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Philosophy Department Uncovers the Source Of Spontaneity With Trying Not To Try

9780770437619This spring, more than 35 students in North Central College’s introduction to philosophy course will use Edward Slingerland’s Trying Not to Try.  The book, which blends Eastern thought and cutting-edge science to explain why we find spontaneity so elusive, will support students as they learn the tenants of philosophy.  Although the text goes on-sale in March, complimentary advanced reader copies (ARCs) are available by request here.

Author Edward Slingerland was educated at Princeton, Stanford and the University of California at Berkeley.  He currently is a Professor of Asian Studies and Canada Research Chair in Chinese Thought and Embodied Cognition at the University of British Columbia.

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February 6, 2014 at 11:11 pm Leave a comment

The Broken Spears: UC Irvine Anthropology Course Tackles The Conquest of Mexico

9780807055007The Origins of Global Interdependence, an anthropology class at the University of California at Irvine, will be using Michuel Leon-Portilla’s The Broken Spears during the fall 2013 semester.  Examining the Aztec perspective of the Conquest of Mexico, Leon-Portilla’s book expands the Conquests history to include the voices of the indigenous peoples, and includes accounts from native Aztec descendants across the centuries.   All 300 students enrolled will be required to read the book.

The Broken Spears, called “[a] moving and powerful account” by the Los Angeles Times, will allow UC Irvine students to bear witness to the extraordinary vitality of oral tradition.

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September 20, 2013 at 7:13 pm Leave a comment

The 300-pound Gorilla in the Room: University of Arizona Philosophy Class Selects The Invisible Gorilla

The Invisible Gorilla Paperback cover

The University of Arizona has selected The Invisible Gorilla: How Our Intuitions Deceive Us by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons as a required text for their Philosphy Department’s Logic & Critical Thinking Course.  Based on the authors’ “Gorillas in Our Midst” study, The Invisible Gorilla highlights the work of Chabris and Simons, as well as other researchers, as they investigate attention, perception, memory, and reasoning.  The authors ultimately show students how and why the perception of the mind is often at fault.

Both Chabris and Simons, have received PhDs from Harvard and Cornell respectively.

“A fascinating look at little-known illusions that greatly affect our daily lives…offers surprising insights into just how clueless we are about how our minds work and how we experience the world…Bound to have wide popular appeal.”—Kirkus Reviews

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June 24, 2013 at 4:23 pm Leave a comment

University of Texas at San Antonio Students Release Inner Animal with The Age of Empathy

The Age of Empathy TPRoughly seventy-five students in the University of Texas at San Antonio’s anthropology department will soon be using Frans de Waal’s The Age of Empathy to investigate shifting human behavior.  The book, which examines how empathy comes naturally to a great variety of creatures, including humans, studies social behaviors in animals, such as bonding, the herd instinct, the forming of trusting alliances, expressions of consolation, and conflict resolution.  The author uses these findings to assert that, contrary to popular belief, human beings are not inherently selfish and can work together toward a more just society.

Click here to read an excerpt.

Click here to read previous posts about the book.

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June 7, 2013 at 6:24 pm Leave a comment

A Hard Nut to Crack: Students to Uncover the Universe’s Mysteries with Stephen Hawking

The Universe in a Nutshell HCStephen Hawking’s The Universe in a Nutshell will be a core component of UVA’s Astronomy 1270: Unsolved Mysteries in the Universe course this upcoming fall.  The approximately 140 students will augment classroom material on theoretical physics topics such as Quantum mechanics, General relativity and Black holes with content from the book.  The students will ultimately follow Stephen Hawking’s attempt to explain the Theory of Everything, which studies the links between all physical phenomena.

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June 7, 2013 at 2:46 pm Leave a comment

Complimentary Copies of Animal Wise by Virginia Morell Now Available

Animal Wise Hard CoverRandom House Academic Marketing is currently giving away free copies of  Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures by noted science writer Virginia Morell.  The author challenges the standard behaviorist model and  reconsiders the boundaries between humans and animals.  Morell conveys to students  laboratories and field sites around the globe, and introduces both scientists and animal-cognition researchers and their work.  She articulates a nuanced understanding of the interior lives of animals, proposing moral and ethical ramifications for human-animal relationships.

Please email rhacademic@randomhouse.com with your name, college and course information to request a copy.

“[A] delightful exploration of how animals think….Morell makes a fascinating, convincing case that even primitive animals give some thought to their actions.” –Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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June 4, 2013 at 8:21 pm Leave a comment

Educators: Free Advanced Reader Copies of Five Days at Memorial by Pulitzer Prize Winning Author Sheri Fink Now Available

Five Days at Memorial HCFollowing Hurricane Katrina, physician and Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs five days at Memorial Medical Center and draws students into the lives of those who struggled to survive and to maintain life amidst chaos.  Five Days at Memorial, the culmination of six years of reporting, investigates the mystery of what happened in those days, bringing students into a conversation about the consequences and ethics of health care rationing.  Fink exposes the hidden dilemmas of end-of-life care and reveals just how ill-prepared Americans are for the impact of large-scale disasters.

Five Days at Memorial is scheduled for to be released on September 10th, 2013.  Please email rhacademic@randomhouse.com with your name, college and course information to request a complimentary advanced reader copy.

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June 4, 2013 at 6:23 pm Leave a comment

Kristen Iversen’s Full Body Burden Now Available in Paperback

Full Body Burden TRFull Body Burden by Kristen Iversen, which was chosen one of the Best Books of 2012 by Kirkus Reviews and the American Library Association, as well as being named a 2012 Best Book about Justice by The Atlantic, is now available in paperback.

A finalist for the Barnes & Noble Discover Award and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence, Iversen’s narrative nonfiction about  growing up in a small Colorado town close to Rocky Flats, a secret nuclear weapons plant, has been adopted for Common Reading at Virginia Commonwealth University, St. Bonaventure University, Fort Lewis College, California State University at Sacramento, Madison Community College, and Michigan Tech University.  Iversen was recently honored by the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability in Washington, DC for outstanding contributions to communities living in the shadow of nuclear weapons sites and radioactive waste dumps.

Click here to view Kristen Iversen’s presentation at the 2013 FYE conference.

Click here to visit Kristen Iversen’s webpage.

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June 4, 2013 at 3:41 pm Leave a comment

Charles Murray, Author of Coming Apart, Examines Demographic Shifts In This New Decade

Coming Apart TRRandom House is currently giving away free versions of Charles Murray’s Coming Apart (Crown Forum, January 2013), which has been adopted for Common Reading at Stonehill College, Georgetown University and Florida State University.  Additionally, it has recently been adopted by Western Washington State’s Politics of Inequality course.  Please email rhacademic@randomhouse.com to request a complimentary copy.  Coming Apart offers a thought-provoking commentary on class in contemporary America. Drawing on five decades of statistics and research, the book demonstrates that a new upper class, who live in hyper-wealthy zip codes called SuperZIPS, and a new lower class have diverged so far in core behaviors and values that they barely recognize their underlying American kinship—divergence that has nothing to do with income inequality and that has grown during good economic times and bad.  In the below essay, Murray discusses trends that have occurred since 2010.

I began the discussion of the SuperZips with a promise to update the results in later editions of Coming Apart when the 2010 census results became available.  Those results were published from December 2011 through the spring of 2012.  This is the story they tell: (more…)

May 14, 2013 at 9:52 pm Leave a comment

Napoleon’s Other Complex: Hidden History Uncovered in The Black Count

The Black Count

by Tom Reiss, author of The Black Count (Broadway, May 2013) which was recently awarded the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in biography.

I’ve always loved exploring history. It’s like an uncharted hemisphere, and when you look at it closely, it has a tendency to change everything about your own time. I’m also drawn to outsiders, people who have swum against the tide. I often feel like a kind of detective hired to go find people who have been lost to history, and discover why they were lost. Whodunnit?

In this case, I found solid evidence that, of all people, Napoleon did it:  he buried the memory of this great man – Gen. Alexandre Dumas, the son of a black slave who led more than 50,000 men at the height of the French Revolution and then stood up to the megalomaniacal Corsican in the deserts of Egypt. (The “famous” Alexandre Dumas is the general’s son – the author of The Three Musketeers.) Letters and eyewitness accounts show that Napoleon came to hate Dumas not only for his stubborn defense of principle but for his swagger and stature  – over 6 feet tall and handsome as a matinee idol – and for the fact that he was a black man idolized by the white French army. (I found that Napoleon’s destruction of Dumas coincided with his destruction of one of the greatest accomplishments of the French Revolution – racial equality – a legacy he also did his best to bury.) (more…)

May 9, 2013 at 3:26 pm Leave a comment

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