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The New Yorker Book of the 50s

The New Yorker Magazine (Author)

The 1950s are enshrined in the popular imagination as the decade of poodle skirts and “I Like Ike.” But this was also a complex time, in which the afterglow of Total Victory firmly gave way to Cold War paranoia. A sense of trepidation grew with the Suez Crisis and the H-bomb tests. At the same time, the fifties marked the cultural emergence of extraordinary new energies, like those of Thelonious Monk, Sylvia Plath and Tennessee Williams.

The New Yorker was there in real time, chronicling the tensions and innovations that lay beneath the era’s placid surface. In this thrilling volume, classic works of reportage, criticism, and fiction are complemented by new contributions from the magazine’s present all-star line-up of writers, including Jonathan Franzen, Malcolm Gladwell, and Jill Lepore.

Here are indelible accounts of the decade’s most exciting players: Truman Capote on Marlon Brando as a pampered young star; Berton Roueché on Jackson Pollock in his first flush of fame. Ernest Hemingway, Emily Post, Bobby Fischer, and Leonard Bernstein are also brought to vivid life in these pages.

Among the audacious young writers who began publishing in the fifties was one who would become a stalwart for the magazine for fifty-five years: John Updike. Also featured here are great early works from Philip Roth and Nadine Gordimer, as well as startling poems by Theodore Roethke and Anne Sexton.

Completing the panoply are insightful and entertaining new pieces by present day New Yorker contributors examining the 1950s through contemporary eyes.

Biased

Jennifer Eberhardt (Author)

‘Jennifer Eberhardt gives us the opportunity to talk about race in new ways, ultimately transforming our thinking about ourselves and the world we want to create.’ Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow

‘Jennifer Eberhardt is one of the great thinkers and one of the great voices of our time.’ Carol Dweck, author of Mindset

‘Groundbreaking... essential reading for anyone interested in how we become a more just society.’ Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy

Professor Jennifer Eberhardt is a Stanford Social Psychologist and one of the world’s leading experts on racial bias. In Biased, she draws on groundbreaking research to demonstrate that even without explicit racism, our unconscious biases powerfully shape our behaviour leading to racial disparities in all sectors of society.

In a global society of increased migration and social movement, Biased highlights the social problems that arise when different races meet, and demonstrates the stubbornly persistent role of racial bias in a world where economic and geographic realities are rapidly changing.

Perhaps more importantly, Biased not only describes one of the most fundamental problems of our age, but puts forward solutions. Unconscious bias is a common human condition to be recognised and managed, not a sin to be punished. Only through understanding comes change.

Avedon

Norma Stevens (Author) , Steven M. L. Aronson (Author)

Richard Avedon was arguably the world’s most famous photographer – as artistically influential as he was commercially successful. Over six richly productive decades, he created landmark advertising campaigns, iconic fashion photographs (as the star photographer for Harper’s Bazaar and then Vogue), groundbreaking books and unforgettable portraits of everyone who was anyone. He also went on the road to find and photograph remarkable uncelebrated faces, with an eye toward constructing a grand composite picture of America.

Avedon dazzled even his most dazzling subjects. He possessed a mystique so unique it was itself a kind of genius – everyone fell under his spell. But the Richard Avedon the world saw was perhaps his greatest creation: he relentlessly curated his reputation and controlled his image, managing to remain, for all his exposure, among the most private of celebrities.

No one knew him better than Norma Stevens, who for thirty years was his business partner and closest confidant. In Avedon: Something Personal – equal parts memoir, biography and oral history, including an intimate portrait of the legendary Avedon studio – Stevens and co-author Steven M. L. Aronson masterfully trace Avedon’s life from his birth to his death, in 2004, at the age of eighty-one, while at work in Texas for The New Yorker (whose first-ever staff photographer he had become in 1992). The story of his two failed marriages and the love affairs he kept hidden – Avedon was a man haunted by guilt – is told here for the first time.

The book contains startlingly candid reminiscences by Mike Nichols, Calvin Klein, Claude Picasso, Renata Adler, Brooke Shields, David Remnick, Naomi Campbell, Twyla Tharp, Jerry Hall, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Bruce Weber, Cindy Crawford, Donatella Versace, Jann Wenner and Isabella Rossellini, among dozens of others.

Avedon: Something Personal is the confiding, compelling full story of a man who for half a century was an enormous influence on both high and popular culture, on both fashion and art – to this day he remains the only artist to have had not one but two retrospectives at the Metropolitan Museum of Art during his lifetime. Not unlike Richard Avedon’s own defining portraits, the book delivers the person beneath the surface, with all his contradictions and complexities, and in all his touching humanity.

The New Yorker Book of the 60s

The next instalment in the acclaimed New Yorker 'decades' series featuring an all-star line-up of historical pieces from the 1960s alongside new pieces by current New Yorker staffers.

The 1960s, the most tumultuous decade of the twentieth century, were a time of tectonic shifts in all aspects of society – from the March on Washington and the Second Vatican Council to the Summer of Love and Woodstock. No magazine chronicled the immense changes of the period better than The New Yorker. This capacious volume includes historic pieces from the magazine’s pages that brilliantly capture the sixties, set alongside new assessments by some of today’s finest writers.

Here are real-time accounts of these years of turmoil: Calvin Trillin reports on the integration of Southern universities, E. B. White and John Updike wrestle with the enormity of the Kennedy assassination and Jonathan Schell travels with American troops into the jungles of Vietnam. The murder of Martin Luther King, Jr., the fallout of the 1968 Democratic Convention, the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, the Six-Day War: all are brought to immediate and profound life in these pages.

The New Yorker of the 1960s was also the wellspring of some of the truly timeless works of American journalism. Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem and James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time all first appeared in The New Yorker and are featured here. The magazine also published such indelible short story masterpieces as John Cheever’s ‘The Swimmer’ and John Updike’s ‘A & P’, alongside poems by Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton.

The arts underwent an extraordinary transformation during the decade, one mirrored by the emergence in The New Yorker of critical voices as arresting as Pauline Kael and Kenneth Tynan. Among the crucial cultural figures profiled here are Simon & Garfunkel, Tom Stoppard, Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg, Cassius Clay (before he was Muhammad Ali), and Mike Nichols and Elaine May.

The assembled pieces are given fascinating contemporary context by current New Yorker writers, including Jill Lepore, Malcolm Gladwell and David Remnick. The result is an incomparable collective portrait of a truly galvanising era.

With contributions from: Truman Capote, John Updike, E.B. White, Rachel Carson, James Baldwin, Jonathan Schell, Dwight Macdonald, Renata Adler, Hannah Arendt, Pauline Kael, AJ Liebling, Nat Hentoff, Calvin Trillin, Xavuer Rynne, John McPhee, Anthony Hiss and more.

The Death of the Gods

Carl Miller (Author)

'Magisterial... a tour de force.' Anthony Giddens

'Essential reading.' Jamie Bartlett

'Prepare to be terrified, exhilarated and occasionally inspired.' Catherine Mayer

'Timely and incisive.' Greg Williams, Wired


A groundbreaking examination of the new centres of power and control in the twenty-first century.

The old gods are dying. Giant corporations collapse overnight. Newspapers are being swallowed. Stock prices plummet with a tweet. Governments are losing control. The old familiarities are tumbling down and a strange new social order is rising in their place. More crime now happens online than offline. Facebook has grown bigger than any state, bots battle elections, technologists have reinvented democracy and information wars are breaking out around us. New mines produce crypto-currencies, coders write policy, and algorithms shape our lives in more ways than we can imagine. What is going on?

For centuries, writers and thinkers have used power as a prism through which to view and understand the world at moments of seismic change. The Death of the Gods is an exploration of power in the digital age, and a journey in search of the new centres of control today. From a cyber-crime raid in suburbia to the engine rooms of Silicon Valley, and from the digital soldiers of Berkshire to the hackers of Las Vegas, pioneering technology researcher Carl Miller traces how power – the most important currency of all – is being transformed, fought over, won and lost. As power escapes from its old bonds, he shows us where it has gone, the shape it now takes and how it touches each of our lives.

Astounding opportunities are at our fingertips. But are we more powerful as individuals than ever before? Or more controlled?

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