170 results 1-20
From Paul Kennedy, author of The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, one of the most acclaimed history books of recent decades, Engineers of Victory is a new account of how the tide was turned against the Nazis by the Allies in the Second World War.
In January 1943 Churchill and Roosevelt met in Casablanca to review the Allies' war aims. To achieve unconditional surrender they had to overcome some formidable hurdles, from winning air command to 'hopping' across the Pacific islands. Eighteen months later, they had done what seemed impossible.
Here Paul Kennedy reveals the role of the problem-solvers and middle-men who made it happen - like Major-General Perry Hobart, who invented the 'funny tanks' which flattened the D-Day beaches; or Captain 'Johnny' Walker, who worked out how to sink U-boats with a 'creeping barrage'. This book shows the conflict in an entirely new light.
'Consistently original ... An important contribution to our understanding' Michael Beschloss, The New York Times Book Review
'[Kennedy's] refreshing study ... asks the right questions, disposes of clichés and gives a rich account of neglected topics' David Edgerton, Financial Times
'Colourfully and convincingly illustrates the ingenuity and persistence of a few people who made all the difference' Washington Post
PAUL KENNEDY is one of the world's best-selling and most influential historians. He is the author or editor of nineteen books, including The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, which has been translated into over twenty languages, Preparing for the Twenty-First Century, The Parliament of Man and the now classic Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery.
Started to worry about just how hot our world is going to get, and whether you can do anything about it? As the effect of climate change grows by the day, so does the amount of hot air and bluster spouted by politicians and businessmen on what we should do about it. What with the excuses, the lies, the fudged figures, the PR greenwashing and the downright misinformation on the power of everything from wind turbines to carbon trading, when it comes to saving the world, most people don't know what they're talking about.
Luckily, George Monbiot - scourge of big business, riler of governments, arch-enemy of climate change deniers everywhere - does. Packed with killer facts and inspiring ideas, shot through with passion and underlined by brilliant investigative journalism, with a copy of Heat you really can protect the planet.
'I defy you to read this book and not feel motivated to change' The Times
In Automate This, Christopher Steiner looks at how the rise of computerized decision making affects every aspect of business and daily life
These days, high-level tasks-such as diagnosing an illness or interpreting legal documents-are increasingly being handled by algorithms that can do precise work with speed and nuance. These "bots" started on Wall Street, but now their reach has spread beyond anything their original creators expected.
In this fascinating book, Steiner tells the story of how algorithms took over-and shows why the "bot revolution" is about to spill into every aspect of our lives. We meet bots that are driving cars, penning haikus, and writing music mistaken for Bach's. They listen in on customer service calls and figure out what Iran would do in the event of a nuclear standoff.
But what will the world look like when algorithms control our hospitals, our roads, our culture, and our national security? What happens to businesses when we automate judgment and eliminate human instinct? And what role will be left for doctors, lawyers, writers, truck drivers, and many others?
Published: 30 Jul 2015
From the author of INTO THE SILENCE, winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction
In 1941, Richard Evans Schultes took a leave of absence from Harvard University and disappeared into the Northern Amazon of Colombia.
The world’s leading authority on the hallucinogens and medicinal plants of the region, he returned after twelve years of travelling through South America in a dug-out canoe, mapping uncharted rivers, living among local tribes and documenting the knowledge of shamans.
Thirty years later, his student Wade Davis landed in Bogota to follow in his mentor’s footsteps – so creating an epic tale of undaunted adventure, a compelling work of natural history and a testament to the spirit of scientific exploration.
Find out where great ideas come from.
A businessman struggles with his luggage at an airport and pioneers the wheeled suitcase. An engineer watches people using walkie-talkies and dreams up the mobile phone. A printer is frustrated by his unpredictable inks and creates the Pantone colour system.
Why were these particular people able to identify a problem, and how did they discover the solutions that everyone else missed? Where exactly did their great ideas come from, and how did they go about making them a reality?
In pursuit of answers, Pagan Kennedy has spent her career examining the creative process, interviewing inventors and engineers, scientists, psychologists and economists in a bid to understand how we create. In Inventology Kennedy collects their wisdom and explores a series of landmark inventions, taking us through the processes by which we have come to dream up new products and technologies, and conceived solutions to ‘impossible’ problems.
A must-read for anyone who is curious about imagination, design and innovation, Inventology will inspire and entertain, and will show you how to become more creative.
In recent decades, we have witnessed an explosion in the number of visual images we encounter, as our lives have become increasingly saturated with screens. From Google Images to Instagram, video games to installation art, this transformation is confusing, liberating and worrying all at once, since observing the new visuality of culture is not the same as understanding it.
Nicholas Mirzoeff is a leading figure in the field of visual culture, which aims to make sense of this extraordinary explosion of visual experiences. As Mirzoeff reminds us, this is not the first visual revolution; the 19th century saw the invention of film, photography and x-rays, and the development of maps, microscopes and telescopes made the 17th century an era of visual discovery. But the sheer quantity of images produced on the internet today has no parallels.
In the first book to define visual culture for the general reader, Mirzoeff draws on art history, theory and everyday experience to provide an engaging and accessible overview of how visual materials shape and define our lives.
You are accused of a crime? Who would you rather decides your future – an algorithm or a human?
Before making your decision, bear in mind that the algorithm will always be more consistent, and far less prone to an error of judgement. Then again, at least the human will be able to look you in the eye before determining your fate. How much fairness would you be willing to sacrifice for that human touch?
This is just one of the dilemmas we face in the age of the algorithm, where the machine rules supreme, telling us what to watch, where to go, even who to send to prison. As increasingly we rely on them to automate big, important decisions – in crime, healthcare, transport, money - they raise questions that cut to the heart of what we want our society to look like, forcing us to decide what matters most. Is helping doctors to diagnose patients more or less important than preserving our anonymity? Should we prevent people from becoming victims of crime, or protect innocent people from being falsely accused?
Hannah Fry takes us on a tour through the good, the bad, and the downright ugly of the algorithms that surround us. In Hello World she lifts the lid on their inner workings, demonstrates their power, exposes their limitations, and examines whether they really are an improvement on the human systems they replace.
Alexander Graham Bell (1847–1922) was the son of Melville Bell, inventor of the Visible Speech which revolutionised phonetics and linguistics. He was inspired by his deaf mother to try to communicate with deaf-mutes and teach them to speak. While exploring the mechanism of speech, sound and hearing, he discovered the principles of the telephone, arguably the most important invention of all time, without which the gramophone, radio, television and videophone could not have been possible.
The telephone made him wealthy, but Bell went on to invent the iron lung, pioneer aircraft, improve the breeding of sheep and co-found the National Geographic Society.
This superb biography follows Bell from his birthplace in Edinburgh to his studies and teaching in London and Europe and thence to riches and fame in the United States of Canada. Set against the colourful backdrop of Victorian Britain and the exhilaration of the New World, Sounds Out of Silence is the definitive story of one of the world’s greatest inventors.
Published: 13 Mar 1997
Published: 28 Mar 1991
The Most Human Human by Brian Christian is a mind-blowing piece of reportage that will appeal to readers of Jon Ronson's The Psychopath Test, and an inspiring riposte to John Gray's classic Straw Dogs - a book that will change your whole understanding of what being human actually means...
AI is on the brink of a new dawn. And so are we. . .
Telling the difference between humans and computers used to be easy. But artificial intelligence is now so advanced that it is capable of behaving, and even thinking, in ways that have long been considered exclusive to humankind. The time has come to rethink what being human actually means...
In The Most Human Human Brian Christian meets the world's leading artificial intelligences, finds out what they're capable of - and what makes us unique. The result is a funny, shocking, inspiring, deeply humane and intelligent book that reaches into every aspect of our lives.
'Tremendously entertaining' ****Metro
'Excellent ... a fascinating explanation of what it means to be human'Financial Times
'Remarkable. A philosophical joyride. The day that a machine creates work of such wit and originality, we should all be very worried'The Times
'An epic tour of philosophical, linguistic and scientific discovery. We stop off in places as far-flung as existential anxiety, predictive text and Gary Kasparov's defeat by Deep Blue' ****Time Out
'Lively, thought-stirring, entertaining, invaluable ... compelling insights'John Gray, New Statesman
At the age of twenty-six, Brian Christian has lectured at the LSE, Royal Academy, Bristol Festival of Ideas, Microsoft and Google, been interviewed on The Daily Show, BBC and in the Paris Review, profiled in the Guardian, featured in The New York Times, the New Yorker and on the front cover of Atlantic, and has made numerous appearances at universities and in online videos speaking on his subject. He holds a dual degree from Brown University in computer science and philosophy, and an MFA in poetry.
Churches and cathedrals play an essential part in our heritage. As community-centred places of worship and important tourist attractions, they are visited by millions of people each year. But churches were originally built to be read, and so are packed with images, symbols and meanings that often need explanation. This beautiful book unlocks all the treasures they contain.
Described by Christopher Howse in the Daily Telegraph as 'a handy crash course in church literacy', the first edition of this unique and accessible guide to the common symbols and meanings in church art and architecture became a bestseller on first publication. In this stunning illustrated edition, over 100 colour photographs represent the very best in church architecture - from paintings, fonts and altars, to pew ends, choir stalls and stained glass windows. This is the ultimate reference for anybody who wants to know more about what they see in a church or cathedral from the significance of church layouts, the symbolism of key scenes and the importance of details, to the use of colours and letters.
Published: 2 Sep 2004
Written with investigative vigour, provocative and controversial but always accessible, Eating is a hard-hitting exploration of our eating habits, making us look at what we eat as a moral issue.
Organic foods are the fastest growing section of the food industry, and it is estimated that vegans are now almost as common as vegetarians. Veal consumption in the US has fallen by more than 75% since 1975, and in the UK, sales of free-range eggs have now passed in value sales of eggs from caged hens. Evidently we are concerned. But how concerned should we be about where our food comes from? Does the food we buy really affect the world around us? And what can we do?
In Eating, philosopher Peter Singer and environmentalist Jim Mason follow three families with varying eating habits, from fast-food eaters to vegans, to explore how the food we eat makes its way to the table, and at what expense. The authors peel back each layer of food production, and examine how they ought to factor into our buying choices. Recognising that we are not all likely to become vegetarian or vegan, they go on to offer ways to make the most ethical choices within the framework of a diet that includes animal products.
Fred Dibnah's World celebrates the life and work of Britain's best known steeplejack and national treasure, Fred Dibnhah. Before his death in 2004, Fred presented many popular series, including Magnificent Monuments, The Age of Steam and Made in Britain, all of which attracted viewers in their millions.
Fred is the companion to the 12-part BBC2 series celebrating the life of this great man, which combines highlights from some of Dibnah's classic programmes with previously unseen footage. The book can of course go much further than the series, including an extraordinarily account of Fred's childhood which evokes a lost England and our great industrial heritage. Fred's passion for the glories of the Victorian age and his fascination with the landscape he grew up in, plus his admiration for the craftsmen and labourers who made it all possible, captivate us on every page.
Fred is the personification of everything that made England great in the first place. And this is a glorious tribute to a man whom millions came to love.
Selected as a Book of the Year 2017 in You Magazine
'A lavish monthly guide to getting the most from your garden' Daily Mail
A punnet of plums from your tree, a handful of gooseberries; home-grown nuts and herbs, and a few freshly laid eggs from your hens – all enjoyed in your own small plot. What could be more satisfying?
The Garden Farmer is an evocative journal and monthly guide to getting the most out of your garden throughout the year. Whether you are a keen gardener looking for inspiration, or just starting out and wanting to rediscover and reclaim your patch of earth, Sunday Telegraph garden-columnist Francine Raymond lays the groundwork for a bountiful year of garden farming.
Maybe you would like to get outside more, grow a few essential vegetables, some fruit trees or bushes for preserving, and create a scented kitchen garden to provide for you year round. Or perhaps you will raise a small flock of ducks or geese, or even a couple of pigs? Could this be the year you decorate your home with nature’s adornments, encourage wildlife back to pollinate your trees and plants, and spend celebratory hours in a haven of your own creation?
Each chapter of The Garden Farmer offers insight into the topics and projects you might be contemplating that month, along with planting notes and timely advice, and a recipe that honours the fruits of your labour. With just a little effort and planning, every garden can be tended in tune with nature, and every gardener can enjoy a host of seasonal delights from their own soil.
Keep up-to-date with Francine's gardening adventures on her blog at kitchen-garden-hens.co.uk.
Michael Sissons (Author)
The rural fuse has been lit. The countryside is tinder-dry. Post offices and banks, shops and schools are closing. Farmers are going out of business. Houses are becoming unaffordable as prices soar ad poverty grows. Pollution and over-exploitation are destroying landscapes. Many rural communities are on the verge of collapse. Some fear the foot- and - mouth crisis will prove to be the last straw. This book offers disturbing evidence of the background to the crisis.
A Countryside For All is a rallying cry for action, pointing ways towards a presciption for the future. This volume tackles many of the issues in a variety of new and original ways. Possibly the most controversial and radical call is for the creation of a Department for the Countryside, with a Secretary of State for the Countryside- who would be responsible for setting a coherent set of policies to reverse the decline of rural Britain.
This timely book outlines the main problems facing the countryside, and starts to bring together a balanced range of proposals. Thought-provoking, filled with common sense, often controversial but always fascinating, it points the way forward for the countryside, and for town and country as a whole.
In 1450, all Europe's books were handcopied and amounted to only a few thousand. By 1500 they were printed, and numbered in their millions. The invention of one man - Johann Gutenberg - had caused a revolution. Printing by movable type was a discovery waiting to happen.
Born in 1400 in Mainz, Germany, Gutenberg struggled against a background of plague and religious upheaval to bring his remarkable invention to light. His story is full of paradox: his ambition was to reunite all Christendom, but his invention shattered it; he aimed to make a fortune, but was cruelly denied the fruits of his life's work. Yet history remembers him as a visionary; his discovery marks the beginning of the modern world.
The system that governs how money works, with its brokers and middlemen, has stayed roughly the same for centuries. Now there’s an alternative, and it puts us on the cusp of a revolution that could reshape our world.
At the heart of this lie cryptocurrencies, a technology with the transformative potential of the printing press or the internet. They bypass the elites and cut out the gatekeepers. Unlike traditional money they’re peer-to-peer, they don’t have a nationality, they’re digital and democratic. They are also lawless.
For the Afghani woman denied a bank account by a repressive society, or any of the world’s 2.5 billion unbanked individuals, cryptocurrencies open new possibilities. What would a world without banks or credit cards or even national currencies look like for all of us?
From Silicon Valley to the streets of Beijing, this is a book about a revolution in the making, a story of human invention, and a guide to the future.
* * * Winner of the 2014 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books * * *
Stuff Matters by Mark Miodnownik is a unique and inspiring exploration of human creativity.
'Enthralling. A mission to re-acquaint us with the wonders of the fabric that sustains our lives' Guardian
Everything is made of something...
From the everyday objects in our homes to the most extraordinary new materials that will shape our future, Stuff Matters reveals the inner workings of the man-made world, the miracles of craft, design, engineering and ingenuity that surround us every day.
From the tea-cup to the jet engine, the silicon chip to the paper clip, from the ancient technologies of fabrics and ceramic to today's self-healing metals and bionic implants, this is a book to inspire amazement and delight at mankind's creativity.
'A certain sort of madness may be necessary to pull off what he has attempted here, which is a wholesale animation of the inanimate: Miodownik achieves precisely what he sets out to' The Times
'Insightful, fascinating. The futuristic materials will elicit gasps. Makes even the most everyday substance seem exciting' Sunday Times
'Wonderful. Miodownik writes well enough to make even concrete sparkle' Financial Times
'I stayed up all night reading this book' Oliver Sacks
'Expert, deftly written, immensely enjoyable' Observer
Mark Miodownik is Professor of Materials and Society at UCL, scientist-in-residence on Dara O Briain's Science Club (BBC2) and presenter of several documentaries, including The Genius of Invention (BBC2). In 2010, he gave the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, broadcast on BBC4. He is Director of the UCL Institute of Making, which is home to a materials library containing some of the most wondrous matter on earth, and has collaborated to make interactive events with many museums, such as Tate Modern, the Hayward Gallery and Wellcome Collection. In 2014 Stuff Matters won the Royal Society Winton Prize.