The History of Life: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Michael J. Benton

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199226326

Category: Science

Page: 170

View: 8481

This Very Short Introduction presents a succinct and accessible guide to the key episodes in the story of life on earth - from the very origins of life four million years ago to the extraordinary diversity of species around the globe today.
Posted in Science

The History of Cinema

Author: Geoffrey Nowell-Smith

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198701772

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 144

View: 7159

Cinema was the first, and is arguably still the greatest, of the industrialized art forms that came to dominate the cultural life of the twentieth century. Today, it continues to adapt and grow as new technologies and viewing platforms become available, and remains an integral cultural and aesthetic entertainment experience for people the world over. Cinema developed against the backdrop of the two world wars, and over the years has seen smaller wars, revolutions, and profound social changes. Its history reflects this changing landscape, and, more than any other art form, developments in technology. In this Very Short Introduction, Nowell-Smith looks at the defining moments of the industry, from silent to sound, black and white to color, and considers its genres from intellectual art house to mass market entertainment. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introduction series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Posted in Performing Arts

Human Evolution: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Bernard Wood

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192803603

Category: Science

Page: 131

View: 1830

This introduction traces the history of paleoanthropology from its beginnings in the 18th century to the latest fossil finds. It concentrates on the fossil evidence for human evolution, making reference to the relevant archaeological evidence when appropriate.
Posted in Science

The History of Medicine: A Very Short Introduction

Author: William Bynum

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019921543X

Category: Medical

Page: 169

View: 1928

This Very Short Introduction explores the history of Western medicine, examining the key turning points, discoveries, and controversies in its rich history from classical times to the present.
Posted in Medical

Astrobiology: A Very Short Introduction

Author: David C. Catling

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199586454

Category: Science

Page: 142

View: 3657

Examines the origins of life on Earth and the search for extraterrestrial life, through an understanding of the factors that have allowed life to exist on this planet and the commonalities on others that may enable life elsewhere.
Posted in Science

Plants: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Timothy Walker

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199584060

Category: Science

Page: 129

View: 7482

Plants are a fundamental part of the biosphere and their evolution has directly affected animal life, and the Earth's climate. This Very Short Introduction provides a concise account of the nature of plants, their variety, their evolution, and their importance and uses, stressing the importance of conservation for the future.
Posted in Science

Anthropocene

Author: Erle C. Ellis

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198792980

Category: NATURE

Page: 208

View: 6614

Climate scientists, geologists, ecologists, and archaeologists recognize the profound effects of human activity on Earth, though whether and how this should be recognized as a formal geological epoch - the Anthropocene - remains under debate, Erle Ellis describes how the Anthropocene concept is affecting the sciences, humanities, and politics.
Posted in NATURE

The History of Childhood: A Very Short Introduction

Author: James Marten

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019068139X

Category: History

Page: 160

View: 4677

While children are a relatively unchanging fact of life, childhood is a constantly shifting concept. Throughout the millennia, the age at which a child becomes a youth and a youth becomes an adult has varied by gender, class, religion, ethnicity, place, and economic need. As author James Marten explores in this Very Short Introduction, so too have the realities of childhood, each life shaped by factors such as education, expectation, and conflict (or lack thereof). Indeed, ancient Roman children lived very differently than those born of today's Generation Z. Experiences of childhood have been shaped in classrooms and on factory floors, in family homes and orphanages, and on battlefields and in front of television sets. In addressing this diversity, The History of Childhood: A Very Short Introduction takes a global, expansive view of the features of childhood that have shaped childhood throughout history and continue to shape it now. From the rules of Confucian childrearing in twelfth-century China to the struggles of children living as slaves in the Americas or as cotton mill workers in Industrial Age Britain, Marten takes his inspiration from the idea that the lives of children reveal important and sometimes uncomfortable truths about civilization. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Posted in History

Darwin: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Jonathan Howard

Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks

ISBN: 0192854542

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 125

View: 4192

Arguments still rage about the implications of the evolutionary theory, and scepticism about Darwin's contribution to knowledge is widespread. This accessible study reasserts the importance of Darwin's work for the development of modern biology.
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

The Animal Kingdom: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Peter Holland

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199593213

Category: Science

Page: 126

View: 9345

Molecular biology has revolutionized our understanding of animals and their evolution. In this Very Short Introduction, Peter Holland provides an authoritative summary of the modern view of animal life, its origins, and the new classification resulting from DNA studies.
Posted in Science

Writing and Script: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Andrew Robinson

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199567786

Category: History

Page: 157

View: 8891

Writing is a defining marker of civilisation; without it there could be no accumulation of knowledge. Andrew Robinson tells the fascinating story of the history of writing, considering its development, and examining the enormous variety of writing and scripts we use today.
Posted in History

The Soviet Union: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Stephen Lovell

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199238480

Category: History

Page: 151

View: 2618

Almost twenty years after the Soviet Union's end, what are we to make of its existence? Was it a heroic experiment, an unmitigated disaster, or a viable if flawed response to the modern world? What was the Soviet Union like? How did it evolve over seven decades? What was the relationship between the regime and the general population? This introduction blends political history with an investigation into the society and culture at the time. The author examines aspects of patriotism, mass culture, political violence, poverty, and ideology; and provides answers to some of the big questions about the Soviet experience.
Posted in History

Herodotus: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Jennifer T. Roberts

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199575991

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 123

View: 4650

Jennifer Roberts introduces the background and writing of the 5th century Greek thinker and researcher Herodotus of Halicarnassus, who invented the genre of historical investigation. She discusses all aspects of his work, including his fascination with his origins; his travels; his interest in seeing the world; and the recurring themes of his work.
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

Newton

A Very Short Introduction

Author: Rob Iliffe

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199298033

Category: History

Page: 141

View: 5115

Newton's contributions to an understanding of the heavens and the earth are considered to be unparalleled. This very short introduction explains his scientific theories, and uses Newton's unpublished writings to paint a picture of an extremely complex man whose beliefs had a huge impact on Europe's political, intellectual, and religious landscape.
Posted in History

Fossils: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Keith Thomson

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192805045

Category: Nature

Page: 147

View: 9564

Fossils have been vital to our understanding of the formation of the earth and the origins of all life on it. However, their impact has not been limited to debates about geology and evolution: attempts to explain their existence have shaken religion to its very roots. Keith Thomson provides a remarkably explanation of fossils as a phenomenon. Building on the scientific aspects, he places fossils in a very human context, highlighting their impact on philosophy and mythology, our concept of time, and popular culture. From the black market to the Piltdown Man, and from mythological dragons to living dinosaurs, fossils hold a permanent place in the popular imagination.
Posted in Nature

American Legal History: A Very Short Introduction

Author: G. Edward White

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199766002

Category: Law

Page: 149

View: 3654

A concise examination of the central role of legal decisions in shaping key social issues explores topics ranging from Native American affairs and slavery to business and home life as well as how criminal and civil offenses have been addressed in positive and negative ways. Original.
Posted in Law

Marine Biology: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Philip V. Mladenov

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199695059

Category: Science

Page: 156

View: 8473

In this Very Short Introduction, Philip Mladenov provides a fascinating overview of marine biology. Including a tour of marine life and marine processes that ranges from the polar oceans to tropical coral reefs, he outlines the principles of marine biology whilst demonstrating the fundamental impact humans have on the oceans and their ecology.
Posted in Science

The Meaning of Life: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Terry Eagleton

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 9780191579035

Category: Philosophy

Page: 128

View: 642

We have all wondered about the meaning of life. But is there an answer? And do we even really know what we're asking? Terry Eagleton takes a stimulating and quirky look at this most compelling of questions: at the answers explored in philosophy and literature; at the crisis of meaning in modern times; and suggests his own solution to how we might rediscover meaning in our lives.
Posted in Philosophy

Machiavelli: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Quentin Skinner

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 019154034X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 128

View: 4019

Niccolo Machiavelli taught that political leaders must be prepared to do evil that good may come of it, and his name has been a byword ever since for duplicity and immorality. Is his sinister reputation deserved? In answering this question Quentin Skinner focuses on three major works, The Prince, the Discourses, and The History of Florence, and distils from them an introduction to Machiavelli's doctrines of exemplary clarity. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Posted in Philosophy

Socrates: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Christopher Taylor

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191540390

Category: Philosophy

Page: 144

View: 5793

Socrates has a unique position in the history of philosophy. It is no exaggeration to say that had it not been for his influence on Plato, the whole development of Western philosophy might have bee unimaginably different. Yet Socrates wrote nothing himself, and our knowledge of him is derived primarily from the engaging and infuriating figure who appears in Plato's dialogues. In this book, Christopher Taylor explores the relationship between the historical Socrates and the Platonic character, and examines the enduring image of Socrates as the ideal exemplar of the philosophic life - a thinker whose moral and intellectual integrity permeated every detail of his life, even in the face of betrayal and execution by his fellow Athenians. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Posted in Philosophy