Basic Books

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Militant atheism is on the rise. In recent years Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens have produced a steady stream of best-selling books denigrating religious belief. These authors are merely the leading edge of a larger movement that includes much of the scientific community.In response, mathematician David Berlinski, himself a secular Jew, delivers a biting defense of religious thought. The Devil's Delusion is a brilliant, incisive, and funny book that explores the limits of science and the pretensions of those who insist it is the ultimate touchstone for understanding our world.

  • Everyone in the newsroom agrees that copy editors are the unsung heroes in the business who, until now, have never had a succinct and authoritative guide for on-the-job use. From counting the headline to line breaks, from decks to jumps, from editing numbers and photo captions to editing for organization, The Copy Editing and Headline Handbook is the complete source of essential information for the copy editor. Whether copy editing on a computer or on the printed page, for a newspaper or for a magazine, Barbara Ellis shows how to clean, organize, and proof copy like a pro. With special sections on libel, captions, forbidden words, job hazards, and head counts, as well as a section of the most commonly used symbols in copy editing and proofreading, the Handbook is essential for every copy editor's bookshelf.

  • "She remains a thinker and activist who 'insists upon complexity.' "Reamy Jansen, San Francisco Chronicle*Some of Us Did Not Die brings together a rich sampling of the late poet June Jordan's prose writings. The essays in this collection, which include her last writings and span the length of her extraordinary career, reveal Jordan as an incisive analyst of the personal and public costs of remaining committed to the ideal and practice of democracy. Willing to venture into the most painful contradictions of American culture and politics, Jordan comes back with lyrical honesty, wit, and wide-ranging intelligence in these accounts of her reckoning with life as a teacher, poet, activist, and citizen.

  • Is there a God? What evil lurks beyond the stars? Can science save one's soul? Profound questions like these have consumed human thought over the ages; they also inspired the original creators of the Star Trek canon of TV series and films. Religions of Star Trek tackles these challenging questions head-on in a remarkable look at one of sci-fi's great success stories.Analyzing more than three decades of screen adventure, the authors depict a Star Trek transformed, corresponding to the resurgence of religion in American public discourse. The authors identify the many religious characters in Star Trek, tracing the roots of scientific humanism to more contemporary aspects of religion and spirituality. Through it all, the creators' visionary outlook remains constant: a humanistic faith in free will and the salvific nature of dispassionate scientific inquiry.This book was not prepared, licensed, approved, or endorsed by any entity involved in creating or producing the Star Trek television series or films.

  • Anglais Legacy Of The Prophet

    Anthony Shadid

    Now available in paperback, Legacy of the Prophetis a sweeping, first-person account of the transformation in the style and message of Islamic politics at the beginning of the twenty-first century. As terrorism floods our headlines, this book offers a rare but much-needed counterpoint: it shows that Islamic activists have increasingly renounced violence in order to form political parties, engage in grass-roots work, and enter into civil society to bring about peaceful reform in their authoritarian societies. Drawing on his years of reporting in more than a dozen countries of the Muslim world, Anthony Shadid charts the way in which the adolescence of yesterday's Islamic militants is yielding to the maturity of today's activists. Through personal interviews and extensive travel, he chronicles that new generation, which is finding a more realistic and potentially more successful future through democratic politics. Complete with a new introduction, Legacy of the Prophetpromises to redefine the debate over the future of political Islam.

  • September 11 marked the beginning of a new era--an age of terror in which counter-terrorism will be one of the highest priorities of national governments and international institutions. How we proceed in this new war depends in large measure on the answer to a prior question: what exactly happened here and why? In The Age of Terror, eight leading historians and policymakers address this question and examine the considerations and objectives of policy decisions in post-September 11 America. Co-published with the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization

  • Insightful travel writing, riveting narrative history, and clever scholarly discoveries make this a remarkably rich and varied book. Tim Severin has once again demonstrated a superb ability to bring together literature and adventure in an engrossing narrative.

  • Anglais Mending the World

    Rosemarie Robotham

    The many facets of black family life have not always been fully visible in American literature. Black families have often been portrayed as chaotic, fractured, and emotionally devastated, and historians and sociologists are just beginning to acknowledge the resilience and strength of African American families through centuries of hardship. In Mending the World, a host of beloved writers celebrate the richness of black family life, revealing how deep, complicated, and joyous modern kinship can be.From Jamaica Kincaid's portrait of a young girl moving away from her mother to better know herself to Alice Walker's reflection on the joy and pain of her relationship with her own daughter; from Edwidge Danticat's fictional evocation of a young woman rocked by revelations about her parents to James McBride's elegy for his stepfather, this inspiring volume presents-through fiction, memoir, and poetry-a multi-layered and optimistic portrait of today's black America.

  • Anglais Out There

    Darryl Pinckney

    With this appreciation of three very different black writers, novelist Darryl Pinckney reminds us that marginal or neglected literary figures have a lot to tell us about the history of a people who are always "outsiders." Born in Jamaica in 1883, J. A. Rogers was an early member of the Harlem Renaissance--a newspaper columnist, historian of Negro achievement, polemicist against white supremacy, and amateur sociologist of interracial sex as evidenced in his massive three-volume work Sex and Race. Vincent O. Carter, who came of age in 1920's Kansas City, wrote The Bern Book, an exploration of being black in a Swiss rather than an American setting. Caryl Phillips, a son of the generation of black Caribbeans who returned to Great Britain after the Second World War, has explored the psychology of migration in fiction and nonfiction that include The Final Passage, Higher Ground, and The Nature of Blood. Pinckney's essays on these writers, drawn from his Alain Locke Lectures at Harvard University, give us a rich understanding of what it has meant to be "children of the diaspora" over the past century.

  • "Be original. See what happens." So Todd Gitlin advises the young mind burning to take action to right the wrongs of the world but also looking for bearings, understanding, direction, and practical examples.In Letters to a Young Activist, Todd Gitlin looks back at his eventful life, recalling his experience as president of the formidable Students for a Democratic Society in the '60s, contemplating the spirit of activism, and arriving at some principles of action to guide the passion and energy of those wishing to do good. He considers the three complementary motives of duty, love, and adventure, and reflects on the changing nature of idealism and how righteous action requires realistic as well as idealistic thinking. And he looks forward to an uncertain future that is nevertheless full of possibility, a future where patriotism and intelligent skepticism are not mutually exclusive.Gitlin invites the young activist to enter imaginatively into some of the dilemmas, moral and practical, of being a modern citizen--the dilemmas that affect not only the problems of what to think but also the problems of what to love and how to live.

  • Over the past several years, while visible protests against the World Bank and the I.M.F. made front-page news, there has been a growing field of scholarship that looks at the role of globalization for national and international state identities. The first truism of globalization--that we live in an increasingly interconnected world, one in which it is impossible to separate the fate of one nation from that of the others--was dramatically illustrated on September 11, 2001, when the seemingly distant effects of a civil war in Afghanistan so murderously interrupted life in the United States.Implicating Empire is the first book to look at four crucial dimensions of globalization: first, its role vis-à-vis the current war; second, the impact of globalization on domestic U.S. policy; third, how globalization will necessarily alter national security, both in its definition as well as how it is pursued, and, finally, the future of globalization. Including original essays by Stanley Aronowitz, Ahmed Rashid, Tariq Ali, Manning Marable, Michael Hardt, and Ellen Willis, among others, Implicating Empire will set the agenda for how globalization is debated--and resisted--in the future.

  • With the wit of Bill Bryson and the spirit of Natalie Angier, Idan Ben- Barak takes us on a fantastic voyage into the infinitesimal world of microbiology. In The Invisible Kingdom, he introduces us to the amazing lives and workings of genes, proteins, bacteria, and viruses, and the ways in which they interact to shape life on Earth. Exploring everything from radioactive waste and insect sex-change operations to the inner workings of antibiotics, Ben-Barak reveals how important these tiny critters are to all of us. He brings this largely unseen world to life with refreshing analogies and metaphors: cells “pop like bubbles" and bacteria “dream of rain." On the journey, we learn about the teamwork required to rot human teeth, the origins of diseases, what really goes on inside cow stomachs, and the ways in which microbes benefit human life. An infectious and informative scientific exploration, The Invisible Kingdom will change the way we see the world around us.

  • Over the last five years, the number of women-owned businesses has grown at twice the rate of all U.S. firms; in the next few years, the number is expected to surpass the six million mark. Kitchen Table Entrepreneurs tells the inspirational stories of eleven low-income women who have marshaled the creative energy, confidence, and capital necessary to start their own small businesses. These women, who have used their entrepreneurial skills as a route out of poverty, give an American face to an economic empowerment tool that has enjoyed great success in developing countries. By becoming their own bosses, they not only provide for their children but also inspire them. Though each of their businesses is unique, all eleven of these women have discovered previously unknown strengths as they've struggled to overcome personal and bureaucratic obstacles. All received important assistance from nonprofit organizations supported by the Ms. Foundation for Women, the pioneer funding entity of microenterprise programs in the United States. Updated with a new epilogue.

  • A Harvard Business Review Top-10 Business Book of 2001Gonzo Marketing is a knuckle-whitening ride to the place where social criticism, biting satire, and serious commerce meet--and where the outdated ideals of mass marketing and broadcast media are being left in the dust. Invoking the spirit of gonzo journalism, Locke rails against business practices that treat customers like cattle, and urges marketers of all stripes to tap into Web-based communities, or "micromarkets," based on candor, trust, passion, and a general disdain for anything that smacks of corporate smugness. Gonzo Marketing shows how companies that support and promote these communities can have everything they've always wanted: greater market share, customer loyalty, and brand equity. Laced with Locke's inimitable wit and penetrating point of view, Gonzo Marketing is the raucous wake-up call that no one in business--from the trading-room floor to the boardroom--can afford to ignore.

  • Ancient Greece, the culture that brought us democracy, philosophy, comedy and tragedy, and the Olympic Games, and ancient Rome, best known for its military prowess, technological achievements, and imperial administration, are justly renowned for their contributions to Western civilization. Wisdom from the Ancients brings alive for today's managers the timeless insights of such larger-than-life figures as Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Trajan, Pericles, and dozens of other colorful and enigmatic leaders. Through direct quotations of ancient texts, engaging commentary, and period art, the authors illuminate the strategies and tactics that have withstood the test of time-from leadership and delegation to managing conflict to effective and persuasive communication.

  • This important new book brings together the work of top scholars and clinicians at leading universities and medical centers on the benefits and risks of transpersonal therapy. After comparing a variety of multicultural approaches Zen Buddhism, existential phenomenology, and Christian mysticism, among many others the book offers a wealth of information on specific disorders and the application of transpersonal psychology techniques such as visualization, breathwork, and “past lives" regression.With solid scholarship, wide scope, and accessible style, Textbook of Transpersonal Psychiatry and Psychology will become the standard work for students, researchers, clinicians, and lay readers interested in extending psychiatry and psychology into sciences that describe the functioning of the human mind, thereby building bridges between those disciplines and spirituality.

  • The cornerstone of psychoanalysis and legacy of the landmark Freud/Breuer collaboration featuring the classic case of Anna O. and the evolution of the cathartic method, in the definitive Strachey translation. Re-packaged for the contemporary audience with what promises to be an unconventional foreword by Irvin Yalom, the novelist and psychiatrist who imagined Breuer in When Nietzsche Wept.

  • As an essayist, Adam Phillips combines the best of two worlds: the mastery of psychotherapy as a practitioner and a theorist-and a reputation as one of the best literary writers around. In this collection of essays, he brings the two gifts to bear upon each other, reaching far beyond the borders of psychoanalytic discourse into art, novels, poetry, and history to speculate on the relative merits of psychoanalysis and literature. In his quirky, epigrammatic style, Phillips shows us how psychoanalysis and literature at their best share the goal of shedding light on human character, the most fascinating of disorders.

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