The Map and the Territory [EPUB]
24 November 2013, 13:55
2013 | EPUB | 8.49MB
Like all of us, though few so visibly, Alan Greenspan was forced by the financial crisis of 2008 to question some fundamental assumptions about risk management and economic forecasting. No one with any meaningful role in economic decision making in the world saw beforehand the storm for what it was. How had our models so utterly failed us?
To answer this question, Alan Greenspan embarked on a rigorous and far-reaching multiyear examination of how Homo economicus predicts the economic future, and how it can predict it better. Economic risk is a fact of life in every realm, from home to business to government at all levels. Whether we’re conscious of it or not, we make wagers on the future virtually every day, one way or another. Very often, however, we’re steering by out-of-date maps, when we’re not driven by factors entirely beyond our conscious control.
The Map and the Territory is nothing less than an effort to update our forecasting conceptual grid. It integrates the history of economic prediction, the new work of behavioral economists, and the fruits of the author’s own remarkable career to offer a thrillingly lucid and empirically based grounding in what we can know about economic forecasting and what we can’t.
The book explores how culture is and isn't destiny and probes what we can predict about the world's biggest looming challenges, from debt and the reform of the welfare state to natural disasters in an age of global warming.
No map is the territory, but Greenspan’s approach, grounded in his trademark rigor, wisdom, and unprecedented context, ensures that this particular map will assist in safe journeys down many different roads, traveled by individuals, businesses, and the state.
The Ayatollah Begs to Differ [EPUB]
24 November 2013, 13:48
2008 | EPUB | 3.78MB
A revealing look at Iran by an American journalist with an insider’s access behind Persian walls
The grandson of an eminent ayatollah and the son of an Iranian diplomat, now an American citizen, Hooman Majd is, in a way, both 100 percent Iranian and 100 percent American, combining an insider’s knowledge of how Iran works with a remarkable ability to explain its history and its quirks to Western readers. In The Ayatollah Begs to Differ, he paints a portrait of a country that is fiercely proud of its Persian heritage, mystified by its outsider status, and scornful of the idea that the United States can dictate how it should interact with the community of nations.
With wit, style, and an unusual ability to get past the typical sound bite on Iran, Majd reveals the paradoxes inherent in the Iranian character which have baffled Americans for more than thirty years. Meeting with sartorially challenged government officials in the presidential palace; smoking opium with an addicted cleric, his family, and friends; drinking fine whiskey at parties in fashionable North Tehran; and gingerly self-flagellating in a celebration of Ashura, Majd takes readers on a rare tour of Iran and shares insights shaped by his complex heritage. He considers Iran as a Muslim country, as a Shiite country, and, perhaps above all, as a Persian one. Majd shows that as Shiites marked by an inferiority complex, and Persians marked by a superiority complex, Iranians are fiercely devoted to protecting their rights, a factor that has contributed to their intransigence over their nuclear programs. He points to the importance of the Persian view of privacy, arguing that the stability of the current regime owes much to the freedom Iranians have to behave as they wish behind “Persian walls.” And with wry affection, Majd describes the Persian concept of ta’arouf, an exaggerated form of polite self-deprecation that may explain some of Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s more bizarre public moments.
With unforgettable portraits of Iranians, from government figures to women cab drivers to reform-minded Ayatollahs, Majd brings to life a country that is deeply religious yet highly cosmopolitan, authoritarian yet with democratic and reformist traditions—an Iran that is a more nuanced nemesis to the United States than it is typically portrayed to be.
The Ayatollahs' Democracy [EPUB]
24 November 2013, 13:42
2010 | EPUB + MOBI | 300.67/468.96KB
So Hooman Majd introduces his story of Iran, with its volatile politics, jostling leaders, global ambitions, and enormous implications for world peace. What does it mean for the world if "Green" represents not a revolution but a civil rights movement, pushing the country toward a particular brand of "Islamic democracy"? And how will Iran's diversity of political positions, so often sidelined in news reporting, ultimately resolve itself?
With witty, candid, and stylishly-intelligent reporting, Hooman Majd introduces top-level politicians and clerics alongside regular Iranians, including Jewish community leaders. A personal, candid tour of the political and social landscape in Iran, The Ayatollahs' Democracy is a powerful dispatch from a country at a historic turning point.
In Search of the Original Koran [EPUB]
24 November 2013, 13:32
2008 | EPUB | 4.5MB
Orthodox Muslims venerate the Koran as the sacred word of God, which they believe was literally revealed by dictation from the angel Gabriel to the prophet Muhammad. This fundamentalist attitude toward the Muslim holy book denies the possibility of error in the Koran — even though there are some fairly obvious self-contradictions, inconsistencies, and incoherent passages in the text. To justify the claim that the Koran is inerrant, the orthodox have simply pointed to centuries of hidebound tradition and the consensus view of conservative leaders who back up this interpretation. But does the very beginning of the Muslim tradition lend support to the orthodox view?
In this fascinating study of the origins of Islam, historian Mondher Sfar reveals that there is no historical, or even theological, basis for the orthodox view that Muhammad or his earliest followers intended the Koran to be treated as the inviolable word of God. With great erudition and painstaking historical research, Sfar demonstrates that the Koran itself does not support the literalist claims of Muslim orthodoxy. Indeed, as he carefully points out, passages from Islam’s sacred book clearly indicate that the revealed text should not be equated with the perfect text of the original "celestial Koran," which was believed to exist only in heaven and to be fully known only by God.
This early belief helps to explain why there were many variant texts of the Koran during Muhammad’s lifetime and immediately thereafter, and also why this lack of consistency and the occasional revisions of earlier revelations seemed not to disturb his first disciples. They viewed the Koran as only an imperfect copy of the real heavenly original, a copy subject to the happenstances of Muhammad’s life and to the human risks of its transmission. Only later, for reasons of social order and political power, did the first caliphs establish an orthodox policy, which turned Muhammad’s revelations into the inerrant word of God, from which no deviation or dissent was permissible.
This original historical exploration into the origins of Islam is also an important contribution to the growing movement for reform of Islam initiated by courageous Muslim thinkers convinced of the necessity of bringing Islam into the modern world.
The Crusades Through Arab Eyes [EPUB]
24 November 2013, 13:26
1983 | EPUB + MOBI | 781.17/641.38KB
European and Arab versions of the Crusades have little in common. For Arabs, the twelfth and thirteenth centuries were years of strenuous efforts to repel a brutal and destructive invasion by barbarian hordes.
In The Crusades Through Arab Eyes, Amin Maalouf has sifted through the works of a score of contemporary Arab chroniclers of the Crusades, eyewitnesses and often participants in the events. He retells their stories in their own vivacious style, giving us a vivid portrait of a society rent by internal conflicts, and shaken by a traumatic encounter with an alien culture. He retraces two critical centuries of Middle Eastern history, and offers fascinating insights into some of the forces that shape Arab and Islamic consciousness today.
Hanns and Rudolf by Thomas Harding [EPUB]
24 November 2013, 08:52
2013 | EPUB | 2.91MB
Part history, part biography, part true crime, Hanns and Rudolf chronicles the untold story of the Jewish investigator who pursued and captured one of Nazi Germany’s most notorious war criminals.
May 1945. In the aftermath of the Second World War, the first British War Crimes Investigation Team is assembled to hunt down the senior Nazi officials responsible for the greatest atrocities the world has ever seen. One of the lead investigators is Lieutenant Hanns Alexander, a German Jew who is now serving in the British Army. Rudolf Höss is his most elusive target. As Kommandant of Auschwitz, Höss not only oversaw the murder of more than one million men, women, and children, but was the man who perfected Hitler’s program of mass extermination. Höss is on the run across a continent in ruins, the one man whose testimony can ensure justice at Nuremberg.
Hanns and Rudolf reveals for the very first time the full, exhilarating account of Höss’ capture, an encounter with repercussions that echo to this day. Moving from the Middle-Eastern campaigns of the First World War to bohemian Berlin in the 1920s to the horror of the concentration camps and the trials in Belsen and Nuremberg, it tells the story of two German men—one Jewish, one Catholic—whose lives diverged, and intersected, in an astonishing way.
Surviving the Angel of Death [EPUB]
24 November 2013, 08:51
2009 | EPUB | 4.84MB
Eva Mozes Kor was just ten years old when she arrived in Auschwitz. While her parents and two older sisters were taken to the gas chambers, she and her twin, Miriam, were herded into the care of the man known as the Angel of Death, Dr. Josef Mengele. Subjected to sadistic medical experiments, she was forced to fight daily for her and her twin's survival. In this incredible true story written for young adults, readers learn of a child's endurance and survival in the face of truly extraordinary evil.
The book also includes an epilogue on Eva's recovery from this experience and her remarkable decision to publicly forgive the Nazis. Through her museum and her lectures, she has dedicated her life to giving testimony on the Holocaust, providing a message of hope for people who have suffered, and working for causes of human rights and peace.
The Believing Brain [EPUB]
24 November 2013, 08:34
2011 | EPUB + MOBI | 1.45/1.79MB
Bestselling author Michael Shermer's comprehensive and provocative theory on how beliefs are born, formed, reinforced, challenged, changed, and extinguished.
In this work synthesizing thirty years of research, psychologist, historian of science, and the world's best-known skeptic Michael Shermer upends the traditional thinking about how humans form beliefs about the world. Simply put, beliefs come first and explanations for beliefs follow. The brain, Shermer argues, is a belief engine. From sensory data flowing in through the senses, the brain naturally begins to look for and find patterns, and then infuses those patterns with meaning. Our brains connect the dots of our world into meaningful patterns that explain why things happen, and these patterns become beliefs. Once beliefs are formed the brain begins to look for and find confirmatory evidence in support of those beliefs, which accelerates the process of reinforcing them, and round and round the process goes in a positive-feedback loop of belief confirmation. Shermer outlines the numerous cognitive tools our brains engage to reinforce our beliefs as truths.
Interlaced with his theory of belief, Shermer provides countless real-world examples of how this process operates, from politics, economics, and religion to conspiracy theories, the supernatural, and the paranormal. Ultimately, he demonstrates why science is the best tool ever devised to determine whether or not a belief matches reality.
Snow: The Double Life of a World War II Spy [EPUB]
24 November 2013, 08:07
2011 | EPUB + MOBI | 1.16/1.31MB
SNOW is the codename assigned to Arthur Owens, the most important British double agent in the early years of the Second World War. Described by Mi5 as a typical underfed Cardiff he type became the first of the great double-cross agents who were to play a major part in Britain's victory over the Germans. When the stakes could not have been higher, MI5 sought to build a double-cross system based on the shifting loyalties of a duplicitous, philandering and vain anti-hero who was boastful and brave, reckless and calculating, ruthless and mercenary... but patriotic. Or was he?
Based on hundreds of secret Mi5 files, meticulous research and for the first time, the testimony of his family. Snow reveals the truth about an extraordinary man whose messages were used to make the first break through in the german Enigma codes at Bletchley Park and whose daughter went on to become a Hollywood film star.
The End of Competitive Advantage [EPUB]
24 November 2013, 07:22
2013 | EPUB | 3.29MB
Are you at risk of being trapped in an uncompetitive business?
Chances are the strategies that worked well for you even a few years ago no longer deliver the results you need. Dramatic changes in business have unearthed a major gap between traditional approaches to strategy and the way the real world works now.
In short, strategy is stuck. Most leaders are using frameworks that were designed for a different era of business and based on a single dominant idea—that the purpose of strategy is to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. Once the premise on which all strategies were built, this idea is increasingly irrelevant.
Now, Columbia Business School professor and globally recognized strategy expert Rita Gunther McGrath argues that it’s time to go beyond the very concept of sustainable competitive advantage. Instead, organizations need to forge a new path to winning: capturing opportunities fast, exploiting them decisively, and moving on even before they are exhausted. She shows how to do this with a new set of practices based on the notion of transient competitive advantage.
This book serves as a new playbook for strategy, one based on updated assumptions about how the world works, and shows how some of the world’s most successful companies use this method to compete and win today.
Filled with compelling examples from “growth outlier” firms such as Fujifilm, Cognizant Technology Solutions, Infosys, Yahoo! Japan, and Atmos Energy, The End of Competitive Advantage is your guide to renewed success and profitable growth in an economy increasingly defined by transient advantage.
Owls Aren't Wise & Bats Aren't Blind [EPUB]
24 November 2013, 07:16
2000 | EPUB | 3.83MB
Did you know that "flying" squirrels are incapable of true flight? Were you aware that opossums don't "play dead," as in the common folk saying "playing possum"? In this fascinating and gorgeously illustrated new book, wildlife expert and enthusiast Warner Shedd, former executive for the National Wildlife Federation, uncovers the scientific realities obscured by our numerous long-held misconceptions of wild animals. Setting the most tenacious of these age-old superstitions against evidence that he and other biologists and naturalists have gleaned from careful observation and investigation, Shedd refutes such popular myths as beavers can fell trees in a desired direction, gray squirrels remember where they bury nuts, wolves howl at the moon, and cougars are an endangered species.
In addition to dispelling misinformation, Owls Aren't Wise & Bats Aren't Blind presents some fascinating facts about the animals that many of us encounter in our own backyards or walking across the road as we drive in our cars. For instance, did you know that a porcupine is actually a large rodent, and that its protective quills are really specialized hairs numbering about 30,000 per animal? That means that a typical porcupine has about 140 quills per square inch!
Shedd also uses humorous anecdotes to show us how funny (and educational) it can be when animals themselves defy our mistaken beliefs about them. Casting new light on the old tenet that ravens can be taught to mimic the human voice, Warner Shedd tells of a scientist who spent six years teaching a raven to cry "nevermore," after the haunting raven in the famous Edgar Allan Poe poem. Shedd further explains that recent research indicates that ravens only mimic if they have the desire to do so.
Owls Aren't Wise & Bats Aren't Blind covers more than thirty North American species--some as familiar as the common toad, others as elusive as the lynx. And Shedd captivates the reader as only an experienced naturalist could, with detailed, accurate information on such varied wildlife as muskrats, herons, brown bears, crows, armadillos, and coyotes--to name only a few.
Owls Aren't Wise & Bats Aren't Blind grew out of Warner Shedd's desire to share biologically sound information and counter erroneous folklore about wild animals. By arming his readers with knowledge, Shedd hopes to promote a more informed and respectful view of many North American wildlife species and ultimately encourage the scientific management and conservation of all our native wildlife.
Feeling Good Together by David D. Burns [EPUB]
24 November 2013, 07:08
2008 | EPUB | 4.16MB
Simple, Powerful Techniques that Make Relationships Work
"Why won’t my husband ever express his feelings?"
“Why won’t my wife listen?"
“Why is my sister such a control freak?"
"Why does my ex act like such a total jerk?"
“What’s wrong with people?”
We all have someone we can’t get along with—whether it’s a friend or colleague who complains constantly, a relentlessly critical boss, an obnoxious neighbor, a teenager who pouts and slams doors (all the while insisting she’s not upset), or maybe a loving, but irritating spouse.
In his bestselling book, Feeling Good, Dr. David Burns introduced Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, a clinically proven, drug-free therapy that has revolutionized the treatment of clinical depression throughout the world. Now, in Feeling Good Together, he presents Cognitive Interpersonal Therapy, a radical new approach that will help you transform troubled, conflicted relationships into successful, happy ones.
Dr. Burns’ method for improving these relationships is easy and surprisingly effective. In Feeling Good Together, you’ll learn:
- How to stop pointing fingers at everyone else and start looking at yourself.
- How to pinpoint the exact cause of the problem with any person you’re not getting along with.
- How to solve virtually any kind of relationship conflict almost instantly.
Based on twenty-five years of clinical experience and groundbreaking research on more than 1,000 individuals, Feeling Good Together presents an entirely new theory of why we have so much trouble getting along with each other. The book is filled with helpful examples and brilliant, user-friendly tools such as the Relationship Satisfaction Test, the Relationship Journal, the Five Secrets of Effective Communication, the Intimacy Exercise, and more, so you can enjoy far more loving and satisfying relationships with the people you care about.
You deserve rewarding, intimate relationships. Feeling Good Together will show you how.
When Panic Attacks by David D. Burns [EPUB]
24 November 2013, 07:03
2006 | EPUB | 10.85MB
Do you toss and turn at night with a knot in your stomach, worrying about your job, your family, work, your health, or relationships? Do you suffer from crippling shyness, obsessive doubts, or feelings of insecurity? Are you plagued by fears, phobias, or panic attacks?
What you may not realize is that these fears are almost never based on reality. Anxiety is one of the world’s oldest cons. When you’re anxious, you’re actually fooling yourself. You are telling yourself things that simply aren’t true. See if you can recognize yourself in any of these distortions:
- All-or-Nothing Thinking: “My mind will go blank when I give my presentation at work, and everyone will think I’m an idiot.”
- Fortune Telling: “I just know I’ll freeze up and blow it when I take my test.”
- Mind Reading: “Everyone at this party can see how nervous I am.”
- Magnification: “Flying is so dangerous. I think this plane is going to crash!”
- Should Statements: “I shouldn’t be so anxious and insecure. Other people don’t feel this way.”
- Emotional Reasoning: “I feel like I’m on the verge of cracking up!”
- Self-Blame: “What’s wrong with me? I’m such a loser!”
- Mental Filter: “Why can’t I get anything done? My life seems like one long procrastination.”
Now imagine what it be like to live a life that’s free of worries and self-doubt; to go to sleep at night feeling peaceful and relaxed; to overcome your shyness and have fun with other people; to give dynamic presentations without worrying yourself sick ahead of time; to enjoy greater creativity, productivity and self-confidence.
Does that sound impossible? The truth is you can defeat your fears. In When Panic Attacks, Dr. Burns takes you by the hand and shows you how to overcome every conceivable kind of anxiety. In fact, you will learn how to use more than forty simple, effective techniques, and the moment you put the lie to the distorted thoughts that plague you, your fears will immediately disappear. Dr. Burns also shares the latest research on the drugs commonly prescribed for anxiety and depression and explains why they may sometimes do more harm than good.
This is not pop psychology but proven, fast-acting techniques that have been shown to be more effective than medications. When Panic Attacks is an indispensable handbook for anyone who’s worried sick and sick of worrying.
Mudras of India [EPUB]
24 November 2013, 06:56
2013 | EPUB | 4.28MB
For thousands of years hand mudras have been used in India for healing, storytelling, emotional expression, and to evoke and convey elevated spiritual states. For the first time, the elaborate system of mudras - as applied in yoga and Indian dance - has been organized into a comprehensive, fully-indexed and cross-referenced format that allows readers access to this still esoteric body of knowledge.
Mudras of India presents over 200 photographed hand mudras each with detailed instructions on technique, application, health and spiritual benefits and historical background. The authors have extensively researched the usage of mudras and their significance in the larger context of Indian spiritual systems, and taken painstaking efforts to ensure each mudras is rendered with correct Sanskrit name, transliteration and translation to English.
The book will appeal to spiritual seekers, students and teachers of yoga and Indian Dance, scholars and lay people, and anyone interested in the rich cultural heritage of Indian mudras, and the transformative effects of these powerful hand gestures.
Ten Days to Self-Esteem [EPUB]
24 November 2013, 06:46
1999 | EPUB | 11.3MB
Do you wake up dreading the day?
Do you feel ciscouraged with what you've accomplished in life?
Do you want greater self-esteem, productivity, and joy in daily living?
If so, you will benefit from this revolutionary way of brightening your moods without drugs or lengthy therapy. All you need is your own common sense and the easy-to-follow methods revealed in this book by one of the country's foremost authorities on mood and personal relationship problems.
In Ten Days to Self-esteem, Dr. David Burns presents innovative, clear, and compassionate methods that will help you identify the causes of your mood slumps and develop a more positive outlook on life. You will learn that
- You feel the way you think: Negative feelings like guilt, anger, and depression do not result from the bad things that happen to you, but from the way you think about these events. This simple but revolutionary idea can change your life!
- You can change the way you feel: You will discover why you get depressed and learn how to brighten your outlook when you're in a slump.
- You can enjoy greater happiness, productivity, and intimacy—without drugs or lengthy therapy.
Can a self-help book do all this? Studies show that two thirds of depressed readers of Dr. Burns's classic bestseller, Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, experienced dramatic felief in just four weeks without psychotherapy or antidepressant medications. Three-year follow-up studies revealed that readers did not relapse but continued to enjoy their positive outlook. Ten Days to Self-esteem offers a powerful new tool that provides hope and healing in ten easy steps. The methods are based on common sense and are not difficult to apply. Research shows that they really work!
Feeling good feels wonderful. You owe it to yourself to feel good!
Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven [EPUB]
24 November 2013, 06:41
2013 | EPUB | 5.51MB
Johann Sebastian Bach is one of the most unfathomable composers in the history of music. How can such sublime work have been produced by a man who (when we can discern his personality at all) seems so ordinary, so opaque—and occasionally so intemperate?
John Eliot Gardiner grew up passing one of the only two authentic portraits of Bach every morning and evening on the stairs of his parents’ house, where it hung for safety during World War II. He has been studying and performing Bach ever since, and is now regarded as one of the composer’s greatest living interpreters. The fruits of this lifetime’s immersion are distilled in this remarkable book, grounded in the most recent Bach scholarship but moving far beyond it, and explaining in wonderful detail the ideas on which Bach drew, how he worked, how his music is constructed, how it achieves its effects—and what it can tell us about Bach the man.
Gardiner’s background as a historian has encouraged him to search for ways in which scholarship and performance can cooperate and fruitfully coalesce. This has entailed piecing together the few biographical shards, scrutinizing the music, and watching for those instances when Bach’s personality seems to penetrate the fabric of his notation. Gardiner’s aim is “to give the reader a sense of inhabiting the same experiences and sensations that Bach might have had in the act of music-making. This, I try to show, can help us arrive at a more human likeness discernible in the closely related processes of composing and performing his music.”
It is very rare that such an accomplished performer of music should also be a considerable writer and thinker about it. John Eliot Gardiner takes us as deeply into Bach’s works and mind as perhaps words can. The result is a unique book about one of the greatest of all creative artists.
Jefferson and Hamilton: The Rivalry That Forged a Nation [EPUB]
24 November 2013, 06:33
2013 | EPUB | 5.61MB
Jefferson and Hamilton: The Rivalry That Forged a Nation is the rare work of scholarship that offers us irresistible human drama even as it enriches our understanding of deep themes in our nation’s history.
The decade of the 1790s has been called the “age of passion.” Fervor ran high as rival factions battled over the course of the new republic—each side convinced that the other’s goals would betray the legacy of the Revolution so recently fought and so dearly won. All understood as well that what was at stake was not a moment’s political advantage, but the future course of the American experiment in democracy. In this epochal debate, no two figures loomed larger than Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton.
Both men were visionaries, but their visions of what the United States should be were diametrically opposed. Jefferson, a true revolutionary, believed passionately in individual liberty and a more egalitarian society, with a weak central government and greater powers for the states. Hamilton, a brilliant organizer and tactician, feared chaos and social disorder. He sought to build a powerful national government that could ensure the young nation’s security and drive it toward economic greatness.
Jefferson and Hamilton is the story of the fierce struggle—both public and, ultimately, bitterly personal—between these two titans. It ended only with the death of Hamilton in a pistol duel, felled by Aaron Burr, Jefferson’s vice president. Their competing legacies, like the twin strands of DNA, continue to shape our country to this day. Their personalities, their passions, and their bold dreams for America leap from the page in this epic new work from one of our finest historians.
Independence: The Struggle to Set America Free [EPUB]
24 November 2013, 06:28
2011 | EPUB | 3.05MB
No event in American history was more pivotal-or more furiously contested-than Congress's decision to declare independence in July 1776. Even months after American blood had been shed at Lexington and Concord, many colonists remained loyal to Britain. John Adams, a leader of the revolutionary effort, said bringing the fractious colonies together was like getting "thirteen clocks to strike at once."
Other books have been written about the Declaration, but no author has traced the political journey from protest to Revolution with the narrative scope and flair of John Ferling. Independence takes readers from the cobblestones of Philadelphia into the halls of Parliament, where many sympathized with the Americans and furious debate erupted over how to deal with the rebellion. Independence is not only the story of how freedom was won, but how an empire was lost.
At this remarkable moment in history, high-stakes politics was intertwined with a profound debate about democracy, governance, and justice. John Ferling, drawing on a lifetime of scholarship, brings this passionate struggle to life as no other historian could. Independence will be hailed as the finest work yet from the author Michael Beschloss calls "a national resource."