Yeast is humankind's favourite microbe, our partner in brewing, baking, and winemaking. Nicholas P. Money tells the story of this 10,000-year-long marriage, looking at how yeast served as a major factor in the development of civilization, celebrating its importance, and considering its future roles in molecular biology and genetic engineering.
An essay about how we study and understand history, this book begins by inviting us to think about various questions provoked by our investigation of history. It explores the ways these questions have been answered in the past. It also introduces the concepts of causation, interpretation, and periodization, through examples of how historians work.
Explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century - from overcoming death to creating artificial life. This book asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers?
Covers various themes that contribute to modern Christmas: its Anglo-German origins and the idea of the bourgeois Christmas expressing family virtues; the need for a touchstone with the past in an age of rapid expansion and thus the myth of Merrie England; and the revival of English music: in short, all the elements making up the modern Christmas.
Europe's history is littered with kingdoms, duchies, empires and republics which have now disappeared but which were once fixtures on the map of their age. What happened to the once-great Mediterranean Empire of Aragon? This title lets you discover the stories of lost realms across the centuries.
Boldly outlining the challenges and problems to face modern liberal democracies, the author examines what had just happened and then speculates what was going to come next. He tackles religious fundamentalism, politics, scientific progress, ethical codes, and war.
An alternative history of Western civilization told through its most emblematic invention, the book. As well as taking in the well-known titles that have helped shape the world in which we live, The Secret Library uncovers more neglected works, exploring the intersection between books of all kinds and the history of the Western world.
The countries have been selected to represent every continent and every type of state, large and small, and together they make up two-thirds of the world's population. This book is about the modern age.
Part of the "Penguin Atlas of World History" series, which covers events from the French Revolution onwards, this second volume includes events ranging from the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin Wall to the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001.
Two tales of a city: The historical race to reach one of the world's most mythologized places, and the story of how a contemporary band of archivists and librarians, fighting to save its ancient manuscripts from destruction at the hands of al Qaeda, added another layer to the legend.
Takes you on a whirlwind tour of the last ten centuries of Western history. This book tells the story of godly scientists, shrewd farmers, cold-hearted entrepreneurs and strong-minded women. It states that our understanding of change will never be same.
Examines the key theme of trading in world history, from the earliest signs of trade until the long-distance trade systems such as the famous Silk Road were firmly established. This book traces the development of long-distance trade, from its beginnings in the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods through early river valley civilizations.
In 1659, a vast and unusual map of China arrived in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. From the Gobi Desert to the Philippines, from Java to Tibet and into China itself, the author uses the map (actually a schematic representations of China's relation to astrological heaven) to tease out the varied elements that defined this period in China's history.
Exploring the culture, history and politics of the volatile region which surrounds the Black Sea, the author recalls the world of Herodotus and Aeschylus; Ovid's place of exile on what is now the coast of Romania; the decline and fall of Byzantium; the mysterious Christian Goths; and the growth of Russian power across the grasslands.
Names are everywhere, identifying people, places, animals, plants, public houses and fields. The investigations in this work involve detective stories into the connections between names and related subjects - archaeology and the landscape; genealogy, genetics and family networks; dialects and social customs; and industrial and farming practices.
Explores the ways in which records of human experience are collected. This work describes the crucial role libraries played in ancient Egypt, Han-dynasty China, the ancient Western Classical world (the great library of Alexandria, which was lost to us in stages over many years), the Baghdad of Harun-al-Rashid, and medieval and Renaissance Europe.
Tells the remarkable stories of men and women born in China after 1979 - the recent generations raised under China's single-child policy. From the businessman's son unable to pack his own suitcase, to the PhD student who pulled herself out of extreme rural poverty, this book shows how these generations embody the hopes and fears of a great nation.
Sweeping through the last thousand years of human development, this book is a treasure chest of the lunar leaps and lightbulb moments that, for better or worse, have sent humanity swerving down a path that no one could ever have predicted.
What exactly is a ghost? Are poltergeists, wraiths and revenants technically ghosts? How does 'ghost' relate to 'soul'? And how many different kinds of ghost are there? Ghosts: A Supernatural History is a historical and global exploration of these mysterious apparitions.
It seems that vampires have captured the popular imagination for centuries. Today they are a worldwide phenomenon, featuring in everything from reggae songs to Japanese and Korean horror films. In The Rise of the Vampire, Erik Butler explains our fascination with the undead by examining folklore, literature, film, television, journalism and music.
Discusses about millennia of human ingenuity in the quest to cheat death. This book features various chapters that sum up one of these battlefields such as surgery, doctors, disease, hospitals, laboratories and the human body. It is suitable for those who are keenly aware of their own mortality and wants to do something about it.
How much do we really understand this new Germany, and how do its people now understand themselves? German history may be inherently fragmented, but it contains a large number of widely shared memories, awarenesses and experiences; examining some of these is the purpose of this book.
Surveys the history and nature of Western attitudes towards the East, considering orientalism as a powerful European ideological creation - a way for writers, philosophers and colonial administrators to deal with the 'otherness' of eastern culture, customs and beliefs.
Presents a comprehensive history of the greatest railway maps, and the story behind them. This title tells the history of the railway which is the history of Britain - and France, and America, and Japan, and Russia, among many others.
Focusing on the explosion of civil wars since 1945, Bill Kissane asks what makes the contemporary challenge posed by civil wars different to that of past periods - and looks at what the insights from the historical literature, going back to the ancient Greeks, can add to our understanding of this tragic phenomenon
Why has human history unfolded so differently across the globe? The author puts the case that geography and biogeography, not race, moulded the contrasting fates of Europeans, Asians, Native Americans, sub-Saharan Africans, and aboriginal Australians.
These ten Lives trace the history of Hellenistic Greece from the rise of Macedon and Alexander's conquest of the Persian empire to the arrival of the Romans. Plutarch's biographies of eminent politicians, rulers, and soldiers combine vivid portraits with a wealth of historical information.
One of the world's most ancient and enduring civilizations, Iran has long played a central role in human events and continues to do so today. This book traces Iran's long history, as well as its influence on peoples from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean, and along the Silk Roads as far as China, from prehistoric times up to the present day.
Planet Earth is 4.5 billion years old. In just a fraction of that time, one species among countless others has conquered it. Us. We are the most advanced and most destructive animals ever to have lived. What makes us brilliant? What makes us deadly? What makes us Sapiens? The author explores who we are, how we got here and where we're going.