Bill Bryson has been an enormously popular author both for his travel books and for his books on the English language. Now, this beloved comic genius turns his attention to science. Although he doesn't know anything about the subject (at first), he is eager to learn, and takes information that he gets from the world's leading experts and explains it to us in a way that makes it exciting and relevant.
"Very informative, fun to listen to"
In a miracle of concision, Paul S. Boyer provides a wide-ranging and authoritative history of America, capturing in a compact space the full story of our nation. Ranging from the earliest Native American settlers to the presidency of Barack Obama, this Very Short Introduction offers an illuminating account of politics, diplomacy, and war as well as the full spectrum of social, cultural, and scientific developments that shaped our country. Here is a masterful picture of America's achievements and failures, large-scale socio-historical forces, and pivotal events.
A Short History of Nearly Everything is Bill Bryson's quest to understand everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization. He takes subjects that normally bore the pants off most of us, like geology, chemistry, and particle physics, and aims to render them comprehensible to people who have never thought they could be interested in science. In the company of some extraordinary scientists, Bill Bryson reveals the world in a way most of us have never seen it before.
There are many stories we can tell about the past, and we are not, perhaps, as free as we might imagine in our choice of which stories to tell, or where those stories end. John Arnold's addition to Oxford's popular Very Short Introductions series is a stimulating essay about how people study and understand history. The book begins by inviting us to think about various questions provoked by our investigation of history, and then explores the ways in which these questions have been answered in the past.
In A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson takes his ultimate journey - into the most intriguing and consequential questions that science seeks to answer. It's a dazzling quest, as this insatiably curious writer attempts to understand everything that has transpired from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization.
"This audio edition is abridged!"
A Short History of Nearly Everything is Bill Bryson’s quest to find out everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization - how we got from there, being nothing at all, to here, being us. His challenge is to take subjects that normally bore the pants off most of us and see if there isn't some way to render them comprehensible to people who have never thought they could be interested in science. It's not so much about what we know, as about how we know what we know.
"If you only own one audio book, this is it!"
This Very Short Introduction looks at Africa's past and reflects on the changing ways it has been imagined and represented, both in Africa and beyond. The author illustrates important aspects of Africa's history with a range of fascinating historical examples, drawn from over 5 millennia across this vast continent.
This clear and concise new introduction examines all the major debates and issues using a wide range of well-known examples. It discusses the challenge of using verbal and written language to analyze a visual form. Dana Arnold also examines the many different ways of writing about art, and the changing boundaries of the subject of art history. Topics covered include the canon of Art History, the role of the gallery, 'blockbuster' exhibitions, and the emergence of social histories of art.
"a pretentious academic book:"
Best-selling author and renowned religious scholar Karen Armstrong presents a concise and articulate history of Islam, the world's fastest-growing faith. Beginning with the Prophet Muhammad's flight from Medina and concluding with an examination of modern Islamic practices and concerns, Armstrong delivers an unbiased overview. She contends that no religion is more feared and misunderstood by the Western world as Islam, and firmly challenges the notion that these two civilizations are on a collision course.
"Read the Book, pass on the audible!"
In addition, Remini explains the reasons for the nation's unique and enduring strengths, its artistic and cultural accomplishments, its genius in developing new products to sell to the world, and its abiding commitment to individual freedoms.
"Very thorough, easy listen, heavy on US Presidents"
The history of myth is the history of humanity; our stories and beliefs, our curiosity and attempts to understand the world, link us to our ancestors and each other. Myths help us make sense of the universe. Armstrong takes us from the Palaeolithic period and the myths of the hunters right up to the "Great Western Transformation" of the last 500 years and the discrediting of myth by science.
"Good but not unabridged"
From 1789 in France to 2011 in Cairo, revolutions have shaken the world. In their pursuit of social justice, revolutionaries have taken on the assembled might of monarchies, empires, and dictatorships. They have often, though not always, sparked cataclysmic violence, and have at times won miraculous victories, though at other times suffered devastating defeat.
"Jack Goldstone Ignores Reality"
Apart from The Last of the Mohicans, most Americans know little of the French and Indian War, also known as the Seven Years' War, and yet it remains one of the most fascinating periods in our history. In January 2006, PBS will air The War That Made America, a four-part documentary about this epic conflict. Fred Anderson, the award-winning and critically acclaimed historian, has written the official tie-in to this exciting television event.
"A thorough and absorbing history"
In the wake of its 30th birthday celebrations in 2006, BBC Radio Ulster marked the beginning of a new broadcasting era by embarking on the station's most ambitious project to date: a recounting of the history of Ireland.
"Three and a half?"
Praised for his erudite writing, renowned scientist Frank Gonzalez-Crussi penned this concise history of medicine, beginning with the most primitive health-care practices and ending with the technology of modern medicine that we enjoy today. As with all Modern Library Chronicles, A Short History of Medicine is a wonderful primer for anyone interested in the subject.
"Dull and Disorganized"
No city has had as powerful and as enduring an impact on Western civilization as London. But what made the city the perfect environment for so many great developments? How did London endure the sweeping historical revolutions and disasters without crumbling? Find the answers to these questions and more in these 24 fascinating lectures.
"Good Starting Place or Refresher"
It's surprising that the term "heterosexuality" is less than 150 years old and that heterosexuality's history has never before been written, given how obsessed we are with it. In Straight, independent scholar Hanne Blank delves deep into the contemporary psyche as well as the historical record to chronicle the realm of heterosexual relations - a subject that is anything but straight and narrow.
"The Title Says It All"
The birth of the United States of America signaled a deadly struggle that cost the lives of thousands of American and British soldiers. The conflict between the mother country, Britain, and the colonists didn't start overnight; it was series of events over a decade that finally led to the first shots being fired at the battle of Lexington and Concord. This bitter war would drag on for years, with battlegrounds scattered up and down the eastern seaboard of the now United States - few were spared the effects of the war.
The conflict between Palestine and Israel is one of the most highly publicized and bitter struggles in history. In this accessible and stimulating Very Short Introduction, Martin Bunton clearly explains the history of the problem, reducing it to its very essence - a modern territorial contest between two nations and one geographical territory. Adopting a fresh and original approach, each section covers a twenty-year span, to highlight the historical complexity of the conflict throughout successive decades.
In this Very Short Introduction, Linda Greenhouse draws on her deep knowledge of the court's history and of its written and unwritten rules to show readers how the Supreme Court really works. She offers a fascinating institutional biography of a place and its people--men and women who exercise great power but whose names and faces are unrecognized by many Americans and whose work often appears cloaked in mystery.
"The Making of Judicial Branch"