Tag Archives : Non-Fiction

Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded


Krakatoa: The Day The World Exploded, non-fiction by Simon Winchester. Harper Perennial. 2005 The 1883 eruption of Krakatoa was not merely an eruption. It was an annihilation. Two thirds of the original island was obliterated. The sound was heard over 3000 miles away. Barometers recorded the pressure wave as it resounded around the earth seven times over the next five…

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The Influencing Machine


The Influencing Machine: Brooke Gladstone on the Media, non-fiction graphic novel by Brooke Gladstone. WW Norton, 2012. This is both a reporter’s apology for ‘the media’, and an argument that the media is ultimately no more than a reflection of its audience. There’s a brief history of journalism, lest we think there was ever a good old days when the…

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The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence has Declined


The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, by Steven Pinker 2012, non-fiction Steven Pinker presents a comprehensive examination of the history of violence, a wealth of evidence for its clear and dramatic decline in all areas of violence, well founded arguments for the key exogenous (external) causes for each decline, and a breakdown of several human traits…

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Foxcatcher


Foxcatcher, 2014 non-fiction Author: Mark Schultz The brothers Dave and Mark Schultz were  Olympic and world champion wrestlers. On January 26, 1996, Dave was murdered by the crazed “philanthropist” and millionaire John du Pont. The story was national news and was repopularized with the release of the 2014 film of the same name. The cover promises to tell the “true…

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Superfreakonomics


In short Levitt and Dubner examine the economics of decision making. They mine a variety of systems for data – the complexity of over hanging disasters (like the problem of too much urban horse manure in 1900, and climate change in 2016) and the sometimes simple solutions that appear to solve them, the changing face of prostitution in Chicago over…

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Sapiens


Great book. Harari’s basic argument/observation is that while Homo Sapiens has been a distinct species for about 200,000 we didn’t evolve any particular advantage over other human species until about 70,000 years ago when we underwent a cognitive revolution and transcended mere biology by beginning to build what we came to identify as culture. In short what separated us from…

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