A young woman in love with a man torn between his love for her and his incorrigible womanizing; one of his mistresses and her humbly faithful lover—these are the two couples whose story is told in this masterful novel. In a world in which lives are shaped by irrevocable choices and by fortuitous events, a world in which everything occurs but once, existence seems to lose its substance, its weight. Hence, we feel “the unbearable lightness of being” not only as the consequence of our pristine actions but also in the public sphere, and the two inevitably intertwine.
Exorbitant privilege : the rise and fall of the dollar and the future of the international monetary system / Barry Eichengreen
For more than half a century, the U.S. dollar has been not just America’s currency but the world’s. It is used globally by importers, exporters, investors, governments and central banks alike. Nearly three-quarters of all $100 bills circulate outside the United States. The dollar holdings of the Chinese government alone come to more than $1,000 per Chinese resident. This dependence on dollars, by banks, corporations and governments around the world, is a source of strength for the United States. It is, as a critic of U.S. policies once put it, America’s “exorbitant privilege.”
Quack medicine : a history of combating health fraud in twentieth-century America / Eric W. Boyle
Boyle (University of Maryland; National Museum of Health and Medicine) offers an illustrated history of quack medicine in the US and concludes that despite attempts to counter it, questionable medicines and medical services are still as popular as ever. Placing medical quackery in America within a broader social and cultural context, the author examines the roles of various players involved in fighting health fraud in the US, including government agencies, medical groups, journalists, and consumer advocates. The book includes b&w historical photos and illustrations.
In pursuit of the traveling salesman : mathematics at the limits of computation / William J. Cook
What is the shortest possible route for a traveling salesman seeking to visit each city on a list exactly once and return to his city of origin? It sounds simple enough, yet the traveling salesman problem is one of the most intensely studied puzzles in applied mathematics—and it has defied solution to this day. In this book, William Cook takes readers on a mathematical excursion, picking up the salesman’s trail in the 1800s when Irish mathematician W. R. Hamilton first defined the problem, and venturing to the furthest limits of today’s state-of-the-art attempts to solve it.
"A time being is someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me, and every one of us who is, or was, or ever will be." In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there’s only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates’ bullying. Butbefore she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who’s lived more than a century. A diary is Nao’s only solace—and will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine.
War play : video games and the future of armed conflict / Corey Mead
How does the U.S. military train its soldiers for new forms of armed conflict, all within the constraints of diminished defense budgets? Increasingly, the answer is cutting-edge video game technology. Corey Mead shows us training sessions where soldiers undertake multiplayer “missions” that test combat skills, develop unit cohesion, and teach cultural awareness. He immerses himself in 3-D battle simulations so convincing that they leave his heart racing. And he shows how the military, which has shaped American education more than any other force over the last century, fuels the adoption of games as learning tools—and recruitment come-ons.
Triumphs of experience : the men of the Harvard Grant Study / George E. Vaillant
Based on his landmark longitudinal study of male Harvard alumni now officially known as the Harvard Study of Adult Development, Vaillant (psychiatry, Harvard Medical School) presents the study’s history, theoretical underpinnings (including Erikson’s stages of development), insights drawn from interviews, and narratives of selected participants with their scores on rewarding late-life outcomes. The interview protocol, childhood and adult personality and adjustment scales, and a study bibliography are appended.
The world through Arab eyes : Arab public opinion and the reshaping of the Middle East / Shibley Telhami
Having been convinced of the crucial role of Arab public opinion in the development of Middle East politics from before the Arab uprisings that began in late 2010, at a time when many others were dismissing the “Arab street” as unimportant because of the domination of authoritarian rulers, Telhami (peace and development, U. of Maryland) has carried out a decade’s worth of political polling studies on urban public opinion in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Lebanon, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates.
The undivided past : humanity beyond our differences / David Cannadine
Investigating the six most salient categories of human identity, difference, and confrontation—religion, nation, class, gender, race, and civilization—David Cannadine questions just how determinative each of them has really been. For while each has motivated people dramatically at particular moments, they have rarely been as pervasive, as divisive, or as important as is suggested by such simplified polarities as “us versus them,” “black versus white,” or “the clash of civilizations.”