US psychologist Abraham Maslow's 1943 essay "A Theory of Human Motivation" established his idea of humanistic psychology as a "third force" in the field. He outlined a new approach to understanding the mind, saying humans are motivated by their need to satisfy a series of hierarchical needs, starting with the most essential first. He thought it important for the advancement of psychology to identify, group, and rank them in terms of priority.
Published in 1938, Cyril Lionel Robert (C. L. R.) James' The Black Jacobins is the little-known story of the only successful slave revolution known in history. It was this 12-year struggle of the African slaves in the French colony of San Domingo that led to the establishment of the Republic of Haiti in 1804. The uprising was inspired by the ideals of the French Revolution that had begun in 1789, just two years before, and in this work James goes to great lengths to show the relationship between the two upheavals.
In Philosophical Investigations, the Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein presents a radical approach to problems in the philosophy of language and the philosophy of mind. In fact, he sets out a radically new conception of philosophy itself. Published in 1953, two years after Wittgenstein's death, many still consider it one of the finest works of 20th century philosophy.
Reconstruction had the potential to make good on the promise of America's founders, bringing freedom and equality to all. Yet this promise was undermined by defiant Southern whites determined to protect their own privilege. Earlier interpretations of this period often blamed the failures of Reconstruction on black people. But Foner's analysis concluded that Reconstruction was an overall failure because whites prevented African Americans from becoming equal citizens.
Some people think nationhood is as old as civilization itself. But for anthropologist, historian, and political scientist Benedict Anderson, nation and nationalism are products of the communication technology of the era known as the modern age, which began in 1500. After the invention of the printing press around 1440, common local languages gradually replaced Latin as the language of print. Ordinary people could now share ideas of their own.
When American sociologist C. Wright Mills's The Sociological Imagination was first published in 1959, it provoked much hostile reaction. This was understandable: the book was a hard-hitting attack on how sociology was practiced - and on a number of leading sociologists. Mills was a fierce critic of both modern capitalism and Soviet-style authoritarianism, and argued that the sociology profession failed to look at how people's problems are connected to the structures of the society in which they live.
Ordinary Men is one of the most influential works on the Holocaust. Before US historian Browning's 1992 book, most Holocaust scholarship focused either on the experience of the victims or on the Nazi political ideology driving the slaughter. Browning investigates the stories of some who carried out acts of extreme violence, those who literally had blood on their hands. Who were they? What were their backgrounds? And how could they end up committing such unspeakable acts?
Competitors have always existed in business, but what if it were possible to render your competition irrelevant? This is the critical question posed in W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne's book Blue Ocean Strategy. According to Kim and Mauborgne, the path to success of any company does not lie in taking on potential competitors but in the creation of "blue oceans" in uncontested market space. The authors offer analytical frameworks and tools to help businesses identify and capitalize on these new opportunities.
Søren Kierkegaard has long been considered the father of the philosophical movement known as Christian existentialism, which focuses on the living human being. In his major 1849 work, The Sickness unto Death, he takes listeners on a journey from the human self, its spirit, despair and sin, through to faith.
Frantz Fanon's Black Skin, White Masks offers a radical analysis of the psychological effects of colonization on the colonized. Born in 1925 on the island of Martinique - at the time a French colony - Fanon witnessed firsthand the abuses of white colonizers and the system's effects on his country. His revulsion was only confirmed later in life when he worked as a psychiatrist in Algeria, another French colony. Fanon's work played a pivotal role in the civil rights movements of the 1960s and was later taken up by scholars of postcolonialist studies.
In his 1996 book The Clash Of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, American political scientist Samuel Huntington sets out his vision of the post-Cold War world. While the era from 1945 to 1989 was shaped by ideological conflict (communism vs. capitalism), Huntington predicts a future of cultural conflict.
Having witnessed some negative effects of democratic revolutions in his native France, Tocqueville visited America in 1831 to see what a functioning republic looked like. His main concerns were that democracy could make people too dependent on the state and that minority voices might not be heard - a problem he termed "the Tyranny of the Majority". By examining America thoroughly, Tocqueville hoped to show how a democratic system could avoid these pitfalls.
A self-educated man, Eric Hoffer was most likely born in 1898. He wrote in his spare time after doing shifts on the San Francisco docks, where he continued to work, even after becoming a successful author. Hoffer began writing The True Believer in the 1940s, as Nazism and fascism spread across Europe. Most analysts who were trying to work out how these movements became so powerful focused on their leaders and the ideas they trumpeted.
"Hoffer not analyzed"
Issues of human rights and freedoms always inflame passions, and John Rawls's A Theory of Justice will do the same. Published in 1971, it links the idea of social justice to a basic sense of fairness that recognizes human rights and freedoms. Controversially, though, it also accepts differences in the distribution of goods and services - as long as they benefit the worst off in society.
De Beauvoir's book charted the oppression of "the second sex" in terms never before seen in the academic world. Her most startling theory became a rallying cry for the feminist movement: "One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman." She argued that gender identity was shaped by upbringing in a world ruled by men. A leading light in the existentialist movement, de Beauvoir applied the radical philosophy of personal choice and freedom to argue that women were subjugated in every area of life.
First published in 1651, Leviathan drove important discussions about where kings get their authority to rule and what those kings must, in turn, do for their people. This is known as the "social contract". Thomas Hobbes wrote the book while exiled from his native England following the English Civil War that unseated King Charles I. In the face of England's radical - if temporary - rejection of its monarchy, Hobbes wanted to explain why it was important to have a strong central government, which in his time meant having a sovereign at its head.
Do people always act rationally and in their own best interests? US economist Richard Thaler and legal scholar Cass Sunstein did not believe so, and were convinced that psychological factors often stopped people from making the best decisions. Their 2008 work Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness argues that governments should "nudge" citizens to make better choices in all sorts of areas, from eating habits, to health, to financial planning.
In The Age of Revolution, renowned British Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm focuses on the historical period from the end of the 18th century to the middle of the 19th. He concludes that the "dual revolutions" of the time - the French Revolution and the British Industrial Revolution - changed the way the whole world thought about politics and power, and fundamentally shaped the modern era.
Peruvian priest Gustavo Gutiérrez's 1971 book, A Theology of Liberation, provides an inspiring and groundbreaking argument as to how Christians and the Roman Catholic Church should act in support of the poor. The Catholic Church had traditionally seen itself as politically neutral. In the 1960s and 1970s, however, reformers such as Gutiérrez urged it to seriously address real-world issues such as poverty and oppression.
When Charles P. Kindleberger's Manias, Panics, and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises was first published in 1978, the world was entering a new period of global economic turbulence. Established economists based their analyses on the assumption that investors act rationally, and these economists often communicated their ideas with dry, technical language. Kindleberger rebelled against convention. Using a more literary and descriptive style, he came up with a new view.
"Doesn't go into analysis"