evolved from a quaint enterprise with "sugar parties" and the delicacy "sugar on snow" to a modern industry?At a sugarhouse owned by maple syrup entrepreneur Bruce Bascom, 80,000 gallons of sap are processed daily during winter's end. In The Sugar Season, Douglas Whynott follows Bascom through one tumultuous season, taking us deep into the sugarbush, where sunlight and sap are intimately related and the sound of the taps gives the woods a rhythm and a ring. Along the way, he reveals the inner workings of the multimillion-dollar maple sugar industry. more

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  • Kitty Genovese: The Murder, the Bystanders, the Crime that Changed America

    Kitty Genovese: The Murder, the Bystanders, the Crime that Changed America

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Catherine Pelonero
    Format:   Hardcover
    Publisher:   W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (2014, Mar 3rd).
    Pages:   288

    From Barnes & Noble"THIRTY-EIGHT WHO SAW MURDER DIDN'T CALL THE POLICE." Queens, New York bar manager Kitty Genovese was almost completely unknown during the twenty-eight years of her brief life, but that one 1964 headline trumpeted a New York Times article that turned her demise into a topic of national interest, almost obsession. This story of a young woman betrayed by the passivity of her neighbors was debunked decades ago, but it persists even now, popping up in recent years in a documentary and two bestsellers. This new book by veteran journalist and award-winning author Kevin Cook (Titanic Thompson; Tommy's Honor) finally tells the full story of a lonely death and its aftermath. Editor's recommendation. Publishers Weekly11/11/2013 In his latest book, Cook (Titanic Thompson) disproves the popular belief about the 1964 murder of Catherine "Kitty" Genovese in Kew Gardens, Queens—that 38 neighbors watched her being stabbed to death from the safety of their apartment windows, and did nothing to help, a phenomenon dubbed the "Bystander Effect" by social scientists. more

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  • The Golden Thread: A History of Writing

    The Golden Thread: A History of Writing

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Ewan Clayton
    Format:   
    Publisher:   Counterpoint (2014, Feb 11th).
    Pages:   

    From the simple representative shapes used to record transactions of goods and services in ancient Mesopotamia, to the sophisticated typographical resources available to the twenty-first-century users of desktop computers, the story of writing is the story of human civilization itself.Calligraphy expert Ewan Clayton traces the history of an invention which—ever since our ancestors made the transition from a nomadic to an agrarian way of life in the eighth century BC—has been the method of codification and dissemination of ideas in every field of human endeavour, and a motor of cultural, scientific and political progress. He explores the social and cultural impact of, among other stages, the invention of the alphabet; the replacement of the papyrus scroll with the codex in the late Roman period; the perfecting of printing using moveable type in the fifteenth century and the ensuing spread of literacy; the industrialization of printing during the Industrial Revolution; the impact of artistic Modernism on the written word in the early twentieth century—and of the digital switchover at the century’s close. more

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  • Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire: A Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival

    Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire: A Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Peter Stark
    Format:   
    Publisher:   Ecco (2014, Mar 4th).
    Pages:   

    In the tradition of The Lost City of Z and Skeleton in the Zahara, Astoria is the thrilling, true-adventure tale of the 1810 Astor Expedition, an epic, now forgotten, three-year journey to forge an American empire on the Pacific Coast. Peter Stark offers a harrowing saga in which a band of explorers battled nature, starvation, and madness to establish the first American settlement in the Pacific Northwest and opened up what would become the Oregon trail, permanently altering the nation's landscape and its global standing.Six years after Lewis and Clark's began their journey to the Pacific Northwest, two of the Eastern establishment's leading figures, John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson, turned their sights to founding a colony akin to Jamestown on the West Coast and transforming the nation into a Pacific trading power. more

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  • Money Mania: Booms, Panics, and Busts from Ancient Rome to the Great Meltdown

    Money Mania: Booms, Panics, and Busts from Ancient Rome to the Great Meltdown

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Bob Swarup
    Format:   Hardcover
    Publisher:   Bloomsbury Press; 1 edition (2014, Jan 21st).
    Pages:   288

    Money Mania is a sweeping account of financial speculation and its consequences, from ancient Rome to the Meltdown of 2008. Acclaimed journalist and investor Bob Swarup tracks the history of speculative fevers caused by the appearance of new profitable investment opportunities; the new assets created and the increasing self-congratulatory euphoria that drives them to unsustainable highs, all fed by an illusion of insight and newly minted experts; the unexpected catalysts that eventually lead to panic; the inevitable crash as investors scramble to withdraw their funds from the original market and any other that might resemble it; and finally, the brevity of financial memory that allows us to repeat the cycle without ever critically evaluating the drivers of this endless cycle. more

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  • The Scarlet Sisters: Sex, Suffrage, and Scandal in the Gilded Age

    The Scarlet Sisters: Sex, Suffrage, and Scandal in the Gilded Age

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Myra MacPherson
    Format:   
    Publisher:   Twelve (2014, Mar 4th).
    Pages:   

    A fresh look at the life and times of Victoria Woodhull and Tennie Claflin, two sisters whose radical views on sex, love, politics, and business threatened the white male power structure of the nineteenth century and shocked the world. Here award-winning author Myra MacPherson deconstructs and lays bare the manners and mores of Victorian America, remarkably illuminating the struggle for equality that women are still fighting today.Victoria Woodhull and Tennessee "Tennie" Claflin-the most fascinating and scandalous sisters in American history-were unequaled for their vastly avant-garde crusade for women's fiscal, political, and sexual independence. They escaped a tawdry childhood to become rich and famous, achieving a stunning list of firsts. In 1870 they became the first women to open a brokerage firm, not to be repeated for nearly a century. more

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  • The Eternal Nazi: From Mauthausen to Cairo, the Relentless Pursuit of SS Doctor Aribert Heim

    The Eternal Nazi: From Mauthausen to Cairo, the Relentless Pursuit of SS Doctor Aribert Heim

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Nicholas Kulish
    Format:   
    Publisher:   Doubleday (2014, Mar 25th).
    Pages:   

    From the New York Times reporters who first uncovered S.S. officer Aribert Heim’s secret life in Egypt comes the never-before-told story of the most hunted Nazi war criminal in the world.Dr. Aribert Heim worked at the Mauthausen concentration camp for only a few months in 1941 but left a devastating mark. According to the testimony of survivors, Heim euthanized patients with injections of gasoline into their hearts. He performed surgeries on otherwise healthy people. Some recalled prisoners' skulls set out on his desk to display perfect sets of teeth. Yet in the chaos of the postwar period, Heim was able to slip away from his dark past and establish himself as a reputable doctor and family man in the resort town of Baden-Baden. His story might have ended there, but for certain rare Germans who were unwilling to let Nazi war criminals go unpunished, among them a police investigator named Alfred Aedtner. more

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  • Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller's Tragic Quest for Primitive Art

    Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller's Tragic Quest for Primitive Art

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   Carl Hoffman
    Format:   
    Publisher:   William Morrow (2014, Mar 18th).
    Pages:   

    The mysterious disappearance of Michael Rockefeller in New Guinea in 1961 has kept the world and his powerful, influential family guessing for years. Now, Carl Hoffman uncovers startling new evidence that finally tells the full, astonishing story.Despite exhaustive searches, no trace of Rockefeller was ever found. Soon after his disappearance, rumors surfaced that he'd been killed and ceremonially eaten by the local Asmat—a native tribe of warriors whose complex culture was built around sacred, reciprocal violence, head hunting, and ritual cannibalism. The Dutch government and the Rockefeller family denied the story, and Michael's death was officially ruled a drowning. Yet doubts lingered. Sensational rumors and stories circulated, fueling speculation and intrigue for decades. more

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  • The Heathen School: A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Age of the Early Republic

    The Heathen School: A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Age of the Early Republic

    Author/Actors/Director/etc.:   John Demos
    Format:   
    Publisher:   Knopf (2014, Mar 18th).
    Pages:   

    The astonishing story of a unique missionary project—and the America it embodied—from award-winning historian John Demos. Near the start of the nineteenth century, as the newly established United States looked outward toward the wider world, a group of eminent Protestant ministers formed a grand scheme for gathering the rest of mankind into the redemptive fold of Christianity and “civilization.” Its core element was a special school for “heathen youth” drawn from all parts of the earth, including the Pacific Islands, China, India, and, increasingly, the native nations of North America. If all went well, graduates would return to join similar projects in their respective homelands. more

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