Friday, January 16, 2015

Why We Never See Hamsters Trading Stocks

What is it that allows humankind to rule the world? 

Dr. Yuval Noah Harari is continuing to make waves with his revolutionary approach to the history of humankind. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, goes in depth to discuss some of his most provocative statements about humanity and its dominance. 

In the below video, Dr. Harari explains that it is humans' unique ability to believe in things that don't "exist" that allows our species to dominate the planet. He explains further that mythology--not just religious mythology, but economic mythology and concepts like justice and human rights--do not exist outside the collective imagination of humans. 

Keep watching to find out why you never see hamsters on Wall Street and be sure to grab a copy of Sapiens on sale next month!





Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Obituary for Carl N. Degler

Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Neither Black nor White, Carl N. Degler passed away over the holidays at the age of 93. Degler was the Margaret Byrne Professor of American History Emeritus at Stanford University and the author of seven books. 

His work, Out of Our Past, was hailed by Jacob Cohen in The Nation as "the finest one-volume interpretation of American history extant," and is widely used in classrooms across the country. Offering conflicting viewpoints, Degler's Out of Our Past presents students with a comprehensive view of American History. Degler, a former president of the American Historical Association, is known for his perceptive look at history and illuminating the roles of women and minorities often ignored in traditional texts. He encouraged his students and readers to look at history with an open mind and delve deeper in order to expand on earlier accounts. 

To read the full New York Times obituary for Carl N. Degler click here.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Obituary for Robert Stone


Author Robert Stone passed away over the weekend at the age of 77. Stone is the author of eight novels (including National Book Award winner Dog Soldiers, and Pulitzer finalist A Flag for Sunrise), two short-story collections, and one memoir. Over the course of his illustrious career, he held teaching posts at University of Hawaii; Amherst; the University of California at Irvine; Johns Hopkins; and Yale.

Harper published his only memoir,
Prime Green: Remembering the Sixties in 2007. Building on vignettes from his travels across America—from the New York City of Kline and De Kooning to the jazz era of New Orleans's French Quarter, to Ken Kesey's psychedelic California—Stone’s memoir explores the 1960s in all its weird, innocent, turbulent, and fascinating glory, especially examining how the decade shaped him as a writer. To read an excerpt of his work, please click here.

You can read the Robert Stone’s full 
New York Times obituary here.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Hear the incredible true story behind UNBROKEN from Louis Zamperini himself!

Now that you've seen Jack O'Connell as Louis Zamperini overcome extreme odds in Unbroken, get the astonishing true story from Louis himself in Devil At My Heels and Don't Give Up, Don't Give In.

Hear Zamperini recount in his own words his harrowing experience as a prisoner of war during World War II in Devil At My Heels.

Then delve into Don't Give Up, Don't Give In in which Zamperini shares the wisdom he collected along his incredible journey. 

Get Devil At My Heels and Don't Give Up, Don't Give In here!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Thornton Wilder Chosen as One of THE GUARDIAN’s 'Heroes of 2014'

Three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Thornton Wilder was chosen as one of The Guardian’s 'Heroes of 2014.'

While Wilder’s most famous play, Our Town, has been performed just about everywhere in the United States, UK productions are rarer. But thanks to a revival at the Almeida theatre in London this year, playwright and writer Deborah Orr got to experience the timeless magic of Wilder’s work, and rave about it in The Guardian.
Orr writes:
“… I discovered that it was a masterpiece, as fresh and radical as the day it was written, and as profound and accessible a meditation on the human condition as anyone has ever created. . . . everyone should see this play at least once in their lives.”
To see the full article, please click here.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Comedy and Cultural Studies

At first glance a comedian's biography doesn't look like the perfect fit for a Cultural Studies course, but Scott Saul's Becoming Richard Pryor is more than meets the eye. Pryor was one of the most fearless comedians. He confronted stereotypes, challenged Hollywood's treatment of black entertainers, and shared some of his darkest personal experiences with his fans. Becoming Richard Pryor offers students a unique look into one extraordinary man's experience with race in America during the height of counterculture and the Civil Rights movement.




Praise for Becoming Richard Pryor:

"A fascinating, exhilarating read. Saul dives deeper and comes up with more treasure than previous biographers; he deftly traces the stamp that Pryor left on American culture at one of its more impressionable moments...I didn't want to put the book down and couldn't wait to get back to it." —Michael Chabon, bestselling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay and Telegraph Avenue

"With Becoming Richard Pryor, Scott Saul gives us the fullest picture yet of a great and puzzling American figure. What starts as a procedural on the making of an artist becomes a story of a man desperate to be free." —RJ Smith, author of The One: The Life and Music of James Brown

See more about Becoming Richard Pryor here

Friday, December 12, 2014

Did Agriculture Domesticate Humans?

Dr. Yuval Noah Harari is making waves with his revolutionary approach to the history of humankind. In his upcoming book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Dr. Harari goes in depth to discuss some of his most provocative statements about humanity and its dominance. In this month's video Dr. Harari declares that agriculture domesticated humans and not the other way around.

See a brief teaser for Sapiens (on sale 2/10) below!