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Love

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Love by Ronald De Sousa Book Summary:

Explores the philosophical notion of love, and argues that love is more complex than conventional thought would have us believe.

Trust: A Very Short Introduction

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Trust: A Very Short Introduction by Katherine Hawley Book Summary:

Trust is indispensable, yet it can be dangerous. Without trusting others, we cannot function in society, or even stay alive for very long, but being overly-trustful can be a bad strategy too. Trust is pragmatic, but it also has a moral dimension: trustworthiness is a virtue, and well-placed trust benefits us all. In this Very Short Introduction, Katherine Hawley explores the key ideas about trust and distrust. Considerings questions such as 'Why do we value trust?' and Why do we want to be trusted rather than distrusted?', Hawley raises issues about the importance of trust in both the personal and public spheres, including family and relationships as well as politics and society. 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.

Metaphysics: A Very Short Introduction

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Metaphysics: A Very Short Introduction by Stephen Mumford Book Summary:

An introduction to metaphysics offers questions and answers covering such issues as properties, changes, time, personal identity, nothingness, and consciousness.

Happiness: A Very Short Introduction

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Happiness: A Very Short Introduction by Daniel M. Haybron Book Summary:

Most of us spend our lives striving for happiness. But what is it? How important is it? How can we (and should we) pursue it? In this Very Short Introduction Dan Haybron provides a comprehensive look at the nature of happiness. By using examples, Haybron considers how we measure happiness, what makes us happy, and considers its subjective nature.

Plato

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Plato by Julia Annas,Regents Professor of Philosophy Julia Annas Book Summary:

This introduction to Plato focuses on the philosophy and argument of his writings, drawing the reader into Plato's way of doing philosophy, and the general themes of his thinking. It includes a brief account of Plato's life.

Ancient Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction

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Ancient Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction by Julia Annas Book Summary:

The tradition of ancient philosophy is a long, rich and varied one, in which a constant note is that of discussion and argument. This book introduces readers to some ancient debates to engage with the ancient developments of some themes. Getting away from the presentation of ancient philosophy as a succession of Great Thinkers, the book gives readers a sense of the freshness and liveliness of ancient philosophy, and of its wide variety of themes and styles. 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.

Social Psychology: A Very Short Introduction

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Social Psychology: A Very Short Introduction by Richard J. Crisp Book Summary:

In this Very short introduction Richard Crisp tells the story of social psychology, the study of how society shapes behaviour, beliefs, attitudes, and values. Covering the history of the field, its key thinkers and major theories, Crisp discusses groundbreaking research in human behaviour. From attitudes to attraction, prejudice to persuasion, health to happiness, social psychology provides insights that can change the world.

Presocratic Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction

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Presocratic Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction by Catherine Osborne Book Summary:

This is a book about the invention of Western philosophy, and the first thinkers to explore ideas about the nature of reality, time, and the origin of the universe. It begins with the finding of the new papyrus fragment of Empedocles' poem, and uses the story of its discovery and interpretation to highlight the way our understanding of early philosophers is marked by their presentation in later sources. Generations of philosophers, both ancient and modern, have traced their inspiration back to the presocratics, even though we have very few of their writings left. In this book, Catherine Osborne invites her readers to dip their toes into the fragmentary remains of thinkers from Thales to Pythagoras, Heraclitus to Protagoras, to try to fill in the bits of a jigsaw that has been rejigged many times and in many different ways. 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.

The Meaning of Life: A Very Short Introduction

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The Meaning of Life: A Very Short Introduction by Terry Eagleton Book Summary:

We have all wondered about the meaning of life. But is there an answer? And do we even really know what we're asking? Terry Eagleton takes a stimulating and quirky look at this most compelling of questions: at the answers explored in philosophy and literature; at the crisis of meaning in modern times; and suggests his own solution to how we might rediscover meaning in our lives.

International Law: A Very Short Introduction

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International Law: A Very Short Introduction by Vaughan Lowe Book Summary:

Interest in international law has increased greatly over the past decade, largely because of its central place in discussions such as the Iraq War and Guantanamo, the World Trade Organisation, the anti-capitalist movement, the Kyoto Convention on climate change, and the apparent failure of the international system to deal with the situations in Palestine and Darfur, and the plights of refugees and illegal immigrants around the world. This Very Short Introduction explains what international law is, what its role in international society is, and how it operates. Vaughan Lowe examines what international law can and cannot do and what it is and what it isn't doing to make the world a better place. Focussing on the problems the world faces, Lowe uses terrorism, environmental change, poverty, and international violence to demonstrate the theories and practice of international law, and how the principles can be used for international co-operation.

Nietzsche: A Very Short Introduction

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Nietzsche: A Very Short Introduction by Michael Tanner Book Summary:

The philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) was almost wholly neglected during his sane life, which came to an abrupt end in 1889. Since then he has been appropriated as an icon by an astonishingly diverse spectrum of people, whose interpretations of his thought range from the highly irrational to the firmly analytical. Thus Spoke Zarathustra introduced the 'superman' and The Twilight of the Idols developed the 'Will to Power' concept; these term, together with 'Sklavenmoral' and 'Herrenmoral', became confused with the rise of nationalism in Germany. Idiosyncratic and aphoristic, Nietzsche is always bracing and provocative, and temptingly easy to dip into. Michael Tanner's readable introduction to the philosopher's life and work examines the numerous ambiguities inherent in his writings. It also explodes the many misconceptions fostered in the hundred years since Nietzsche wrote, prophetically: 'Do not, above all, confound me with what I am not!' 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.

Logic: A Very Short Introduction

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Logic: A Very Short Introduction by Boyce Gibson Professor of Philosophy Graham Priest,Graham Priest Book Summary:

Along the way, the book explains the basic ideas of formal logic in simple, non-technical terms, as well as the philosophical pressures to which these have responded. This is a book for anyone who has ever been puzzled by a piece of reasoning."--BOOK JACKET.

Mathematics: A Very Short Introduction

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Mathematics: A Very Short Introduction by Timothy Gowers,Timothy (Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics Gowers, Cambridge University) Book Summary:

The aim of this volume is to explain the differences between research-level mathematics and the maths taught at school. Most differences are philosophical and the first few chapters are about general aspects of mathematical thought.

Emotion

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Emotion by Dylan Evans Book Summary:

Was love invented by European poets in the Middle Ages or is it part of human nature? Will winning the lottery really make you happy? Is it possible to build robots that have feelings? In this Very Short Introduction Dylan Evans explores these and many other intriguing questions in this guide to the latest thinking about the emotions. Drawing on a wide range of scientific research, from anthropology and psychology to neuroscience and artificial intelligence, Evans takes the reader on a fascinating journey into the human heart, discussing the evolution of emotions and their biological basis, the science of happiness, and the role that emotions play in memory and decision making. Greeted by critics as a pop science classic when it was first published in 2001, the book has now been thoroughly revised and updated to incorporate new developments in our understanding of emotions, including new sections addressing the neural basis of empathy and the emotional impact of films. 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.

Psychology of Music

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Psychology of Music by Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis Book Summary:

Music has been examined from multiple perspectives: as a product of human history, for example, or a product of human culture. But there is also a long tradition, intensified in recent decades, of thinking about music as a product of the human mind. Whether considering composition, performance, listening, or appreciation, the constraints and capabilities of the human mind play a formative role. The field that has emerged around this approach is known as the psychology of music. Written in a lively and accessible manner, this volume connects the science to larger questions about music that are of interest to practicing musicians, music therapists, musicologists, and the general public alike. For example: Why can one musical performance move an audience to tears, and another compel them to dance, clap, or snap along? How does a "hype" playlist motivate someone at the gym? And why is that top-40 song stuck in everyone's head? 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.

Romanticism: A Very Short Introduction

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Romanticism: A Very Short Introduction by Michael Ferber Book Summary:

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.

Ovid: a Very Short Introduction

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Ovid: a Very Short Introduction by Llewelyn Morgan Book Summary:

Ovid, wittiest of ancient poets, has been an influential model for writers and artists throughout the ages. Llewelyn Morgan introduces the poet and his works, describing each of his poems in turn, setting them in their social and literary context, and considering the twist of events that led to the exile of Rome's most celebrated artist.

Ovid: a Very Short Introduction

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Ovid: a Very Short Introduction by Llewelyn Morgan Book Summary:

Ovid, wittiest of ancient poets, has been an influential model for writers and artists throughout the ages. Llewelyn Morgan introduces the poet and his works, describing each of his poems in turn, setting them in their social and literary context, and considering the twist of events that led to the exile of Rome's most celebrated artist.

Food: A Very Short Introduction

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Food: A Very Short Introduction by John Krebs Book Summary:

A brief examination of the history and science of food chronicles four great transitions including those of cooking, agriculture, processing and preservation to consider the sources of culinary preferences, the disparity between malnutrition and overconsumption and the issues associated with obesity, sustainable agriculture and genetic modification. Original.

Intelligence: A Very Short Introduction

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Intelligence: A Very Short Introduction by Ian J. Deary Book Summary:

People value their powers of thinking and most of us are interested in why some people seem to drive a highly tuned Rolls Royce brain while others potter along with a merely serviceable Ford Fiesta. This Very Short Introduction describes what psychologists have discovered about how and why people differ in their thinking powers. The book takes readers from no knowledge about the science of human intelligence to a stage where they are able to make judgements for themselves about some of the key questions about human mental ability differences. Each chapter deals with a central issue that is both scientifically lively and of considerable general interest, and is structured around a diagram which is explained in the course of the chapter. The issues discussed include whether there are several different types of intelligence, whether intelligence differences are caused by genes or the environment, the biological basis of intelligence differences, and whether intelligence declines or increases as we grow older. 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.

Emotion: A Very Short Introduction

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Emotion: A Very Short Introduction by Dylan Evans Book Summary:

Was love invented by European poets in the Middle Ages or is it part of human nature? Will winning the lottery really make you happy? Is it possible to build robots that have feelings? These are just some of the intriguing questions explored in this guide to the latest thinking about the emotions. Drawing on a wide range of scientific research, from anthropology and psychology to neuroscience and artificial intelligence, Emotion: The Science of Sentiment takes the reader on a fascinating journey into the human heart. 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.

Malthus: A Very Short Introduction

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Malthus: A Very Short Introduction by Donald Winch Book Summary:

Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834) was an English cleric whose ideas on population and political economy have had a profound influence on modern economic thought. In this Very Short Introduction, Donald Winch considers the context in which Malthus wrote, examines why his work matters, and why it remains so controversial.

Albert Camus

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Albert Camus by Oliver Gloag Book Summary:

Albert Camus is one of the best known philosophers of the twentieth century, as well as a widely read novelist. Active in the first half of the twentieth century, his views contributed to the rise of the philosophy known as absurdism, and his works have inspired numerous movies, and even pop songs, and are frequently referenced in contemporary politics. 0In this Very Short Introduction Oliver Gloag explores the life and work of a man full of contradictions, who occupied an ambiguous position in troubled and conflicted times. A fearless journalist who tirelessly investigated the terrible conditions of people in French-occupied Algeria in the 1930s, Camus also stated that the only salvation for France was to remain an "Arab Power". While he published articles during the German Occupation in a clandestine resistance newspaper, Camus also withdrew a chapter on Kafka to ensure that his philosophical treatise would pass the Nazi-controlled censorship. Over the course of his life he ranged from being strongly in favour of the death penalty to deploring it in his philosophy.. Following a broad chronological framework, Gloag explores the major philosophical and literary works of Camus in the historical context in which they were written and published, and analyses how the reception and popularity of these works are connected with contemporary political, social and cultural issues, shaping the ideological landscape that surrounds us.

Criminology

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Criminology by Tim Newburn Book Summary:

Comprehensive and accessible, Tim Newburn’s bestselling Criminology provides an introduction to the fundamental themes, concepts, theories, methods and events that underpin the subject and form the basis for all undergraduate degree courses and modules in Criminology and Criminal Justice. This third edition includes: A new chapter on politics, reflecting the ever increasing coverage of political influence and decision making on criminology courses New and updated crime data and analysis of trends, plus new content on recent events such as the Volkswagen scandal, the latest developments on historic child abuse, as well as extended coverage throughout of the English riots A fully revised and updated companion website, including exam, review and multiple choice questions, a live Twitter feed from the author providing links to media and academic coverage of events related to the concepts covered in the book, together with links to a dedicated textbook Facebook page Fully updated to reflect recent developments in the field and extensively illustrated, this authoritative text, written by a leading criminologist and experienced lecturer, is essential reading for all students of Criminology and related fields.

Rousseau: A Very Short Introduction

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Rousseau: A Very Short Introduction by Robert Wokler Book Summary:

One of the most profound thinkers of modern history, Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-78) was a central figure of the European Enlightenment. He was also its most formidable critic, condemning the political, economic, theological, and sexual trappings of civilization along lines that would excite the enthusiasm of romantic individualists and radical revolutionaries alike. In this study of Rousseau's life and works Robert Wokler shows how his philosophy of history, his theories of music and politics, his fiction, educational and religious writings, and even his botany, were all inspired by visionary ideals of mankind's self-realization in a condition of unfettered freedom. He explains how, in regressing to classical republicanism, ancient mythology, direct communion with God, and solitude, Rousseau anticipated some post-modernist rejections of the Enlightenment as well. 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.

Nothing: A Very Short Introduction

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Nothing: A Very Short Introduction by Frank Close Book Summary:

What is 'nothing'? What remains when you take all the matter away? Can empty space - a void - exist? This Very Short Introduction explores the science and the history of the elusive void: from Aristotle who insisted that the vacuum was impossible, via the theories of Newton and Einstein, to our very latest discoveries and why they can tell us extraordinary things about the cosmos. Frank Close tells the story of how scientists have explored the elusive void, and the rich discoveries that they have made there. He takes the reader on a lively and accessible history through ancient ideas and cultural superstitions to the frontiers of current research. He describes how scientists discovered that the vacuum is filled with fields; how Newton, Mach, and Einstein grappled with the nature of space and time; and how the mysterious 'aether' that was long ago supposed to permeate the void may now be making a comeback with the latest research into the 'Higgs field'. We now know that the vacuum is far from being empty - it seethes with virtual particles and antiparticles that erupt spontaneously into being, and it also may contain hidden dimensions that we were previously unaware of. These new discoveries may provide answers to some of cosmology's most fundamental questions: what lies outside the universe, and, if there was once nothing, then how did the universe begin? 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.

Montaigne: a Very Short Introduction

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Montaigne: a Very Short Introduction by William M. Hamlin Book Summary:

"We know Montaigne today as the author of a single, extraordinary book: the Essays. It is a book like no other. People have considered it an autobiography, a philosophical treatise, and even a Renaissance self-help manual on how to live, but it is none of these. To be sure, it offers profound meditations on social and ethical questions, and it presents one of the most candid self-portraits ever written-a portrait rich in insight about sanity and peace of mind"--

Ethics: a Very Short Introduction

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Ethics: a Very Short Introduction by Simon Blackburn Book Summary:

Simon Blackburn tackles the major moral questions surrounding birth, death, happiness, desire, and freedom, and considers how we should think about the meaning of life. This new edition highlights the importance of an understanding of approaches to ethics and its foundations, and how this relates to our modern world of eroding trust.

Radioactivity: A Very Short Introduction

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Radioactivity: A Very Short Introduction by Claudio Tuniz Book Summary:

You cannot hide from radioactivity. Even the book you are holding is slightly radioactive, but there are more serious risks. Radioactivity - the breakdown of unstable atomic nuclei, releasing radiation - is a fundamental process in nature. It is a process that has been harnessed to provide wide and important applications in science, medicine, industry, and energy production. But it remains much misunderstood - and feared, perhaps because nuclear radiation cannot be detected by human senses, and can undoubtedly do great harm if appropriate precautions are not taken. In recent times there have been increasing concerns about nuclear terrorism. The traces of radioactive atoms in rocks have allowed us to understand the nature and history of the Earth, in particular to date events in that history. Radioactive dating has been used for a variety of purposes, from determining the age of the first hominids to the dating of the Turin Shroud. The discovery of radioactivity has improved our survival kit, but also gave us the chance to reach a new level of awareness on the history of our species and its environmental impacts. In this Very Short Introduction, Claudio Tuniz explains the nature of radioactivity and discuss its role in nature. Describing radioactivity in the stars and in the Earth, he also looks at its wide range of applications in biomedicine and in science, as well as the mechanisms of nuclear fission and fusion, and the harnessing of nuclear power. 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.

Goethe: A Very Short Introduction

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Goethe: A Very Short Introduction by Ritchie Robertson Book Summary:

In 1878 the Victorian critic Matthew Arnold wrote: 'Goethe is the greatest poet of modern times... because having a very considerable gift for poetry, he was at the same time, in the width, depth, and richness of his criticism of life, by far our greatest modern man.' In this Very Short Introduction Ritchie Robertson covers the life and work of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832): scientist, administrator, artist, art critic and supreme literary writer in a vast variety of genres. Looking at Goethe's poetry, novels and drama pieces, as well as his travel writing, autobiography, and essays on art and aesthetics, Robertson analyses some of the key themes in his works: love, nature, religion and tragedy. Dispelling the misconception of Goethe as a sedate Victorian sage, Robertson shows how much of his art was rooted in turbulent personal conflicts, and draws on recent research to present a complete portrait of the scientific work and political activity which accompanied Goethe's writings. 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.

Islam: A Very Short Introduction

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Islam: A Very Short Introduction by Malise Ruthven Book Summary:

Islam features widely in the news, often in its most militant versions, but few people in the non-Muslim world really understand the nature of Islam. Malise Ruthven's Very Short Introduction offers an essential insight into issues such as why Islam has such major divisions between movements such as the Shi'ites, the Sunnis, and the Wahhabis, why the Shar'ia (Islamic law) is such an important aspect of Islamic life, and why the greatest `Jihad' (holy war) is now against the enemies of Islam, rather than the struggle against evil. In addition he prompts further questioning into the ideas of `Islamic resurgence' as both an old and new concept, whether or not women can find fulfilment and equality within an Islamic framework, and the sort of problems facing Islam and its confrontation with the modern world. - ;Islam features widely in the news, often in its most militant versions, but few people in the non-Muslim world really understand the nature of Islam, both as ideology and religion. Malise Ruthven's Very Short Introduction therefore offers an essential insight into issues such as the why the greatest `Jihad' (holy war) is now against the enemies of Islam, rather than the struggle against evil, why Islam has such major divisions between movements such as the Shi'ites, the Sunnis, and the Wahhabis, and how the Shar'ia (Islamic law) has become such an important aspect of Islamic life. In addition he prompts further questioning into the ideas of `Islamic resurgence' as both an old and new concept, whether or not women can find fulfilment and equality within an Islamic framework, and the sort of problems facing Islam and its confrontations with the modern world. -

Shakespeare's Sonnets and Poems: a Very Short Introduction

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Shakespeare's Sonnets and Poems: a Very Short Introduction by Jonathan F. S. Post Book Summary:

Not for nothing is William Shakespeare considered possibly the most famous writer in history; his works have had a lasting effect on culture, vocabularies, and art. His plays contain some of our most well-known lines (how often have you heard the phrase 'To be or not to be'?), yet whilst his poems may often feel less familiar than his plays they have also seeped into our cultural history (who has not heard of ''Shall I compare thee to a summer's day'?). In this Very Short Introduction Jonathan Post introduces all of Shakespeare's poetry: the Sonnets; the two great narrative poems, Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece; A Lover's Complaint; and The Phoenix and Turtle. Describing Shakespeare's double identity as both poet and playwright, in conjunction with several of his contemporaries, Post evaluates the reciprocal advantages as well as the different strategies and strains that came with writing for the stage and the page. Tackling the debates surrounding the disputed authorship of Shakespeare's poems, he also considers the printing history of Shakespeare's canon, and the genres favoured by the bard. Exploring their reception, both with contemporary audiences and through the ages until today, Post explores the core themes of love and lust, and analyzes how the sonnets compare with other great love poetry of the English Renaissance. 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 Theory: A Very Short Introduction

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Art Theory: A Very Short Introduction by Cynthia Freeland Book Summary:

In today's art world many strange, even shocking, things qualify as art. In this Very Short Introduction Cynthia Freeland explains why innovation and controversy are valued in the arts, weaving together philosophy and art theory with many fascinating examples. She discusses blood, beauty, culture, money, museums, sex, and politics, clarifying contemporary and historical accounts of the nature, function, and interpretation of the arts. Freeland also propels us into the future by surveying cutting-edge web sites, alongside the latest research on the brain's role in perceiving art. This clear, provocative book engages with the big debates surrounding our responses to art and is an invaluable introduction to anyone interested in thinking about art. 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.

Jewish History

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Jewish History by David N. Myers Book Summary:

"How have the Jews survived? For millennia, they have defied odds by overcoming the travails of exile, persecution, and recurring plans for their annihilation. This book charts the long journey of the Jews through history. At the same time, it points to two unlikely factors to explain the survival of the Jews: antisemitism and assimilation"--

Quantum Theory: A Very Short Introduction

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Quantum Theory: A Very Short Introduction by John Polkinghorne Book Summary:

Quantum Theory is the most revolutionary discovery in physics since Newton. This book gives a lucid, exciting, and accessible account of the surprising and counterintuitive ideas that shape our understanding of the sub-atomic world. It does not disguise the problems of interpretation that still remain unsettled 75 years after the initial discoveries. The main text makes no use of equations, but there is a Mathematical Appendix for those desiring stronger fare. Uncertainty, probabilistic physics, complementarity, the problematic character of measurement, and decoherence are among the many topics discussed. 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.

Education: A Very Short Introduction

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Education: A Very Short Introduction by Gary Thomas Book Summary:

From the schools of ancient times to the present day, Gary Thomas looks at how and why education evolved as it has. By exploring some of the big questions, he examines the ways in which schools work, considers the differences around the world, and concludes by considering the future of education worldwide.

Country Music: a Very Short Introduction

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Country Music: a Very Short Introduction by Richard Carlin Book Summary:

Country Music: A Very Short Introduction presents a compelling overview of the music and its impact on American culture. Country music has long been a marker of American identity; from our popular culture to our politics, it has provided a soundtrack to our national life. While traditionally associated with the working class, country's appeal is far broader than any other popular music style. While this music rose from the people, it is also a product of the popular music industry, and the way the music has been marketed to its audience is a key part of its story. Key artists, songs, and musical styles are highlighted that are either touchstones for a particular social event (such as Tammy Wynette's "Stand By Your Man," which produced both a positive and negative backlash as a marker of women's roles in society at the beginning of the liberation movement) or that encompass broader trends in the industry (for example, Jimmie Rodgers' "T for Texas" was an early example of the appropriation of black musical forms by white artists to market them to a mainstream audience). While pursuing a basically chronological outline, the book is structured around certain recurring themes (such as rural vs. urban; tradition vs. innovation; male vs. female; white vs. black) that have been documented through the work of country artists from the minstrel era to today. Truly the voice of the people, country music expresses both deep patriotism as well as a healthy skepticism towards the powers that dominate American society. Country Music: A Very Short Introduction illuminates this rich tradition and assesses its legacy in American popular music culture.

Continental Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction

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Continental Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction by Simon Critchley Book Summary:

Simon Critchley's Very Short Introduction shows that Continental philosophy encompasses a distinct set of philosophical traditions and practices, with a compelling range of problems all too often ignored by the analytic tradition. He discusses the ideas and approaches of philosophers such as Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Habermas, Foucault, and Derrida, and introduces key concepts such as existentialism, nihilism, and phenomenology by explaining their place in the Continental tradition. 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.