Basic Books

  • Anglais Jefferson

    John B Boles

    From an eminent scholar of the American South, the first full-scale biography of Thomas Jefferson since 1970
    As Alexander Hamilton's star has risen, Thomas Jefferson's has fallen, largely owing to their divergent views on race. Once seen as the most influential American champion of liberty and democracy, Jefferson is now remembered largely for his relationship with his slave Sally Hemmings, and for electing not to free her or most of the other people he owned.
    In this magisterial biography, the eminent scholar John B. Boles does not ignore the aspects of Jefferson that trouble us today, but strives to see him in full, and to understand him amid the sweeping upheaval of his times. We follow Jefferson from his early success as an abnormally precocious student and lawyer in colonial Virginia through his drafting of the Declaration of Independence at age 33, his travels in Europe on the eve of the French Revolution, his acidic personal battles with Hamilton, his triumphant ascent to the presidency in 1801, his prodigious efforts to found the University of Virginia, and beyond.
    From Jefferson's inspiring defenses of political and religious liberty to his heterodox abridgment of Christian belief, Boles explores Jefferson's expansive intellectual life, and the profound impact of his ideas on the world. Boles overturns conventional wisdom at every turn, arguing, among other things, that Jefferson did not--as later southerners would--deem the states rightfully superior to the federal government. Yet Boles's view is not limited to politics and public life; we also meet Jefferson the architect, scientist, bibliophile, and gourmet--as well as Jefferson the gentle father and widower, doting on his daughters and longing for escape from the rancorous world of politics.
    As this authoritative, evenhanded portrait shows, Jefferson challenges us more thoroughly than any other Founder; he was at once the most idealistic, contradictory, and quintessentially American of them all.

  • Anglais Oppose Any Foe

    Mark Moyar


    Oppose Any Foe is the epic story of America's most elite warriors: the Special Operations Forces. Born as small appendages to the conventional armies of World War II, the Special Operations Forces have grown into a behemoth of 70,000 troops, including Navy SEALs, Army Special Forces, Air Force Night Stalkers, Special Operations Marines, Rangers, and Delta Force. Weaving together their triumphs and tribulations, acclaimed historian Mark Moyar introduces a colorful cast of military men, brimming with exceptional talent, courage and selflessness.
    In a nation where the military is the most popular institution, America's Special Operations Forces have become the most popular members of the military. Through nighttime raids on enemy compounds and combat advising of resistance movements, special operators have etched their names into the nation's registry of heroes. Yet the public knows little of the journey that they took to reach these heights, a journey that was neither easy nor glamorous.
    Fighting an uphill battle for most of their seventy-five year history, the Special Operations Forces slipped on many an occasion, and fell far on several. Presidents from Franklin Roosevelt to Barack Obama have enthusiastically championed Special Operations Forces, but their enthusiasm has often surpassed their understanding, resulting in misuse or overuse of the troops. Lacking clearly defined missions, Special Operations Forces have had to reinvent themselves time and again to prove their value in the face of fierce critics-many of them from the conventional military, which from the start opposed the segregation of talent in special units.
    Highlighting both the heroism of America's most elite soldiers and the controversies surrounding their meteoric growth, Oppose Any Foe presents the first comprehensive history of these special warriors and their daring missions. It is essential reading for anyone interested in America's military history-and the future of warfare.

  • Anglais God's Red Son

    Louis S Warren


    In 1890, on Indian reservations across the West, followers of a new religion danced in circles until they collapsed into trances. In an attempt to suppress this new faith, the US Army killed over two hundred Lakota Sioux at Wounded Knee Creek. Louis Warren's God's Red Son offers a startling new view of the religion known as the Ghost Dance, from its origins in the visions of a Northern Paiute named Wovoka to the tragedy in South Dakota. To this day, the Ghost Dance remains widely mischaracterized as a primitive and failed effort by Indian militants to resist American conquest and return to traditional ways. In fact, followers of the Ghost Dance sought to thrive in modern America by working for wages, farming the land, and educating their children, tenets that helped the religion endure for decades after Wounded Knee. God's Red Son powerfully reveals how Ghost Dance teachings helped Indians retain their identity and reshape the modern world.

  • Anglais Rigor Mortis

    Richard Harris

    Named by Amazon as one of the "Best Nonfiction Books of the Month"
    "A rewarding read for anyone who wants to know the unvarnished truth about how science really gets done." --Financial Times
    American taxpayers spend $30 billion annually funding biomedical research, but over half of these studies can't be replicated due to poor experimental design, improper methods, and sloppy statistics. Bad science doesn't just hold back medical progress, it can sign the equivalent of a death sentence for terminal patients. In Rigor Mortis, Richard Harris explores these urgent issues with vivid anecdotes, personal stories, and interviews with the top biomedical researchers. We need to fix our dysfunctional biomedical system--before it's too late.
    "Rigor Mortis effectively illustrates what can happen when a convergence of social, cultural, and scientific forces . . . conspires to create a real crisis of confidence in the research process."
    --Science
    "Harris makes a strong case that the biomedical research culture is seriously in need of repair." --Nature

  • Anglais Locked In

    John Pfaff

    "Pfaff, let there be no doubt, is a reformer...Nonetheless, he believes that the standard story--popularized in particular by Michelle Alexander, in her influential book, The New Jim Crow--is false. We are desperately in need of reform, he insists, but we must reform the right things, and address the true problem."--Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker
    A groundbreaking examination of our system of imprisonment, revealing the true causes of mass incarceration as well as the best path to reform
    In the 1970s, the United States had an incarceration rate comparable to those of other liberal democracies-and that rate had held steady for over 100 years. Yet today, though the US is home to only about 5 percent of the world's population, we hold nearly one quarter of its prisoners. Mass incarceration is now widely considered one of the biggest social and political crises of our age. How did we get to this point?
    Locked In is a revelatory investigation into the root causes of mass incarceration by one of the most exciting scholars in the country. Having spent fifteen years studying the data on imprisonment, John Pfaff takes apart the reigning consensus created by Michelle Alexander and other reformers, revealing that the most widely accepted explanations-the failed War on Drugs, draconian sentencing laws, an increasing reliance on private prisons-tell us much less than we think. Pfaff urges us to look at other factors instead, including a major shift in prosecutor behavior that occurred in the mid-1990s, when prosecutors began bringing felony charges against arrestees about twice as often as they had before. He describes a fractured criminal justice system, in which counties don't pay for the people they send to state prisons, and in which white suburbs set law and order agendas for more-heavily minority cities. And he shows that if we hope to significantly reduce prison populations, we have no choice but to think differently about how to deal with people convicted of violent crimes-and why some people are violent in the first place.
    An authoritative, clear-eyed account of a national catastrophe, Locked In transforms our understanding of what ails the American system of punishment and ultimately forces us to reconsider how we can build a more equitable and humane society.

  • In the heart of Europe's current crisis, one of the continent's foremost statesmen issues a clarion call to radically remake the European Union in the mold of the United States' own federal government
    Europe is caught in its greatest crisis since the Second World War. The catalog of ills seems endless: an economic crisis spread through most of Europe's Mediterranean tier that has crippled Greece and driven a wedge between northern and southern Europe; terrorist attacks in Paris, Cologne, Brussels, and Nice; growing aggression from Russia in Ukraine and the Baltic states; and refugees escaping war-torn neighbors. The European Union's inability to handle any of these disasters was a driving factor in Great Britain voting to leave, and others may soon follow. The result won't just be a continent in turmoil, but also a serious threat to American and British security-the Atlantic, let alone the Channel, simply isn't big enough to keep European troubles in Europe. For everyone's sake, Europe must survive.
    The question is how. In Europe's Last Chance, Guy Verhofstadt-former prime minister of Belgium and current leader of the liberal faction in the European Parliament-provides the essential framework for understanding Europe today, laying bare the absurdity of a system in which each member state can veto legislation, opt in or out of the Euro, or close borders on a whim. But Verhofstadt does not just indict the European Union, he also offers a powerful vision for how the continent can change for the better. The key, argues Verhofstadt, is to reform the European Union along the lines of America's federal government: a United States of Europe strong enough to stand with the United States of America in making a better, safer world.
    A visionary book from one of today's luminaries of European leadership, Europe's Last Chance is a clarion call to save the European Union, one of the world's greatest chances for peace and prosperity.

  • @85@From the summer of 1870 through the spring of 1871, France suffered a humiliating defeat in its war against Prussia and witnessed bloody class warfare that culminated in the crushing of the Paris Commune. In

  • An expanded edition of a classic intellectual history of Zionism, now covering the rise of religious Zionism since the 1970s
    For eighteen centuries pious Jews had prayed for the return to Jerusalem, but only in the revolutionary atmosphere of nineteenth-century Europe was this yearning transformed into an active political movement: Zionism. In The Making of Modern Zionism, the distinguished political scientist Shlomo Avineri rejects the common view that Zionism was solely a reaction to anti-Semitism and persecution. Rather, he sees it as part of the universal quest for self-determination. In sharply-etched intellectual profiles of Zionism's major thinkers from Moses Hess to Theodore Herzl and from Vladimir Jabotinsky to David Ben Gurion, Avineri traces the evolution of this quest from its intellectual origins in the early nineteenth century to the establishment of the State of Israel. In an expansive new epilogue, he tracks the changes in Israeli society and politics since 1967 which have strengthened the more radical nationalist and religious trends in Zionism at the expense of its more liberal strains. The result is a book that enables us to understand, as perhaps never before, one of the truly revolutionary ideas of our time.

  • Anglais Bit by Bit

    Andrew Ervin

    An acclaimed novelist and critic argues that video games are the most vital art form of our time
    Video games have been around for decades, but only in recent years have they gone truly mainstream. Today, the majority of American households play video games, almost half of gamers are women, and professional video game tournaments attract more viewers than the World Series. Yet we still don't take games seriously, preferring to see them as little more than entertaining diversions, a means of making the commute go by a little more quickly.
    In Bit by Bit, a blend of history, memoir, and reportage, Andrew Ervin sets out to understand the explosive popularity of this often maligned cultural form. He travels to government laboratories, junk shops, and art museums. He scientists and hobbyists, critics and game makers. He installs a full-sized and obscenely loud Donkey Kong arcade cabinet in his basement, and plays enough Minecraft to suffer from "Minecraft syndrome," the effect of seeing objects in real life as poorly rendered blocks.
    In exploring the material, technological, and business history of video games, from Tennis for Two (1958) to Pokemon Go and beyond, Ervin shows how games constitute a unique storytelling medium that offers us startling new ways to think about our lives and the world around us. And he argues that the best games, as defined by the aesthetic and even political ambitions of their creators, rise to the level of art. In this witty, searching book, Ervin explains the immense power of games--and why their reign will be long.

  • How George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and John Adams navigated the nation through four major crises and caused the first stirrings of American nationalism
    Americans like to believe that the Constitution miraculously brought the United States into being, as though the framers established, in one stroke, the nation we know today. Yet when George Washington delivered his First Inaugural Address on April 30, 1789, he expressed worry about the challenges that lay ahead. He was right to be concerned: the existence of the new nation was anything but secure. Without the support of the American people, after all, the Constitution was only a piece of paper.
    In A Sovereign People, her brilliant new political history of the 1790s, the acclaimed historian Carol Berkin argues that the young nation would not have survived absent the interventions of the Federalists, above all Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and John Adams. In power throughout the decade, they faced four successive crises of sovereignty. The Whiskey Rebellion was a domestic revolt over the right of the federal government to levy taxes. The Genet Affair saw a reckless French diplomat appeal directly to the American people, in opposition to Washington. The XYZ Affair involved foreign threats intended to draw the United States into a European war. The final crisis was self-inflicted, the result of the Federalists' desire to silence their critics in the press, in the form of the Alien and Sedition Acts.
    In each instance, the Federalists demonstrated the necessity of the federal government established by the Constitution, and by decade's end, the American people understood that without an "energetic government," there could be no United States. As Berkin ultimately reveals, while the Revolution freed the states and the Constitution linked them as never before, it was the Federalists who transformed them into an enduring nation.

  • Anglais Talking Pictures

    Ann Hornaday

    Whether we are trying to impress a date after an art-house film screening or discussing Oscar nominations with friends, we all need ways to watch and talk about movies. But with so much variety between an Alfred Hitchcock thriller and a Nora Ephron romantic comedy, how can everyday viewers determine what makes a good movie?
    In Talking Pictures, veteran film critic Ann Hornaday walks us through the production of a typical movie-from writing the script and casting to the final sound edit-and explains how to evaluate each piece of the process. How do we know if a film is well-written, above and beyond snappy dialogue? What constitutes a great screen performance? What goes into praiseworthy cinematography, editing, and sound design? And what does a director really do? Full of engaging anecdotes and interviews with actors and filmmakers, Talking Pictures will help us see movies in a whole new light-not just as fans, but as film critics in our own right.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • A rising China, climate change, terrorism, a nuclear Iran, a turbulent Middle East, and a reckless North Korea all present serious challenges to America's national security. But it depends even more on the United States addressing its burgeoning deficit and debt, crumbling infrastructure, second class schools, and outdated immigration system. While there is currently no great rival power threatening America directly, how long this strategic respite lasts, according to Council on Foreign Relations President Richard N. Haass, will depend largely on whether the United States puts its own house in order.
    Haass lays out a compelling vision for restoring America's power, influence, and ability to lead the world and advocates for a new foreign policy of Restoration that would require the US to limit its involvement in both wars of choice, and humanitarian interventions.
    Offering essential insight into our world of continual unrest, this new edition addresses the major foreign and domestic debates since hardcover publication, including US intervention in Syria, the balance between individual privacy and collective security, and the continuing impact of the sequester.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

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