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Richard Dawkins
Should we believe in God? In this brisk introduction to modern atheism, one of the world’s greatest science writers tells us why we shouldn’t.

Richard Dawkins was fifteen when he stopped believing in God. 

Deeply impressed by the beauty and complexity of living things, he’d felt certain they must have had a designer. Learning about evolution changed his mind. Now one of the world’s best and bestselling science communicators, Dawkins has given readers, young and old, the same opportunity to rethink the big questions.

In twelve fiercely funny, mind-expanding chapters, Dawkins explains how the natural world arose without a designer—the improbability and beauty of the “bottom-up programming” that engineers an embryo or a flock of starlings—and challenges head-on some of the most basic assumptions made by the world’s religions: Do you believe in God? Which one? Is the Bible a “Good Book”? Is adhering to a religion necessary, or even likely, to make people good to one another? Dissecting everything from Abraham’s abuse of Isaac to the construction of a snowflake, Outgrowing God is a concise, provocative guide to thinking for yourself.

Includes a bonus PDF of photographs and charts


Advance praise for Outgrowing God

“My son came home from his first day in the sixth grade with arms outstretched plaintively demanding to know: ‘Have you ever heard of Jesus?’  We burst out laughing. Maybe not our finest parenting moment, given that he was genuinely distraught. He felt that he had woken up one day to a world in which his peers were expressing beliefs he found frighteningly unreasonable. He began devouring books like The God Delusion, books that helped him formulate his own arguments and helped him stand his groundDawkins’s new book is special in the terrain of atheists’ pleas for humanism and rationalism precisely since it speaks to those most vulnerable to the coercive tactics of religion. As Dawkins himself says in the dedication, this book is for ‘all young people when they’re old enough to decide for themselves.’ It is also, I must add, for their parents.”—Janna Levin, author of Black Hole Blues
 
“When someone is considering atheism I tell them to read the Bible first and then Dawkins. Outgrowing God—second only to the Bible!”—Penn Jillette, author of God, No!
Michael J. Sandel

A renowned Harvard professor's brilliant, sweeping, inspiring account of the role of justice in our society--and of the moral dilemmas we face as citizens

What are our obligations to others as people in a free society? Should government tax the rich to help the poor? Is the free market fair? Is it sometimes wrong to tell the truth? Is killing sometimes morally required? Is it possible, or desirable, to legislate morality? Do individual rights and the common good conflict?

These questions are at the core of our public life today—and at the heart of Justice, in which Michael J. Sandel shows how a surer grasp of philosophy can help us to make sense of politics, morality, and our own convictions as well.

Sandel's legendary Justice course is one of the most popular and influential at Harvard. Up to a thousand students pack the campus theater to hear Sandel relate the big questions of political philosophy to the most vexing issues of the day. In the fall of 2009, PBS will air a series based on the course.

Justice offers listeners the same exhilarating journey that captivates Harvard students—the challenge of thinking our way through the hard moral challenges we confront as citizens. It is a searching, lyrical exploration of the meaning of justice, an audiobook that invites readers of all political persuasions to consider familiar controversies in fresh and illuminating ways. Affirmative action, same-sex marriage, physician-assisted suicide, abortion, national service, the moral limits of markets, patriotism and dissent—Sandel shows how even the most hotly contested issues can be illuminated by reasoned moral argument.

Justice is lively, thought-provoking, and wise—an essential new addition to the small shelf of books that speak convincingly to the big questions of our civic life.

Jonathan Haidt
Andy Andrews

A New York Times bestseller! From the author of The Traveler’s Gift comes a story of common wisdom based on the remarkable true story of “Jones,” a mysterious old man who has a knack for showing up in people's lives at just the right time, providing priceless lessons about love, life, and the importance of perspective.

Orange Beach, Alabama, is a simple town filled with simple people. But like all humans on the planet, the good folks of Orange Beach have their share of problems—marriages teetering on the brink of divorce, young adults giving up on life, businesspeople on the verge of bankruptcy, as well as the many other obstacles that life seems to dish out to the masses.

These situations can seem like dead ends, but to an old drifter named Jones with a gift for seeing what others miss, there is no such thing as a dead end. It only takes a little “perspective,” he says, to recognize the miracles in our moments, the seeds of greatness tucked into our struggles.

Appearing when things look darkest, the mysterious, elderly man with white hair carrying a battered old suitcase shows up when he’s needed most. “Your time on this earth is a gift to be used wisely,” he says. “Don’t squander your words or your thoughts. Consider even the simplest action you take, for your lives matter beyond measure…and they matter forever.”

The Noticer will provide you with:

  • A better understanding of life’s challenges and proper perspective for tackling them
  • Practical yet powerful methods of motivation, encouragement, and resolve for those struggling
  • A fresh and insightful perspective on how people can change their view of the world, find strength, and move beyond their problems

Based on a remarkable true story, The Noticer beautifully blends fiction and allegory in an entertaining and inspiring instruction manual for better living. The story of Jones continues in The Noticer Returns and Just Jones.

David Brooks
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • David Brooks challenges us to rebalance the scales between the focus on external success—“résumé virtues”—and our core principles.
 
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE ECONOMIST
 
With the wisdom, humor, curiosity, and sharp insights that have brought millions of readers to his New York Times column and his previous bestsellers, David Brooks has consistently illuminated our daily lives in surprising and original ways. In The Social Animal, he explored the neuroscience of human connection and how we can flourish together. Now, in The Road to Character, he focuses on the deeper values that should inform our lives.

Looking to some of the world’s greatest thinkers and inspiring leaders, Brooks explores how, through internal struggle and a sense of their own limitations, they have built a strong inner character. Labor activist Frances Perkins understood the need to suppress parts of herself so that she could be an instrument in a larger cause. Dwight Eisenhower organized his life not around impulsive self-expression but considered self-restraint. Dorothy Day, a devout Catholic convert and champion of the poor, learned as a young woman the vocabulary of simplicity and surrender. Civil rights pioneers A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin learned reticence and the logic of self-discipline, the need to distrust oneself even while waging a noble crusade.

Blending psychology, politics, spirituality, and confessional, The Road to Character provides an opportunity for us to rethink our priorities, and strive to build rich inner lives marked by humility and moral depth.

“Joy,” David Brooks writes, “is a byproduct experienced by people who are aiming for something else. But it comes.”

Praise for The Road to Character

“A hyper-readable, lucid, often richly detailed human story.”The New York Times Book Review

“This profound and eloquent book is written with moral urgency and philosophical elegance.”—Andrew Solomon, author of Far from the Tree and The Noonday Demon

“A powerful, haunting book that works its way beneath your skin.”—The Guardian

“Original and eye-opening . . . Brooks is a normative version of Malcolm Gladwell, culling from a wide array of scientists and thinkers to weave an idea bigger than the sum of its parts.”USA Today
Ben Shapiro

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!

A growing number of Americans want to tear down what it’s taken us 250 years to build—and they’ll start by canceling our shared history, ideals, and culture.

Traditional areas of civic agreement are vanishing. We can’t agree on what makes America special. We can’t even agree that America is special. We’re coming to the point that we can’t even agree what the word America itself means. “Disintegrationists” say we’re stronger together, but their assault on America’s history, philosophy, and culture will only tear us apart.

Who are the disintegrationists? From Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States to the New York Times’ 1619 project, many modern analyses view American history through the lens of competing oppressions, a racist and corrupt experiment from the very beginning. They see American philosophy as a lie – beautiful words pasted over a thoroughly rotted system. They see America’s culture of rights as a façade that merely reinforces traditional hierarchies of power, instead of being the only culture that guarantees freedom for individuals.

Disintegrationist attacks on the values that built our nation are insidious because they replace each foundational belief, from the rights to free speech and self-defense to the importance of marriage and faith communities, with nothing more than an increased reliance on the government. 

This twisted disintegrationist vision replaces the traditional “unionist” understanding that all Americans are united in a shared striving toward the perfection of universal ideals.

How to Destroy America in Three Easy Steps shows that to be a cohesive nation we have to uphold foundational truths about ourselves, our history, and reality itself—to be unionists instead of disintegrationists. Shapiro offers a vital warning that if we don’t recover these shared truths, our future—our union—as a great country is threatened with destruction.

Emily Esfahani Smith
In a culture obsessed with happiness, this wise, stirring book points the way toward a richer, more satisfying life.

Too many of us believe that the search for meaning is an esoteric pursuit—that you have to travel to a distant monastery or page through dusty volumes to discover life’s secrets. The truth is, there are untapped sources of meaning all around us—right here, right now.

To explore how we can craft lives of meaning, Emily Esfahani Smith synthesizes a kaleidoscopic array of sources—from psychologists, sociologists, philosophers, and neuroscientists to figures in literature and history such as George Eliot, Viktor Frankl, Aristotle, and the Buddha. Drawing on this research, Smith shows us how cultivating connections to others, identifying and working toward a purpose, telling stories about our place in the world, and seeking out mystery can immeasurably deepen our lives.

To bring what she calls the four pillars of meaning to life, Smith visits a tight-knit fishing village in the Chesapeake Bay, stargazes in West Texas, attends a dinner where young people gather to share their experiences of profound loss, and more. She also introduces us to compelling seekers of meaning—from the drug kingpin who finds his purpose in helping people get fit to the artist who draws on her Hindu upbringing to create arresting photographs. And she explores how we might begin to build a culture that leaves space for introspection and awe, cultivates a sense of community, and imbues our lives with meaning.

Inspiring and story-driven, The Power of Meaning will strike a profound chord in anyone seeking a life that matters.
Michael J. Sandel
Andy Andrews

From New York Times bestselling author Andy Andrews comes the sequel to The Noticer! In the quiet coastal town of Fairhope, Alabama, a mysterious old man named Jones has set up shop to do the one thing he knows best—“noticing” the little things that make a big difference in people’s lives. Perspective is a powerful thing.

Through a chance encounter at a local bookstore, Andy Andrews is reunited with the man who changed everything for him— Jones, also known as “The Noticer.”

Jones uses his unique talent of noticing the little things that make a big difference. And these little things grant the people of Fairhope, Alabama, a life-changing gift—perspective.

Through the lens of a parenting class at the Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Jones guides a seemingly random group to ask specific questions inspired by his curious advice: “You can’t believe everything you think.” The questions lead to answers for which people have been searching for centuries:

  • How do we begin to change the culture in which we live?
  • What is the key to creating a life of success and value?
  • What if what we think is the end…is only the beginning?

Along the way families are united and financial opportunities created, leaving the residents with powerfully simple solutions to the everyday problems we all face. What starts as a story of one person's everyday reality unfolds into the extraordinary principles available to anyone seeking to change their life.

Jones’ adventures continue in book three of The Noticer series: Just Jones.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A bold work from the author of The Black Swan that challenges many of our long-held beliefs about risk and reward, politics and religion, finance and personal responsibility

In his most provocative and practical book yet, one of the foremost thinkers of our time redefines what it means to understand the world, succeed in a profession, contribute to a fair and just society, detect nonsense, and influence others. Citing examples ranging from Hammurabi to Seneca, Antaeus the Giant to Donald Trump, Nassim Nicholas Taleb shows how the willingness to accept one’s own risks is an essential attribute of heroes, saints, and flourishing people in all walks of life.

As always both accessible and iconoclastic, Taleb challenges long-held beliefs about the values of those who spearhead military interventions, make financial investments, and propagate religious faiths. Among his insights:

• For social justice, focus on symmetry and risk sharing. You cannot make profits and transfer the risks to others, as bankers and large corporations do. You cannot get rich without owning your own risk and paying for your own losses. Forcing skin in the game corrects this asymmetry better than thousands of laws and regulations.
• Ethical rules aren’t universal. You’re part of a group larger than you, but it’s still smaller than humanity in general.
• Minorities, not majorities, run the world. The world is not run by consensus but by stubborn minorities imposing their tastes and ethics on others.
• You can be an intellectual yet still be an idiot. “Educated philistines” have been wrong on everything from Stalinism to Iraq to low-carb diets.
• Beware of complicated solutions (that someone was paid to find). A simple barbell can build muscle better than expensive new machines.
• True religion is commitment, not just faith. How much you believe in something is manifested only by what you’re willing to risk for it.

The phrase “skin in the game” is one we have often heard but rarely stopped to truly dissect. It is the backbone of risk management, but it’s also an astonishingly rich worldview that, as Taleb shows in this book, applies to all aspects of our lives. As Taleb says, “The symmetry of skin in the game is a simple rule that’s necessary for fairness and justice, and the ultimate BS-buster,” and “Never trust anyone who doesn’t have skin in the game. Without it, fools and crooks will benefit, and their mistakes will never come back to haunt them.”
Ben Shapiro

New York Times Bestseller

How far are Americans willing to go to force each other to fall in line?

According to the establishment media, the intelligentsia, and our political chattering class, the greatest threat to American freedom lies in right-wing authoritarianism. We’ve heard that some 75 million Americans who voted for Donald Trump represent the rise of American fascism; that conservatives have allowed authoritarianism to bloom in their midst, creating a grave danger for the republic.

But what if the true authoritarian threat to America doesn’t come from the political right, but from the supposedly anti-fascist left?

There are certainly totalitarians on the political right. But statistically, they represent a fringe movement with little institutional clout. The authoritarian left, meanwhile, is ascendant in nearly every area of American life. A small number of leftists—college-educated, coastal, and uncompromising—have not just taken over the Democratic Party but our corporations, our universities, our scientific establishment, our cultural institutions. And they have used their newfound power to silence their opposition.

The authoritarian Left is aggressively insistent that everyone must conform to its values, demanding submission and conformity. The dogmatic Left is obsessed with putting people in categories and changing human nature. Everyone who opposes it must be destroyed.

Ben Shapiro looks at everything from pop culture to the Frankfurt school, social media to the Founding Fathers, to explain the origins of our turn to tyranny, and why so many seem blind to it.

More than a catalog of bad actors and intemperate acts, The Authoritarian Moment lays bare the intolerance and rigidity creeping into all American ideology – and prescribes the solution to ending the authoritarianism that threatens our future.

William MacAskill
Most of us want to make a difference. We donate our time and money to charities and causes we deem worthy, choose careers we consider meaningful, and patronize businesses and buy products we believe make the world a better place. Unfortunately, we often base these decisions on assumptions and emotions rather than facts. As a result, even our best intentions often lead to ineffective-and sometimes downright harmful-outcomes. How can we do better? While a researcher at Oxford, trying to figure out which career would allow him to have the greatest impact, William MacAskill confronted this problem head on. He discovered that much of the potential for change was being squandered by lack of information, bad data, and our own prejudice. As an antidote, he and his colleagues developed effective altruism, a practical, data-driven approach that allows each of us to make a tremendous difference regardless of our resources. Effective altruists believe that it's not enough to simply do good; we must do good better. At the core of this philosophy are five key questions that help guide our altruistic decisions: How many people benefit, and by how much? Is this the most effective thing I can do? Is this area neglected? What would have happened otherwise? What are the chances of success, and how good would success be? By applying these questions to real-life scenarios, MacAskill shows how many of our assumptions about doing good are misguided. For instance, he argues one can potentially save more lives by becoming a plastic surgeon rather than a heart surgeon; measuring overhead costs is an inaccurate gauge of a charity's effectiveness; and, it generally doesn't make sense for individuals to donate to disaster relief. MacAskill urges us to think differently, set aside biases, and use evidence and careful reasoning rather than act on impulse. When we do this-when we apply the head and the heart to each of our altruistic endeavors-we find that each of us has the power to do an astonishing amount of good.
Kate Manne
An urgent exploration of men’s entitlement and how it serves to police and punish women, from the acclaimed author of Down Girl

“Kate Manne is a thrilling and provocative feminist thinker. Her work is indispensable.”—Rebecca Traister 

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE ATLANTIC

In this bold and stylish critique, Cornell philosopher Kate Manne offers a radical new framework for understanding misogyny. Ranging widely across the culture, from Harvey Weinstein and the Brett Kavanaugh hearings to “Cat Person” and the political misfortunes of Elizabeth Warren, Manne’s book shows how privileged men’s sense of entitlement—to sex, yes, but more insidiously to admiration, care, bodily autonomy, knowledge, and power—is a pervasive social problem with often devastating consequences.

In clear, lucid prose, Manne argues that male entitlement can explain a wide array of phenomena, from mansplaining and the undertreatment of women’s pain to mass shootings by incels and the seemingly intractable notion that women are “unelectable.” Moreover, Manne implicates each of us in toxic masculinity: It’s not just a product of a few bad actors; it’s something we all perpetuate, conditioned as we are by the social and cultural mores of our time. The only way to combat it, she says, is to expose the flaws in our default modes of thought while enabling women to take up space, say their piece, and muster resistance to the entitled attitudes of the men around them.

With wit and intellectual fierceness, Manne sheds new light on gender and power and offers a vision of a world in which women are just as entitled as men to our collective care and concern.
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