Superb. - Publishers WeeklyHow can we know about the lives of our ancestors who lived 30,000, or 300,000, or 3 million years ago? In The Extraordinary Story of Human Origins, Piero and Alberto Angela address the many difficulties and challenges that scientists face in assembling the record of human evolution.To piece together the intriguing puzzle of human origins it is necessary to study all clues that are made available by multidisciplinary research, including paleontology, biochemistry, geology, genetics, physics, and climatology. Like so many Sherlock Holmeses, researchers seek all possible clues and analyze them meticuously in hopes of being able to reconstruct the past. These pieces are few and fragmentary, ranging from the footprints left in volcanic ash 3.7 million years ago by hominids who walked exactly as we do, to a Y pattern on molars and mitchondrial DNA. But they all provide information on the diet, diseases, hunting techniques, and art of Australopithecus, Homo habilis, Homo erectus, the Neanderthal, and the first Homo sapiens sapiens.Written in an accessible but authoritative style, this study includes many lively reconstructions of the everyday life of our earliest ancestors based on the most reliable data. The Extraordinary Story of Human Origins makes available to a wide audience a unique look inside the exciting world of research into the the beginnings of human life on earth.Piero Angela is a well-known journalist and best-selling author in Italy, and is the host of a number of popular TV programs on science, technology, and the environment.Alberto Angela holds a degree in natural science from the University of Rome.
Reconstructs the history of Earth within the context of a single calendar year, from the formation of Earth in January to the appearance of humans in December
The Heart of the Comet
Author: Gregory Benford, David Brin
Publisher: Hachette UK
In 1986, Halley's Comet returned to our heavens for the first time in over seventy-five years. Heart of the Comet is the story of Halley's next return in the middle of the twenty-first century, and of a daring mission to explore and colonize this ice-covered wanderer. It is the thrilling saga of a multinational group of exiles who discover the comet's astonishing secret - the secret that threatens their very survival.
The Accidental Species
Author: Henry Gee
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
The idea of a missing link between humanity and our animal ancestors predates evolution and popular science and actually has religious roots in the deist concept of the Great Chain of Being. Yet, the metaphor has lodged itself in the contemporary imagination, and new fossil discoveries are often hailed in headlines as revealing the elusive transitional step, the moment when we stopped being “animal” and started being “human.” In The Accidental Species, Henry Gee, longtime paleontology editor at Nature, takes aim at this misleading notion, arguing that it reflects a profound misunderstanding of how evolution works and, when applied to the evolution of our own species, supports mistaken ideas about our own place in the universe. Gee presents a robust and stark challenge to our tendency to see ourselves as the acme of creation. Far from being a quirk of religious fundamentalism, human exceptionalism, Gee argues, is an error that also infects scientific thought. Touring the many features of human beings that have recurrently been used to distinguish us from the rest of the animal world, Gee shows that our evolutionary outcome is one possibility among many, one that owes more to chance than to an organized progression to supremacy. He starts with bipedality, which he shows could have arisen entirely by accident, as a by-product of sexual selection, moves on to technology, large brain size, intelligence, language, and, finally, sentience. He reveals each of these attributes to be alive and well throughout the animal world—they are not, indeed, unique to our species. The Accidental Species combines Gee’s firsthand experience on the editorial side of many incredible paleontological findings with healthy skepticism and humor to create a book that aims to overturn popular thinking on human evolution—the key is not what’s missing, but how we’re linked.
The Seventh Secret
Author: Irving Wallace
Publisher: Crossroad Press
Emily Ashcroft and her father, Sir Harrison Ashcroft, have set out to write a definitive biography of Adolph Hitler. Before they can finalize their manuscript, however, a cryptic letter from a German dentist sends Sir Harrison off to attempt the excavation of the site of the Führerbunker, where Hitler and his wife, Eva Braun, lived out the final weeks of their life before committing suicide and being cremated in a shallow pit. The thing is – maybe they didn't. Unfortunately, before the excavation can begin, Ashcroft is run down in a hit-and-run that would seem accidental – except the driver backed up and ran him over a second time. Armed only with the dentist's letter, her notes, and the determination to finish her father's book, Emily Ashcroft makes her own journey to Berlin. She is joined by a Russian museum curator, an American architect writing a book on Nazi and Third Reich architecture, and a Mossad agent, posing as a reporter. Together they uncover what may be the greatest hoax ever perpetrated – the faked death of the Father of the Third Reich, and the plan to bring the Nazi party back to power. Through harrowing adventures, steamy romance, impersonators, SS guards, and survivors they piece together the missing puzzle pieces of what really happened so long ago. The only question is – are they up to the challenge, and, as they begin to close in, can they survive it?
Argues that affirming the irreducible differences between men and women can lead to more transformative politics than the struggle for abstract equality between the sexes. In The Symbolic Order of the Mother Luisa Muraro identifies the bond between mother and child as ontologically fundamental to the development of culture and politics, and therefore as key to achieving truly emancipatory political change. Both corporeal development and language acquisition, which are the sources of all thinking, begin in this relationship. However, Western civilization has been defined by men, and Muraro recalls the admiration and envy she felt for the great philosophers as she strove to become one herself, as well as the desire for independence that opposed her to her mother. This conflict between philosophy and culture on the one hand and the relationship with the mother on the other constitutes the root of patriarchy’s symbolic disorder, which blocks women’s (and men’s) access to genuine freedom. Muraro appeals to the feminist practice of gratitude to the mother and the recognition of her authority as a model of unconditional nurture and support that must be restored. This, she argues, is the symbolic order of the mother that must overcome the disorder of patriarchy. The mediating power of the mother tongue constitutes a symbolic order that comes before all others, for both women and men.
Author: Bill Beckley
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing Inc.
An enthralling anthology of introspective thoughts from today's most highly esteemed artists, poets, and critics regarding the elusive subject of the contemporary Sublime. A companion to the critically acclaimed Uncontrollable Beauty, Sticky Sublime pushes the polemic on beauty even further, speculating where the beautiful and the Sublime will be situated in our post-postmodern, new technology era. Readers will discover intriguing essays by such respected creators and critics as Harold Bloom, David Hickey, Barbara Maria Stafford, and Anthony Haden-Guest, many of which were composed exclusively for this extraordinary guide. Art history lovers, academics, and anyone else interested in art appreciation will be surprised and entertained by what these internationally acclaimed authors have to say on an idea that has captivated and tangled the minds of great thinkers for centuries.
Russian literature, so full of enigmas, contains no greater creative mystery than Nikolai Vasil'evich Gogol (1809-1852), who has done for the Russian novel and Russian prose what Pushkin has done for Russian poetry. Before these two men came Russian literature can hardly have been said to exist. It was pompous and effete with pseudo-classicism; foreign influences were strong; in the speech of the upper circles there was an over-fondness for German, French, and English words. Between them the two friends, by force of their great genius, cleared away the debris which made for sterility and erected in their stead a new structure out of living Russian words. The spoken word, born of the people, gave soul and wing to literature; only by coming to earth, the native earth, was it enabled to soar. Coming up from Little Russia, the Ukraine, with Cossack blood in his veins, Gogol injected his own healthy virus into an effete body, blew his own virile spirit, the spirit of his race, into its nostrils, and gave the Russian novel its direction to this very day. More than that. The nomad and romantic in him, troubled and restless with Ukrainian myth, legend, and song, impressed upon Russian literature, faced with the realities of modern life, a spirit titanic and in clash with its material, and produced in the mastery of this every-day material, commonly called sordid, a phantasmagoria intense with beauty. A clue to all Russian realism may be found in a Russian critic's observation about Gogol: "Seldom has nature created a man so romantic in bent, yet so masterly in portraying all that is unromantic in life." But this statement does not cover the whole ground, for it is easy to see in almost all of Gogol's work his "free Cossack soul" trying to break through the shell of sordid to-day like some ancient demon, essentially Dionysian. So that his works, true though they are to our life, are at once a reproach, a protest, and a challenge, ever calling for joy, ancient joy, that is no more with us. And they have all the joy and sadness of the Ukrainian songs he loved so much. Ukrainian was to Gogol "the language of the soul," and it was in Ukrainian songs rather than in old chronicles, of which he was not a little contemptuous, that he read the history of his people. Time and again, in his essays and in his letters to friends, he expresses his boundless joy in these songs: "O songs, you are my joy and my life! How I love you. What are the bloodless chronicles I pore over beside those clear, live chronicles! I cannot live without songs; they... reveal everything more and more clearly, oh, how clearly, gone-by life and gone-by men.... The songs of Little Russia are her everything, her poetry, her history, and her ancestral grave. He who has not penetrated them deeply knows nothing of the past of this blooming region of Russia."
Author: George L. Mosse
Publisher: Univ of Wisconsin Press
Just two weeks before his death in January 1999, George L. Mosse, one of the great American historians, finished writing his memoir, a fascinating and fluent account of a remarkable life that spanned three continents and many of the major events of the twentieth century. Confronting History describes Mosse's opulent childhood in Weimar Berlin; his exile in Paris and England, including boarding school and study at Cambridge University; his second exile in the U.S. at Haverford, Harvard, Iowa, and Wisconsin; and his extended stays in London and Jerusalem. Mosse discusses being a Jew and his attachment to Israel and Zionism, and he addresses his gayness, his coming out, and his growing scholarly interest in issues of sexuality. This touching memoir—told with the clarity, passion, and verve that entranced thousands of Mosse's students—is guided in part by his belief that "what man is, only history tells" and, most of all, by the importance of finding one's self through the pursuit of truth and through an honest and unflinching analysis of one's place in the context of the times.
Author: David Evanier
Woody Allen is not only one of the great movie directors but one of the foremost creative artists of our time. In over forty-five movies, from Annie Hall to Midnight in Paris, and through a career that's included stand-up, play-writing, screenwriting, directing, and acting, Woody has evolved more than reinvented himself. In the first biography of Allen in over twenty years, David Evanier writes about Allen's private life as well as his very public career. He untangles fact from rumor about Allen's relationship with Mia Farrow as well as the great scandals that surfaced in the 1990s and recently resurfaced, and makes thoughtful connections between Allen's romantic relationships and the characters in his movies.In fresh interviews with collaborators, boyhood pals, family and friends, Evanier fills in fascinating details about where Woody came from, how he got his start, and how he has been able to be moral in his business dealings and make exactly the movies that interest him most with the people who interest him most, from Diane Keaton to Cate Blanchett to Michael Caine. Even the closest Allen-watcher will be riveted by Evanier's rich portrait: detailed but sweeping, Woody is the biography of an artist who has never lost his passion, talent and capacity to break new artistic ground, who has always been swept up in the creative act of becoming.
Masses and Man
Author: George Lachmann Mosse
Publisher: Wayne State University Press
Journey to Rome
Author: Alberto Moravia
Publisher: Harvill Secker
Tormented by the memory of being forced to watch his mother making love, a young man determines to exorcise it by recreating it in every passionate and erotic detail.
History of Hermeneutics
Author: Maurizio Ferraris
Publisher: Humanities Press International