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Every day we hear that the rise of populism threatens democracy around the world, but is this really true? Did populism cause the current crisis, or is it the other way around? To understand the state of our politics right now, we must get to grips with this contested concept. Simon Tormey breaks down the defining aspects of populism, what sets it apart from other styles of politics, and what - if anything - we ought to do about it.
Stand Up Paddleboarding is the fastest growing watersport worldwide. The comparatively low cost, the convenience of inflatable boards and the fact that you can just get on and go all add up to its appeal. But, as with everything, a little bit of knowledge and technique makes the experience so much more enjoyable! That is where this book - the first UK how-to book on paddleboarding - comes in. It provides a perfect introduction to the sport: how to paddleboard, what kit to use and where to go. The book guides you through launching, the correct stance, paddling in a straight line, the different types of turns and landing. It shows you how to choose your board and paddle, inflate and deflate an inflatable board, and talks about where to ride as well as weather, safety, maintenance and repair of your equipment. It covers the main types of paddleboarding: touring, racing, surfing and yoga / fitness. All aspects are heavily illustrated with colour photographs making it easy to understand and clear to follow.
Surfing: A Beginner's Guide has been the go-to surf book for beginners since 1996. This third edition, now with the endorsement of Surfing England, takes you through all the vital steps to become a surfer: you will learn where to surf, when to surf and how to surf safely.You will learn the foundations such as choosing the correct equipment, which is essential to make any progress as a beginner; pre-surf preparation, including getting fit with tips and advice; and your first surfer steps on the beach and in the ocean. All these stages lead up to you catching your very first wave and the surfing bug. The sea is renowned for its beauty, but infamous for its dangers. Alf provides you with transferable skills to safely enjoy your new hobby. Safety features heavily in the book, and you will learn all the basic common-sense aspects of surfing that even the most experienced surfer forgets.
Jesus: A Beginner's Guide introduces Jesus, the man and his enduring legacy. Separating fact from fiction, Professor Le Donne places Jesus within the context of first-century Judaism, and explores the debate about his status as 'Son of God' among the early Christians. He then follows his legacy through medieval Europe, and compares the various cultural Jesuses in enlightenment and post-enlightenment thought.
Oil is the lifeblood of the modern world. Without it, there would be no planes, no plastic, no exotic produce, and a global political landscape few would recognise. Humanity's dependence upon oil looks set to continue for decades to come, but what is it? Fully updated and packed with fascinating facts to fuel dinner party debate, Professor Vaclav Smil's Oil: A Beginner's Guide explains all matters related to the 'black stuff', from its discovery in the earth right through to the controversy that surrounds it today.
Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, and one of the most feared diagnoses a patient can face. The number of new cases is expected to rise by 70% over the next two decades, but few of us understand what it is, how it affects the body or what can be done to treat and even prevent it. In this illuminating introduction, Dr Paul Scotting explains the science behind the disease and explores the factors that can increase our risk of developing cancer. Fully revised and updated, Cancer: A Beginner's Guide details the latest breakthroughs, cutting-edge developments and promising new strategies that will help us combat and cure cancer in the future.
In this highly topical introduction, Professor Raymond Wacks explains and evaluates the leading theories of justice that have shaped our societies and their legislative and judicial systems, and explores the extent to which fundamental notions like fairness, equality and freedom are reflected in contemporary society. By analysing some of the world's most pressing challenges, including terrorism, corruption and migration, Justice: A Beginner's Guide shows how these ideas are applied in practice - and how far we still have to go to achieve social justice.
This definitive guide includes a unique chapter-by-chapter playlist for the reader. Jazz: A Beginner's Guide is a lively and highly accessible introduction to a global musical phenomenon. Award-winning music journalist and author Stuart Nicholson takes the reader on an entertaining journey from jazz's early stirrings in America's south through to the present day, when almost every country in the world has its own vibrant jazz scene. En route we meet a host of jazz heroes past and present, from Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman and Miles Davis, to Keith Jarrett and Kamasi Washington. Each chapter is accompanied by a playlist designed to provide a stimulating and enjoyable entry point to what has been described as the most exciting art form of all.
With one famous equation, E=mc2, Einstein proved all matter can be described as energy. It is everywhere and it is everything. In this newly updated and engaging introduction, renowned scientist Vaclav Smil explores energy in all its facets - from the inner workings of the human body to what we eat, the car we drive and the race for more efficient and eco-friendly fuels. Energy: A Beginner's Guide highlights the importance of energy in both past and present societies, by shedding light on the science behind global warming and efforts to prevent it, and by revealing how our daily decisions affect energy consumption. Whether you're looking for dinner table conversation or to further your own understanding, this book will amaze and inform, uncovering the truths and exposing the myths behind one of the most important concepts in our universe.
Joseph Stalin began life as a frail child, with an abusive father and an inferiority complex. This triggered an early desire for greatness and respect that would eventually turn the young Bolshevik idealist into one of the most ruthless dictators in modern history. Like his contemporary, Adolf Hitler, Stalin was responsible for millions of deaths and inflicted barbaric cruelty on the Soviet people. But while Hitler is readily portrayed as a monster, Stalin has not been subjected to quite the same level of vitriol. In Stalin: A Beginner's Guide, renowned historian Abraham Ascher analyses new and old sources, separating truths from falsehoods to present an unvarnished portrait of the Soviet leader.
War has been a perennial feature of human history since ancient times, yet it remains a poorly understood phenomenon. It has done much to shape our world, from overthrowing leaders, establishing international governance, and inspiring social change, to destroying cities, dividing nations and breeding animosity. In this book, Dr Aaron Edwards succinctly combines political theories with historical realities. Using eyewitness accounts, war poetry and insightful analysis of a wide range of conflicts, War: A Beginner's Guide introduces the reader to the complexity and human face of war and invites readers to question whether violence is the most effective way to resolve disputes.
The wave of popular uprisings that swept through the Middle East promised to pave the way for democracy. It brought down dictators and captured the popular imagination, but for most of the region, peace and stability remain as elusive today as they have ever been. In this fully revised introduction, Oxford University's Philip Robins takes a close look at the issues plaguing the region. With each chapter focusing on a key theme, Robins weaves together the disparate countries into a coherent and entertaining narrative. From leadership and gender to religion and society, The Middle East: A Beginner's Guide is replete with case studies, astute analysis, profiles of key personalities, and even jokes from the region. There is no better resource for understanding the Middle East, both past and present.
Philosophers didn't always busy themselves with life's big questions. The earliest ancient philosophers were primarily concerned with the world of nature, including phenomena such as earthquakes and eclipses. But one enigmatic Greek named Socrates began to explore abstract ideas about human existence. What makes us happy? What is the nature of the soul? And what is our purpose in this universe? Professor William Prior elegantly guides readers through philosophy's formative years and key ancient texts. Organised into four themes - nature, reality, the soul and ethics - Ancient Philosophy: A Beginner's Guide is a lively introduction to the great thinkers who still send our minds reeling today.
From premonitions to apparitions, spoon-bending to mind-reading, the paranormal has bemused and mystified humans for millennia. In this Beginner's Guide, renowned author and scientist Dr Caroline Watt explores the evidence behind such phenomena. In the last one hundred years, parapsychologists have tried to determine whether it is possible to examine paranormal activity using scientific methods. Packed full of interesting characters, surprising incidents and novel experiments, this book takes the reader on a journey through this fascinating research. Parapsychology: A Beginner's Guide traces the history and evolution of parapsychology as a science, and provides a thorough and critical analysis of the research and evidence in the field today.
No one saw it coming. No pundit, no pollster and no political leader predicted David Cameron's Conservative Party would win a majority of seats in Parliament and his three main opponents would resign as party leaders. The consequences of the coalition also became clear as the Liberal Democrats fell dramatically from grace, and lost their spot as Britain's third party. And despite Scotland voting 'NO' to independence in 2014, the election result also threatens the Union, with the Scottish National Party winning all but three of the country's seats. In this timely edition, Richard S. Grayson analyses Britain's changing political landscape, and explores the role of the media, the European Union and the UK's 'special relationship' with the US. Thorough and incisive, British Politics: A Beginner's Guide is the perfect introduction to the structure, parties and personalities of British Government today.
In the wake of the phenomenal success of crime shows like CSI, forensic science has never been so popular. The obsessive attention that Grissom and his crew afford seemingly insignificant details, such as particles of dirt in a bullet wound and the presence of pollen in tyre tracks, have left audiences eager to know more about this field of study. In this fully revised and updated edition, real-life examples come under the scalpel as forensic scientist Jay Siegel follows the course of evidence all the way from the crime scene to the court judgement. In Forensic Science: A Beginner's Guide, all major areas are covered, including drugs, trace evidence, pathology, entomology, odontology, anthropology, crime scene investigation and the law.
The Victorian era was a time of unprecedented transformation, yet it is often understood only through the stereotypes of crowded factories, child labour and emotional repression. In this entertaining and scholarly introduction, Dr David Gange explores the political, social and economic realities that defined life for Victorian people. Weaving together the perspectives of historians and literary scholars with movements in art, science and ethics, Gange paints a colourful, interdisciplinary portrait of everyday life in nineteenth century Britain. The Victorians: A Beginner's Guide features such famous figures as Dickens and Disraeli, while offering a thought-provoking examination of how our perceptions of this pivotal period of history have changed.
From infallible Imams to Ayatollahs in Iran, Shi'ism has long been a prominent, if misunderstood, branch of Islam. It regards Ali, Muhammad's son-in-law, as the Prophet's legitimate successor. But theological differences between the Shi'ah and Sunni Muslims have led to sectarian violence, massacres and the desecration of holy sites. In this Beginner's Guide, Dr Moojan Momen offers an accessible and comprehensive overview of Shi'ism, tracing the history of the community, its leadership and doctrines, from its inception to modern times. Packed with useful tables, family trees and text boxes, this engaging and up-to-date guide is a perfect introduction to the historical and geopolitical causes of religious tensions still troubling the Middle East today.
Why study history? What's the point? Through compelling historical narratives, such as the assassination of President Kennedy, Dr David Nash introduces us to the central elements of the subject. Readers learn how history seeks to explain, categorise and make sense of events of the past. It is a search for truth which involves searching for sources and then scrutinising them to try and determine how reliable they are. Nash explores how new interpretations can change our understanding of what was previously an established version of history and what lasting contribution the study of history can make to society and, indeed, civilisation. Ideal for those with an emerging interest in history, the book is designed to provide readers with a toolkit for further investigation of the subject.
One of the most important yet least understood organizations in the world, the WTO is a lynchpin of globalization, allowing us to enjoy products and services from around the globe. However, it also lays bare the frailty of many industries, leading some to claim that it stokes unemployment and harms the developing world. In this engaging introduction, David Collins examines the goals of the WTO and the difficulties experienced by member countries struggling to adapt to the pressures of globalization. Refuting the argument that the WTO should expand its mandate to cover wider social issues, Collins demonstrates how this would confuse the organization's primary objective - to liberalize international trade. With case studies straight from the headlines and clear explanations of complex issues like regional trade agreements and currency manipulation, this lucid exposition is an essential insight into what the WTO does and how it fits into the world we know.
Markets, models, mechanisms and monopolies... most of us understand that economics is important, but what exactly is it - and what do economists do? In this fresh and engaging introduction, Oxford University's James Forder skilfully presents the key concepts crucial to mastering the subject. Combining theory with dynamic, real-life examples, he shows us why economics matters and how it shapes our world. Economics: A Beginner's Guide is the perfect introduction for anyone wishing to understand and interpret economic problems, both past and present.
'The principles of justice are chosen behind a veil of ignorance' - John Rawls, A Theory of Justice What is justice? How can we know it? How can we make our society more just? The most significant political philosopher since John Stuart Mill, John Rawls (1921 - 2002) grappled with such dilemmas. His work has been the source not only of academic argument, but also of political debate and legislative reform, arguing that we have a moral duty to organise society so as to rectify undeserved inequality. In the first introduction to Rawls's work which encompasses his entire career, Dr Paul Graham combines lucid exposition with thought-provoking criticism. Locating Rawls in the rich history of political thought, Graham explores a theory that remains fiercely relevant as the developed world sees unprecedented levels of inequality. For anyone concerned with how society works, this is a vital introduction to one of the great modern philosophers and to a subject that is crucial to how we live.
An updated edition of this best-selling introduction to the conflict. With coverage of all the recent events, the new edition of this best-selling book gives a thorough and accessible account of the history behind the Palestine-Israeli conflict, its roots, and the possibilities for the future. New material outlines recent developments, while an updated conclusion consists of a direct debate between the two authors, which raises many issues, yet offers real solutions to which future peace talks may aspire.
Should we aim to maximize happiness? Are there characteristics that we should foster within ourselves? Why is it important to act morally? From the ancient Greeks to Sartre, from utilitarianism to the categorical imperative, Ethics: A Beginner's Guide presents this vital topic of philosophy via its most influential thinkers and theories. With characteristic wit, philosopher Peter Cave steers us around well known and not-so-well known ethical traps - in the private sphere, in community life, and in relation to God and religion. As well as a guide to ongoing theoretical debates, Cave shows how the discipline helps us to confront topical controversies including those of the environment, abortion, and animal welfare. For anyone who questions how we ought to live, there is no better introduction to ethics and how it relates to twenty-first-century society.
In 1095 Pope Urban II launched the First Crusade to recover Jerusalem from the Seljuq Turks. Tens of thousands of people joined his cause, making it the single largest event of the Middle Ages. The conflict would rage for over 200 years, transforming Christian and Islamic relations forever. Andrew Jotischky takes readers through the key events, focussing on the experience of crusading, from both sides. Featuring textboxes with fascinating details on the key sites, figures and battles, this essential primer asks all the crucial questions: What were the motivations of the crusaders? What was it like to be a crusader or to live in a crusading society? And how do these events, nearly a thousand years ago, still shape the politics of today?
Munch's The Scream. Van Gogh's Starry Night. Rodin's The Thinker. Monet's water lilies. Constable's landscapes. The nineteenth-century gave us a wealth of artistic riches so memorable in their genius that we can picture many of them at an instant. However, at the time their avant-garde nature was the cause of much controversy. Professor Laurie Schneider Adams brings vividly to life the paintings, sculpture, photography and architecture of the period vividly with her infectious enthusiasm for art and detailed explorations of individual works. Offering fascinating biographical details and the relevant social, political and cultural context, Adams provides the reader with an understanding of both how revolutionary the works were at the time and of their enduring appeal.
Whether it's Tomb Raider or Roman coins, the conventional view of archaeology as a discipline solely preoccupied with long dead cultures is misleading. In fact, archaeology is better described as a mode of thought - one by which we can better understand our past, present and future. Indeed, by studying artefacts of past human activity, we can even learn to better tackle great contemporary challenges like high population density and climate change. Spanning the globe and centuries - from Mesolithic burials in Sweden to modern landfill sites in Arizona - Joe Flatman shows how to view the world with an archaeologist's insight. What does a discarded food packet reveal about contemporary consumption patterns? How can infrared satellite imagery tell archaeologists where to undertake expensive excavation projects? What can archaeology reveal about the beginnings of the human race? Replete with textboxes highlighting key case studies from the history of the subject, and containing invaluable diagrams and photos illustrating the reality of being an archaeologist, this is the essential primer to reading landscapes, objects, and places.
A king beheaded. A monarchy abolished. And a commoner leading a republic by military rule set in their place. The wars that tore through the country in the mid-seventeenth century - splitting government, communities and families alike - were a true watershed in English history. But how, with Queen Elizabeth I's Golden Age still in living memory, did such a situation arise? Exploring the period's political disputes, religious conflicts and military battles, Patrick Little scrutinizes the nature and practicalities of conducting a civil war on English soil, as well as the experiences and motivations of key factions and combatants. By assessing how the realities of life in England shaped the conflict -and were torn apart by it - this wonderfully readable Beginner's Guide gets to the very heart of how a people came to kill their king.
As scientists confidently look forward to average life expectancies hitting 100+ years in some Western societies, it's easy to forget how precarious our grasp on good health has been. It is a struggle no better demonstrated than by the myriad and extraordinary measures that humans have gone to - as diverse as animal sacrifice to stem cell transplants - in their quest to stave off death and disease. Acclaimed historian Mark Jackson takes a fresh, global view of mankind's great battle, exploring both Western and Eastern traditions. Examining ancient right through to modern approaches to health and illness, Jackson presents the orthodox and alternative practices and key turning points - sometimes for good and sometimes not - that determined how different cultures tackled disease. The result is a fascinating survey of the complex ways in which medicine and society have shaped one another throughout the ages.
No other political entity has shaped the modern world like the Roman Empire. Encompassing close to a quarter of the world's population and 3 million km2 of land, it represented a diverse and dynamic collection of nations, states and tribes, all bound to Rome and the ideal of a Roman identity. In the lively and engaging style that he's known for, Philip Matyszak traces the history of the Roman Empire from the fall of the Assyrians and the rise of the Roman Republic through to the ages of expansion, crisis and eventual split. Breathing new life into these extraordinary events, Matyszak explains how the empire operated, deploying its incredibly military machine to conquer vast territory then naturalizing its subject peoples as citizens of Rome. It was a method of rule so sophisticated that loyalty to Rome remained strong even afters its collapse creating an expansive legacy that continues to this day.
Today, more than ever, we live in a global world. Whether it's war, economics, politics, or law, our lives are influenced by a complex web of cross-border transactions. Dr Charles Jones ably provides the building blocks to understand these interactions, outlining the competing theories that attempt to explain them. Arguing that the strength of International Relations lies in its contradictions - it's not a single discipline but a fascinating mess of history, politics, economics, sociology, law, anthropology, and cultural studies - he provides a lively discussion of the limitations of the field, but also why it is so essential. Covering conflict, history, and theory, and with a major focus on the global economy, this is the perfect primer for aspiring students of International Relations, workers in an international context, and citizens across the globe.
1917: the year a series of rebellions toppled three centuries of autocratic rule and placed a group of political radicals in charge of a world power. Here, suddenly, was the first modern socialist state, a kingdom more bright that any heaven had to offer . But the dream was short-lived, bringing in its wake seventy years of conflict and instability that nearly ended in nuclear war. How could such a revolution take place and what caused it to go so very wrong? Presenting a uniquely long view of events, Abraham Ascher takes readers from the seeds of revolution in the 1880s right through to Stalin's state terror and the power of the communist legacy in Russia today. Original and shrewd, Ascher's analysis offers an unparalled introduction to this watershed period in world history
The New Testament writings are the foundational documents of early Christianity. But to fully understand them we need a broad historical awareness of the wider social, economic, political and religious context that produced them. Exploring the transition from an oral to a written tradition, this fascinating primer depicts the growth of the early church amid the Roman and Hellenistic Empires. Focusing on the composition and content of the Synoptic Gospels - those of Matthew, Mark and Luke - W. R. Telford furnishes the reader with an appreciation of the methods contemporary scholars apply to the Gospels and also offers an assured, in-depth guide to the texts themselves. Broaching difficult questions about the differing accounts of Jesus' life that the New Testament has left us, this is an invaluable starting point for anyone looking to understand the roots of Christianity.
From the atom to our societies, this is an unparalleled introduction to how the science of the small explains the biggest phenomena of life. Ever since the ancient Greeks conceived of the atom, humans have sought the smallest ingredients of existence. In the past century, the use of reductionism to understand behaviour has gained momentum as the quantum universe and the workings of the human mind have been uncovered in particle colliders and fMRI scanners. Acclaimed physicist Alastair I.M. Rae spells out how the powerful tool of reductionism works, from the level of subatomic particles, up through molecular chemistry, and beyond to our neural networks. How does physics explain consciousness? Can quantum mechanics be applied to the brain or mind? What can economists learn from reductionism? Rae's exploration is an indispensable guide to one of the most fundamental ideas of science.
Investigating a whole host of species from around the globe, the first short and affordable introduction to this growing field of study Byers ultimately makes the reader yearn to join him and watch animals for a living... an excellent example of popular-science writing. Booklist
Strap: A no-nonsense guide to the science of what we eat and how it affects our health Description: Shocking obesity rates, the rise of eating disorders, killer food allergies, super foods that cure cancer: as the headlines shout every week, we have never been more engaged, or struggled so hard, with what we put in our mouths. Separating fact from fiction, award-winning health journalist and nutritionist Dr Sarah Brewer combines the latest science with practical advice on what really matters to explain exactly how food influences our health and well-being.
Every aspect of the anti-capitalist world is covered in this helpful guide, from WOMBLES to Zapatistas, NGOs to environmentalism, Paris 1968 to Seattle, and beyond. Picking up where Naomi Klein left off, this is not so much a manifesto as a roadmap, which captures the essence of the movement, and also articulates a range of possibilities for future alternatives to the corporate domination of our planet.
Widely revered as the father of Western literature, Homer was the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, the epic poems which immortalised such names as Achilles, Cyclops, Menelaus, and Helen of Troy. In this vivid introduction, Elton Barker and Joel Christensen celebrate the complexity, innovation, and sheer excitement of Homer's two great works. Investigating the controversy surrounding the man behind the myths, they ask who Homer was and whether he even existed. Making parallels between Homeric hexameter and rap, and between his battle scenes and The Lord of the Rings, the authors highlight how his hugely influential epics deal with ageless questions that still confront us today. Perfect for new readers of the great poet and full of insights that will delight Homeric experts, this book will inspire you to discover - or rediscover - his masterpieces first-hand.
Since the 1979 revolution, Iran has been locked in conflict with the United States and Europe. Personified in the West by a series of bogeymen from Ayatollah Khomeini to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, this villainous mask obscures a far more complex identity, forged by a vibrant and chaotic history. Revealing the country's true face, acclaimed expert Homa Katouzian delves deep into Iran's past, exploring how an ancient civilization at a crossroads of diverse dynasties and religions grew to become an ethnically, linguistically, and culturally rich nation. Centuries of arbitrary rule and revolution - from the first Persian empires to the Green Movement - are brought to life as Katouzian offers fresh insight into this fascinating country. Asking where its future may lie post-Arab Spring, this is the perfect primer for understanding a country characterized by constant flux and controversy.
From the language of Shakespeare to the US presidential campaign trail, the Bible's influence is all around us. It is the most-printed book of all time, yet, upon reading it, we are met not by one work but by many: a complex mix of history and parable, law and prophecy. In this authoritative and impartial introduction, Paula Gooder ably guides the reader in how to approach this multifaceted text, and explores its enduring influence on Western culture, from Renaissance art to Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. Featuring textboxes focussing on key details, Gooder provides an illuminating framework for understanding the Bible and shares her infectious enthusiasm for the topic. Covering its origins, content and interpretation, this wide-ranging primer will be of invaluable benefit to those of any and no faith alike.
Philosophy, the love of wisdom , is the product of our endless fascination and curiosity about the world - the child of wonder. Through it, we seek to answer the most fundamental of questions: How do we know what we know? Does God exist? What is beauty? How should we live our lives? What am I? In this exhilarating tour, Peter Cave navigates all the main topics of philosophy with verve and clarity. Using witty and whimsical examples, including stoical sofas and Reg, the regular human, who just happens to carry his brain in a rucksack, Cave provides a welcome antidote to the dry textbook while covering everything from political philosophy to points of logic. Interspersed with helpful textboxes and underlining the enduring relevance of philosophy to us all, there is no better introduction for the aspiring sage.
Banned in public institutions in France and Turkey, mandatory in Saudi Arabia and Iran, no other item of clothing incites such furious reactions. The Islamic veil - a catch-all term that encompasses everything from a simple headscarf to the all-covering burqa - has, over the past decade, become a heated battleground for debates on everything from women's rights to multiculturalism. Elizabeth Bucar goes beyond the simplistic question of whether the veil is good or bad to ask instead why it has become so politically symbolic. Cutting through the condescension and fear that typify the debate, she reveals the huge diversity of women's experiences of veiling. Her illuminating global perspective takes in everything from the new veiling movement among the Egyptian middle class to hijab fashion in Indonesia. It will be invaluable to anyone looking to understand the veil beyond its status as shorthand for Islamic fundamentalism and female oppression.
In this illuminating tour of humanity, Joy Hendry and Simon Underdown reveal the origins of our species, and the fabric of human society, through the discipline of anthropology. Via fascinating case studies and discoveries, they unravel our understanding of human behaviours and beliefs, including how witchcraft has been used to justify misfortune, and debunk old-fashioned ideas about race based upon the latest genetic research. They even share what our bathroom tells us about our concept of the body - and ourselves. From our evolutionary ancestors, through our rites of passage, to our responses to globalization, Hendry and Underdown provide the essential first step to understanding the world as an anthropologist would - in all its diversity and commonality.
Author of Brave New World and The Doors of Perception, and inventor of the term 'psychedelic', Aldous Huxley was a global trend-setter ahead of his time. In this new biography Dr Kieron O'Hara explores the life of this great visionary, charting his transformation from society satirist to Californian guru-mystic through an insightful analysis of his life's work. Combining thoughtful biography, easy-to-use reading notes, and an insightful exploration of Huxley's continuing legacy, Huxley: A Beginner's Guide is the definitive introduction to one of the twentieth century's most influential thinkers.
The world's greatest importer and exporter, the European Union is an economic heavyweight with a GDP even larger than the US. But how much do we really know about the nature and aims of the EU, the benefits and costs membership brings, and its impact on peoples' everyday lives? And, in an increasingly multipolar world, can it ever emerge as a global superpower, or do widespread concerns about national sovereignty and serious questions about the Euro's stability mean that it is destined for an uncertain future? Featuring the most up-to-date assessment of the EU, its inner workings, external relations, and likely future development, this is the perfect introduction for anyone seeking to better understand European integration and what it means for Europeans as well as the rest of the world.
Boasting one of Western culture's oldest and richest literary traditions, French literature has long been a pioneer of style and innovation. From the farcical comedies of Moliere to the torment of Baudelaire's verse, it has inspired writers and artists everywhere throughout the ages. This comprehensive Beginner's Guide tells French literature's compelling story from the beginning right up to today. Highlighting its distinct qualities, Carol Clark explores how the literary styles of different periods took shape and shows what we can gain from reading classic and modern French works. With translations and explanations of noteworthy extracts from celebrated writers, this is the perfect introduction for anyone who wants to discover the delights French literature offers.
The result, Planet Earth: A Beginner's Guide, is an expedition into the origins, evolution, and workings of our home planet in which John Gribbin does what he does best: takes 4.5 billion years of geological history and digs out the essential bits, from the physics of Newton and the geology of Wegener to the environmentalism of Lovelock. Along the journey, he uses stories from history and more current events to bring the science to a human level. Gribbin's introductory guidebook - very much a first step into geology and geography for the uninitiated - is filled with his lively voice and unique view, as he takes on the subject of the Earth from an astronomer's perspective.
Art has existed for as long as humankind, but defining it is famously difficult. In this whirlwind tour spanning from prehistory up to the present day and beyond, Laurie Schneider Adams explores how art, and our views on it, have evolved. Delving into fascinating issues such as why some artworks can be so controversial, why a forgery can never be as good as the original, and what the future of art may hold, this beautifully crafted introduction provides a definitive overview of Western artistic tradition. Also providing a helpful guide to understanding art terminology and to reading artworks for meaning, Art: A Beginner's Guide is an essential tool for every budding art critic.
There is no question that the Torah is one of the most influential documents in Western civilization. It is the source of widely known characters like Joseph, Moses, and Noah, and timeless stories such as the Garden of Eden and the Exodus. Jointly authored by professors of Judaism and Christianity, The Torah: A Beginner's Guide takes a unique approach, exploring the interplay and dynamics of how these two religions share this common scripture. Drawing on both scholarly and popular sources, Kaminsky and Lohr examine the key debates, while simultaneously illustrating the importance of the Torah in western jurisprudence, ethics, and contemporary conceptions of the family, morality, and even politics.
To understand the world events today, you need to understand American politics. Exploring the principles enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, Jon Roper provides a sharp analysis of how history has shaped the way America governs itself. Examining the recent emergence of the right-wing Tea Party movement, President Obama's administration, American foreign policy, and the role of powerful lobbies, this is the perfect primer for anyone interested in the world's most powerful (and controversial) country.
What is art? Why do we find some things beautiful but not others? Is it wrong to share MP3s? These are just some of the questions explored by aesthetics, the philosophy of art. In this sweeping introduction, Charles Taliaferro skilfully guides us through different theories of art and beauty, tackling issues such as who owns art and what happens when art and morality collide. From Plato on poetry to Ringo Starr on the drums, this is a perfect introductory text for anyone interested in the fascinating questions art can raise.
Written by the world's leading experts and campaigners, Modern Slavery: A Beginner's Guide blends original research with shocking first-hand accounts from slaves themselves around the world to reveal the truth behind one of the worst humanitarian crises facing us today. Only a handful of slaves are reached and freed each year, but the authors offer hope for the future with a global blueprint that proposes to end slavery in our lifetime All royalties will go to Free the Slaves.
Gaining notoriety as the science behind the controversial experiments of the Large Hadron Collider, particle physics explores our most fundamental and mind-blowing problems: How did the Universe start? What are we made of? How small is the smallest thing? Without presuming any prior scientific knowledge, Brian R. Martin takes readers on a wide-ranging tour of the field, from its beginnings in nuclear physics to the discovery of quarks to present-day research into string theory, the mystery of antimatter, and the search for the elusive God particle.
Whether the fault of tedious teachers or hammy actors, Shakespeare is often seen as dry and impenetrable. In this fast-paced introduction, Ros King sets out to remind us of the sheer beauty and sophistication that can make Shakespeare's works a joy for any audience. Exploring his invention, wit, along with his uncanny characterisation, King argues archaic language should be no barrier to the modern reader. With summaries of The Bard's life and background, explanations of the plays' origins, and instructions on how to read his poetry, Shakespeare: A Beginner's Guide provides all the tools the general reader needs to embrace our greatest writer.
As one of the most fascinating and volatile forces on earth, volcanoes have long been the subject of worship, fear, and study. With the aid of famous 'case histories' Lopes provides a unique background to volcanoes, what they are, why they form, and how they erupt. From the Sunset Crater in Arizona and Krakatau in Indonesia to the exotic volcanoes of the outer solar system this guide illustrates the dangers of volcanoes and their importance in shaping the world around us.
Climate change is the greatest single problem we face as a planet. This important introduction skilfully guides us through the complex mix of scientific, political, social, and environmental issues to examine the manifold threats it poses and explore the possible futures for our world. Focusing on the fact that the point of no return, may in fact have already been passed, Boyd and Tompkins highlight the urgent need to start actively adapting to our changing climate if we want to avoid complete catastrophe.
In this clear and authoritative guide, Lavinia and Dan Cohn-Sherbok concisely examine the Jewish faith and its practices and explore what it really means to be a Jew today. From the nature of God to the divisions within Judaism and from worship to everyday customs, this introduction covers all the topics essential to an informed understanding of this highly influential 3000-year-old faith and its enduring traditions.
Often quoted yet highly divisive, Nietzsche remains an enigma long after his death. This clear primer moves deftly through the controversy to examine the philosopher's work in the context of his tumultuous childhood and Christian upbringing. Discussing his infamous declaration that God is dead, his posthumous association with Nazism, and his criticisms of conventional morality, this book is the ideal introduction to the much debated thinker and his extensive legacy.
The father of modern philosophy, Descartes is still one of the most widely discussed philosophers today. Putting rationalism above all else, he sought to base all knowledge of the world on a single idea: 'I think, therefore I am'. This introduction expertly summarises his thoughts on the dualism of mind and body, his proofs' for God's existence, and his responses to scepticism. Explaining how his life informed his philosophy, Bracken explains the philosopher's enduring significance.
Vast, diverse, dynamic, and turbulent, the true nature of Africa is often obscured by its poverty-stricken image. In this controversial and gripping guide, Tom Young cuts through the emotional hype to critically analyse the continent's political history and the factors behind its dismal economic performance. Maintaining that colonial influences are often overplayed, Young argues that much blame must lie with African governments themselves and that Western aid can often cause as much harm as good.
Since its inception in 1945, the United Nations has had a powerful but controversial influence on global politics. In this well-written and informative guide, Norrie MacQueen provides a clear introduction to its institutions, remit, personalities, and role in the modern world. Defending it from common criticisms of bureaucratic paralysis and bias towards the developed world, MacQueen argues that its limitations are due to the complex web of national interests that it seeks to reconcile.
Opera is often dismissed as outdated and excessive, and perceived to be characterised by excessive passions, sumptuous costumes, and ill-mannered divas. In reality, however, operas address the most fundamental and universal of human concerns - love, death, jealousy, greed, and power. Revealing the diverse reasons behind opera's lasting appeal, opera champion and expert Alexandra Wilson provides a lucid and engaging introduction to the agendas that have governed its composition, production and reception over the last four centuries, and explains the reasons behind its enduring appeal.
Epistemology is the philosophical study of knowledge. Without knowledge, scientific enquiry is meaningless and we can't begin to analyse the world around us. What is knowledge? How do you know you are not dreaming? Should we trust our senses? Presuming no prior experience of philosophy, this book covers everything in the topic from scepticism and possible worlds to Kant's transcendentalism. Clear and readable, Epistemology: A Beginner's Guide is essential reading for students and aspiring thinkers.
The mysterious art of magic has been a source of wonderment since before the time of Christ. Shape shifting between the supernatural practices of 'real' magic and demonstrations of dazzling illusion, magic has been used to conjure the evil eye, burn villages to the ground, slice women in half, and save men from being crushed to death by five tonnes of cement. Robert Ralley's history takes us deep into this magical underworld to reveal the astounding stories of some of the world's greatest magicians. From the astrology of the three wise men to Harry Houdini's escapology, and David Blain's endurance tests, Ralley illustrates the changing perceptions of magic and the dangerous balance between illusion, fraud, and devilry that still exists today.
Rescuing the subject from deadly dry theorists and -isms, Clare Connors focuses on the real questions that emerge when we read and study literature - such as how we find meaning and how literature relates to its historical context - before exploring the response of theorists. Using selections from works including poetry by Christina Rossetti and Annie Proulx's Brokeback Mountain, Connors unites theory with practice, revealing how enjoyable it is to think about reading.
The Northern Ireland conflict was one of the most bloody, protracted, and bitter campaigns of terrorist violence in modern history. Rooted in the partition of Ireland in 1921, over 50,000 people were killed or seriously injured because of the hostilities between Catholic nationalists and Protestant unionists. Despite the landmark Good Friday Agreement in 1998, violent incidents are still rife and new paramilitary groups are becoming ever more emboldened. This landmark introduction uses the latest archival material to chart the history of The Troubles and to examine the possible factors behind the political compromise of Sinn Fein and the DUP. Exploring the legacy of sectarian violence and inconsistent British intervention, the authors assert that, unfortunately, Northern Ireland is perhaps as fiercely segregated as ever.
The fifteenth century saw the evolution of a distinct and powerfully influential European artistic culture. But what does the familiar phrase Renaissance Art actually refer to? Through engaging discussion of timeless works by artists such as Jan van Eyck, Leonardo da Vinci, and Michelangelo, and supported by illustrations including colour plates, Tom Nichols offers a masterpiece of his own as he explores the truly original and diverse character of the art of the Renaissance.
Blamed for the bloody disasters of the 20th century: Auschwitz, the Gulags, globalisation, Islamic terrorism; heralded as the harbinger of reason, equality, and the end of arbitrary rule, the Enlightenment has been nothing if not divisive. To this day historians disagree over when it was, where it was, and what it was (and sometimes, still is). Kieron O'Hara deftly traverses these conflicts, presenting the history, politics, science, religion, arts, and social life of the Enlightenment not as a simple set of easily enumerated ideas, but an evolving conglomerate that spawned a very diverse set of thinkers, from the radical Rousseau to the conservative Burke.
At a time of unparalleled environmental change, there has never been a greater need for new ways of defending nature. In this forward-thinking work, Paul Jepson and Richard Ladle cover all aspects of modern conservation to provide a fascinating look into how we're fighting for the earth's species and habitats, as well as details on where conservation is heading, and how we can all contribute. Because, it'll be far more than just a pity when we lose the polar bears, pandas, and parrots.
Journalism today is moving faster than ever before. With web 2.0, blogging, huge media conglomerates, 24-hour news-networks, and tight legal frameworks, this introduction investigates the role of journalism in the digital age. With priorities shifting, do journalists still strive for truth or are they solely concerned with infotainment - driven by sales and ratings? This captivating guide explains the history of journalism, its everyday workings, and the ethical dilemmas that modern journalists face.
Feminism is arguably the most significant social movement of the last century and it is far from over. But what appears as a single, unified movement on behalf of women's liberation is really a fascinating coalition of social and political causes, goals, and ideals. By highlighting the themes that form the enduring nexuses between the three waves, taking powerful examples from feminist campaigns, and tackling timely issues such as genocide and war rape, Scholz invites us to join in with the lively debates and always germane challenges of feminism.
One of the most influential philosophers and theologians in the history of Western thought, St Thomas Aquinas established the foundations for much of modern philosophy of religion, and is infamous for his arguments for the existence of God. In this cogent and multifaceted introduction to the great Saint's work, Edward Feser argues that you cannot fully understand Aquinas' philosophy without his theology and vice-versa. Covering his thoughts on the soul, natural law, metaphysics, and the interaction of faith and reason, this will prove a indispensible resource for students, experts or the general reader.
Blending narrative with analysis, Peter Davies explores a time of obscene opulence, mass starvation, and ground-breaking ideals; where the streets of Paris ran red with blood, and when even the efficient guillotine was unable to despatch enough counter-revolutionaries for the needs of the Terror. Davies brings the subject up to date by considering the legacy of the revolution and how it continues to resonate in today's France.
In this clear and penetrating study, Ruth Kinna goes directly to the heart of this controversial ideology, explaining the influences that have shaped anarchism and the different tactics and strategies that have been used by anarchists throughout history to achieve their ends. Kinna covers themes both historical and acutely contemporary, including: Could anarchy ever really be a viable alternative to the state? Can anarchist ideals ever be consistent with the justification of violence? How has anarchism influenced the anti-globalization movement?
It is a conundrum that has vexed societies throughout history: how do you deal with those that break the law? If their aim is to evade you, how do you identify them? If their aim is to lie, how do you interview them? If they don't see their actions are wrong, how do you help them to successfully reform? Criminal psychology is the discipline which tackles these challenges head on. From the signals which give away we're lying to the psychological profiling of violent offenders, this exhaustive guide, written by the UK's top experts, is the perfect introduction. Also covering policing, and the much debated topic of sexual offenders and their treatment, it will demonstrate how understanding the mind will help us to view modern justice from a more informed perspective.
What does classical music mean to the Western World? How has it transformed over the centuries? With such a rich tradition, what relevance does it have today? Julian Johnson inspires readers to explore the field, and examines how music is related to some of the big ideas of Western experience including spirituality, emotion, the weight of history, and self identity.
The world didn't end on 10 September 2008, but the possibility may have got you thinking: was it worth the risk? What is the point of science actually? Geoffrey Gorham considers these questions and explores the social and ethical implications of science by linking them to issues facing scientists today: human extinction, extraterrestrial intelligence, space colonization, and more.
Six types of execution are practiced in the industrialized world, torture is openly sanctioned by America, and infringements of people's civil liberties occur daily. Yet in 2005 only 61% of the British voting public chose to stand up for their rights. Explaining what civil liberties are and why they're worth defending, Tom Head shows how you can make a difference.
Focusing on the impact of engineering on society and the world, McCarthy details the development of the discipline, explains what makes an engineering mind, and shows how every aspect of our lives has been engineered: from gadgets to our national infrastructure. Long considered tinkerers, problem solvers, and visionaries, engineers hold the keys to our real and virtual future.
This guide exposes the reality behind the war between capitalism and communism, two ideologies divided by the Iron Curtain. New revelations show that what was once regarded as simply a struggle between good and evil was in fact a far more complex affair. Merrilyn Thomas peels back the layers of deception and intrigue and offers a penetrating assessment of the legacy of instability that continues today.
Weaving together intellectual history, philosophy, and social studies, Sean Johnston offers a unique appraisal of the history of science and the nature of this evolving discipline. Science is all-encompassing and new developments are usually mired in controversy; nevertheless, it is a driving force of the modern world. Based on its past, where might it lead us in the twenty-first century?
When we think of the word censorship , we imagine blacked out words and authoritarian political regimes of the past. However, censorship is alive and well today, and just as pervasive in capitalist democracies as repressive regimes. Offering a potted history of the phenomenon from the execution of Socrates in 399BC to the latest in internet filtering, Petley provides an impassioned manifesto for freedom of speech. Also explaining how media monopolies and moguls censor by limiting what news/entertainment they impart, this is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in global media in the information age.
The Middle East is notorious in the West for many reasons; few of them are positive. Synonymous with terrorism, oil riches, bad governance, corruption, and conflict, it has led many Western commentators to write it off as both backward and insular. In this pioneering introduction, Oxford University's Philip Robins argues that the region is plagued by the same problems that afflict the rest of the developing world. With each chapter focusing on a topic essential to a rounded understanding of the region, Robins weaves together the disparate countries into a coherent and entertaining narrative. From leadership and gender to religion and society, The Middle East: A Beginner's Guide is replete with case studies, astute analysis, profiles of key personalities, and even jokes from the region. There is no better resource for understanding the modern Middle East.
Critical thinking shows people how to analyze arguments, speeches, and newspaper articles to see which faults the authors are making in their reasoning. It looks at the structure of language to demonstrate rules by which you can identify good analytical thinking and helps people to formulate clear defensible arguments themselves. As people are always trying to put a certain point/opinion across in a variety of arenas in our lives, this is a very useful skill. With real life newspaper extracts, a glossary, exercises and answers, and a guide to essay writing, this is an invaluable tool for both students wanting to improve their grades and general readers wanting to boost their brainpower.
Jacques Lacan was one of the most important psychoanalysts ever to have lived. Building upon the work of Sigmund Freud, he sought to refine Freudian insights with the use of linguistics, arguing that the structure of unconscious is like a language . Controversial throughout his lifetime both for adopting mathematical concepts in his psychoanalytic framework and for advocating therapy sessions of varying length, he is widely misunderstood and often unfairly dismissed as impenetrable. In this clear, wide-ranging primer, Lionel Bailly demonstrates how Lacan's ideas are still vitally relevant to contemporary issues of mental health treatment. Defending Lacan from his numerous detractors, past and present, Bailly guides the reader through Lacan's canon, from l'objet petit a to The Mirror Stage and beyond. Including coverage of developments in Lacanian psychoanalysis since his death, this is the perfect introduction to the great modern theorist.
Winston Churchill, Andy Warhol, Walt Disney, Tom Cruise, Agatha Christie, Pablo Picasso. All famous and successful in their chosen professions. All dyslexic. Around 5 to 15% of speakers of alphabetic languages (e.g. English, French and Spanish) are dyslexic; around 4% severely so. But what is dyslexia? Are there different types of dyslexia? Is it more likely to occur in boys than in girls? Is there a cure? What resources are available to help dyslexic children and adults? Nicola Brunswick answers these, and other, questions informed by current thinking and cutting-edge research. Includes chapters on the causes and symptoms of dyslexia, the importance of sound and vision to reading, the incidence and manifestation of dyslexia across alphabetic and non-alphabetic languages, and lists of dedicated dyslexia resources - support associations, websites, and assistive technology.
A much-needed introductory level book on this widely studied subject. Isaac Asimov said that whatever the tortures of hell, I think the boredom of heaven would be even worse. Such quandaries are the bread and butter of philosophy of religion. Questioning why evil exists, whether God could create a stone he couldn't lift, and if the wonder of life suggests a Creator, this fascinating branch of philosophy is concerned with arguments for and against religion, and what form an immortal god (or gods) would take if in existence. Assuming no prior knowledge of philosophy from the reader, Taliaferro provides a clear exploration of the discipline, introducing a wide range of philosophers and covering the topics of morality and religion, evil, the afterlife, prayer, and miracles. Also containing sections dedicated to Hinduism, Buddhism and the Eastern religions, this helpful primer is perfect for students or the general reader.
The Qur'an has spoken to Muslims for over one thousand years; it is seen as law-maker, moral code, and the word of God. Drawing on both contemporary and ancient sources, Esack outlines the key themes and explains the historical and cultural context of this unique work whilst examining its content, language and style, and the variety of approaches, including fundamentalist, feminist, and modernist, that have been used to interpret it. Other areas covered include: the Qu'ran as evocative oral experience; understanding and interpreting the Qu'ran; the major themes of the Qu'ran, including such issues as truth, justice and gender relations.
From his many births to his deathbed deeds, this authoritative biography unites the Buddha of history with the Buddha of legend in a bid to reveal the lasting spiritual relevance at the heart of the Buddhist tradition. Acclaimed scholar John Strong examines not only the historical texts, but also the supernatural accounts that surround this great religious figure, uncovering the roots of many Buddhist beliefs and practices. Accompanied by helpful charts and tables, and drawing on a vast array of primary sources, the text also features such key topics as: biographical accounts from all the Buddhist schools, an analysis of the Buddha's enlightenment, the life of the Buddha as depicted by Buddhist art and rituals, and the relics of Siddhartha Gautama, and how they continue his story, even after his lifetime.
Why should we believe in God without any evidence? How can there be meaning in life when death is final? With historical adherents including such thinkers as Einstein, Freud, Philip Pullman, and Frank Zappa, Humanism's central quest is to make sense of such questions, explaining the ethical and metaphysical by appealing to shared human values, rationality, and tolerance. Essential reading for atheists, agnostics, ignostics, freethinkers, rationalists, skeptics, and believers too, this Beginner's Guide will explain all aspects of the Humanist philosophy whilst providing an alternative and valuable conception of life without religion.
From the introduction of Greek Philosophy into the Muslim world in the eighth century, right through to modern times, Majid Fakhry charts the evolution and interaction of philosophy, theology, and mysticism in the Islamic context. Highlighting key individuals, movements, concepts and writings, Fakhry also explores the conflicts and controversies between anti- and pro-philosophical parties that have characterised the development of Islamic thought. The book also features coverage of: the translation of ancient texts and their transmission to the Muslim world; the development of a systematic philosophy in Islam; theology, mysticism and the development of Sufism; Islam's interaction with western philosophy and theology; contemporary trends.
Murder, extermination, enslavement, ethnic cleansing, rape, and torture: all these actions constitute 'crimes against humanity' when carried out in a widespread or systematic way. And unfortunately, as is painfully apparent in the popular media every day, the international community still has a long way to go in eradicating such atrocities. In this compelling introduction, Adam Jones outlines the history and current extent of key crimes committed against humanity, and highlights the efforts of popular movements to suppress them. Using examples ranging from the genocide in Darfur and Rwanda and the sex trade of Eastern Europe to the use of torture on American detainees, Jones explores the progress already made in toughening international law, and the current stumbling blocks which prevent full compliance with it. Coherent and revealing, Crimes Against Humanity: A Beginner's Guide is essential for anyone interested in the well-being of humanity and its future.
Why do we become aggressive? How does the brain allow us to see, hear, and feel? Can listening to Mozart improve IQ? How do babies learn to perceive and think? How can we reduce obesity and cigarette smoking? Is being physically attractive an advantage? Psychology, the scientific study of the mind and our behaviour, has never been more popular. From TV experts to the amateur musings of your best friend, the language of psychology has permeated all aspects of everyday life. Here Martin reveals that modern psychology concerns far more than the everyday stereotypes of Freud, Jung, and 'common sense' advice. This Beginner's Guide is informed by the latest cutting-edge research and provides a vibrant and witty exploration of our senses, how our memory works, and what determines our intelligence, development, and personality.
Since the terrible events of 9/11, more attention than ever has been paid to the threats and challenges posed by contemporary terrorists. From suicide bombers to the latest cybertechnology, Leonard Weinberg's readable and objective introduction explains who the terrorists are, where they came from, what motivates them and what, if anything, can be done to stop them. It provides a fascinating insight into such mythical figures as Carlos the Jackal and Osama bin Laden, while also offering a full account of how terrorist 'cells' operate and what they might do in the future. With full resources, including a chronology and list of further reading on the subject, anyone interested in matters of public security and international crises will find this essential reading.
Tomorrow begins right here as we embark on an enthralling and jargon-free journey into the world of computers and the inner recesses of the human mind. Readers encounter everything from the nanotechnology used to make insect-like robots, to the computers that perform surgery and, reminiscent of films like Terminator, computers that can learn by teaching themselves. Assuming no technical expertise whatsoever, author Blay Whitby steers a careful course through this futuristic world, revealing the pervasive impact of AI on our daily lives, in addition to discovering the biggest controversies to dog this fascinating field.
Existentialism pervades modern culture, yet if you ask most people what it means, they won't be able to tell you. In this lively and topical introduction, Wartenberg reveals a vibrant mode of philosophical inquiry that addresses concerns at the heart of the existence of every human being. Wartenberg uses classic films, novels, and plays to present the ideas of now-legendary Existentialist thinkers from Nietzsche and Camus to Sartre and Heidegger and to explore central concepts, including Freedom, Anxiety, and the Absurd. Special attention is paid to the views of Simone de Beauvoir and Franz Fanon, who use the theories of Existentialism to address gender and colonial oppression.
Why do good things happen to bad people? Can we prove whether God exists? What is the difference between right and wrong? Medieval Philosophers were centrally concerned with such questions: questions which are as relevant today as a thousand years ago when the likes of Anselm and Aquinas sought to resolve them. In this fast-paced, enlightening guide, Sharon M. Kaye takes us on a whistle-stop tour of medieval philosophy, revealing the debt it owes to Aristotle and Plato, and showing how medieval thought is still inspiring philosophers and thinkers today. With new translations of numerous key extracts, Kaye directly introduces the reader to the philosophers' writings and the criticisms levied against them. Including helpful textboxes throughout the book detailing key thinkers, this is an entertaining and comprehensive primer for students and general readers alike.
An icon of philosophy and psychology during the first half of the 20th century, Dewey is known as the father of Functional Psychology and a pivotal figure of the Pragmatist movement as well as the progressive movement in education. This concise and critical look at Dewey's work examines his unique take on morality, art, and religion, his naturalistic approach to science and psychology, and his contribution to political thought. The author of over forty books across a range of topic, Dewey's legacy remains not only through the works he left us, but also through the institutions he founded, which include The New School for Social Research in New York City and the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. Hildebrand's biography brilliantly interweaves the different strands of Dewey's thought, and examines the legacy he left behind.
The Beat Generation were a radical group of American writers whose relaxed, gritty and candid writing inspired generations. In his chronicle of the origins, adventures, and inner workings of the Beat movement, Christopher Gair reveals how it sparked one of the most important revolutions in American literature, influencing everything from bebop to the Beastie Boys.
The Middle East is in deadlock There are two sides in this conflict This is the only book that allows both sides to be heard THE PALESTINE PERSPECTIVE - DR DAWOUD EL-ALAMI The creation of the state of Israel was at the expense of the Palestinians. The indigenous Arab population of Palestine has been systematically discriminated against since the Balfour Declaration in 1917, which created Israel for the Jews at the expense of a native population, which has been denied its own nationhood and become a dispossessed, marginalized people. THE ISRAELI PERSPECTIVE - RABBI PROFESSOR DAN COHN-SHERBOK Over the centuries, the Jews have been exposed to hatred and violence in many of the countries where they have settled. What could be more justified than the creation of a homeland for the Jews in the land of their origins, Israel - a state where Jewish national identity can be recognized, and where the inhabitants can finally be safe from persecution? With coverage of all the most recent events, this fully-updated edition of the essential bestselling guide to the Palestine-Israeli conflict explores the history, motivations and people behind a dispute that has been setting the Middle East ablaze for over sixty years.
The Apostle Paul has shaped the course of Christian ethics for centuries and is widely regarded as the most influential theologian in the Christian tradition. In this authoritative introduction, Morna D. Hooker offers a female perspective on a figure usually portrayed as a conservative misogynist. Looking behind the epistles to reconstruct the real man and his beliefs, she places the scriptures in their original context and suggests a consistent and coherent Pauline theology. Original and thought-provoking, this concise study is essential reading for all who seek to learn more about the most controversial figure in Christianity.
Although one of the most influential thinkers of the last millennium, Karl Marx was relatively unheralded during most of his lifetime. Famous for predicting the inevitable demise of capitalism, it was only after his death that his immortal clarion call reached a wide audience: Workers of the world unite - you have nothing to lose but your chains. Andrew Collier breathes new life into the achievements of Karl Marx, arguing that his work is still of vital relevance in today's global climate of inequality. Covering all the elements of Marxist thought from his early writings to his masterpiece, Das Kapital, Collier probes the apparent inconsistencies in Marx's work and reclaims him as a philosopher and political theorist. This jargon-free introduction is a timely reminder of his undiminished influence, and will fascinate students, activists and interested readers alike.
It has been remarked that if the brain were so simple we could understand it, we would be so simple we couldn't. Commencing with a brief history of neuroscience, from the ancient practice of drilling holes in the head to relieve headaches to the latest results from MRI and CT scans, this accessible guide sets out to explore exactly what we do know about the brain. Including the most up-to-date research on the cerebral processes behind a wide array of human activity - from our capacity for language to how we remember - this lively and entertaining introduction assumes no previous scientific knowledge and offers a tantalizing glimpse into man's most complex organ.
The youngest of the world religions and the second most widespread after Christianity, the Baha'i Faith is well known for its belief in the oneness of all religions. In this clear, readable, and informative guide, Momen provides a vibrant introduction to all aspects of this fast-expanding faith, which now has over 5.5 million adherents. From its teachings on the spiritual development of the individual to the belief in the need for world peace, Momen's comprehensive study gives anyone interested in the contemporary religious landscape an authoritative insight into this 150-year old tradition, whose spiritual and social teachings are so much in tune with the concerns of today.
Spanning the centuries and crossing the globe, this engaging introduction covers everything Daoist, from the religion of the ancients to 21st century T'ai Chi and meditation. Complete with a timeline of Daoist history and a full glossary, Daoism: A Beginner's Guide will prove invaluable not only to students, but also to general readers who wish to learn more about the origins and nature of a profound tradition, and about its role and relevance in our fast-moving 21st century existence.
William C. Chittick, the leading scholar in the field, offers a compelling insight into the origins, context, and key themes of this fascinating movement. After a general overview of the tradition, he draws upon the words of some of the greatest Sufi writers - among them Ibn Arabi, Baha Walad and Rumi himself - to give a fresh and revealing perspective on the teachings and beliefs of Sufism and its proponents. Fresh and authoritative, this sympathetic book will be appreciated by anyone interested in Sufism, from complete beginners to students, scholars and experts alike.
Explaining the origins, beliefs, scriptures and philosophies of this ancient religion, Klaus K. Klostermaier succeeds in capturing the rich diversity of rituals and gods that comprise Hinduism, while keeping the tone both engaging and informative. Covering contemporary issues such as the relationship between Hinduism and modern Western ideas, and imminent challenges the religion faces, this sweeping exploration of a fascinating and long-lasting belief system is essential reading for students, followers, and interested readers alike.
From original sin to eternal life, the function of prayer to the role of the church, renowned theologian Keith Ward offers a comprehensive survey of the diversity of Christian thinking in this introduction to the world's largest faith. By presenting three different interpretations for over fifteen key doctrines, he invites anyone interested in the contemporary spiritual landscape to consider the Christian faith from a new and refreshing perspective.
Famous for being ruthless, cruel, and cool, the Mafia has always captured the darker side of the imagination. Here, James Finckenauer debunks the myths surrounding the Mafia to reveal the harsh realities of global organized crime from Japan to Russia to Colombia. Despite popular appeal, these incredibly complex organizations destabilize society on a global scale, perpetuating untold economic, physical, psychological, and societal damage. Mafia and Organized Crime: A Beginner's Guide provides vital insight into the real stories behind the world's richest and most successful criminals.
Would you drink milk from a cloned cow? Should we clone extinct or endangered species? Are we justified in using stem cells to develop cures? When will we clone the first human? Ever since Dolly the sheep, such questions have rarely been far from the public consciousness. Aaron Levine explains the science of cloning and guides readers around the thorny political and ethical issues that have developed.
What's wrong with buying regular coffee? Does Fair Trade necessarily mean ethical trade? What impact can consumers have on global economics? Fair Trade: A Beginner's Guide reveals why Fair Trade means more than just bananas, coffee, and chocolate. Author and activist Jacqueline DeCarlo explains the principles behind Fair Trade and its development into a powerful economic tool. Packed with inspiring ways to make a difference, this book will encourage readers of all backgrounds to help end poverty,environmental destruction, and human exploitation.
Astrobiology, the study of life and its existence in the universe, is one of the hottest areas of scientific research. Lewis Dartnell considers some of the fascinating questions facing researchers today. Could life exist anywhere else in the universe? What might aliens really look like? Dartnell explains why Earth is uniquely suited for life and reveals our profound connection to the cosmos.
Small Arms are responsible for over half a million deaths each year. Despite this terrifying statistic, millions of guns flow into the streets of the world each year. It is a multi-billion dollar industry, and one which is barely regulated. From AK-47s to M16 rifles; from Terrorist-owned shoulder-fired missiles to child soldiers, this enlightening guide reveals the disturbing reality behind the murky underworld of international arms trading. Explaining how deals can often operate on the edge of legality, and listing the world's main players, it goes on to ask how the exchange of small arms can be tightened in the future. Full of insight and anticipating the danger of ever lighter and more powerful weapons, this is required reading for anyone who wishes to understand the world today and one of the key threats to development, prosperity and international peace.
Biologist John Spicer shows how closely our future is linked with that of biodiversity while navigating readers through some key problems facing our planet, including mass extinctions, population explosions, habitat destruction, and pollution. Along the way, he provides valuable insight into the impact humans have had upon the earth and its inhabitants, whether efforts such as ecotourism really help, and how scientists and economists calculate the 'value' of biodiversity. Passionately argued, this book is a must for anyone who has an appreciation for nature and wants to understand the real issues at stake in preserving it.
In this lively and entertaining introduction to the philosophy of mind, Edward Feser explores the questions central to the discipline; such as 'do computers think', and 'what is consciousness'; and gives an account of all the most important and significant attempts that have been made to answer them.
In an age where anthrax can be produced in a garage and multilateral agreements among nations seem ever harder to reach, the threat of biowarfare could rapidly spiral out of control. In this authoritative guide, international expert Malcolm Dando inspects the evidence rarely made available to the public, providing a comprehensive account of what biological weapons are and their prevalence throughout the world. From the history of biowarfare development programmes to the current state of weapons stockpiles, Dando takes care to include what he believes is necessary to reduce the availability and potency of biological agents in the future. Examining the backdrop of legislative wrangling and failed international agreements, this well-argued work interweaves politics and technology to reveal the reality behind this twenty-first century menace.
From quarks to computing, this fascinating introduction covers every element of the quantum world in clear and accessible language. Drawing on a wealth of expertise to explain just what a fascinating field quantum physics is, Rae points out that it is not simply a maze of technical jargon and philosophical ideas, but a reality which affects our daily lives.
Covering everything from fossilised dinosaurs to intelligent apes, this is an accessible guide to one of the most important scientific theories of all time. Burt Guttman assumes no prior scientific knowledge on the part of the reader, and explains each of the key ideas and concepts, including natural selection, genetics and the evolution of animal behaviour, in a lively and informative way. Looking ahead to the future of evolutionary theory, and assessing its possible implications for the way we understand morality, human nature and our place in the world, this book provides the perfect starting point for understanding what evolution is and why it matters.
Evolutionary Psychology: A Beginner's Guide is a uniquely accessible yet comprehensive guide to the study of the effects of evolutionary theory on human behaviour. Written specifically for the general reader, and for entry-level students, it covers all the most important elements of this interdisciplinary subject, from the role of evolution in our selection of partner, to the influence of genetics on parenting. The book draws widely on examples, case studies and background facts to convey a substantial amount of information, and is authored by the UK's leading experts in the field, from the only dedicated research and teaching institute.
As the U.S. strives to establish democracy in Iraq and contemplates its own democratic system in the wake of a series of controversial presidential elections, David Beetham offers new insights into democracy. He looks at real examples such as the role of the citizen and how large corporations affect democracy as well as contemplating the future of democracy in the developed and developing worlds.
Adopting the role of tour guide, award-winning writer Kevin Hart leads the reader through the pitfalls, conundrums and complexities that characterize postmodernism, while providing an overview of the many different approaches (philosophical, cultural, literary...) to the subject. All the major thinkers are introduced - from Derrida to Blanchot, Irigaray to Foucault, and more besides - while the book is unique among introductory guides in its consideration of the role of religion in a postmodern world.
This unique introduction takes a careful look at the role of religion and the spiritual dimension in the real world. Conversational in tone, but built on a solid foundation of knowledge, it covers an enormous range of issues in a succinct and straightforward style, from the origins of religious belief to the future of religion in today's spiritual landscape. Drawing on history, theology, sociology, philosophy and the words of great thinkers old and new, this lively little volume will both inform and stimulate.
Kayaking is a tremedously wide-ranging sport. You can go for a leisurely paddle on your local pond, travel down a river or experience the thrills of white water. It is trully a sport for life. This lavishly-illustrated, clearly-written guide will have you out on the water fast - and in safety. It covers how to get started, the equipment you'll need, launching, how to control the boat, basic manoeuvres, what to do if you capsize, the Eskimo roll and rescue procedures.