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History: A Very Short Introduction
Author: John Arnold
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191606375
Pages: 160
Year: 2000-02-24
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There are many stories we can tell about the past, and we are not, perhaps, as free as we might imagine in our choice of which stories to tell, or where those stories end. John Arnold's Very Short Introduction is a stimulating essay about how we study and understand history. The book begins by inviting us to think about various questions provoked by our investigation of history, and explores the ways these questions have been answered in the past. Concepts such as causation, interpretation, and periodization, are introduced by means of concrete examples of how historians work, giving the reader a sense of the excitement of discovering not only the past, but also ourselves. 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.
History
Author: John H. Arnold
Publisher: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.
ISBN: 1402768923
Pages: 182
Year: 2009
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Do historians reconstruct the truth—or simply tell stories? Professor John Arnold suggests they do both, and that it's the balance between the two that matters. In a work of metahistory (the study of history itself), he takes us from the fabulous tales of Greek Herodotus to the varied approaches of modern-day professionals. Through fascinating and particular examples—including a medieval murderer, 17th-century colonist, and ex-slave—Dr. Arnold illuminates our relationship to the past by making us aware of how the very nature of “history” has changed.
Consciousness: A Very Short Introduction
Author: Susan Blackmore
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192513729
Pages: 152
Year: 2017-09-14
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Consciousness, 'the last great mystery for science', remains a hot topic. How can a physical brain create our experience of the world? What creates our identity? Do we really have free will? Could consciousness itself be an illusion? Exciting new developments in brain science are continuing the debates on these issues, and the field has now expanded to include biologists, neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers. This controversial book clarifies the potentially confusing arguments, and the major theories, whilst also outlining the amazing pace of discoveries in neuroscience. Covering areas such as the construction of self in the brain, mechanisms of attention, the neural correlates of consciousness, and the physiology of altered states of consciousness, Susan Blackmore highlights our latest findings. 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.
Cryptography: A Very Short Introduction
Author: Fred Piper, Sean Murphy
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191577758
Pages: 160
Year: 2002-05-30
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This book is a clear and informative introduction to cryptography and data protection - subjects of considerable social and political importance. It explains what algorithms do, how they are used, the risks associated with using them, and why governments should be concerned. Important areas are highlighted, such as Stream Ciphers, block ciphers, public key algorithms, digital signatures, and applications such as e-commerce. This book highlights the explosive impact of cryptography on modern society, with, for example, the evolution of the internet and the introduction of more sophisticated banking methods. 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.
Art History: A Very Short Introduction
Author: Dana Arnold
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191577596
Pages: 144
Year: 2004-01-22
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This clear and concise new introduction examines all the major debates and issues using a wide range of well-known examples. It discusses the challenge of using verbal and written language to analyse a visual form. Dana Arnold also examines the many different ways of writing about art, and the changing boundaries of the subject of art history. Topics covered include the canon of Art History, the role of the gallery, 'blockbuster' exhibitions, the emergence of social histories of art (Feminist Art History or Queer Art History, for example), the impact of photography, and the development of Art History using artefacts such as the altarpiece, the portrait, or pornography, to explore social and cultural issues such as consumption, taste, religion, and politics. Importantly, this book explains how the traditional emphasis on periods and styles originates in western art production and can obscure other critical approaches, as well as art from non western cultures. 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.
Film Music: A Very Short Introduction
Author: Kathryn Kalinak
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199707979
Pages: 160
Year: 2010-03-11
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Film music is as old as cinema itself. Years before synchronized sound became the norm, projected moving images were shown to musical accompaniment, whether performed by a lone piano player or a hundred-piece orchestra. Today film music has become its own industry, indispensable to the marketability of movies around the world. Film Music: A Very Short Introduction is a compact, lucid, and thoroughly engaging overview written by one of the leading authorities on the subject. After opening with a fascinating analysis of the music from a key sequence in Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs, Kathryn Kalinak introduces readers not only to important composers and musical styles but also to modern theoretical concepts about how and why film music works. Throughout the book she embraces a global perspective, examining film music in Asia and the Middle East as well as in Europe and the United States. Key collaborations between directors and composers--Alfred Hitchcock and Bernard Herrmann, Akira Kurosawa and Fumio Hayasaka, Federico Fellini and Nino Rota, to name only a few--come under scrutiny, as do the oft-neglected practices of the silent film era. She also explores differences between original film scores and compilation soundtracks that cull music from pre-existing sources. As Kalinak points out, film music can do many things, from establishing mood and setting to clarifying plot points and creating emotions that are only dimly realized in the images. This book illuminates the many ways it accomplishes those tasks and will have its readers thinking a bit more deeply and critically the next time they sit in a darkened movie theater and music suddenly swells as the action unfolds onscreen. About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.
Environmental Economics: A Very Short Introduction
Author: Stephen Smith
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191620297
Pages: 152
Year: 2011-09-22
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If environmental protection is costly, how much should we spend on pollution control? Is it worth reducing pollution to zero, or should we accept some level of pollution because of the economic benefits associated with it? How can we assess the benefits that people get from a less-polluted atmosphere? In broad terms, environmental economics looks at how economic activity and policy affect the environment in which we live. Some production generates pollution, such as power station emissions causing acid rain and contributing to global warming, but household consumption decisions also affect the environment, where more consumption can mean more waste sent to polluting incinerators. However, pollution is not an inevitable consequence of economic activity - environmental policies can require polluting firms to clean up their emissions, and can encourage people to change their behaviour, through environmental taxes on polluting goods, for example. Generally, though, these measures will involve some costs, such as installing pollution control equipment. So there's a trade-off: a cleaner environment, but economic costs. In recent years, many economists have argued for greater use of incentive in the form of pollution charges and emissions trading rather than more traditional direct regulation of polluters. In this Very Short Introduction, Stephen Smith discusses environmental issues including pollution control, reducing environmental damage, and global climate change policies, answering questions about how we should balance environmental and economic considerations, and what form government policies should take. Including many illustrative case studies and examples he shows that this is an exciting field of economics, and one that is at the heart of many public debates and controversies. 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.
Anarchism: A Very Short Introduction
Author: Colin Ward
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192804774
Pages: 109
Year: 2004-10-21
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What do anarchists want? Can anarchy ever function effectively as a political force? Is anarchism more 'organized' and 'reasonable' than is currently perceived? Colin Ward explains what anarchism means and who anarchists are in this illuminating and accessible introduction to the subject.
African History: A Very Short Introduction
Author: John Parker, Richard Rathbone
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192802488
Pages: 165
Year: 2007-03-22
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This Very Short Introduction is essential reading for anyone interested in the African continent and the diversity of human history, as it looks at Africa's past and reflects on the changing ways it has been imagined and represented. Key themes such as the unity and diversity of African cultures, slavery, religion, colonial conquest and the importance of history in understanding contemporary Africa are illustrated with a range of fascinating historical examples, drawn from over 5 millennia across this vast continent.
Philosophy of Science: Very Short Introduction
Author: Samir Okasha
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0191062790
Pages: 160
Year: 2016-07-20
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How much faith should we place in what scientists tell us? Is it possible for scientific knowledge to be fully 'objective'? What, really, can be defined as science? In the second edition of this Very Short Introduction, Samir Okasha explores the main themes and theories of contemporary philosophy of science, and investigates fascinating, challenging questions such as these. Starting at the very beginning, with a concise overview of the history of science, Okasha examines the nature of fundamental practices such as reasoning, causation, and explanation. Looking at scientific revolutions and the issue of scientific change, he asks whether there is a discernible pattern to the way scientific ideas change over time, and discusses realist versus anti-realist attitudes towards science. He finishes by considering science today, and the social and ethical philosophical questions surrounding modern science. 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.
Decolonization
Author: Dane Kennedy
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199340498
Pages: 128
Year: 2016-04-06
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Between 1760 and 1800, the American people cast off British rule to create a new nation and a radically new form of government based on the idea that people have the right to govern themselves. This title provides a cohesive synthesis of the military, diplomatic, political, social, and intellectual aspects of the American Revolution, paying special attention to the Revolution's causes and consequences.
Nothing: A Very Short Introduction
Author: Frank Close
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199225869
Pages: 157
Year: 2009-06-25
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An exploration of the concept of "nothing" journeys from ancient ideas and cultural traditions to the latest scientific research, discussing the history of the vacuum, theories on the nature of time and space, and other discoveries.
The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Very Short Introduction
Author: Martin Bunton, Martin P. Bunton
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199603936
Pages: 132
Year: 2013-08-29
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"The conflict between Palestine and Israel is one of the most highly publicized and bitter struggles of modern times, a dangerous tinderbox always poised to set the Middle East aflame, and to draw the United States into the fire. In this volume the author illuminates the history of the problem, reducing it to its very essence. He explores the Palestinian-Israeli dispute in twenty-year segments, to highlight the historical complexity of the conflict throughout successive decades. Each chapter starts with an examination of the relationships among people and events that marked particular years as historical stepping stones in the evolution of the conflict, including the 1897 Basel Congress, the 1917 Balfour Declaration and British occupation of Palestine, and the 1947 U.N. Partition Plan and the war for Palestine. Providing an exploration of the main issues, the author explores not only the historical basis of the conflict, but also looks at how and why partition has been so difficult and how efforts to restore peace continue today"--OCLC
Romanticism: A Very Short Introduction
Author: Michael Ferber
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191614262
Pages: 168
Year: 2010-09-23
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What is Romanticism? In this Very Short Introduction Michael Ferber answers this by considering who the romantics were and looks at what they had in common — their ideas, beliefs, commitments, and tastes. He looks at the birth and growth of Romanticism throughout Europe and the Americas, and examines various types of Romantic literature, music, painting, religion, and philosophy. Focusing on topics, Ferber looks at the 'Sensibility' movement, which preceded Romanticism; the rising prestige of the poet; Romanticism as a religious trend; Romantic philosophy and science; Romantic responses to the French Revolution; and the condition of women. Using examples and quotations he presents a clear insight into this very diverse movement, and offers a definition as well as a discussion of the word 'Romantic' and where it came from. 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.
Gravity: A Very Short Introduction
Author: Timothy Clifton
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0191045330
Pages: 144
Year: 2017-02-10
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Gravity is one of the four fundamental interactions that exist in nature. It also has the distinction of being the oldest, weakest, and most difficult force to quantize. Understanding gravity is not only essential for understanding the motion of objects on Earth, but also the motion of all celestial objects, and even the expansion of the Universe itself. It was the study of gravity that led Einstein to his profound realisations about the nature of space and time. Gravity is not only universal, it is also essential for understanding the behaviour of the Universe, and all astrophysical bodies within it. In this Very Short Introduction Timothy Clifton looks at the development of our understanding of gravity since the early observations of Kepler and Newtonian theory. He discusses Einstein's theory of gravity, which now supplants Newton's, showing how it allows us to understand why the frequency of light changes as it passes through a gravitational field, why GPS satellites need their clocks corrected as they orbit the Earth, and why the orbits of distant neutron stars speed up. Today, almost 100 years after Einstein published his theory of gravity, we have even detected the waves of gravitational radiation that he predicted. Clifton concludes by considering the testing and application of general relativity in astrophysics and cosmology, and looks at dark energy and efforts such as string theory to combine gravity with quantum mechanics. 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.