Author: Andrew Robinson

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199567786

Category: History

Page: 157

View: 1361

Writing is a defining marker of civilisation; without it there could be no accumulation of knowledge. Andrew Robinson tells the fascinating story of the history of writing, considering its development, and examining the enormous variety of writing and scripts we use today.
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Author: Andrew Robinson

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199594406

Category: Philosophy

Page: 135

View: 9123

The first concise study of genius in both the arts and the sciences, using the life and work of famous geniuses to illuminate this phenomenon.-publisher description.
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Author: Daniel M. Haybron

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191654337

Category: Philosophy

Page: 144

View: 1968

Happiness is an everyday term in our lives, and most of us strive to be happy. But defining happiness can be difficult. In this Very Short Introduction, Dan Haybron considers the true nature of happiness. By examining what it is, assessing its importance in our lives, and how we can (and should) pursue it, he considers the current thinking on happiness, from psychology to philosophy. Illustrating the diverse routes to happiness, Haybron reflects on contemporary ideas about the pursuit of a good life and considers the influence of social context on our satisfaction and well-being. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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Author: Penelope Wilson

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192805029

Category: Art

Page: 130

View: 6889

"First published as an Oxford University Press Hardback 2003"--T.p. verso.
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Author: Simon Horobin

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191643084

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 288

View: 2739

This book narrates the history of English spelling from the Anglo-Saxons to the present-day, charting the various changes that have taken place and the impact these have had on the way we spell today. While good spelling is seen as socially and educationally desirable, many people struggle to spell common words like accommodate, occurrence, dependent. Is it our spelling system that is to blame, and should we therefore reform English spelling to make it easier to learn? Or are such calls for change further evidence of the dumbing-down of our educational standards, also witnessed by the tolerance of poor spelling in text-messaging and email? This book evaluates such views by considering previous attempts to reform the spelling of English and other languages, while also looking critically at claims that the electronic age heralds the demise of correct spelling.
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Author: Marvin Carlson

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191648620

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 144

View: 7254

From before history was recorded to the present day, theatre has been a major artistic form around the world. From puppetry to mimes and street theatre, this complex art has utilized all other art forms such as dance, literature, music, painting, sculpture, and architecture. Every aspect of human activity and human culture can be, and has been, incorporated into the creation of theatre. In this Very Short Introduction Marvin Carlson takes us through Ancient Greece and Rome, to Medieval Japan and Europe, to America and beyond, and looks at how the various forms of theatre have been interpreted and enjoyed. Exploring the role that theatre artists play — from the actor and director to the designer and puppet-master, as well as the audience — this is an engaging exploration of what theatre has meant, and still means, to people of all ages at all times. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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Author: David Blockley

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191652091

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 144

View: 9797

Have you ever wondered how it's possible to build a skyscraper, a big bridge, a jumbo jet, or a cruise liner? Everything has structure. Structure is the difference between a random pile of components and a fully functional object. Through structure the parts connect to make the whole. Natural structures vary from the very smallest part of an atom to the entire cosmology of the universe. Man-made structures include buildings, bridges, dams, ships, aeroplanes, rockets, trains, cars and fair-ground rides and all forms of artefacts, even large artistic sculptures. The wide range of different industries in which structural engineers work includes construction, transport, manufacturing, and aerospace. In this Very Short Introduction, David Blockley explores, in non-technical language, what structural engineering is all about, including examples ranging from the Shard in London and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco to jumbo jets like the A380 and the Queen Elizabeth cruise liner. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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Civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean

Author: Charles Freeman

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191509701

Category: History

Page: 784

View: 1624

Egypt, Greece, and Rome is regarded as one of the best general histories of the ancient world, having sold more than 80,000 copies in its first two editions. It is written for the general reader and the student coming to the subject for the first time and provides a reliable and highly accessible point of entry to the period. Beginning with the early Middle Eastern civilizations of Sumer, and continuing right through to the Islamic invasions and the birth of modern Europe after the collapse of the Roman empire, the book ranges beyond political history to cover art and architecture, philosophy, literature, society, and economy. A wide range of maps, illustrations, and photographs complements the text. This third edition has been extensively revised to appeal to the general reader with several chapters completely rewritten and a great deal of new material added, including a new selection of images.
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Author: Damien Keown

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191640506

Category: Religion

Page: 160

View: 7536

Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction introduces the reader to the teachings of the Buddha and to the workings of Buddhism in daily life. Damien Keown looks at the distinctive features of Buddhism, examining who the Buddha was and what his teachings were. By considering how Buddhist thought has developed over the centuries, Keown considers how contemporary dilemmas can be faced from a Buddhist perspective. In this new edition Keown provides new perspectives on Buddhist thought, including up-to-date material about the evolution of Buddhism throughout Asia, the material culture of Buddhism and its importance, new teachings on the ethics of war and peace, and changes to ethnicity, class, and gender. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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Author: John Pinder,Simon Usherwood

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191503940

Category: Political Science

Page: 224

View: 5446

Since the second edition of this popular Very Short Introduction published in 2007, the world has faced huge economic and political change. Showing how and why the EU has developed from 1950 to the present day, John Pinder and Simon Usherwood cover a range of topics, including the Union's early history, the workings of its institutions and what they do, the interplay between 'eurosceptics' and federalists, and the role of the Union beyond Europe in international affairs and as a peace-keeper. In this fully updated third edition, Pinder and Usherwood incorporate new material on the Lisbon treaty, the EU fiscal crisis, the state of the single Euro currency in its wake, and conclude by considering the future of the Union and the choices and challenges that may lie ahead. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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Author: Mark Maslin

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191653934

Category: Science

Page: 152

View: 7917

In this wide-ranging Very Short Introduction to climate, Mark Maslin considers all aspects of the global climate system, exploring and explaining the different components that control climate on Earth. He considers the processes that allow energy to reach the Earth and how it is redistributed around the planet by the ocean-atmosphere system; the relationship and differences between climate and the weather; how climate has affected life on Earth and human settlements; and the cyclic and quasi-cyclic features of climate such as the Milankovitch cycles and El Nino. He concludes by touching on the issue of climate change, and outlines some of the approaches that are now being taken to tackle it. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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Author: Richard Toye

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 019165373X

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 144

View: 7660

Rhetoric is often seen as a synonym for shallow, deceptive language, and therefore as something negative. But if we view rhetoric in more neutral terms, as the 'art of persuasion', it is clear that we are all forced to engage with it at some level, if only because we are constantly exposed to the rhetoric of others. In this Very Short Introduction, Richard Toye explores the purpose of rhetoric. Rather than presenting a defence of it, he considers it as the foundation-stone of civil society, and an essential part of any democratic process. Using wide-ranging examples from Ancient Greece, medieval Islamic preaching, and modern cinema, Toye considers why we should all have an appreciation of the art of rhetoric. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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Author: Jerry Brotton

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192801635

Category: Art

Page: 148

View: 9064

This wide-ranging exploration of a defining period in world history sees the Renaissance as a time of unprecedented intellectual excitement, cultural experimentation, and interaction on a global scale, existing alongside a darker side of religion, intolerance, slavery, and massive inequality of wealth and status. It guides the reader through the issues that defi ned the period, from its art, architecture and literature, to advancements in the fields of science, trade and travel. The book offers us a timely perspective by exploring Europe's reciprocal relationship with its eastern neighbours.
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Author: Kenneth Falconer

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 019166345X

Category: Mathematics

Page: 152

View: 3466

Many are familiar with the beauty and ubiquity of fractal forms within nature. Unlike the study of smooth forms such as spheres, fractal geometry describes more familiar shapes and patterns, such as the complex contours of coastlines, the outlines of clouds, and the branching of trees. In this Very Short Introduction, Kenneth Falconer looks at the roots of the 'fractal revolution' that occurred in mathematics in the 20th century, presents the 'new geometry' of fractals, explains the basic concepts, and explores the wide range of applications in science, and in aspects of economics. This is essential introductory reading for students of mathematics and science, and those interested in popular science and mathematics. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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Author: Peter S. Ungar

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191649546

Category: Social Science

Page: 144

View: 8494

Teeth are amazing - the product of half a billion years of evolution. They provide fuel for the body by breaking apart other living things; and they must do it again and again over a lifetime without themselves being broken in the process. This means that plants and animals have developed tough or hard tissues for protection, and teeth have evolved ways to sharpen or strengthen themselves to overcome those defences. And just as different jobs require different tools, animals with different diets have different shaped teeth to deal with the variety of foods that they eat. In this Very Short Introduction, Peter S. Ungar, an award-winning author and leading scientist, presents the story of teeth. Ungar outlines the key concepts, including insights into the origin of teeth and their evolution. Considering why teeth are important, he describes how they are made, and how they work, including their fundamental importance in the fossil record. Ungar finishes with a review of mammal teeth, looking at how they evolved and how recent changes to our diet are now affecting dental health. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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Author: Dorothy H. Crawford

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191620432

Category: Medical

Page: 176

View: 8169

Viruses are big news. From pandemics such as HIV, swine flu, and SARS, we are constantly being bombarded with information about new lethal infections. In this Very Short Introduction Dorothy Crawford demonstrates how clever these entities really are. From their discovery and the unravelling of their intricate structures, Crawford demonstrates how these tiny parasites are by far the most abundant life forms on the planet. With up to two billion of them in each litre of sea water, viruses play a vital role in controlling the marine environment and are essential to the ocean's delicate ecosystem. Analyzing the threat of emerging virus infections, Crawford recounts stories of renowned killer viruses such as Ebola and rabies as well as the less known bat-borne Nipah and Hendra viruses. Pinpointing wild animals as the source of the most recent pandemics, she discusses the reasons behind the present increase in potentially fatal infections, as well as evidence suggesting that long term viruses can eventually lead to cancer. By examining our lifestyle in the 21st century, Crawford looks to the future to ask whether we can ever live in harmony with viruses, and considers the ways in which we may need to adapt to prevent emerging viruses with devastating consequences. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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Author: Noël Carroll

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191642592

Category: Philosophy

Page: 144

View: 1422

Humour has been discovered in every known human culture and thinkers have discussed it for over two thousand years. Humour can serve many functions; it can be used to relieve stress, to promote goodwill among strangers, to dissipate tension within a fractious group, to display intelligence, and some have even claimed that it improves health and fights sickness. In this Very Short Introduction Noel Carroll examines the leading theories of humour including The Superiority Theory and The Incongruity Theory. He considers the relation of humour to emotion and cognition, and explores the value of humour, specifically in its social functions. He argues that humour, and the comic amusement that follows it, has a crucial role to play in the construction of communities, but he also demonstrates that the social aspect of humour raises questions such as 'When is humour immoral?' and 'Is laughing at immoral humour itself immoral?'. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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Author: David C. Catling

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191665258

Category: Science

Page: 144

View: 723

Astrobiology is the study of the origin and development of life on this and other planets. What fascinates people about astrobiology is that it seeks answers to long-standing unsolved questions: How quickly did life evolve on Earth and why did life persist here? Is there life elsewhere in the Solar System or beyond? The research of astrobiology has become more crucial than ever in recent decades, as biologists have discovered microbes that live in ever more extreme settings, such as bubbling hot springs, in acid, or deep within rocks. Rooted in strong and rigorous research, astrobiology incorporates the work of microbiologists, geologists, and astronomers. In this Very Short Introduction, David C. Catling introduces the origins of astrobiology and demonstrates its impact on current astronomical research and potential future discoveries. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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Author: John Krebs

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191637009

Category: Science

Page: 144

View: 7391

In this Very Short Introduction, Prof Lord John Krebs provides a brief history of human food, from our remote ancestors 3 million years ago to the present day. By looking at the four great transitions in human food - cooking, agriculture, processing, and preservation - he considers a variety of questions, including why people like some kinds of foods and not others; how your senses contribute to flavour; the role of genetics in our likes and dislikes; and the differences in learning and culture around the world. In turn he considers aspects of diet, nutrition, and health, and the disparity between malnutrition in some places and overconsumption in others. Finally, he considers some of the big issues - the obesity crisis, sustainable agriculture, the role of new technologies such as genetic modification of crops, and ends by posing the question: how will it be possible to feed a population of 9 billion in 2050, without destroying our natural environment? ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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Author: Tony Wright

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191637084

Category: Political Science

Page: 152

View: 3107

Tony Wright's Very Short Introduction to British Politics is an interpretative essay on the British political system, rather than an abbreviated textbook on how it currently works. He identifies key characteristics and ideas of the British tradition, and investigates what makes British politics distinctive, while emphasizing throughout how these characteristics are reflected in the way the political system functions. Each chapter is organized around a key theme, such as the constitution or political accountability, which is first established and then explored with examples and illustrations. In this new edition Wright considers how the system has recently changed and continues to do so, in light of the coalition government and the fall of New Labour, as well as the impact of the financial crisis and issues such as terrorism and immigration. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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