One of the most influential thinkers of our time, Stephen Hawking is an intellectual icon, known not only for the adventurousness of his ideas but for the clarity and wit with which he expresses them. In this new book Hawking takes us to the cutting edge of theoretical physics, where truth is often stranger than fiction, to explain in laymen’s terms the principles that control our universe.
Like many in the community of theoretical physicists, Professor Hawking is seeking to uncover the grail of science — the elusive Theory of Everything that lies at the heart of the cosmos. In his accessible and often playful style, he guides us on his search to uncover the secrets of the universe — from supergravity to supersymmetry, from quantum theory to M-theory, from holography to duality.
He takes us to the wild frontiers of science, where superstring theory and p-branes may hold the final clue to the puzzle. And he lets us behind the scenes of one of his most exciting intellectual adventures as he seeks “to combine Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity and Richard Feynman’s idea of multiple histories into one complete unified theory that will describe everything that happens in the universe.”
With characteristic exuberance, Professor Hawking invites us to be fellow travelers on this extraordinary voyage through space-time. Copious four-color illustrations help clarify this journey into a surreal wonderland where particles, sheets, and strings move in eleven dimensions; where black holes evaporate and disappear, taking their secret with them; and where the original cosmic seed from which our own universe sprang was a tiny nut.
The Universe in a Nutshell is essential reading for all of us who want to understand the universe in which we live. Like its companion volume, A Brief History of Time, it conveys the excitement felt within the scientific community as the secrets of the cosmos reveal themselves.
The most eagerly awaited presidential biography in years, Theodore Rex is a sequel to Edmund Morris’s classic bestseller The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. It begins by following the new President (still the youngest in American history) as he comes down from Mount Marcy, New York, to take his emergency oath of office in Buffalo, one hundred years ago.
A detailed prologue describes TR’s assumption of power and journey to Washington, with the assassinated President McKinley riding behind him like a ghost of the nineteenth century. (Trains rumble throughout this irresistibly moving narrative, as TR crosses and recrosses the nation.) Traveling south through a succession of haunting landscapes, TR encounters harbingers of all the major issues of the new century-Imperialism, Industrialism, Conservation, Immigration, Labor, Race-plus the overall challenge that intimidated McKinley: how to harness America’s new power as the world’s richest nation.
Checking links, batch editing HTML files, tracking users, and writing CGI scripts--these are the often tedious daily tasks that can be done much more easily with Perl, the scripting language that runs on almost all computing platforms. If you're more interested in streamlining your web activities than in learning a new programming language, Perl for Web Site Management is for you: it's not so much about learning Perl as it is about using Perl to do common web chores more efficiently.
The secret is that, although becoming a Perl expert may be hard, most Perl scripts are relatively simple. Using Perl and other open source tools, you'll learn how to:
Incorporate a simple search engine
Write a simple CGI gateway
Convert multiple text files into HTML
Monitor log files
Track users as they navigate your site
Even if you don't have any programming background, this book will get you quickly past Perl's seemingly forbidding barrier of chops and chomps, execs and elsifs. You'll be able to put an end to using clunky tools, editing files tediously by hand, or relying on programmers and system administrators to do "the hard stuff" for you. Sure, you might learn a little bit about programming as well, and perhaps something about the role of open source tools on the Web. But the purpose of Perl for Web Site Management isn't to educate you--it's to empower you. Whether you're a developer, a designer, or simply a dabbler on the Web, this book is the plain-English, hands-on introduction to Perl you've been waiting for.
Correspondent Ahmed Rashid offers the only authoritative account of the Taliban available to English language readers, explaining the Taliban's rise to power, its impact on Afghanistan and the region, its role in oil and gas company decisions, and the effects of changing American attitudes toward the Taliban.
In this long-awaited successor to his #1 national bestseller The Best and the Brightest, David Halberstam describes in fascinating human detail how the shadow of the Cold War still hangs over American foreign policy and how domestic politics have determined our role as a world power.
More than twenty-five years ago Halberstam told the riveting story of the men who conceived and executed the Vietnam War. Today the Pulitzer Prize- winning author has written another unforgettable chronicle of Washington politics, this time exploring the complex dynamics of foreign policy in post-Cold War America.
Halberstam brilliantly evokes the internecine conflicts, the untrammeled egos, and the struggles for dominance among the key figures in the White House, the State Department, and the military. He shows how the decisions of men who served in the Vietnam War -- such as General Colin Powell and presidential advisers Richard Holbrooke and Anthony Lake -- and those who did not have shaped American politics and policy makers (perhaps most notably, President Clinton's placing, for the first time in fifty years, domestic issues over foreign policy).
With his uncanny ability to find the real story behind the headlines, Halberstam shows how current events in the Balkans, Somalia, and Haiti reflect American politics and foreign policy. He discusses the repercussions in Washington on policy makers from two different administrations; the wariness of the American military to become caught again in an inconclusive ground war; the frustrations of civilian advisers, most of whom have never served in the military; and the effects these conflicting forces have on the American commander in Kosovo, General Wes Clark.
Sweeping in its scope and impressive in its depth, War in a Time of Peace provides fascinating portraits of Clinton, Bush, Reagan, Kissinger, James Baker, Dick Cheney, Madeleine Albright, and others, to reveal a stunning view of modern political America.
Only Nick Tosches, bestselling author of Dino and The Devil and Sonny Liston, could have woven this irresistible tale: part mystery, part biography, part meditation on the meaning and power of music.
A forgotten singer from the early days of jazz is at the center of this riveting narrative. For twenty years, Nick Tosches searched for facts about the life of Emmett Miller, a yodeling blackface performer whose songs prefigured jazz, country, blues, and much of the popular music of the twentieth century. Beginning with a handful of 78-rpm records and ending at a tombstone in a Macon, Georgia graveyard, Tosches pieces together a life—and illuminates the spirit of musicmakers from Cab Calloway to Bob Dylan, from Homer to the Rolling Stones.
This is a brilliant, inspired journey by one of the most original writers at work today.
Before you see the movie, read the original novel!
First published more than thirty-five years ago, Pierre Boulle’s chilling novel launched one of the greatest science fiction sagas in motion picture history, from the classic 1968 movie starring Charlton Heston and Roddy McDowell, through four sequels and two television series . . . and now the newest film adaptation directed by Tim Burton.
In the not-too-distant future, three astronauts land on what appears to be a planet just like Earth, with lush forests, a temperate climate, and breathable air. But while it appears to be a paradise, nothing is what it seems.
They soon discover the terrifying truth: On this world humans are savage beasts, and apes rule as their civilized masters. In an ironic novel of nonstop action and breathless intrigue, one man struggles to unlock the secret of a terrifying civilization, all the while wondering: Will he become the savior of the human race, or the final witness to its damnation? In a shocking climax that rivals that of the original movie, Boulle delivers the answer in a masterpiece of adventure, satire, and suspense.
On the World Wide Web, speed and efficiency are vital. Users have little patience for slow web pages, while network administrators want to make the most of their available bandwidth. A properly designed web cache reduces network traffic and improves access times to popular web sites--a boon to network administrators and web users alike.
Web Caching hands you all the technical information you need to design, deploy, and operate an effective web caching service. It starts with the basics of how web caching works, from the HTTP headers that govern cachability to cache validation and replacement algorithms.
Topics covered in this book include:
Designing an effective cache solution
Configuring web browsers to use a cache
Setting up a collection of caches that can talk to each other
Configuring an interception cache or proxy
Monitoring and fine-tuning the performance of a cache
Configuring web servers to cooperate with web caches
Benchmarking cache products
The book also covers the important political aspects of web caching, including privacy, intellectual property, and security issues.
Internet service providers, large corporations, or educational institutions--in short, any network that provides connectivity to a wide variety of users--can reap enormous benefit from running a well-tuned web caching service. Web Caching shows you how to do it right.
Jeff Shaara dazzled readers with his bestselling novels Gods and Generals, The Last Full Measure, and Gone for Soldiers. Now the acclaimed author who illuminated the Civil War and the Mexican-American War brilliantly brings to life the American Revolution, creating a superb saga of the men who helped to forge the destiny of a nation.
In 1770, the fuse of revolution is lit by a fateful command-"Fire!"-as England's peacekeeping mission ignites into the Boston Massacre. The senseless killing of civilians leads to a tumultuous trial in which lawyer John Adams must defend the very enemy who has assaulted and abused the laws he holds sacred.
The taut courtroom drama soon broadens into a stunning epic of war as King George III leads a reckless and corrupt government in London toward the escalating abuse of his colonies. Outraged by the increasing loss of their liberties, an extraordinary gathering of America's most inspiring characters confronts the British presence with the ideals that will change history.
John Adams, the idealistic attorney devoted to the law, who rises to greatness by the power of his words . . . Ben Franklin, one of the most celebrated men of his time, the elderly and audacious inventor and philosopher who endures firsthand the hostile prejudice of the British government . . . Thomas Gage, the British general given the impossible task of crushing a colonial rebellion without starting an all-out war . . . George Washington, the dashing Virginian whose battle experience in the French and Indian War brings him the recognition that elevates him to command of a colonial army . . . and many other immortal names from the Founding Family of the colonial struggle-Abigail Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Joseph Warren, Samuel Adams, Richard Henry Lee- captured as never before in their full flesh-and-blood humanity.
More than a powerful portrait of the people and purpose of the revolution, Rise to Rebellion is a vivid account of history's most pivotal events. The Boston Tea Party, the battles of Concord and Bunker Hill-all are recreated with the kind of breathtaking detail only a master like Jeff Shaara can muster. His most impressive achievement, Rise to Rebellion reveals with new immediacy how philosophers became fighters, ideas their ammunition, and how a scattered group of colonies became the United States of America.
Combining a stunning lyrical intensity with a profound exploration of the human soul, Healing Earthquakes uses poetry to conjure a romance, from beginning to end. Jimmy Santiago Baca introduces us to a man and woman before they are acquainted and re-creates their first meeting, falling in love, their decision to make a family, the eventual realization of each other's irreconcilable faults, the resulting conflicts, the breakup and hostility, and, finally, their transcendence of the bitterness and resentment. Throughout the relationship we are privy to the couple's astonishing range of emotions: the anguish of loneliness, the heady rush of new love, the irritations and joys of raising children, the difficulties in truly knowing someone, the doldrums of breakup, and so on. It is impossible not to identify with these characters and to recognize one's own experience in theirs. As he weaves this story, Baca explores many of his traditional themes: the beauty and cruelty of the desert lands where he has spent much of his life, the grace and wisdom of animals, the quiet dignity of life on small Chicano farms. This is an extraordinary work from one of our finest poets.
Paris Minton is minding his own business — a small used bookstore of which he is the proud proprietor — when a beautiful woman named Elana Love walks in and asks a few questions. Within the next twenty-four hours, Paris has been beaten up, make love to, shot at, and robbed, and his bookstore has been burned to the ground. He's in so much trouble he has no choice but to get his friend Fearless Jones out of jail to help.
Fearless Jones is an army veteran, a man who is proud of his accomplishments during World War II and refuses to step into the background now that the war is over. Violence dogs Fearless's every step, and Paris has tried to keep his distance. But there's no friend like the one you need.
The two set out to find the elusive Elana Love, and every step leads them deeper into a bewildering vortex of money and betrayal. Their questions bring out a ruthless and racist cop, a gang of vicious ex-cons, and an elderly Jewish woman who is as determined to help the two friends as others are to harm them. These two black men in 1950s Los Angeles have few rights, little money, and no recourse under attack. But they have their friends, their wits, and their knowledge of the way the world really works to help them prevail.
Written with the blazing pace of noir classics like The Maltese Falcon, Fearless Jones also possesses the humor and original insights into American places and characters that have made Walter Mosley one of the most admired writers of our time.
In this powerful, epic biography, David McCullough unfolds the adventurous life-journey of John Adams, the brilliant, fiercely independent, often irascible, always honest Yankee patriot -- "the colossus of independence," as Thomas Jefferson called him -- who spared nothing in his zeal for the American Revolution; who rose to become the second President of the United States and saved the country from blundering into an unnecessary war; who was learned beyond all but a few and regarded by some as "out of his senses"; and whose marriage to the wise and valiant Abigail Adams is one of the moving love stories in American history.
Like his masterly, Pulitzer Prize-winning biography Truman, David McCullough's John Adams has the sweep and vitality of a great novel. It is both a riveting portrait of an abundantly human man and a vivid evocation of his time, much of it drawn from an outstanding collection of Adams family letters and diaries. In particular, the more than one thousand surviving letters between John and Abigail Adams, nearly half of which have never been published, provide extraordinary access to their private lives and make it possible to know John Adams as no other major American of his founding era.
As he has with stunning effect in his previous books, McCullough tells the story from within -- from the point of view of the amazing eighteenth century and of those who, caught up in events, had no sure way of knowing how things would turn out. George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, the British spy Edward Bancroft, Madame Lafayette and Jefferson's Paris "interest" Maria Cosway, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, the scandalmonger James Callender, Sally Hemings, John Marshall, Talleyrand, and Aaron Burr all figure in this panoramic chronicle, as does, importantly, John Quincy Adams, the adored son whom Adams would live to see become President.
With this brilliant novel, the bestselling author of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh and Wonder Boys gives us an exhilarating triumph of language and invention, a stunning novel in which the tragicomic adventures of a couple of boy geniuses reveal much about what happened to America in the middle of the twentieth century. Like Phillip Roth's American Pastoral or Don DeLillo's Underworld, Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is a superb novel with epic sweep, spanning continents and eras, a masterwork by one of America's finest writers.
It is New York City in 1939. Joe Kavalier, a young artist who has also been trained in the art of Houdini-esque escape, has just pulled off his greatest feat to date: smuggling himself out of Nazi-occupied Prague. He is looking to make big money, fast, so that he can bring his family to freedom. His cousin, Brooklyn's own Sammy Clay, is looking for a collaborator to create the heroes, stories, and art for the latest novelty to hit the American dreamscape: the comic book. Out of their fantasies, fears, and dreams, Joe and Sammy weave the legend of that unforgettable champion the Escapist. And inspired by the beautiful and elusive Rosa Saks, a woman who will be linked to both men by powerful ties of desire, love, and shame, they create the otherworldly mistress of the night, Luna Moth. As the shadow of Hitler falls across Europe and the world, the Golden Age of comic books has begun.
The brilliant writing that has led critics to compare Michael Chabon to John Cheever and Vladimir Nabokov is everywhere apparent in The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. Chabon writes "like a magical spider, effortlessly spinning out elaborate webs of words that ensnare the reader," wrote Michiko Kakutani of The New York Times about Wonder Boys—and here he has created, in Joe Kavalier, a hero for the century.
Terry Goodkind, author of the enormously popular "Sword of Truth" novels, has forged perhaps his best novel yet, pitting Richard Rahl and Kahlan Amnell against threats to the freedom of the world. They both must struggle at opposite ends of the world against the relentless, monolithic forces of the Imperial Order.
A Sister of the Dark captures Richard and takes him deep into the Old World, to the very heart of the Order, while his beloved Kahlan remains behind. Free because of Richard's sacrifice for her, but unwilling to abandon the cause of the Midlands, Kahlan violates not only prophecy but her pledge to Richard, and raises an army against the advancing horde of the Imperial Order. Separated and fighting for their lives, Richard and Kahlan will be pushed to the limits of their endurance and tested in their love for one another. Once again, the master storyteller weaves a riveting spell that will captivate and leave you thirsting for more.
What happened in Florida after the 2000 presidential election brought out the ugliest side of American politics. Now acclaimed journalist Jake Tapper takes us deep inside the post-Election Day vote-trolling and the battle for the presidency of the United States in a book that reveals, once and for all, what actually happened, who got away with what, and how both sides—Democrats and Republicans—plotted to steal the presidency.
Down & Dirty explains exactly how the Bush forces out-maneuvered the Gore team, from the courtrooms to the canvassing boards, from the press rooms to the corridors of the legislature. Tapper paints vivid portraits of the major players—Katherine Harris, Jeb Bush, Sanders Sauls, David Boies, Bill Daley, Jim Baker, Phil Beck, supreme court justices, local judges, lawyers, pols, spinners, activists, and voters—drawing upon exclusive insider information and interviews. He reveals shocking details about what happened behind closed doors, what deals were cut and who did what. And he gives us wickedly perceptive insight into the two men at the center of it all: Al Gore and George W. Bush.
Like a master detective, Tapper has pieced together the clues, followed up every lead, and kept going until he reached the dark heart of an American mystery. Anyone who thinks they know what really happened in Florida should prepare to be surprised. It is a landmark in investigative reporting and a book that will change forever the way we look at our president and our political process. Down & Dirty reads like a classic political thriller, with an ultimate revelation that hits with the power of a lightning bolt, and every word is true.
The Flying Dutchman! The legend of the wind-tattered ghost ship and its mad sea Captain, cursed to sail the seas forever, has been passed down throughout the centuries. But what of the young boy and his dog who were trapped aboard that ship? What became of them?
In this, one of Brian Jacques's most original adventures, the castaway boy and dog set off on an eternal journey of their own, braving icy wind and waves to arrive at strange shores, and explore new places and times. The unlikely Chapelvale village is their first destination, a Victorian town under siege. If Ben and his dog, Ned, can help the townspeople figure out the clues and riddles hidden beneath floorboards and deep inside wells--perhaps they can save Chapelvale and its people as well.
Four women-four friends-share a determination to stop a killer who has been stalking newlyweds in San Francisco. Each one holds a piece of the puzzle: Lindsay Boxer is a homicide inspector in the San Francisco Police Department, Claire Washburn is a medical examiner, Jill Bernhardt is an assistant D.A., and Cindy Thomas just started working the crime desk of the San Francisco Chronicle.
But the usual procedures aren't bringing them any closer to stopping the killings. So these women form a Women's Murder Club to collaborate outside the box and pursue the case by sidestepping their bosses and giving one another a hand.
The four women develop intense bonds as they pursue a killer whose crimes have stunned an entire city. Working together, they track down the most terrifying and unexpected killer they have ever encountered-before a shocking conclusion in which everything they knew turns out to be devastatingly wrong.
Full of the breathtaking drama and unforgettable emotions for which James Patterson is famous, 1st to Die is the start of a blazingly fast-paced and sensationally entertaining new series of crime thrillers.
In her stunning first novel, Amy and Isabelle, Elizabeth Strout evokes a teenager's alienation from her distant mother--and a parent's rage at the discovery of her daughter's sexual secrets. In most ways, Isabelle and Amy are like any mother and her 16-year-old daughter, a fierce mix of love and loathing exchanged in their every glance. And eating, sleeping, and working side by side in the gossip-ridden mill town of Shirley Falls doesn't help matters. But when Amy is discovered behind the steamed-up windows of a car with her math teacher, the vast and icy distance between mother and daughter becomes unbridgeable.
As news of the scandal reaches every ear, it is Isabelle who suffers from the harsh judgment of Shirley Falls, intensifying her shame about her own secret past. And as Amy seeks comfort elsewhere, she discovers the fragility of human happiness through other dramas, from the horror of a missing child to the trials of Fat Bev, the community peacemaker. Witty and often profound, Amy and Isabelle confirms Elizabeth Strout as a powerful new talent.
From the bestselling author of Balkan Ghosts and The Ends of the Earth comes a fascinating new book on the imminent global chaos that is as brilliant as it is necessary, as original as it is controversial.
The end of the Cold War has not ushered in the global peace and prosperity that many had anticipated. Environmental degradation is causing the rampant spread of famine and disease, and a rising number of nations are being torn by violent wars of fierce tribalism and trenchant regionalism. Our newest democracies, such as Russia and Venezuela, are bloody maelstroms of violence and crime, while America is beset with an alarmingly high number of apathetic citizens content to concern themselves with matters of entertainment and convenience. Bold, erudite, and profoundly important, The Coming Anarchy is a compelling must-read by one of today's most penetrating writers and provocative minds.
In his acclaimed book The End of Science, John Horgan ignited a firestorm of controversy about the limits of knowledge in a wide range of sciences. Now in The Undiscovered Mind he focuses on the single most important scientific enterprise of all -- the effort to understand the human mind.
Horgan takes us inside laboratories, hospitals, and universities to meet neuro-scientists, Freudian analysts, electroshock therapists, behavioral geneticists, evolutionary psychologists, artificial intelligence engineers, and philosophers of consciousness. He looks into the persistent explanatory gap between mind and body that Socrates pondered and shows that it has not been bridged. He investigates what he calls the "Humpty Dumpty dilemma," the fact that neuroscientists can break the brain and mind into pieces but cannot put the pieces back together again. He presents evidence that the placebo effect is the primary ingredient of psychotherapy, Prozac, and other treatments for mental disorders. As Horgan shows, the mystery of human consciousness, of why and how we think, remains so impregnable that to expect the attempts of scientific method and technology to penetrate it anytime soon is absurd.