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A Brief Guide to the Great Equations

A Brief Guide to the Great Equations

Here are the stories of the ten most popular equations of all time as voted for by readers of Physics World, including – accessibly described here for the first time – the favourite equation of all, Euler’s equation.

Each is an equation that captures with beautiful simplicity what can only be described clumsily in words. Euler’s equation [eip + 1 = 0] was described by respondents as ‘the most profound mathematic statement ever written’, ‘uncanny and sublime’, ‘filled with cosmic beauty’ and ‘mind-blowing’. Collectively these equations also amount to the world’s most concise and reliable body of knowledge.

Many scientists and those with a mathematical bent have a soft spot for equations. This book explains both why these ten equations are so beautiful and significant, and the human stories behind them.
A Brief Guide to the Greek Myths

A Brief Guide to the Greek Myths

The book leads the reader through these vibrant stories, from the origins of the gods through to the homecomings of the Trojan heroes. All the familiar narratives are here, along with some less familiar characters and motifs. In addition to the tales, the book explains key issues arising from the narratives, and discusses the myths and their wider relevance.

This long-overdue book crystallises three key areas of interest: the nature of the tales; the stories themselves; and how they have and might be interpreted. For the first time, it brings together aspects of Greek mythology only usually available in disparate forms – namely children’s books and academic works. There will be much here that is interesting, surprising, and strange as well as familiar. Experts and non-experts, adults, students and schoolchildren alike will gain entertainment and insight from this fascinating and important volume.
A Brief Guide to the Supernatural

A Brief Guide to the Supernatural

From Most Haunted to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, from Underworld to Twilight, from Doom to Resident Evil, The Brief Guide to the Supernatural goes in search of the unearthly with unexpected results; combining history, science, psychology and myth he explores the allure of the paranormal – why so many people still believe in ghosts and angels – as well as the many ways people have tried to contact and record the impossible.
A Brief History Of Video Games

A Brief History Of Video Games

‘Stanton writes with terrific verve and precision . . . his understanding of the seductive pleasures of gaming takes us right to its heart.’
Maria Bustillos, Times Literary Supplement

‘The best overview book of the industry that I’ve read.’
Andrew Liptak, io9

From the first wood-panelled Pong machines in California to the masterpieces of engineering that now sit in countless homes all over the world, A Brief History of Video Games reveals the vibrant history and culture of interactive entertainment.

Above all, this is a book about the games – how the experience of playing has developed from simple, repetitive beginnings into a cornucopia of genres and styles, at once utterly immersive and socially engaging. With full-colour illustrations throughout, it shows how technological advances have transformed the first dots and dashes of bored engineers into sophisticated, responsive worlds that are endlessly captivating.

As thrilling and surprising as the games it describes, this is an indispensable read for anyone serious about the business of having fun.
A Brief History of 1917

A Brief History of 1917

‘Lenin? Yes, he was a good man — he ran the whole country — and he did it on a worker’s

wages.’

The view of a Red Army veteran is in contrast to that of a young Russian entrepreneur: ‘Lenin and Trotsky were totally evil — they turned my country into a nightmare.’ The Revolution of 1917 remains controversial though much is known about its key political players. Roy Bainton tells the compelling, human side, via the poignant stories told to him by ordinary families, their hopes transformed into fear.
A Brief History of Angels and Demons

A Brief History of Angels and Demons

Throughout history, the human quest for knowledge of the divine, has ruffled the wings of many an angel, but also tested the wrath of the demon. This book not traces the history of angels and demons from their earliest roots to their modern day renaissance, but also reveals their most intimate secrets. Whether through personal stories, literature, myth, religion or art, this book is the story of how belief in angels and demons has cast a powerful spell over the popular imagination.
A Brief History of Atlantis

A Brief History of Atlantis

The Atlantis story remains one of the most haunting and enigmatic tales from antiquity, and one that still resonates very deeply with the modern imagination. But where did Atlantis come from, what was it like, and where did it go to?

Atlantis was first introduced by the Greek philosopher Plato in two dialogues the Timaios and Kritias, written in the fourth century BC. As he philosophises about the origins of life, the Universe and humanity, the great thinker puts forward a stunning description of Atlantis, an island paradise with an ideal society. But the Atlanteans degenerate and become imperialist aggressors: they fight against antediluvian Athens, which heroically repels their mighty forces, before a cataclysmic natural disaster destroys the warring states.

His tale of a great empire that sank beneath the waves has sparked thousands of years of debate over whether Atlantis really existed. But did Plato mean his tale as history, or just as a parable to help illustrate his philosophy?

The book is broken down into two main sections plus a coda – firstly the translations/commentaries which will have the discussions of the specifics of the actual texts; secondly a look at the reception of the myth from then to now; thirdly a brief round-off bringing it all together.
A Brief History of Bad Medicine

A Brief History of Bad Medicine

A doctor removes the normal, healthy side of a patient’s brain instead of the malignant tumor. A man whose leg is scheduled for amputation wakes up to find his healthy leg removed. These recent examples are part of a history of medical disasters and embarrassments as old as the profession itself.

In Brief History of Bad Medicine, Robert M. Youngson and Ian Schott have written the definitive account of medical mishap in modern and not-so- modern times. From famous quacks to curious forms of sexual healing, from blunders with the brain to drugs worse than the diseases they are intended to treat, the book reveals shamefully dangerous doctors, human guinea pigs, and the legendary surgeon who was himself a craven morphine addict.

Exploring the line between the comical and the tragic, the honest mistake and the intentional crime, Brief History of Bad Medicine illustrates once and for all that you can’t always trust the people in white coats.
A Brief History of Britain 1066-1485

A Brief History of Britain 1066-1485

From the Battle of Hastings to the Battle of Bosworth Field, Nicholas Vincent tells the story of how Britain was born.

When William, Duke of Normandy, killed King Harold and seized the throne of England, England’s language, culture, politics and law were transformed. Over the next four hundred years, under royal dynasties that looked principally to France for inspiration and ideas, an English identity was born, based in part on the struggle for control over the other parts of the British Isles (Scotland, Wales and Ireland), in part on rivalry with the kings of France. From these struggles emerged English law and an English Parliament, the English language, English humour and England’s first overseas empires.

In this thrilling and accessible account, Nicholas Vincent not only tells the story of the rise and fall of dynasties, but investigates the lives and obsessions of a host of lesser men and women, from archbishops to peasants, and from soldiers to scholars, upon whose enterprise the social and intellectual foundations of Englishness now rest.

This the first book in the four-volume Brief History of Britain which brings together some of the leading historians to tell our nation’s story from the Norman Conquest of 1066 to the present day.

Combining the latest research with accessible and entertaining story-telling, it is the ideal introduction for students and general readers.
A Brief History of Britain 1485-1660

A Brief History of Britain 1485-1660

Praise for the author::
‘For anyone researching the subject, this is the book you’ve been waiting for.’
Washington Post

From the death of Richard III on Bosworth Field in 1485 to the execution of Charles I after the Civil Wars of 1642-48, England was transformed by two dynasties.

First, the Tudors, who had won the crown on the battlefield, changed both the nature of kingship and the nation itself. England became Protestant and began to establish itself as a trading power; facing down seemingly impossible odds, it defeated its enemies on land and sea. But after a century, Elizabeth I died with no heir and the crown was passed to the Stuarts, who sought to remould the kingdom in their own image.

Leading authority on the history of the British Isles in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Ronald Hutton brilliantly recreates the political landscape of this early modern period and shows how the modern nation was forged in these febrile, transformative years. Combining skilful pen portraits of the leading figures of the day with descriptions of its culture, economics and vivid accounts of everyday life, Hutton provides telling insights into this critical period on Britain’s national history.

This the second book in the landmark four-volume Brief History of Britain which brings together leading historians to tell Britain’s story, from the Norman Conquest of 1066 to the present day. Combining the latest research with accessible and entertaining story-telling, the series is the ideal introduction for students and general readers.
A Brief History of Britain 1660 - 1851

A Brief History of Britain 1660 - 1851

Praise for the author:
‘Gibson’s well written and well-documented account of James and the bishops will surely become the new standard authority on these “implausible revolutionaries” for many decades.’
Barbara Brandon Schnorrenberg, Anglican and Episcopal History

In 1660, England emerged from the devastation of the Civil Wars and restored the king, Charles II, to the throne. Over the next 190 years Britain would establish itself as the leading nation in the world – the centre of a burgeoning empire, at the forefront of the Enlightenment and the driving force behind the Industrial Revolution.

However, radical change also brought with it anxiety and violence. America was lost in the War of Independence and calls for revolution at home were never far from the surface of everyday life.

In this vivid and convincing overview of the era in which Britain transformed the world and was itself remade, leading historian of the period William Gibson also looks at the impact of this revolutionary change on the ordinary citizens of Britain.

This is the third book in this wonderfully concise four-volume Brief History of Britain which brings together leading historians to tell the story of Britain from the Norman Conquest of 1066 right up to the present day. Combining the latest research with accessible and entertaining story-telling, it is the ideal introduction to British history for students and general readers.
A Brief History of Britain 1851-2021

A Brief History of Britain 1851-2021

From the Great Exhibition’s showcasing of British national achievement in 1851 to the opening ceremonies of the Olympics in Stratford in 2012 and on to Brexit, an insightful exploration of the transformation of modern Britain

This revised and updated fourth and final volume in the concise Brief History of Britain series begins in the specially-constructed Crystal Palace, three times the length of St Paul’s Cathedral, in Hyde Park at the beginning of the second half of the nineteenth century. The Great Exhibition it housed marked a high point of British national achievement, at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution, at the heart of a great empire, with Queen Victoria still to reign for fifty years. It was a time of confidence in the future, and exuberant patriotism for Britain’s role in it.

The beginning of the Second World War in 1939 marks a turning point because of the great change it heralded in Britain’s global standing. At its peak, protected by the world’s greatest navy, the British Empire stretched from Australasia to Canada, from Hong Kong and India to South Africa, and from Jamaica to the Falklands. Now the empire is no more: a fundamental change not only for the world, but also for Britain. The Second World War had been won, but it had exhausted Britain and marked the beginning of its national decline.

Black links cultural and political developments closely – transport, health, migration and economic and demographic factors – in order to make clear how porous and changeable the manifestations of national civilisation can be, and to make sense of themes such as the triumph of town over country, Britain’s international clout and the shift from the dominance of the market at the turn of the nineteenth century to the growing significance of the state.

Importantly, he also looks at how public history has presented the nation’s past, and how the changing and different ways we look at that past are central aspects of our shared history.
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