Staff Pick

Four years ago, in the autumn of 2012, Mark Thompson was about to move from England to the United States to take up his new job as president and CEO of The New York Times. He had spent much of his career at the BBC, his final eight years there as director-general. But before moving to New York, he visited his alma mater, Oxford, where he delivered three lectures on rhetoric and the art of public persuasion. Those talks became the basis of his new book, Enough Said: What’s Gone Wrong with the Language of Politics? (St. Martin’s, $27.99). What remarkable timing for a book on the language of politics! But while Thompson does spend time assessing Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric, his work is a larger examination of how political language has evolved and how public discourse generally has degenerated, with damaging consequences for public trust and confidence. Freely mixing personal experiences with criticism and opinion, Thompson has produced a book that, as Publishers Weekly put it, “manages to be an exemplary investigation, a history, an autopsy, a practical manual, and a cautionary tale all at once.”

Enough Said: What's Gone Wrong with the Language of Politics? Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250059574
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: St. Martin's Press - September 6th, 2016

Enough Said: What's Gone Wrong with the Language of Politics? Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250144539
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - September 12th, 2017

Staff Pick

Alan Greenspan, who ruled the Federal Reserve for nearly twenty years from 1987 to 2006 as the most influential economic statesman of his time, has been a rather paradoxical and certainly controversial figure for many of us. He’s the libertarian ideologue who proved to be a skilled political pragmatist, and historical considerations of him have run the gamut from legendary maestro who masterfully maintained stable prices to villainous central banker who, whether through incompetence or a naïve belief in efficient markets, allowed for the disastrous financial bubble that burst in 2008 and the ensuing Great Recession. Sebastian Mallaby, an experienced journalist and author of several previous works on financial subjects, takes a very thorough and balanced approach in his comprehensive biography, The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan (Penguin Press, $40). The book, which Mallaby spent five years researching and writing, challenges the conventional notion that Greenspan believed blindly in models of market efficiency and underestimated the risk of what was happening with out-of-control mortgage securities. Rather, Mallaby argues persuasively, Greenspan’s main mistake was more a reluctance to act, the result of a reflexive passivity and instinct for political survival.

The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan Cover Image
$40.00
ISBN: 9781594204845
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Press - October 11th, 2016

Staff Pick

Like Stephen Hawking, “one of those physicists who know that time travel is impossible but also know it’s fun to talk about,” James Gleick, author of Chaos and The Information, plays with a century’s worth of ideas about time, from its secret identity as the fourth dimension to alternative sequences for past-present-future, to the obsolescence of the future itself in the digital age. His point of departure for this buoyant yet substantial “history” of Time Travel (Pantheon, $26.95), a phenomenon that hasn’t quite happened yet, is H. G. Wells’s The Time Machine, published in 1895, which marked the divide between old notions of cyclical time and the modern sense of time as an inexorable advance. Until the twentieth century, there were no time zones, no daylight saving time, no centennial celebrations. Utopias and dystopias were distant lands, not visions of the future. Gleick lays out the technological and scientific contributions to this new concept of time as well as examining what the changes meant for age-old questions about free will and the nature of consciousness. But “the rules of time travel have been written not by scientists but by storytellers,” and Gleick focuses on the literature of time, dipping into works by Wells’s contemporary, Proust, and their long line of descendants such as Asimov, Gibson, Calvino, Stoppard, and Wallace. Gleick has a sharp eye for wit, puzzles, and the telling paradox; if you don’t already have a taste for science fiction, his sampler will send you after more of this “roisterous temporal complexity.”

Time Travel: A History Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307908797
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Pantheon - September 27th, 2016

Time Travel: A History Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780804168922
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Vintage - September 5th, 2017

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