Basic Books

  • An engaging guide to how Stoicism--the ancient philosophy of Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius--can provide lessons for living in the modern world Whenever we worry about what to eat, how to love, or simply how to be happy, we are worrying about how to lead a good life. No goal is more elusive. In How to Be a Stoic, philosopher Massimo Pigliucci offers Stoicism, the ancient philosophy that inspired the great emperor Marcus Aurelius, as the best way to attain it. Stoicism is a pragmatic philosophy that teaches us to act depending on what is within our control and separate things worth getting upset about from those that are not. By understanding Stoicism, we can learn to answer crucial questions: Should we get married or divorced? How should we bank in a world nearly destroyed by a financial crisis? How can we survive great personal tragedy? Whoever you are, Stoicism has something for you-and How to Be a Stoic is your essential guide.

  • @90@@20@In this entertaining and insightful analysis, cognitive scientist Don Norman hails excellence of design as the most important key to regaining the competitive edge in influencing consumer behavior.@21@@91@@90@@16@@91@@90@Even the smartest among us can feel inept as we fail to figure out which light switch or oven burner to turn on, or whether to push, pull, or slide a door. The fault, argues this ingenious-even liberating-book, lies not in ourselves, but in product design that ignores the needs of users and the principles of cognitive psychology. The problems range from ambiguous and hidden controls to arbitrary relationships between controls and functions, coupled with a lack of feedback or other assistance and unreasonable demands on memorization.@91@@90@@18@@16@@19@@91@@90@@18@The Design of Everyday Things@19@ shows that good, usable design is possible. The rules are simple: make things visible, exploit natural relationships that couple function and control, and make intelligent use of constraints. The goal: guide the user effortlessly to the right action on the right control at the right time.@16@@16@@18@The Design of Everyday Things@19@ is a powerful primer on how-and why-some products satisfy customers while others only frustrate them.@16@@91@


  • Atlanta is on the verge of tremendous rebirth-or inexorable decline. A kind of Petri dish for cities struggling to reinvent themselves, Atlanta has the highest income inequality in the country, gridlocked highways, suburban sprawl, and a history of racial injustice. Yet it is also an energetic, brash young city that prides itself on pragmatic solutions.
    Today, the most promising catalyst for the city's rebirth is the BeltLine, which the New York Times described as "a staggeringly ambitious engine of urban revitalization." A long-term project that is cutting through forty-five neighborhoods ranging from affluent to impoverished, the BeltLine will complete a twenty-two-mile loop encircling downtown, transforming a massive ring of mostly defunct railways into a series of stunning parks connected by trails and streetcars.
    Acclaimed author Mark Pendergrast presents a deeply researched, multi-faceted, up-to-the-minute history of the biggest city in America's Southeast, using the BeltLine saga to explore issues of race, education, public health, transportation, business, philanthropy, urban planning, religion, politics, and community.
    An inspiring narrative of ordinary Americans taking charge of their local communities, City of the Verge provides a model for how cities across the country can reinvent themselves.

  • Anglais The Collapse of Parenting

    Leonard Sax

    @90@In @18@The Collapse of Parenting@19@, physician, psychologist, and internationally acclaimed author Leonard Sax presents data documenting a dramatic decline in the achievement and psychological health of American children. Sax argues that rising levels of obesity, depression, and anxiety among young people@95@#151;as well as the explosion in prescribing psychiatric medications to kids@95@#151;can all be traced to parents letting their kids call the shots.@16@ @95@#160;@16@ Many parents are afraid of seeming too dictatorial and end up abdicating their authority rather than taking a stand with their own children. If kids refuse to eat anything green and demand pizza instead, some parents give in, inadvertently raising children who are more likely to become obese. If children are given smartphones and allowed to spend the bulk of their free time texting, playing video games, and surfing the Internet, they become increasingly reliant on peers and the media for guidance on how to live, rather than getting such guidance at home. And if they won@95@#39;t sit still in class or listen to adults, they@95@#39;re often prescribed medication, a quick fix that actually undermines their self-control. In short, Sax argues, parents are failing to prioritize the parent-child relationship and are allowing a child-peer dynamic to take precedence. The result is children who have no absolute standard of right and wrong, who lack discipline, and who look to their peers and the Internet for direction, instead of looking to their parents.@16@ @95@#160;@16@ But there is hope. Sax shows how parents can help their kids by reasserting their authority@95@#151;by limiting time with screens, by encouraging better habits at the dinner table and at bedtime, and by teaching humility and perspective. Drawing on more than twenty-five years of experience as a family physician and psychologist, along with hundreds of interviews with children, parents, and teachers across the United States and around the world, Sax offers a blueprint parents can use to refresh and renew their relationships with their children to help their children thrive in an increasingly complicated world.@16@@91@

  • A revised and updated edition of the groundbreaking work that changed the way we think about and treat traumatic events and trauma victims.
    When Trauma and Recovery was first published in 1992, it was hailed as a groundbreaking work. In the intervening years, it has become the basic text for understanding trauma survivors. By placing individual experience in a broader political frame, Judith Herman argues that psychological trauma can be understood only in a social context. Drawing on her own research on incest, as well as on a vast literature on combat veterans and victims of political terror, she shows surprising parallels between private horrors like child abuse and public horrors like war. A new epilogue reviews what has changed--and what has not changed--over two decades. Trauma and Recovery is essential reading for anyone who seeks to understand how we heal and are healed.

  • Americans today are frustrated and anxious. Our economy is sluggish, and leaves workers insecure. Income inequality, cultural divisions, and political polarization increasingly pull us apart. Our governing institutions often seem paralyzed. And our politics has failed to rise to these challenges.
    No wonder, then, that Americans--and the politicians who represent them--are overwhelmingly nostalgic for a better time. The Left looks back to the middle of the twentieth century, when unions were strong, large public programs promised to solve pressing social problems, and the movements for racial integration and sexual equality were advancing. The Right looks back to the Reagan Era, when deregulation and lower taxes spurred the economy, cultural traditionalism seemed resurgent, and America was confident and optimistic. Each side thinks returning to its golden age could solve America's problems.
    In The Fractured Republic, Yuval Levin argues that this politics of nostalgia is failing twenty-first-century Americans. Both parties are blind to how America has changed over the past half century--as the large, consolidated institutions that once dominated our economy, politics, and culture have fragmented and become smaller, more diverse, and personalized. Individualism, dynamism, and liberalization have come at the cost of dwindling solidarity, cohesion, and social order. This has left us with more choices in every realm of life but less security, stability, and national unity.
    Both our strengths and our weaknesses are therefore consequences of these changes. And the dysfunctions of our fragmented national life will need to be answered by the strengths of our decentralized, diverse, dynamic nation.
    Levin argues that this calls for a modernizing politics that avoids both radical individualism and a centralizing statism and instead revives the middle layers of society-families and communities, schools and churches, charities and associations, local governments and markets. Through them, we can achieve not a single solution to the problems of our age, but multiple and tailored answers fitted to the daunting range of challenges we face and suited to enable an American revival.

  • The inventor of the Gaia theory argues that is it too late to reverse global warming and that humankind must adapt to a rising global temperature.

  • Anglais Cleopatra

    Joyce Tyldesley

    An Egyptologist strips away preconceptions about Cleopatra in a biography of the Egyptian queen, detailing her intelligence and linguistic expertise, her liaisons with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, and her ruthless political maneuverings in pursuit of power.

  • Anglais The Vertigo Years

    Philipp Blom

    Examines how changes from the Industrial Revolution prior to World War I brought about radical transformation in society, changes in education, and massive migration in population that led to one of the bloodiest events in history.

  • In The Russian Revolution, historian Sean McMeekin traces the origins and events of the Russian Revolution, which ended Romanov rule, ushered the Bolsheviks into power, and changed the course of world history. Between 1900 and 1920, Russia underwent a complete and irreversible transformation: by the end of these two decades, a new regime was in place, the economy had collapsed, and over 20 million Russians had died during the revolution and what followed. Still, Bolshevik power remained intact due to a remarkable combination of military prowess, violent terror tactics, and the failures of their opposition. And as McMeekin shows, Russia's revolutionaries were aided at nearly every step by countries like Germany and Sweden who sought to benefit--politically and economically--from the chaotic changes overtaking the country.
    The first comprehensive history of these momentous events in a decade, The Russian Revolution combines cutting-edge scholarship and a fast-paced narrative to shed new light on a great turning point of the twentieth century.

  • Ukraine is currently embroiled in a tense fight with Russia to preserve its territorial integrity and political independence. But today's conflict is only the latest in a long history of battles over Ukraine's territory and its existence as a sovereign nation. As the award-winning historian Serhii Plokhy argues in

  • With the publication of Running on Ritalin in 1998, Dr. Lawrence Diller established himself as the country's leading expert on the use of psychiatric drugs to treat children. Since then, parents have clamored for his expertise on psychological problems beyond ADD, drugs beyond Ritalin, and, most important, how to decide whether or not drugs really are the best option for their children. More and more parents are asking the simple question: Should I medicate my child? In this authoritative and plainspoken book, which features a detailed, easy-to-access "Quick Guide to Psychiatric Drugs," Dr. Diller gives parents the tools they need to regain faith in their own judgment and make wise choices for their children.

  • Anglais Digital Soul

    Thomas Georges

    Should the day come when intelligent machines not only make computations but also think and experience emotions as humans do, how will we distinguish the “human" from the “machine"? This introduction to artificial intelligence – and to its potentially profound social, moral, and ethical implications – is designed for readers with little or no technical background. In accessible, focused, engaging discussions, physicist and award-winning science writer Thomas Georges explores the fundamental issues: What is consciousness? Can computers be conscious? If machines could think and even feel, would they then be entitled to “human" rights? Will machines and people merge into a biomechanical race? Should we worry that super-intelligent machines might take over the world? Even now we continue to put increasingly sophisticated machines in control of critical aspects of our lives in ways that may hold unforeseen consequences for the human race. Digital Soul challenges all of us, before it's too late, to think carefully and rationally about the kind of world we will want to live in – with intelligent machines ever closer by our sides.

  • In Conversations on the Dark Secrets of Physics, Teller returns to the fundamentals of physics to share with readers his unbridled enthusiasm for the world of physical reality--from the nature of molecules to quantum mechanics and superconductors, from the elementary laws of thermodynamics to how planets, asteroids, and comets develop their orbits. By simplifying the math and forgoing the often-confusing technical jargon, Teller helps the reader break through physic's bewildering formulas and equations and get to the wonders of our physical universe. A timeless and personal explanation of the importance of physics in our life, Conversations on the Dark Secrets of Physics is certain to become a classic.

  • Anglais A Dark Muse

    Gary Lachman

    The occult was a crucial influence on the Renaissance, and it obsessed the popular thinkers of the day. But with the Age of Reason, occultism was sidelined; only charlatans found any use for it. Occult ideas did not disappear, however, but rather went underground. It developed into a fruitful source of inspiration for many important artists. Works of brilliance, sometimes even of genius, were produced under its influence. In A Dark Muse, Lachman discusses the Enlightenment obsession with occult politics, the Romantic explosion, the futuristic occultism of the fin de siècle, and the deep occult roots of the modernist movement. Some of the writers and thinkers featured in this hidden history of western thought and sensibility are Emanuel Swedenborg, Charles Baudelaire, J. K. Huysmans, August Strindberg, William Blake, Goethe, Madame Blavatsky, H. G. Wells, Edgar Allan Poe, and Malcolm Lowry.

  • During the Soviet years, Russian science was touted as one of the greatest successes of the regime. Russian science was considered to be equal, if not superior, to that of the wealthy western nations. The Perversion of Knowledge, a history of Soviet science that focuses on its control by the KGB and the Communist Party, reveals the dark side of this glittering achievement. Based on the author's firsthand experience as a Soviet scientist, and drawing on extensive Russian language sources not easily available to the Western reader, the book includes shocking new information on biomedical experimentation on humans as well as an examination of the pernicious effects of Trofim Lysenko's pseudo-biology. Also included are many poignant case histories of those who collaborated and those who managed to resist, focusing on the moral choices and consequences. The text is accompanied by the author's own translations of key archival materials, making this work an essential resource for all those with a serious interest in Russian history.

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