Books on the founding fathers abound, but there are few opportunities to see the early history of the US through the eyes of a woman of their times. The life of Martha Jefferson Randolph, the oldest child of Thomas and Martha Wayles Jefferson and the only one to survive to adulthood, offers that perspective and […]
Markets have long been acknowledged to be a superior mechanism for managing resources but until the age of big data, they largely functioned better in theory than in practice. Now, as ideal markets are within reach because of vastly easier access to enormous amounts of information, we are on the verge of a major disruption. […]
Books like Richard Florida’s The Rise of the Creative Class celebrate the wave of highly productive and creative workers moving to the cities for the assets of arts, culture, diversity and tolerance that they offer. Good jobs await them there. But what happens to the people who are left behind? That’s the question that sociologists Maria Kefalas […]
In Origins of Existence astrophysicist Fred Adams takes a radically different approach from the long tradition of biologists and spiritual leaders who have tried to explain how the universe supports the development of life. He argues that life followed naturally from the laws of physics — which were established as the universe burst into existence at the […]
Jeremy Popkin holds the William T. Bryan Chair in history at the University of Kentucky, where he teaches classes on the era of the French Revolution. Two of his books, one on the explosion of “new media” after 1789: Revolutionary News: The Press in France, 1789-1799, published by Duke University Press in 1989 and You […]
A developmental and clinical psychologist, Ed Tronick co-founded the Child Development Unit at Boston Children’s Hospital and the Touchpoints Program with T. Berry Brazelton. He is currently a University Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston and a Research Associate in Newborn Medicine at Harvard Medical School. The YouTube video of the […]
Fred Anderson is professor of history at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is the author of Crucible of War: The Seven Years’ War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766, published by Alfred A. Knopf and the winner of three prizes: the Mark Lynton History Prize, the Francis Parkman Prize, and the Colorado Book Award. It was also a finalist for the National Critics Book Circle Award in Non-Fiction. With Andrew Cayton, he is the author of The Dominion of War: Empire and Liberty in North America, 1500-2000, which was published by Viking Penguin. He also is the author of The War That Made America: A Short History of the French and Indian War, published by Viking as a companion volume to the PBS documentary series of the same name.
Fred Adams is professor of physics at the University of Michigan. He works in the general area of theoretical astrophysics with a focus on the study of star formation and cosmology. His first book, The Five Ages of the Universe, co-authored with Greg Laughlin, was published by the Free Press and has been translated into eight languages. Origins of Existence: How Life Emerged in the Universe was also published by the Free Press and has been translated into German, Finnish, and Russian.
Computer programs can recognize human faces more reliably than humans. They beat us at board games, they bluff better than the best poker players in the world, and some of them can almost pass as human. At a breathtaking pace, machines are becoming better and faster at making complex decisions—even compared to us. Machines have […]
Who are the happiest Americans? Surveys show that religious people think they are happier than secularists, and secularists think they are happier than religious people. Liberals believe they are happier than conservatives, and conservatives disagree. In fact, almost every group thinks they are happier than everyone else. In this provocative new book, Arthur C. Brooks […]
Sunflower County, in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, stood at the epicenter of Civil Rights activism in the 1960s, in part because it was a black majority county in which white cotton farmers held all the power, and in part because Senator James Eastland and activist Fannie Lou Hamer, two of its most prominent […]
Studies of depression abound, as do opinions on how best to treat it. Yet there is a question that barely gets asked: is depression a defect? Most of us take the answer as a given – whether we believe the defect is one of brain chemistry, of cognition, or of character. But psychologist Jonathan Rottenberg, […]
Susan R. Barry is professor emeritus of biology at Mount Holyoke College. She received her Ph.D. in biology from Princeton University and has is the author of scientific papers on the study of nerve cells, neuronal plasticity and eye-head-hand coordination. Dubbed “Stereo Sue” by neurologist Oliver Sacks in a New Yorker article by that name, Sue went […]
Dan Berger has been writing about the history of twentieth century US social movements for almost two decades. An associate professor of comparative ethnic studies at the University of Washington Bothell and affiliate associate professor of history at the UW Seattle, he regularly contributes journalistic commentary on issues of policing, prisons, and activism. He blogs […]
Originally from the upper Midwest, Robert Thorson lived in Alaska, California, Washington, and Wisconsin before arriving in New England in 1984. Along the way, he earned a Ph.D from the University of Washington, spent five years with the U.S. Geological Survey and worked for various federal, state, and private agencies, including the National Geographic Society […]
Paul Attewell is Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the Graduate Center, CUNY, where he works in two doctoral programs: sociology and urban education. His recent research has been in the sociology of education with a focus on the relationship between educational institutions and social inequality. He has studied middle and high schools and colleges. He […]