A dazzling, globe-spanning history of humankind's greatest invention: the city. From its earliest incarnations 7,000 years ago to the megalopolises of today, the story of the city is the story of civilisation. Although cities have only ever been inhabited by a tiny minority of humanity, the heat they generate has sparked most of our political, social, commercial, scientific and artistic revolutions. It is these world-changing, epoch-defining moments that are the focus of Ben Wilson's book, as he takes us on a thrilling global tour of the key metropolises of history, from Urk, Athens, Alexandria and Rome, to Baghdad, Lubeck and Venice, to Lisbon, Amsterdam, London, Paris, New York, LA, Shanghai and Lagos. Managing and re-imagining the city is already one of the most pressing issues of the twenty-first century. With over half the world's population now living in cities, and with the cosmopolitanism of the major world metropolises under attack from revived nationalism and hostility to globalisation, it has never been more important to understand cities and the role they have played in making us who we are. Rich with individual characters, scenes and snapshots of daily life, Metropolis combines scholarship and storytelling in a terrifically engaging, stylishly written history of the world through an urban lens.
The second novel from Booker-longlisted Bill Clegg Following his acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Did You Ever Have a Family, Bill Clegg returns with a profoundly moving, emotionally resonant second novel about the complicated bonds and breaking points of family and friendship. The End of the Day is an exploration of class and power, the corrosive force of secrets, the heartbeat of longing, and the redemption found in forgiveness. A retired widow in rural Connecticut wakes to an unexpected visit from her childhood best friend whom she hasn't seen in forty-nine years. A man arrives at a Bethlehem, Pennsylvania hotel to introduce his estranged father to his newborn daughter and finds him collapsed on the floor of the lobby. A sixty-seven-year-old taxi driver in Kauai receives a phone call from the mainland that jars her back to a traumatic past. These seemingly disconnected lives come together as half-century-old secrets begin to surface. Deeply observed and beautifully written in Bill Clegg's signature 'eloquent, elegant voice' (Entertainment Weekly), the novel is a feat of storytelling, capturing sixty years within the framework of one fateful day.
The Plantagenet queens of England played a role in some of the most dramatic events in our history. Crusading queens, queens in rebellion against their king, queen seductresses, learned queens, queens in battle, queens who enlivened England with the romantic culture of southern Europe - these determined women often broke through medieval constraints to exercise power and influence, for good and sometimes for ill. Alison Weir's ground-breaking history of the queens of medieval England now moves into a period of even higher drama, from 1154 to 1291: years of chivalry, dynastic ambition, conflict with the church, baronial wars, and the all-pervading bonds of feudalism. We see events such as the murder of Becket, Magna Carta and the birth of parliaments from a new perspective. Her narrative begins with the formidable Eleanor of Aquitaine, whose marriage to Henry II establishes a dynasty which rules for over three hundred years and creates the most powerful empire in western Christendom - but also sows the seeds for some of the most destructive family conflicts in history and for the collapse, under her son King John, of England's power in Europe. The lives of Eleanor's successors were just as remarkable: Berengaria of Navarre, queen of Richard the Lionheart, Isabella of Angouleme, queen of John, and Alienor of Provence, queen of Henry III, and finally Eleanor of Castile, the grasping but beloved wife of Edward I. Through the story of these first five Plantagenet queens, Alison Weir provides an enthralling new perspective on a dramatic period of high romance and sometimes low politics, with determined women at its heart.
The first volume of the graphic adaptation of Yuval Noah Harari's global phenomenon and smash Sunday Times #1 bestseller, with gorgeous full-colour illustrations and a beautiful package - the perfect gift for the curious beings in your life. One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one-homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us? In this first volume of the full-colour illustrated adaptation of his groundbreaking book, renowned historian Yuval Harari tells the story of humankind's creation and evolution, exploring the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be "human". From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens challenges us to reconsider accepted beliefs, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and view specific events within the context of larger ideas. Featuring 256 pages of full-colour illustrations and easy-to-understand text covering the first part of the full-length original edition, this adaptation of the mind-expanding book furthers the ongoing conversation as it introduces Harari's ideas to a wider new readership.
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So often deployed as a jingoistic, even menacing rallying cry, or limited by a focus on passing moments of liberation, the rhetoric of freedom both rouses and repels. Does it remain key to our autonomy, justice, and well-being, or is freedom's long star turn coming to a close? Does a continued obsession with the term enliven and emancipate, or reflect a deepening nihilism (or both)? On Freedom examines such questions by tracing the concept's complexities in four distinct realms: art, sex, drugs, and climate. Drawing on a vast range of material, from critical theory to pop culture to the intimacies and plain exchanges of daily life, Nelson explores how we might think, experience, or talk about freedom in ways responsive to the conditions of our day. Her abiding interest lies in ongoing "practices of freedom" by which we negotiate our interrelation with-indeed, our inseparability from-others, with all the care and constraint that relation entails, while accepting difference and conflict as integral to our communion. For Nelson, thinking publicly through the knots in our culture-from recent art world debates to the turbulent legacies of sexual liberation, from the painful paradoxes of addiction to the lure of despair in the face of the climate crisis-is itself a practice of freedom, a means of forging fortitude, courage, and company. On Freedom is an invigorating, essential book for challenging times.
We'd like to introduce you to Elizabeth Finch. We invite you to take her course in Culture and Civilisation. She will change the way you see the world. 'The task of the present is to correct our understanding of the past. And that task becomes the more urgent when the past cannot be corrected.' Elizabeth Finch was a teacher, a thinker, an inspiration - always rigorous, always thoughtful. With measured empathy, she guided her students to develop meaningful ideas and to discover their centres of seriousness. As Neil, a former student, unpacks Elizabeth's notebooks, and remembers her uniquely inquisitive mind, her passion for reason resonates through the years. Her ideas unlock the philosophies of the past, and explore key events that show us how to make sense of our lives today. And underpinning them all is the story of J - Julian the Apostate, her historical soulmate and fellow challenger to the institutional and monotheistic thinking that has always threatened to divide us. This is more than a novel. It's a loving tribute to philosophy, a careful evaluation of history, an invitation to think for ourselves. It's a moment to reflect and to gently explore our own theories and assumptions. It is truly a balm for our times. This book has been printed with two different colour designs, blue and yellow. We are unable to accept requests for a specific cover. The different covers will be assigned to orders at random
Wise, often funny, sometimes heartbreaking, Persepolis tells the story of Marjane Satrapi's life in Tehran from the ages of six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah's regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken child of radical Marxists, and the great-grandaughter of Iran's last emperor, Satrapi bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country. Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran and of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life. Amidst the tragedy, Marjane's child's eye view adds immediacy and humour, and her story of a childhood at once outrageous and ordinary, beset by the unthinkable and yet buffered by an extraordinary and loving family, is immensely moving. It is also very beautiful; Satrapi's drawings have the power of the very best woodcuts.