Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the bestselling author of The Black Swan and one of the foremost thinkers of our time, reveals how to thrive in an uncertain world.
Just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension, and rumors or riots intensify when someone tries to repress them, many things in life benefit from stress, disorder, volatility, and turmoil. What Taleb has identified and calls “antifragile” is that category of things that not only gain from chaos but need it in order to survive and flourish.
In The Black Swan, Taleb showed us that highly improbable and unpredictable events underlie almost everything about our world. In Antifragile, Taleb stands uncertainty on its head, making it desirable, even necessary, and proposes that things be built in an antifragile manner. The antifragile is beyond the resilient or robust. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better and better.
Furthermore, the antifragile is immune to prediction errors and protected from adverse events. Why is the city-state better than the nation-state, why is debt bad for you, and why is what we call “efficient” not efficient at all? Why do government responses and social policies protect the strong and hurt the weak? Why should you write your resignation letter before even starting on the job? How did the sinking of the Titanic save lives? The book spans innovation by trial and error, life decisions, politics, urban planning, war, personal finance, economic systems, and medicine. And throughout, in addition to the street wisdom of Fat Tony of Brooklyn, the voices and recipes of ancient wisdom, from Roman, Greek, Semitic, and medieval sources, are loud and clear.
Antifragile is a blueprint for living in a Black Swan world.
Erudite, witty, and iconoclastic, Taleb’s message is revolutionary: The antifragile, and only the antifragile, will make it.
Praise for Antifragile
“Ambitious and thought-provoking . . . highly entertaining.”—The Economist
“A bold book explaining how and why we should embrace uncertainty, randomness, and error . . . It may just change our lives.”—Newsweek
“Revelatory . . . [Taleb] pulls the reader along with the logic of a Socrates.”—Chicago Tribune
“Startling . . . richly crammed with insights, stories, fine phrases and intriguing asides . . . I will have to read it again. And again.”—Matt Ridley, The Wall Street Journal
“Trenchant and persuasive . . . Taleb’s insatiable polymathic curiosity knows no bounds. . . . You finish the book feeling braver and uplifted.”—New Statesman
“Antifragility isn’t just sound economic and political doctrine. It’s also the key to a good life.”—Fortune
“At once thought-provoking and brilliant.”—Los Angeles Times
From the Hardcover edition.
Ahmed draws on the intellectual history of happiness, from classical accounts of ethics as the good life, through seventeenth-century writings on affect and the passions, eighteenth-century debates on virtue and education, and nineteenth-century utilitarianism. She engages with feminist, antiracist, and queer critics who have shown how happiness is used to justify social oppression, and how challenging oppression causes unhappiness. Reading novels and films including Mrs. Dalloway, The Well of Loneliness, Bend It Like Beckham, and Children of Men, Ahmed considers the plight of the figures who challenge and are challenged by the attribution of happiness to particular objects or social ideals: the feminist killjoy, the unhappy queer, the angry black woman, and the melancholic migrant. Through her readings she raises critical questions about the moral order imposed by the injunction to be happy.
Animal tracks, word magic, the speech of stones, the power of letters, and the taste of the wind all figure prominently in this intellectual tour de force that returns us to our senses and to the sensuous terrain that sustains us. This major work of ecological philosophy startles the senses out of habitual ways of perception.
For a thousand generations, human beings viewed themselves as part of the wider community of nature, and they carried on active relationships not only with other people with other animals, plants, and natural objects (including mountains, rivers, winds, and weather patters) that we have only lately come to think of as "inanimate." How, then, did humans come to sever their ancient reciprocity with the natural world? What will it take for us to recover a sustaining relation with the breathing earth?
In The Spell of the Sensuous David Abram draws on sources as diverse as the philosophy of Merleau-Ponty, Balinese shamanism, Apache storytelling, and his own experience as an accomplished sleight-of-hand of magician to reveal the subtle dependence of human cognition on the natural environment. He explores the character of perception and excavates the sensual foundations of language, which--even at its most abstract--echoes the calls and cries of the earth. On every page of this lyrical work, Abram weaves his arguments with a passion, a precision, and an intellectual daring that recall such writers as Loren Eisleley, Annie Dillard, and Barry Lopez.
The father of existentialism, Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) was a philosopher who could write like an angel. With only a sentence or two, he could plumb the depths of the human spirit. In this collection of some 800 quotations, the reader will find dazzling bon mots next to words of life-changing power. Drawing from the authoritative Princeton editions of Kierkegaard's writings, this book presents a broad selection of his wit and wisdom, as well as a stimulating introduction to his life and work.
Organized by topic, this volume covers notable Kierkegaardian concerns such as anxiety, despair, existence, irony, and the absurd, but also erotic love, the press, busyness, and the comic. Here readers will encounter both well-known quotations ("Life must be understood backward. But then one forgets the other principle, that it must be lived forward") and obscure ones ("Beware false prophets who come to you in wolves' clothing but inwardly are sheep--i.e., the phrasemongers"). Those who spend time in these pages will discover the writer who said, "my grief is my castle," but who also taught that "the best defense against hypocrisy is love."
Illuminating and delightful, this engaging book also provides a substantial portrait of one of the most influential of modern thinkers.Gathers some 800 quotations Drawn from the authoritative Princeton editions of Kierkegaard's writings Includes an introduction, a brief account and timeline of Kierkegaard's life, a guide to further reading, and an index
in the direction of Idealism. Returning to the materiality of life, Henry's material phenomenology situates central phenomenological themes--intentionality, temporality, embodiment, and intersubjectivity--within the full concreteness of life.
One of the most accessible of Henry's books, Material Phenomenology is essential reading for those interested in the future of phenomenology or in a philosophy of life in the truest sense.
What is the nature of the relationship of Jacques Derrida and deconstruction to Edmund Husserl and phenomenology? Is deconstruction a radical departure from phenomenology or does it trace its origins to the phenomenological project? In Derrida and Husserl, Leonard Lawlor illuminates Husserl's influence on the French philosophical tradition that inspired Derrida's thought. Beginning with Eugen Fink's pivotal essay on Husserl's philosophy, Lawlor carefully reconstructs the conceptual context in which Derrida developed his interpretation of Husserl. Lawlor's investigations of the work of Jean CavaillÃ ̈s, Tran-Duc-Thao, and Jean Hyppolite, as well as recent texts by Derrida, reveal the depth of Derrida's relationship to Husserl's phenomenology. Along the way, Lawlor revisits and sheds light on the origin of many important Derridean concepts, such as deconstruction, the metaphysics of presence, diffÃ©rance, intentionality, the trace, and spectrality.
The second section of Visual Intelligence examines the role which various media play in creating the images which impact our lives: how visual images create a language with profound psychological meaning, and how print, television, and film media manipulate images to create desired emotional effects. Close-ups explore visual subtleties in such areas as digital manipulation, camera attitudes, and contextual framing, as well as the social consequences of “image” as an abstract concept expressed in concrete visual terms. Part III looks critically at the most controversial areas of image persuasiveness today—advertising, politics, and entertainment.
A Phenomenological Study
Edward S. Casey
A pioneering investigation of the multiple ways of remembering and the difference that memory makes in our daily lives.
A Choice Outstanding Academic Book
An excellent book that provides an in-depth phenomenological and philosophical study of memory." —Choice
... a stunning revelation of the pervasiveness of memory in our lives." —Contemporary Psychology
[Remembering] presents a study of remembering that is fondly attentive to its rich diversity, its intricacy of structure and detail, and its wide-ranging efficacy in our everyday, life-world experience.... genuinely pioneering, it ranges far beyond what established traditions in philosophy and psychology have generally taken the functions and especially the limits of memory to be." —The Humanistic Psychologist
Edward S. Casey provides a thorough description of the varieties of human memory, including recognizing and reminding, reminiscing and commemorating, body memory and place memory. The preface to the new edition extends the scope of the original text to include issues of collective memory, forgetting, and traumatic memory, and aligns this book with Casey’s newest work on place and space. This ambitious study demonstrates that nothing in our lives is unaffected by remembering.
Studies in Continental Thought—John Sallis, general editor
Preface to the Second Edition
Introduction Remembering Forgotten: The Amnesia of Anamnesis
Part One: Keeping Memory in Mind
Remembering as Intentional: Act Phase
Remembering as Intentional: Object Phase
Part Two: Mnemonic Modes
Part Three: Pursuing Memory beyond Mind
Part Four: Remembering Re-membered
The Thick Autonomy of Memory
Freedom in Remembering
Salamon suggests that the difference between transgendered and normatively gendered bodies is not, in the end, material. Rather, she argues that the production of gender itself relies on a disjunction between the "felt sense" of the body and an understanding of the body's corporeal contours, and that this process need not be viewed as pathological in nature. Examining the relationship between material and phantasmatic accounts of bodily being, Salamon emphasizes the productive tensions that make the body both present and absent in our consciousness and work to confirm and unsettle gendered certainties. She questions traditional theories that explain how the body comes to be& mdash;and comes to be made one's own& mdash;and she offers a new framework for thinking about what "counts" as a body. The result is a groundbreaking investigation into the phenomenological life of gender.
Beginning with an overview of Merleau-Ponty’s life and work, subsequent chapters cover fundamental aspects of Merleau-Ponty’s thought, including his philosophy of perception and intentionality; the role of the body in relation to perception; philosophy of history and culture; and his writings on art and aesthetics, particularly the work of Cezanne. A final chapter considers Merleau-Ponty’s importance today, examining his philosophy in light of recent developments in philosophy of mind and cognitive science.
Merleau-Ponty is essential reading for students of phenomenology, existentialism and Twentieth century philosophy. It is also ideal for anyone in the humanities and social sciences seeking an introduction to his work.
Carbaugh shows how listening to communication in cultural scenes like these can help reveal how deeply identity is situated in various communicative practices. These include a ritual of play, symbolic allusions to different classes of people, a diversity in the forms of names used upon marriage, the play between genders and gender-neutral language, and the relationship between language, nature, community, and politics. Concluding commentary links the studies to the contemporary American scene, and shows how the focus on communication can integrate into community living both shared and separate identities. Emerging from these studies is a view of communication as not only a situated expression of selves in American scenes, but also an active contributor in constituting those very identities and scenes.
L’Imaginationwas published in 1936 when Jean-Paul Sartre was thirty years old. Long out of print, this is the first English translation in many years. The Imagination is Sartre’s first full philosophical work, presenting some of the basic arguments concerning phenomenology, consciousness and intentionality that were to later appear in his master works and be so influential in the course of twentieth-century philosophy.
Sartre begins by criticising philosophical theories of the imagination, particularly those of Descartes, Leibniz and Hume, before establishing his central thesis. Imagination does not involve the perception of ‘mental images’ in any literal sense, Sartre argues, yet reveals some of the fundamental capacities of consciousness. He then reviews psychological theories of the imagination, including a fascinating discussion of the work of Henri Bergson. Sartre argues that the ‘classical conception’ is fundamentally flawed because it begins by conceiving of the imagination as being like perception and then seeks, in vain, to re-establish the difference between the two. Sartre concludes with an important chapter on Husserl’s theory of the imagination which, despite sharing the flaws of earlier approaches, signals a new phenomenological way forward in understanding the imagination.
The Imagination is essential reading for anyone interested in the philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre, phenomenology, and the history of twentieth-century philosophy.
This new translation includes a helpful historical and philosophical introduction by Kenneth Williford and David Rudrauf. Also included is Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s important review of L’Imagination upon its publication in French in 1936.
Translated by Kenneth Williford and David Rudrauf.
In Habitations of the Veil, Rebecka Rutledge
Fisher uses theory implicit in W. E. B. Du Bois’s use of metaphor to draw out
and analyze what she sees as a long tradition of philosophical metaphor in
African American literature. She demonstrates how Olaudah Equiano, Frances Ellen
Watkins Harper, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, and Ralph Ellison each use
metaphors to develop a critical discourse capable of overcoming the limits of
narrative language to convey their lived experiences. Fisher’s philosophical
investigations open these texts to consideration on ontological and
epistemological levels, in addition to those concerned with literary craft and
the politics of black identity.
In the English-speaking world, where “analytic philosophy” dominates, phenomenology has recently emerged as a hot topic after decades of neglect. This has resulted from a dramatic upswing in interest in consciousness, the condition that makes all experience possible. Since the special significance of phenomenology is that it investigates consciousness, analytic philosophers have begun to turn to it as an underutilized resource. For the same reason, Husserl’s work is now widely studied by cognitive scientists.
The current revival of interest in phenomenology also stems from the recognition that not every kind of question can be approached by means of experimental techniques. Not all questions are scientific in that sense. Thus, if there is to be knowledge in logic, mathematics, ethics, political philosophy, aesthetics, epistemology (theory of knowledge), psychology (from the inside), and the study of consciousness, among others, another method is clearly needed. Phenomenology is an attempt to rectify this. Its aim is to focus on the world as given in experience, and to describe it with unprecedented care, rigor, subtlety, and completeness. This applies not only to the objects of sense experience, but to all phenomena: moral, aesthetic, political, mathematical, and so forth. One can avoid the obscure problem of the real, independent existence of the objects of experience in these domains by focusing instead on the objects, as experienced, themselves, along with the acts of consciousness which disclose them.
Phenomenology thus opens up an entirely new field of investigation, never previously explored. Rather than assuming, or trying to discern, what exists outside the realm of the mental, and what causal relations pertain to these extra-mental entities, we can study objects strictly as they are given, that is, as they appear to us in experience.
This book explains what phenomenology is and why it is important. It focuses primarily on the works and ideas of Husserl, but also discusses important later thinkers, giving special emphasis to those whose contributions are most relevant to contemporary concerns. Finally, while Husserl’s greatest contributions were to the philosophical foundations of logic, mathematics, knowledge, and science, this book also addresses extensively the relatively neglected contribution of phenomenology to value theory, especially ethics, political philosophy, and aesthetics.
Eric Schmidt is one of Silicon Valley’s great leaders, having taken Google from a small startup to one of the world’s most influential companies. Jared Cohen is the director of Google Ideas and a former adviser to secretaries of state Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton. With their combined knowledge and experiences, the authors are uniquely positioned to take on some of the toughest questions about our future: Who will be more powerful in the future, the citizen or the state? Will technology make terrorism easier or harder to carry out? What is the relationship between privacy and security, and how much will we have to give up to be part of the new digital age?
In this groundbreaking book, Schmidt and Cohen combine observation and insight to outline the promise and peril awaiting us in the coming decades. At once pragmatic and inspirational, this is a forward-thinking account of where our world is headed and what this means for people, states and businesses.
With the confidence and clarity of visionaries, Schmidt and Cohen illustrate just how much we have to look forward to—and beware of—as the greatest information and technology revolution in human history continues to evolve. On individual, community and state levels, across every geographical and socioeconomic spectrum, they reveal the dramatic developments—good and bad—that will transform both our everyday lives and our understanding of self and society, as technology advances and our virtual identities become more and more fundamentally real.
As Schmidt and Cohen’s nuanced vision of the near future unfolds, an urban professional takes his driverless car to work, attends meetings via hologram and dispenses housekeeping robots by voice; a Congolese fisherwoman uses her smart phone to monitor market demand and coordinate sales (saving on costly refrigeration and preventing overfishing); the potential arises for “virtual statehood” and “Internet asylum” to liberate political dissidents and oppressed minorities, but also for tech-savvy autocracies (and perhaps democracies) to exploit their citizens’ mobile devices for ever more ubiquitous surveillance. Along the way, we meet a cadre of international figures—including Julian Assange—who explain their own visions of our technology-saturated future.
Inspiring, provocative and absorbing, The New Digital Age is a brilliant analysis of how our hyper-connected world will soon look, from two of our most prescient and informed public thinkers.
With The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn challenged long-standing linear notions of scientific progress, arguing that transformative ideas don’t arise from the day-to-day, gradual process of experimentation and data accumulation but that the revolutions in science, those breakthrough moments that disrupt accepted thinking and offer unanticipated ideas, occur outside of “normal science,” as he called it. Though Kuhn was writing when physics ruled the sciences, his ideas on how scientific revolutions bring order to the anomalies that amass over time in research experiments are still instructive in our biotech age.
This new edition of Kuhn’s essential work in the history of science includes an insightful introduction by Ian Hacking, which clarifies terms popularized by Kuhn, including paradigm and incommensurability, and applies Kuhn’s ideas to the science of today. Usefully keyed to the separate sections of the book, Hacking’s introduction provides important background information as well as a contemporary context. Newly designed, with an expanded index, this edition will be eagerly welcomed by the next generation of readers seeking to understand the history of our perspectives on science.
From Steven Johnson, the dynamic thinker routinely compared to James Gleick, Dava Sobel, and Malcolm Gladwell, The Ghost Map is a riveting page-turner about a real-life historical hero, Dr. John Snow. It's the summer of 1854, and London is just emerging as one of the first modern cities in the world. But lacking the infrastructure -- garbage removal, clean water, sewers -- necessary to support its rapidly expanding population, the city has become the perfect breeding ground for a terrifying disease no one knows how to cure. As the cholera outbreak takes hold, a physician and a local curate are spurred to action-and ultimately solve the most pressing medical riddle of their time.
In a triumph of multidisciplinary thinking, Johnson illuminates the intertwined histories and interconnectedness of the spread of disease, contagion theory, the rise of cities, and the nature of scientific inquiry, offering both a riveting history and a powerful explanation of how it has shaped the world we live in.
Acclaimed science writer James Gleick presents an eye-opening vision of how our relationship to information has transformed the very nature of human consciousness. A fascinating intellectual journey through the history of communication and information, from the language of Africa’s talking drums to the invention of written alphabets; from the electronic transmission of code to the origins of information theory, into the new information age and the current deluge of news, tweets, images, and blogs. Along the way, Gleick profiles key innovators, including Charles Babbage, Ada Lovelace, Samuel Morse, and Claude Shannon, and reveals how our understanding of information is transforming not only how we look at the world, but how we live.
A New York Times Notable Book
A Los Angeles Times and Cleveland Plain Dealer Best Book of the Year
Winner of the PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award
Walter Lowrie's magnificent translation of these seminal works continues to provide an ideal introduction to Kierkegaard. And, as Gordon Marino argues in a new introduction, these books are as relevant as ever in today's age of anxiety.
Since its initial publication in 1958, The Poetics of Space has been a muse to philosophers, architects, writers, psychologists, critics, and readers alike. The rare work of irresistibly inviting philosophy, Bachelard’s seminal work brims with quiet revelations and stirring, mysterious imagery. This lyrical journey takes as its premise the emergence of the poetic image and finds an ideal metaphor in the intimate spaces of our homes. Guiding us through a stream of meditations on poetry, art, and the blooming of consciousness itself, Bachelard examines the domestic places that shape and hold our dreams and memories. Houses and rooms; cellars and attics; drawers, chests, and wardrobes; nests and shells; nooks and corners: No space is too vast or too small to be filled by our thoughts and our reveries. In Bachelard’s enchanting spaces, “We are never real historians, but always near poets, and our emotion is perhaps nothing but an expression of a poetry that was lost.”
This new edition features a foreword by Mark Z. Danielewski, whose bestselling novel House of Leaves drew inspiration from Bachelard’s writings, and an introduction by internationally renowned philosopher Richard Kearney who explains the book’s enduring importance and its role within Bachelard’s remarkable career.
For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
The book offers a general account of Husserl and the background of his philosophy. The early chapters are devoted to his mathematical-philosophical and psychological studies. The refutation of psychologism is present in detail, together with the critical reaction to it. The development of his logical theories in the light of contemporary literature at the close of the 19th century is next considered. The main content of the six Logical Investigations follows, which contribute to the phenomenological elucidation of experience and knowledge. The phenomenological philosophy of logic as developed in Husserl's later writings is then introduced, followed by a discussion of the phenomenological method and its proper function. Farber makes clear his preference for phenomenology as a purely descriptive method and his opposition to have it serve as a last stronghold of metaphysics.
Indispensable as groundwork for descriptive philosophical study, this book will deeply interest not only serious students of philosophy and psychology, but also those who are concerned with the philosophical aspects of mathematics, social and natural sciences, law and psychiatry.
Marvin Farber (1901-1980) taught at the University of Buffalo from 1927-1974. During that time he founded and was the editor of Philosophical and Phenomenological Research. In the early 1920's he received his doctorate at Harvard University and he studied in Germany under Edmund Husserl. He is the author of three major works on phenomenology, Phenomenology as a Method, Naturalism and Subjectivism and this volume.
Matters of marriage, the ethical versus the aesthetic, dread, and, increasingly, the severities of Christianity are pondered by Kierkegaard in this intense work.
Faced with the prospect of being unable to explain why we eat some animals and not others, Foer set out to explore the origins of many eating traditions and the fictions involved with creating them. Traveling to the darkest corners of our dining habits, Foer raises the unspoken question behind every fish we eat, every chicken we fry, and every burger we grill.
Part memoir and part investigative report, Eating Animals is a book that, in the words of the Los Angeles Times, places Jonathan Safran Foer "at the table with our greatest philosophers."
In this fascinating collection of articles and speeches, Albert Einstein reflects not only on the scientific method at work in his own theoretical discoveries, but also eloquently expresses a great appreciation for his scientific contemporaries and forefathers, including Johannes Kepler, Isaac Newton, James Clerk Maxwell, Max Planck, and Niels Bohr. While Einstein is renowned as one of the foremost innovators of modern science, his discoveries uniquely his own, through his own words it becomes clear that he viewed himself as only the most recent in a long line of scientists driven to create new ways of understanding the world and to prove their scientific theories.
Einstein’s thoughtful examinations explain the “how” of scientific innovations both in his own theoretical work and in the scientific method established by those who came before him.
This authorized ebook features a new introduction by Neil Berger, PhD, and an illustrated biography of Albert Einstein, which includes rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the Albert Einstein Archives at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
In this rich, irreverent, and compelling history, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg takes us across centuries from ancient Miletus to medieval Baghdad and Oxford, from Plato’s Academy and the Museum of Alexandria to the cathedral school of Chartres and the Royal Society of London. He shows that the scientists of ancient and medieval times not only did not understand what we understand about the world—they did not understand what there is to understand, or how to understand it. Yet over the centuries, through the struggle to solve such mysteries as the curious backward movement of the planets and the rise and fall of the tides, the modern discipline of science eventually emerged. Along the way, Weinberg examines historic clashes and collaborations between science and the competing spheres of religion, technology, poetry, mathematics, and philosophy.
An illuminating exploration of the way we consider and analyze the world around us, To Explain the World is a sweeping, ambitious account of how difficult it was to discover the goals and methods of modern science, and the impact of this discovery on human knowledge and development.
In Seeing Further, New York Times bestseller Bill Bryson takes readers on a guided tour through the great discoveries, feuds, and personalities of modern science. Already a major bestseller in the UK, Seeing Further tells the fascinating story of science and the Royal Society with Bill Bryson’s trademark wit and intelligence, and contributions from a host of well known scientists and science fiction writers, including Richard Dawkins, Neal Stephenson, James Gleick, and Margret Atwood. It is a delightful literary treat from the acclaimed author who previous explored the current state of scientific knowledge in his phenomenally popular book, A Short History of Nearly Everything.
Starting with an overview of Husserl’s life and works, and his place in twentieth-century philosophy and in Western philosophy as a whole, Smith introduces Husserl’s conception of phenomenology, explaining Husserl’s innovative theories of intentionality, objectivity, subjectivity, and intersubjectivity. In subsequent chapters Smith covers Husserl’s logic, metaphysics, realism and transcendental idealism, epistemology, and (meta)ethics. Finally, the author assesses the significance and implications of Husserl’s work for contemporary philosophy of mind and cognitive science.
Also included is a timeline, glossary, and extensive suggestions for further reading, making Husserl, second edition, essential reading for anyone interested in phenomenology, twentieth-century philosophy, and the continuing influence of this eminent philosopher.
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST
In this landmark addition to the literature of totalitarianism, award-winning journalist Barbara Demick follows the lives of six North Korean citizens over fifteen years—a chaotic period that saw the death of Kim Il-sung, the rise to power of his son Kim Jong-il (the father of Kim Jong-un), and a devastating famine that killed one-fifth of the population.
Demick brings to life what it means to be living under the most repressive regime today—an Orwellian world that is by choice not connected to the Internet, where displays of affection are punished, informants are rewarded, and an offhand remark can send a person to the gulag for life. She takes us deep inside the country, beyond the reach of government censors, and through meticulous and sensitive reporting we see her subjects fall in love, raise families, nurture ambitions, and struggle for survival. One by one, we witness their profound, life-altering disillusionment with the government and their realization that, rather than providing them with lives of abundance, their country has betrayed them.
Praise for Nothing to Envy
“Provocative . . . offers extensive evidence of the author’s deep knowledge of this country while keeping its sights firmly on individual stories and human details.”—The New York Times
“Deeply moving . . . The personal stories are related with novelistic detail.”—The Wall Street Journal
“A tour de force of meticulous reporting.”—The New York Review of Books
“Excellent . . . humanizes a downtrodden, long-suffering people whose individual lives, hopes and dreams are so little known abroad.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“The narrow boundaries of our knowledge have expanded radically with the publication of Nothing to Envy. . . . Elegantly structured and written, [it] is a groundbreaking work of literary nonfiction.”—John Delury, Slate
“At times a page-turner, at others an intimate study in totalitarian psychology.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
At the height of WWI, history’s most lethal influenza virus erupted in an army camp in Kansas, moved east with American troops, then exploded, killing as many as 100 million people worldwide. It killed more people in twenty-four months than AIDS killed in twenty-four years, more in a year than the Black Death killed in a century. But this was not the Middle Ages, and 1918 marked the first collision of science and epidemic disease. Magisterial in its breadth of perspective and depth of research and now revised to reflect the growing danger of the avian flu, The Great Influenza is ultimately a tale of triumph amid tragedy, which provides us with a precise and sobering model as we confront the epidemics looming on our own horizon. John M. Barry has written a new afterword for this edition that brings us up to speed on the terrible threat of the avian flu and suggest ways in which we might head off another flu pandemic.