Psychology/Philosophy

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ANTIFRAGILE

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From the bestselling author of The Black Swan and one of the foremost philosophers of our time, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a book on how some systems actually benefit from disorder. In The Black Swan Taleb outlined a problem; in Antifragility he offers a definitive solution: how to gain from disorder and chaos while being protected from fragilities and adverse events. For what he calls the “antifragile” is one step beyond robust, as it benefits from adversity, uncertainty and stressors, just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension. Taleb stands uncertainty on its head, making it desirable, and proposing that things be built in an antifragile manner. Extremely ambitious and multidisciplinary, Antifragility provides a blueprint for how to behave-and thrive-in a world we don’t understand and which is too uncertain for us to even try to understand. He who is not antifragile will perish. Why is the city state better than the nation state, why is debt bad for you, and why is almost everything modern bound to fail? The book covers innovation, health, biology, medicine, life decisions, politics, foreign policy, urban planning, war, personal finance, and economic systems. Throughout, the voice and recipes of the ancient wisdom from Phoenician, Roman, Greek, and Medieval sources are heard loud and clear. Author: Nassim Nicholas Taleb ISBN:9780141038223
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The Architecture of Happiness is Alain de Botton’s exploration of the hidden links between buildings and our well being. In The Architecture of Happiness, bestselling author Alain de Botton explores one of our most intense but often hidden love affairs: with our houses and their furnishings. He asks: What makes a house truly beautiful? Why are many new houses so ugly? Why do we argue so bitterly about sofas and pictures – and can differences of taste ever be satisfactorily resolved? To answer these questions and many more, de Botton looks at buildings across the world, from medieval wooden huts to modern skyscrapers; he examines sofas and cathedrals, tea sets and office complexes, and teases out a host of often surprising philosophical insights. The Architecture of Happiness will take you on a beguiling tour through the history and psychology of architecture and interior design, and will change the way you look at your home. ‘Engaging and intelligent . . . full of splendid ideas, happily and beautifully expressed’ Independent Author: Alain de Bottom ISBN:9780241970058
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Author: Jonathan Barnes ISBN:9780192854087
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With the emergence of democracy in the city-state of Athens in the years around 460 BC, public speaking became an essential skill for politicians in the Assemblies and Councils – and even for ordinary citizens in the courts of law. In response, the technique of rhetoric rapidly developed, bringing virtuoso performances and a host of practical manuals for the layman. While many of these were little more than collections of debaters’ tricks, the Art of Rhetoric held a far deeper purpose. Here Aristotle (384-322 BC) establishes the methods of informal reasoning, provides the first aesthetic evaluation of prose style and offers detailed observations on character and the emotions. Hugely influential upon later Western culture, the Art of Rhetoric is a fascinating consideration of the force of persuasion and sophistry, and a compelling guide to the principles behind oratorical skill. Author: Aristotle (Hugh Lawson-Tancred) ISBN: 9780140445107
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Probably written by a student of Aristotle, The Athenian Constitution is both a history and an analysis of Athens’ political machinery between the seventh and fourth centuries BC, which stands as a model of democracy at a time when city-states lived under differing kinds of government. The writer recounts the major reforms of Solon, the rule of the tyrant Pisistratus and his sons, the emergence of the democracy in which power was shared by all free male citizens, and the leadership of Pericles and the demagogues who followed him. He goes on to examine the city’s administration in his own time – the council, the officials and the judicial system. For its information on Athens’ development and how the democracy worked, The Athenian Constitution is an invaluable source of knowledge about the Athenian city-state. Author: Aristotle (Translation by P.J. Rhodes) ISBN: 9780140444315
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A towering philosophical novel that is the summation of her Objectivist philosophy, Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged is the saga of the enigmatic John Galt, and his ambitious plan to ‘stop the motor of the world’, published in Penguin Modern Classics. Opening with the enigmatic question ‘Who is John Galt?’, Atlas Shrugged envisions a world where the ‘men of talent’ – the great innovators, producers and creators – have mysteriously disappeared. With the US economy now faltering, businesswoman Dagny Taggart is struggling to get the transcontinental railroad up and running. For her John Galt is the enemy, but as she will learn, nothing in this situation is quite as it seems. Hugely influential and grand in scope, this story of a man who stopped the motor of the world expounds Rand’s controversial philosophy of Objectivism, which champions competition, creativity and human greatness. Ayn Rand (1905-82), born Alisa Rosenbaum in St. Petersburg, Russia, emigrated to America with her family in January 1926, never to return to her native land. Her novel The Fountainhead was published in 1943 and eventually became a bestseller. Still occasionally working as a screenwriter, Rand moved to New York City in 1951 and published Atlas Shrugged in 1957. Her novels espoused what came to be called Objectivism, a philosophy that champions capitalism and the pre-eminence of the individual. If you enjoyed Atlas Shrugged, you might like Rand’s The Fountainhead, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. ‘A writer of great power … she writes brilliantly, beautifully, bitterly’ The New York Times ‘Atlas Shrugged … is a celebration of life and happiness’ Alan Greenspan Author: Ayn Rand ISBN:9780141188935
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“This is the story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world – and did. Was he a destroyer or the greatest of liberators? Why did he have to fight his battle, not against his enemies, but against those who needed him most, and his hardest battle against the woman he loved? What is the world’s motor – and the motive power of every man? You will know the answer to these questions when you discover the reason behind the baffling events that play havoc with the lives of the characters in this story.” “Tremendous in its scope, this novel presents an astounding panorama of human life – from the productive genius who becomes a worthless playboy – to the great steel industrialist who does not know that he is working for his own destruction – to the philosopher who becomes a pirate – to the composer who gives up his career on the night of his triumph – to the woman who runs a transcontinental railroad – to the lowest track worker in her Terminal tunnels.” This is a mystery story, not about the murder of a man’s body, but about the murder – and rebirth – of man’s spirit. Author :Ayn Rand ISBN:9780451191144
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This classic collection of essays, first published in 1979, has had an enduring influence on philosophical work on the nature of law and its relation to morality. Raz begins by presenting an analysis of the concept of authority and what is involved in law’s claim to moral authority. He then develops a detailed explanation of the nature of law and legal systems, presenting a seminal argument for legal positivism. Within this framework Raz then examines the areas of legal thought that have been viewed as impregnated with moral values – namely the social functions of law, the ideal of the rule of law, and the adjudicative role of the courts. The final part of the book is given to understanding the proper moral attitude of a citizen towards the law. Raz examines whether the citizen is under a moral obligation to obey the law and whether there is a right to dissent. Two appendices, added for the revised edition, develop Raz’s views on the nature of law, offering a further dialogue with the work of Hans Kelsen, and a reply to Robert Alexy’s criticisms of legal positivism. This revised edition makes accessible one of the classic works of modern legal philosophy, and represents an ideal companion to Raz’s new collection, Between Authority and Interpretation. Author: Joseph Raz ISBN:9780199573578
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A condensed guide to life, Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s The Bed of Procrustes is an invaluable collection of aphorisms to help you navigate the modern world. Second edition, revised and expanded Why are we so often unwilling to accept that life is unpredictable? In this brilliant book Nassim Nicholas Taleb distils his idiosyncratic wisdom to demolish our illusions, contrasting the classical values of courage, elegance and erudition against modern philistinism and phoniness. Only by accepting what we don’t know, he shows, can we see the world as it really is Author: Nassim Nicholas Taleb ISBN:9780141985022
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One of the most controversial episodes in the life of the Prophet Muhammad concerns an incident in which he allegedly mistook words suggested by Satan as divine revelation. Known as the Satanic verses, these praises to the pagan deities contradict the Islamic belief that Allah is one and absolute. Muslims today of all sects deny that the incident of the Satanic verses took place. But as Shahab Ahmed explains, Muslims did not always hold this view. Before Orthodoxy wrestles with the question of how religions establish truth especially religions such as Islam that lack a centralized authority to codify beliefs. Taking the now universally rejected incident of the Satanic verses as a case study in the formation of Islamic orthodoxy, Ahmed shows that early Muslims, circa 632 to 800 CE, held the exact opposite belief. For them, the Satanic verses were an established fact in the history of the Prophet. Ahmed offers a detailed account of the attitudes of Muslims to the Satanic verses in the first two centuries of Islam and traces the chains of transmission in the historical reports known as riw yah. Touching directly on the nature of Muhammad s prophetic visions, the interpretation of the Satanic verses incident is a question of profound importance in Islam, one that plays a role in defining the limits of what Muslims may legitimately say and do issues crucial to understanding the contemporary Islamic world. Author: Shahab Ahmed ISBN:9780674047426
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Michael Shermer upends the traditional thinking about how humans form beliefs about the world. He suggests that beliefs come first, and then we come up with explanations for why and how those beliefs came about. Author: Michael Shermer ISBN: 9781780335292
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Arendt’s penetrating observations of the modern world, based on a profound knowledge of the past, constitute a major contribution to political philosophy. In this book she describes the perplexing crises which modern society faces as a result of the loss of meaning of the traditional key words of politics: justice, reason, responsibility, virtue, and glory. Through a series of eight exercises, she shows how we can redistill once more the vital essence of these concepts. Author: Hannah Arendt ISBN:9780143104810
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In the wake of his enormously popular books The Armchair Economist and More Sex Is Safer Sex, Slate columnist and economics professor Steven Landsburg employs concepts from mathematics, economics, and physics in this sprightly tour of the deepest problems in philosophy: What is real? What can we know? Why is there something instead of nothing? And how should we live? Beginning with the broadest philosophical issues—theories of existence, knowledge, and ethics—Landsburg then turns to a dazzling variety of specific applications. He gives us a mathematical analysis for arguments for the existence of God; explains the real meanings of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle and Gödel’s incompleteness theorem; and carefully dissects the meaning of social responsibility on the playground, in the marketplace, and in the voting booth. Stimulating, illuminating, and always surprising, The Big Questions reveals the relationship between the loftiest philosophical quests and our everyday lives. Author: Steven Landsburg ISBN:9781847399168
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Fanon, born in Martinique and educated in France, is generally regarded as the leading anti-colonial thinker of the 20th century. His first book is an analysis of the impact of colonial subjugation on the black psyche. It is a very personal account of Fanon’s experience being black: as a man, an intellectual, and a party to a French education. Author: Frantz Fanon ISBN:9780745328485
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‘No true Democracy has ever existed, nor ever will exist.’ In this selection from The Social Contract, Rousseau asserts that a state’s only legitimate political authority comes from its people. One of 46 new books in the bestselling Little Black Classics series, to celebrate the first ever Penguin Classic in 1946. Each book gives readers a taste of the Classics’ huge range and diversity, with works from around the world and across the centuries – including fables, decadence, heartbreak, tall tales, satire, ghosts, battles and elephants. Author: Jean-Jacques Rousseau ISBN:9780241252017
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The “forgotten” second volume of Capital, Marx’s world-shaking analysis of economics, politics, and history, contains the vital discussion of commodity, the cornerstone to Marx’s theories. Author: Karl Marx ISBN:9780140445695
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Capital, one of Marx’s major and most influential works, was the product of thirty years close study of the capitalist mode of production in England, the most advanced industrial society of his day. This new translation of Volume One, the only volume to be completed and edited by Marx himself, avoids some of the mistakes that have marred earlier versions and seeks to do justice to the literary qualities of the work. The introduction is by Ernest Mandel, author of Late Capitalism, one of the only comprehensive attempts to develop the theoretical legacy of Capital. Author: Karl Marx ISBN:9780140445688
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Capital, Vol 3, subtitled The Process of Capitalist Production as a Whole, was prepared by Friedrich Engels from notes left by Marx & published in 1894. It’s in seven parts: 1.The conversion of Surplus Value into Profit & the rate of Surplus Value into the rate of Profit 2.Conversion of Profit into Average Profit 3.The Law of the Tendency of the Rate of Profit to Fall 4.Conversion of Commodity Capital & Money Capital into Commercial Capital & Money-Dealing (Merchant’s) Capital 5.Division of Profit Into Interest & Profit of Enterprise, Interest Bearing Capital 6.Transformation of Surplus-Profit into Ground Rent 7.Revenues & Their Sources The work is best known today for part 3, which in summary says that as the organic fixed capital requirements of production rise as a result of advancements in production generally, the rate of profit tends to fall. This result, which orthodox Marxists believe is a principal contradictory characteristic leading to an inevitable collapse of the capitalist order, was held, as a result of various contradictions in the capitalist mode of production, result in crises whose resolution necessitates the emergence of an entirely new mode of production as the culmination of the same historical dialectic that led to the emergence of capitalism from prior forms. Author: Karl Marx ISBN:9780140445701
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The foundations of capitalism are being battered by a flood of altruism, which is the cause of the modern world’s collapse. This is the view of Ayn Rand, a view so radically opposed to prevailing attitudes that it constitutes a major philosophic revolution. In this series of essays, she presents her stand on the persecution of big business, the causes of war, the default of conservatism, and the evils of altruism. Here is a challenging new look at modern society by one of the most provocative intellectuals on the American scene. This edition includes two articles by Ayn Rand that did not appear in the hardcover edition: “The Wreckage of the Consensus,” which presents the Objectivists’ views on Vietnam and the draft; and “Requiem for Man,” an answer to the Papal encyclical Progresso Populorum. Author: Ayn Rand ISBN:071162008999
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Collecting the most incisive and influential writings of one of Rome’s finest orators, Cicero’s Selected Works is translated with an introduction by Michael Grant in Penguin Classics. Lawyer, philosopher, statesman and defender of Rome’s Republic, Cicero was a master of eloquence, and his pure literary and oratorical style and strict sense of morality have been a powerful influence on European literature and thought for over two thousand years in matters of politics, philosophy, and faith. This selection demonstrates the diversity of his writings, and includes letters to friends and statesmen on Roman life and politics; the vitriolic Second Philippic Against Antony; and his two most famous philosophical treatises, On Duties and On Old Age – a celebration of his own declining years. Written at a time of brutal political and social change, Cicero’s lucid ethical writings formed the foundation of the Western liberal tradition in political and moral thought that continues to this day. This translation by Michael Grant conveys the elegance of Cicero’s writings. His introduction describes their social and political background, while maps, genealogical charts, timelines and a glossary place the works in context. Author: Cicero ISBN:9780140440997
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Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves – and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives – and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization, and helped make us who we are. Author: Sigmund Freud ISBN:9780141018997
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COMMON SENSE

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Published anonymously, Common Sense was issued at Philadelphia on 1/10/1776 & immediately became a best seller reaching an extraordinary circulation. This fifty-page pamphlet became the war-cry of the Revolutionary movement as tens of thousands of copies circulated thru the country. It called boldly for a declaration of independence; denounced the King of England as a “hardened, sullen tempered Pharaoh,” “the Royal Brute of Great Britain”; vigorously attacked all forms of monarchy & the very principle of monarchism; made the 1st appeal for an American Republic & urged the colonies to establish in North America a haven of refuge for the oppressed peoples of the world. Author: Thomas Paine ISBN:9780141018904
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Marx and Engel’s landmark treatise – in a graphic deluxe edition. One of the most important and influential political theories ever formulated, The Communist Manifesto is a revolutionary summons to the working class-an incisive account of a new theory of communism that would be brought about by a proletarian revolution. Arguing that increasing exploitation of industrial workers will eventually lead to a rebellion in which capitalism will be overthrown, Marx and Engels propose a vision of a society without classes, private property, or a state. The theoretical basis of political systems in Russia, China, Cuba, and Eastern Europe, The Communist Manifesto continues to influence and provoke debate on capitalism and class. Author:Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels ISBN:9780143106265
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The Communist Manifesto was first published in London in 1848, by two young men in their late twenties. Its impact reverberated across the globe and throughout the next century, and it has come to be recognised as one of the most important political texts ever written. Maintaining that the history of all societies is a history of class struggle, the manifesto proclaims that communism is the only route to equality, and is a call to action aimed at the proletariat. It is an essential read for anyone seeking to understand our modern political landscape. Published to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Karl Marx’s birth, this pocket edition includes a new introduction by the economist and bestselling author of And the Weak Suffer What They Must? and Adults in the Room, Yanis Varoufakis. Author: Friedrich Engels, Karl Marx, David Aaronovitch ISBN:9781784873691
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The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains.’ Marx and Engels’s revolutionary summons to the working classes – one of the most important and influential political theories ever formulated. Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin’s 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions. Karl Marx (1818-1883) and Friedrich Engels (1820-1895). Marx’s works available in Penguin Classics are Capital, Dispatches for the New York Tribune, Early Writings, Grundrisse, The Portable Karl Marx and Revolution and War. Author: Karl Marx,Friedrich Engels ISBN:9780141397986
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A rousing call to arms whose influence is still felt today, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’ The Communist Manifesto is edited with an introduction by Gareth Stedman-Jones in Penguin Classics. Marx and Engels’s revolutionary summons to the working classes, The Communist Manifesto is one of the most important political theories ever formulated. After four years of collaboration, they produced an incisive account of their idea of Communism, in which they envisage a society without classes, private property or a state, arguing that the exploitation of industrial workers will eventually lead to a revolution in which Capitalism is overthrown. This vision provided the theoretical basis of political systems in Russia, China, Cuba and Eastern Europe, affecting the lives of millions. The Communist Manifesto still remains a landmark text: a work that continues to influence and provoke debate on capitalism and class. Gareth Stedman Jones’s extensive and scholarly introduction provides an unique assessment of the place of The Communist Manifesto in history, and its continuing relevance as a depiction of global capitalism. This edition reproduces Samuel Moore’s translation of 1888 and contains a guide to further reading, notes and an index. Author: Karl Marx,Friedrich Engels, Gareth Stedman Jones (Introduction) ISBN:9780140447576
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2016 Reprint of Four Works by Florence Shinn. Florence Scovel Shinn remains one of the best-known American advocates of New Thought philosophy. In New Thought circles she is best known for her first book, “The Game of Life and How to Play It” (1925). This edition of the collected works reprints “The Game of Life and How to Play It” as well as “Your Word Is Your Wand”, “The Secret Door to Success” and “The Power of the Spoken Word.” All four titles are reprinted in their entirety. This edition provides handy access to Shinn’s writings covering the period from 1925 to 1940. Author: Florence Scovel Shinn ISBN:9780486476988
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Confessions

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The son of a pagan father and a Christian mother, Saint Augustine spent his early years torn between conflicting faiths and world views. His Confessions, written when he was in his forties, recount how, slowly and painfully, he came to turn away from his youthful ideas and licentious lifestyle, to become instead a staunch advocate of Christianity and one of its most influential thinkers. A remarkably honest and revealing spiritual autobiography, the Confessions also address fundamental issues of Christian doctrine, and many of the prayers and meditations it includes are still an integral part of the practice of Christianity today. Author: Saint Augustine ISBN: 9780143105701
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Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves – and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives – and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization, and helped make us who we are. One of the greatest explorations of sin, epiphany and redemption ever written, the Confessions of Saint Augustine continue to shape our ideas with their passionate declaration of the life-changing power of faith. Author: St.Augustine ISBN:9780141018836
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From the internationally heralded author of How Proust Can Change Your Life comes this remarkable new book that presents the wisdom of some of the greatest thinkers of the ages as advice for our day to day struggles. Solace for the broken heart can be found in the words of Schopenhauer. The ancient Greek Epicurus has the wisest, and most affordable, solution to cash flow problems. A remedy for impotence lies in Montaigne. Seneca offers advice upon losing a job. And Nietzsche has shrewd counsel for everything from loneliness to illness. The Consolations of Philosophy is a book as accessibly erudite as it is useful and entertaining. Author: Alain de Bottom ISBN:9780140276619
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After the execution of Socrates in 399 BC, a number of his followers wrote dialogues featuring him as the protagonist and, in so doing, transformed the great philosopher into a legendary figure. Xenophon’s portrait is the only one other than Plato’s to survive, and while it offers a very personal interpretation of Socratic thought, it also reveals much about the man and his philosophical views. In ‘Socrates’ Defence’ Xenophon defends his mentor against charges of arrogance made at his trial, while the ‘Memoirs of Socrates’ also starts with an impassioned plea for the rehabilitation of a wronged reputation. Along with ‘The Estate-Manager’, a practical economic treatise, and ‘The Dinner-Party’, a sparkling exploration of love, Xenophon’s dialogues offer fascinating insights into the Socratic world and into the intellectual atmosphere an Author: Xenophon (Translated by Hugh Tredennick and Robin Waterfield) ISBN: 9780140445176
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Democracy in America has had the singular honor of being even to this day the work that political commentators of every stripe refer to when they seek to draw large conclusions about the society of the USA. Alexis de Tocqueville, a young French aristocrat, came to the young nation to investigate the functioning of American democracy & the social, political & economic life of its citizens, publishing his observations in 1835 & 1840. Brilliantly written, vividly illustrated with vignettes & portraits, Democracy in America is far more than a trenchant analysis of one society at a particular point in time. What will most intrigue modern readers is how many of the observations still hold true: on the mixed advantages of a free press, the strained relations among the races & the threats posed to democracies by consumerism & corruption. So uncanny is Tocqueville’s insight & so accurate are his predictions, that it seems as tho he were not merely describing the American identity but actually helping to create it. Author:Alexis de Tocqueville ISBN:9780140447606
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Few figures in intellectual history have proved as notorious and ambiguous as Niccolò Machiavelli. But while his treatise The Prince made his name synonymous with autocratic ruthlessness and cynical manipulation, The Discourses (c.1517) shows a radically different outlook on the world of politics. In this carefully argued commentary on Livy’s history of republican Rome, Machiavelli proposed a system of government that would uphold civic freedom and security by instilling the virtues of active citizenship, and that would also encourage citizens to put the needs of the state above selfish, personal interests. Ambitious in scope, but also clear-eyed and pragmatic, The Discourses creates a modern theory of republic politics. Leslie J. Walker’s definitive translation has been revised by Brian Richardson and is accompanied by an introduction by Bernard Crick, which illuminates Machiavelli’s historical context and his new theories of politics. This edition also includes suggestions for further reading and notes. Author: Niccolo Machiavelli ISBN: 9780140444285
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Ecce Homo

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In late 1888, only weeks before his final collapse into madness, Nietzsche (1844-1900) set out to compose his autobiography, and Ecce Homo remains one of the most intriguing yet bizarre examples of the genre ever written. In this extraordinary work Nietzsche traces his life, work and development as a philosopher, examines the heroes he has identified with, struggled against and then overcome – Schopenhauer, Wagner, Socrates, Christ – and predicts the cataclysmic impact of his ‘forthcoming revelation of all values’. Both self-celebrating and self-mocking, penetrating and strange, Ecce Homo gives the final, definitive expression to Nietzsche’s main beliefs and is in every way his last testament. Author: Friedrich Nietzsche, Michael Tanner (Introduction), R.J. Hollingdale (Translation) ISBN:9780140445152
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Inspired by the trial of a bureaucrat who helped cause the Holocaust, this radical work on the banality of evil stunned the world with its exploration of a regime’s moral blindness and one man’s insistence that he be absolved all guilt because he was ‘only following orders’. Author: Hannah Arendt ISBN:9780141024004
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EVERYTHING SHE EVER WANTED is a compelling study of a systematic, remorseless sociopath. Bestselling true-crime writer Ann Rule’s meticulous recounting of heedless ambition and selfish passion alternately arouses and chills the senses. Author: Ann Rule ISBN:9780751504255
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Showing 1–36 of 88 results