Staff Pick

Against the Grain is one of the most exhilarating, genre-defying, wild cards of a book on our shelves at the moment. Prehistory buffs, climate scientists, economists, Paleo-dieters, social justice warriors, libertarians, tax code reformers, anthropologists ---  as well as curious minds of an ilk not covered by such categories ...  all will have reason to find James Scott's reassessment of the earliest proto-states in the Mesopotamian alluvial delta fascinating beyond all expectation. It's the kind of book you'll want to reference in every conversation for months post-reading.  

Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States Cover Image
ISBN: 9780300240214
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Yale University Press - July 24th, 2018

Staff Pick

David Christian’s TED Talk “The history of our world in 18 minutes” has been viewed more than eight million times. It covers “Big History”, a framework to make sense of the history of the Universe, from the Big Bang to the present, and then into the distant future, from a human perspective. It covers eight “thresholds” at which “Goldilocks” conditions exist for the emergence of new and more complex phenomena. From a single college course in the late 1980’s, the idea has grown into a course taught at thousands of high schools and colleges, thanks to the personal enthusiasm and financial investment of Bill Gates, raising questions about the influence of private money on public education. Origin Story covers the same ground in book form, and will give you a new perspective on how everything, from salt to supernovas, is connected.

Origin Story: A Big History of Everything Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316392006
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown Spark - May 22nd, 2018

Staff Pick

This meticulously researched, brave and intelligent book demonstrates that the mass incarceration of civilians during war has been practiced around the world for more than a century. Andrea Pitzer traces the evolution of concentration camps from 1890’s Cuba up through the Boer War, Russian Revolution and Holocaust, and she finishes with Guantanamo, where, she writes, “we have detainees in indefinite detention.” One Long Night  is no easy read. But it is surely a book for the times, as we come to grips with the chilling implication that yes, it can happen here.

One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316303590
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Little, Brown and Company - September 19th, 2017