Recommendations

  • The Madness of Crowds

    The Madness of Crowds

    The Madness of Crowds

    Douglas Murray
    Political Science
    4.24 (10,809)

    Douglas murray examines the twenty-first century's most divisive issues: sexuality, gender, technology and race. he reveals the astonishing new culture wars playing out in our workplaces, universities, schools and homes in the names of social justice, identity politics and intersectionality.we are living through a postmodern era in which the grand narratives of religion and political ideology have collapsed. in their place have emerged a crusading desire to right perceived wrongs and a weaponization of identity, both accelerated by the new forms of social and news media. narrow sets of interests

    Sam Harris

    Reading it to the end, I felt as though I'd just drawn my first full breath in years...

    Sep 18, 2019 — Source

  • Superintelligence

    Superintelligence

    Superintelligence

    Nick Bostrom
    Computers
    3.86 (15,019)

    Superintelligence asks the questions: what happens when machines surpass humans in general intelligence? will artificial agents save or destroy us? nick bostrom lays the foundation for understanding the future of humanity and intelligent life. the human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. it is to these distinctive capabilities that our species owes its dominant position. if machine brains surpassed human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become extremely powerful--possibly beyond our control. as the fate of the gorillas now depends more on

    Sam Harris

    Sort of philosophy/science that I’ve been greatly influenced by of late.

    Jul 8, 2015 — Source

  • The Flight of the Garuda
    Sam Harris

    There's one book called The Flight of the Garuda, which I think is especially beautiful and wise

    Jul 8, 2015 — Source

  • On Having No Head

    On Having No Head

    On Having No Head

    Douglas Edison Harding
    Enlightenment (Zen Buddhism)

    Sam Harris

    What is it like to see the world and simultaneously notice that your head is not appearing in it?

    Nov 29, 2018 — Source

  • Mortal Questions

    Mortal Questions

    Mortal Questions

    Thomas Nagel
    Philosophy
    4.06 (584)

    Thomas Nagel's Mortal Questions explores some fundamental issues concerning the meaning, nature and value of human life. Questions about our attitudes to death, sexual behaviour, social inequality, war and political power are shown to lead to more obviously philosophical problems about personal identity, consciousness, freedom, and value. This original and illuminating book aims at a form of understanding that is both theoretical and personal in its lively engagement with what are literally issues of life and death.

    Sam Harris

    Also, he has a book called Mortal Questions, which is a collection of essays. There are some very good essays in there that were very influential in philosophy...

     — Source

  • Reasons and Persons

    Reasons and Persons

    Reasons and Persons

    Derek Parfit
    Philosophy
    4.26 (1,429)

    This book challenges, with several powerful arguments, some of our deepest beliefs about rationality, morality, and personal identity. The author claims that we have a false view of our own nature; that it is often rational to act against our own best interests; that most of us have moral views that are directly self-defeating; and that, when we consider future generations the conclusions will often be disturbing. He concludes that moral non-religious moralphilosophy is a young subject, with a promising but unpredictable future.

    Sam Harris

    I also recommend Derek Parfits book, Reasons and Persons, which is just brilliant and written as though by an alien intelligence.

    Jul 8, 2015 — Source

  • I Am That

    I Am That

    I Am That

    Nisargadatta Maharaj
    4.3 (6,412)

    Back cover This collection of the timeless teachings of one of the greatest sages of India, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, is a testament to the uniqueness of the seer's life and work and is regarded by many as a modern spiritual classic. I Am That (first published in 1973) continues to draw new audiences and to enlighten seekers anxious for self-realization. Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj was a teacher who did not propound any ideology or religion, but gently unwrapped the mystery of the self. His message was simple, direct, and sublime. I Am That preserves his dialogs with the followers who came from around the world seeking guidance in destroying false identities. The sage's sole concern was with the human suffering and the ending of suffering. It was his mission to guide the individual to an understanding of his true nature and the timelessness of being. He taught that the mind must recognize and penetrate its own state of being--not "being this or that, here or there, then or now," but just timeless being. A simple man, Maharaj was a householder and petty storekeeper in Bombay where he lived and died in 1981 at the age of 84. He had not been educated formally but came to be respected and loved for his insights into the crux of human pain and for the extraordinary lucidity of his direct disclosure. Hundreds of diverse seekers traveled the globe and sought him out in his unpretentious home in Bombay (now Mumbai) to hear him. To all of them, he gave hope that "beyond the real experience is not the mind, but the self, the light in which everything appears ... the awareness in which everything happens." In the humble abode of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, but for the electric lights and the noises of the street traffic, one would not know in which period of human history one dwells. There is an atmosphere of timelessness about his tiny room; the subjects discussed are timeless -- valid for all times; the way they are expounded and examined is also timeless; the centuries, millennia and yugas fall off and one deals with matters immensely ancient and eternally new. The discussions held and teachings given would have been the same ten thousand years ago and will be the same ten thousand years hence. There will always be conscious beings wondering about the fact of their being conscious and enquiring into its cause and aim. Whence am I? Who am I? Whither am I? Such questions have no beginning and no end. And it is crucial to know the answers, for without a full understanding of oneself, both in time and in timelessness, life is but a dream, imposed on us by powers we do not know, for purposes we cannot grasp. I Am That is a legacy from a unique teacher who helps the reader to a clearer understanding of himself as he comes to Maharaj with the age-old question, "Who am I?" Seekers were never turned away from the humble abode of Maharaj during his life and can still find their answers to this timeless question in the pages of this book today.

    Sam Harris

    But the book I am That by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj...I think youre on firm ground and that book is very accessible and its in dialogue format

    Jul 8, 2015 — Source

  • Humiliation

    Humiliation

    Humiliation

    William Ian Miller
    Literary Collections
    4.05 (43)

    'In an illuminating and darkly intelligent study, William Miller...has revealed...humiliation as the closet dominatrix she is, an emotion whose power to discipline us makes the world go round...Miller makes his pages blaze and roar...by throwing another handful of hollow complacencies upon the fire....The five essays making up this book...are about the persistence of the norm of reciprocity in our daily lives, about the ways in which shame and envy and especially humiliation sustain 'cultures of honor' to this day.'-Speculum

    Sam Harris

    One book is entitled Humiliation, which was a great read.

    Jul 8, 2015 — Source

  • The Anatomy of Disgust
    Sam Harris

    He also wrote a book on disgust called The Anatomy of Disgust, which is also fun. These are very interdisciplinary books.

     — Source

  • Our Final Invention

    Our Final Invention

    Our Final Invention

    James Barrat
    Computers
    3.74 (3,128)

    In as little as a decade, artificial intelligence could match, then surpass human intelligence. corporations & government agencies around the world are pouring billions into achieving ai’s holy grail—human-level intelligence. once ai has attained it, scientists argue, it will have survival drives much like our own. we may be forced to compete with a rival more cunning, more powerful & more alien than we can imagine. thru profiles of tech visionaries, industry watchdogs & groundbreaking ai systems, james barrat's our final invention explores the perils of the heedless pursuit of

    Sam Harris

    Our Final Invention by James Barrett is also good.

    Jul 8, 2015 — Source

  • Machete Season

    Machete Season

    Machete Season

    Jean Hatzfeld
    History
    4.05 (2,292)

    In April-May 1994, 800,000 Rwandan Tutsis were massacred by their Hutu fellow citizens--about 10,000 a day, mostly being hacked to death by machete. In Machete Season, the veteran foreign correspondent Jean Hatzfeld reports on the results of his interviews with nine of the Hutu killers. They were all friends who came from a single region where they helped to kill 50,000 out of their 59,000 Tutsi neighbors, and all of them are now in prison, some awaiting execution. It is usually presumed that killers will not tell the truth about their brutal actions, but Hatzfeld elicited extraordinary testimony from these men about the genocide they had perpetrated. He rightly sees that their account raises as many questions as it answers. Adabert, Alphonse, Ignace, and the others (most of them farmers) told Hatzfeld how the work was given to them, what they thought about it, how they did it, and what their responses were to the bloodbath. "Killing is easier than farming," one says. "I got into it, no problem," says another. Each describes what it was like the first time he killed someone, what he felt like when he killed a mother and child, how he reacted when he killed a cordial acquaintance, how 'cutting' a person with a machete differed from 'cutting' a calf or a sugarcane. And they had plenty of time to tell Hatzfeld, too, about whether and why they had reconsidered their motives, their moral responsibility, their guilt, remorse, or indifference to the crimes. Hatzfeld's meditation on the banal, horrific testimony of the genocidaires and what it means is lucid, humane, and wise: he relates the Rwanda horror to war crimes and to other genocidal episodes in human history. Especially since the Holocaust, it has been conventional to presume that only depraved and monstrous evil incarnate could perpetrate such crimes, but it may be, he suggests, that such actions are within the realm of ordinary human conduct. To read this disturbing, enlightening and very brave book is to consider in a new light the foundation of human morality and ethics.

    Sam Harris

    If you want to see what its like when things go about as wrong as they can go, read Machete Season, which is a short book about the Rwandan genocide that is..

     — Source

  • History of Western Philosophy

    History of Western Philosophy

    History of Western Philosophy

    Bertrand Russell
    Philosophy
    4.1 (33,998)

    [The author's] purpose is to exhibit philosophy as an integral part of social and political life: not as the isolated speculations of remarkable individuals, but as both an effect and a cause of the character of the various communities in which different systems flourished.-Pref.

    Sam Harris

    One book I recommend on philosophy, just to get your bearings, is Bertrand Russells A History of Western Philosophy.

    Jul 8, 2015 — Source

  • Nature Via Nurture

    Nature Via Nurture

    Nature Via Nurture

    Matt Ridley
    Science
    4.07 (3,981)

    Acclaimed author matt ridley's thrilling follow-up to his bestseller genome. armed with the extraordinary new discoveries about our genes, ridley turns his attention to the nature versus nurture debate to bring the first popular account of the roots of human behaviour. what makes us who we are?in february 2001 it was announced that the genome contains not 100,000 genes as originally expected but only 30,000. this startling revision led some scientists to conclude that there are simply not enough human genes to account for all the different ways people behave:

    Sam Harris

    Mind and Life Sciences Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • Infidel

    Infidel

    Infidel

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali
    Biography & Autobiography
    4.13 (91,946)

    One of today’s most admired and controversial political figures, ayaan hirsi ali burst into international headlines following the murder of theo van gogh by an islamist who threatened that she would be next. she made headlines again when she was stripped of her citizenship and resigned from the dutch parliament.infidel shows the coming of age of this distinguished political superstar and champion of free speech as well as the development of her beliefs, iron will, and extraordinary determination to fight injustice. raised in a strict muslim family, hirsi ali survived

    Sam Harris

    History, Economics, and Politics Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume I

    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume I

    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Volume I

    David Womersley,Edward Gibbon
    History
    4.16 (2,745)

    Edward gibbon's six-volume history of the decline and fall of the roman empire (1776-88) is among the most magnificent and ambitious narratives in european literature. its subject is the fate of one of the world's greatest civilizations over thirteen centuries - its rulers, wars, and society, and the events that led to its disastrous collapse. here, in book one and two, gibbon charts the vast extent and constitution of the empire from the reign of augustus to 395 ad. and in a controversial critique, he examines the early church, with

    Sam Harris

    History, Economics, and Politics Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

    The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

    The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

    Thomas S. Kuhn
    Science
    4.02 (23,573)

    A good book may have the power to change the way we see the world, but a great book actually becomes part of our daily consciousness, pervading our thinking to the point that we take it for granted, and we forget how provocative and challenging its ideas once were—and still are. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is that kind of book. When it was first published in 1962, it was a landmark event in the history and philosophy of science. Fifty years later, it still has many lessons to teach. With The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn challenged long-standing linear notions of scientific progress, arguing that transformative ideas don’t arise from the day-to-day, gradual process of experimentation and data accumulation but that the revolutions in science, those breakthrough moments that disrupt accepted thinking and offer unanticipated ideas, occur outside of “normal science,” as he called it. Though Kuhn was writing when physics ruled the sciences, his ideas on how scientific revolutions bring order to the anomalies that amass over time in research experiments are still instructive in our biotech age. This new edition of Kuhn’s essential work in the history of science includes an insightful introduction by Ian Hacking, which clarifies terms popularized by Kuhn, including paradigm and incommensurability, and applies Kuhn’s ideas to the science of today. Usefully keyed to the separate sections of the book, Hacking’s introduction provides important background information as well as a contemporary context. Newly designed, with an expanded index, this edition will be eagerly welcomed by the next generation of readers seeking to understand the history of our perspectives on science.

    Sam Harris

    Philosophy Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • The Confessions
    Sam Harris

    General Nonfiction Recommended Reading List

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  • The Blind Watchmaker
    Sam Harris

    Mind and Life Sciences Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • Who's in Charge?

    Who's in Charge?

    Who's in Charge?

    Michael S. Gazzaniga
    Science
    3.99 (2,910)

    “Big questions are Gazzaniga’s stock in trade.” —New York Times “Gazzaniga is one of the most brilliant experimental neuroscientists in the world.” —Tom Wolfe “Gazzaniga stands as a giant among neuroscientists, for both the quality of his research and his ability to communicate it to a general public with infectious enthusiasm.” —Robert Bazell, Chief Science Correspondent, NBC News The author of Human, Michael S. Gazzaniga has been called the “father of cognitive neuroscience.” In his remarkable book, Who’s in Charge?, he makes a powerful and provocative argument that counters the common wisdom that our lives are wholly determined by physical processes we cannot control. His well-reasoned case against the idea that we live in a “determined” world is fascinating and liberating, solidifying his place among the likes of Oliver Sacks, Antonio Damasio, V.S. Ramachandran, and other bestselling science authors exploring the mysteries of the human brain.

    Sam Harris

    Mind and Life Sciences Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • Hitch-22
    Sam Harris

    You can get the benefit of both his voice and his writing if you listen to his audiobooks, the ones he read himself.

    Jul 8, 2015 — Source

  • Wherever You Go, There You Are

    Wherever You Go, There You Are

    Wherever You Go, There You Are

    Jon Kabat-Zinn
    Self-Help
    4.09 (40,562)

    The time-honored national bestseller, updated with a new afterword, celebrating 10 years of influencing the way we live. When Wherever You Go, There You Are was first published in 1994, no one could have predicted that the book would launch itself onto bestseller lists nationwide and sell over 750,000 copies to date. Ten years later, the book continues to change lives. In honor of the book's 10th anniversary, Hyperion is proud to be releasing the book with a new afterword by the author, and to share this wonderful book with an even larger audience.

    Sam Harris

    Books on Vipassana Meditation

    May 10, 2011 — Source

  • Ending Aging
    Sam Harris

    Mind and Life Sciences Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • Freedom from the Known
    Sam Harris

    Eastern Philosophy and Meditation Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • The Case Against Sugar

    The Case Against Sugar

    The Case Against Sugar

    Gary Taubes
    Health & Fitness
    3.84 (8,951)

    Among americans, diabetes is more prevalent today than ever; obesity is at epidemic proportions; nearly 10% of children are thought to have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. and sugar is at the root of these, and other, critical society-wide, health-related problems. with his signature command of both science and straight talk, gary taubes delves into americans' history with sugar: its uses as a preservative, as an additive in cigarettes, the contemporary overuse of high-fructose corn syrup. he explains what research has shown about our addiction to sweets. he clarifies the arguments

    Sam Harris

    General Nonfiction Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • Meditations

    Meditations

    Meditations

    Albert Wittstock,Diskin Clay,Marcus Aurelius,Martin Hammond,Simone Mooij-Valk,عادل مصطفى
    4.22 (164,598)

    Written in greek by the only roman emperor who was also a philosopher, without any intention of publication, the meditations of marcus aurelius offer a remarkable series of challenging spiritual reflections and exercises developed as the emperor struggled to understand himself and make sense of the universe. while the meditations were composed to provide personal consolation and encouragement, marcus aurelius also created one of the greatest of all works of philosophy: a timeless collection that has been consulted and admired by statesmen, thinkers and readers throughout the centuries.

    Sam Harris

    Philosophy Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • The Singularity is Near

    The Singularity is Near

    The Singularity is Near

    Ray Kurzweil
    Social Science
    3.93 (10,521)

    For over three decades, ray kurzweil has been one of the most respected and provocative advocates of the role of technology in our future. in his classic the age of spiritual machines, he argued that computers would soon rival the full range of human intelligence at its best. now he examines the next step in this inexorable evolutionary process: the union of human and machine, in which the knowledge and skills embedded in our brains will be combined with the vastly greater capacity, speed, and knowledge-sharing ability of our creations.

    Sam Harris

    Physics and Mathematics Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • Churchill

    Churchill

    Churchill

    Andrew Roberts
    4.12 (9,784)

    Winston Churchill towers over every other figure in twentieth-century British history. By the time of his death at the age of 90 in 1965, many thought him to be the greatest man in the world. There have been over a thousand previous biographies of Churchill. Andrew Roberts now draws on over forty new sources, including the private diaries of King George VI, used in no previous Churchill biography to depict him more intimately and persuasively than any of its predecessors. The book in no way conceals Churchill's faults and it allows the reader to appreciate his virtues and character in full- his titanic capacity for work (and drink), his ability see the big picture, his willingness to take risks and insistence on being where the action was, his good humour even in the most desperate circumstances, the breadth and strength of his friendships and his extraordinary propensity to burst into tears at unexpected moments. Above all, it shows us the wellsprings of his personality - his lifelong desire to please his father (even long after his father's death) but aristocratic disdain for the opinions of almost everyone else, his love of the British Empire, his sense of history and its connection to the present.

    Sam Harris

    General Nonfiction Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • A Brief History of Time

    A Brief History of Time

    A Brief History of Time

    Stephen Hawking
    Science
    4.19 (339,909)

    #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A landmark volume in science writing by one of the great minds of our time, Stephen Hawking’s book explores such profound questions as: How did the universe begin—and what made its start possible? Does time always flow forward? Is the universe unending—or are there boundaries? Are there other dimensions in space? What will happen when it all ends? Told in language we all can understand, A Brief History of Time plunges into the exotic realms of black holes and quarks, of antimatter and “arrows of time,” of the big bang and a bigger God—where the possibilities are wondrous and unexpected. With exciting images and profound imagination, Stephen Hawking brings us closer to the ultimate secrets at the very heart of creation.

    Sam Harris

    General Nonfiction Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • The Information

    The Information

    The Information

    James Gleick
    Computers
    4.01 (14,830)

    A New York Times Notable Book A Los Angeles Times and Cleveland Plain Dealer Best Book of the Year Winner of the PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award From the bestselling author of the acclaimed Chaos and Genius comes a thoughtful and provocative exploration of the big ideas of the modern era: Information, communication, and information theory. Acclaimed science writer James Gleick presents an eye-opening vision of how our relationship to information has transformed the very nature of human consciousness. A fascinating intellectual journey through the history of communication and information, from the language of Africa's talking drums to the invention of written alphabets; from the electronic transmission of code to the origins of information theory, into the new information age and the current deluge of news, tweets, images, and blogs. Along the way, Gleick profiles key innovators, including Charles Babbage, Ada Lovelace, Samuel Morse, and Claude Shannon, and reveals how our understanding of information is transforming not only how we look at the world, but how we live.

    Sam Harris

    General Nonfiction Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • My Stroke of Insight

    My Stroke of Insight

    My Stroke of Insight

    Jill Bolte Taylor
    Biography & Autobiography
    3.89 (25,081)

    A brain scientist discusses suffering a stroke at the age of thirty-seven, describing her discovery of differences in the left and right side of the brain and the steps she took over a period of eight years to recover her health.

    Sam Harris

    Mind and Life Sciences Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • Doing Good Better

    Doing Good Better

    Doing Good Better

    William MacAskill
    Philosophy
    4.25 (4,492)

    " ... MacAskill and his colleagues developed effective altruism - a practical, data-driven approach to doing good that allows us to make a tremendous difference regardless of our resources. Effective altruists operate by asking certain key questions, which force them to think differently, overcome biases, and use evidence and careful reasoning rather than act on impulse."--Page 4 of cover.

    Sam Harris

    General Nonfiction Recommended Reading List

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  • Food of the Gods
    Sam Harris

    Philosophy Recommended Reading List

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  • Zero to One

    Zero to One

    Zero to One

    Blake Masters,Peter Thiel
    4.17 (261,394)

    If you want to build a better future, you must believe in secrets.the great secret of our time is that there are still uncharted frontiers to explore and new inventions to create. in zero to one, legendary entrepreneur and investor peter thiel shows how we can find singular ways to create those new things. thiel begins with the contrarian premise that we live in an age of technological stagnation, even if we’re too distracted by shiny mobile devices to notice. information technology has improved rapidly, but there is no reason

    Sam Harris

    General Nonfiction Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • Why I am Not a Muslim

    Why I am Not a Muslim

    Why I am Not a Muslim

    Ibn Warraq
    Religion
    3.9 (952)

    Those who practice the muslim faith have resisted examinations of their religion. they are extremely guarded about their religion, and what they consider blasphemous acts by skeptical muslims and non-muslims alike has only served to pique the world's curiosity. this critical examination reveals an unflattering picture of the faith and its practitioners. nevertheless, it is the truth, something that has either been deliberately concealed by modern scholars or buried in obscure journals accessible only to a select few.

    Sam Harris

    Religion and Religious Criticism Recommended Reading List

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  • Stumbling on Happiness

    Stumbling on Happiness

    Stumbling on Happiness

    Daniel Todd Gilbert
    Psychology
    3.81 (59,281)

    • why are lovers quicker to forgive their partners for infidelity than for leaving dirty dishes in the sink? • why will sighted people pay more to avoid going blind than blind people will pay to regain their sight? • why do dining companions insist on ordering different meals instead of getting what they really want? • why do pigeons seem to have such excellent aim; why can’t we remember one song while listening to another; and why does the line at the grocery store always slow down the moment

    Sam Harris

    You can find this in Daniel Gilberts work on effective forecasting, which he summarized in a book Stumbling Upon Happiness, which is also a good book which I recommend.

    Jul 8, 2015 — Source

  • One Soldier's War

    One Soldier's War

    One Soldier's War

    Arkady Babchenko
    Biography & Autobiography
    4.07 (956)

    A visceral and unflinching memoir of a young Russian soldier’s experience in the Chechen wars. In 1995, Arkady Babchenko was an eighteen-year-old law student in Moscow when he was drafted into the Russian army and sent to Chechnya. It was the beginning of a torturous journey from naïve conscript to hardened soldier that took Babchenko from the front lines of the first Chechen War in 1995 to the second in 1999. He fought in major cities and tiny hamlets, from the bombed-out streets of Grozny to anonymous mountain villages. Babchenko takes the raw and mundane realities of war the constant cold, hunger, exhaustion, filth, and terror and twists it into compelling, haunting, and eerily elegant prose. Acclaimed by reviewers around the world, this is a devastating first-person account of war that brilliantly captures the fear, drudgery, chaos, and brutality of modern combat. An excerpt of One Soldier’s War was hailed by Tibor Fisher in The Guardian as “right up there with Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 and Michael Herr’s Dispatches.” Mark Bowden, bestselling author of Black Hawk Down, hailed it as “hypnotic and terrifying” and the book won Russia’s inaugural Debut Prize, which recognizes authors who write despite, not because of, their life circumstances. “If you haven’t yet learned that war is hell, this memoir by a young Russian recruit in his country’s battle with the breakaway republic of Chechnya, should easily convince you.” —Publishers Weekly

    Sam Harris

    General Nonfiction Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • Behave

    Behave

    Behave

    Robert M. Sapolsky
    Science
    4.42 (13,826)

    Why do we do the things we do? attempts to answer that question, looking at it from every angle. He hops back in time, in stages, ultimately ending up at the deep history of our species and its evolutionary legacy. The result is a dazzling tour of the science of human, a majestic synthesis that harvests cutting-edge research across a range of disciplines to provide a subtle and nuanced perspective on why we ultimately do the things we do-- for good and for ill.

    Sam Harris

    Mentioned on Sam Harris Making Sense Podcast #91

    Aug 9, 2017 — Source

  • A Universe from Nothing

    A Universe from Nothing

    A Universe from Nothing

    Lawrence M. Krauss
    Beginning
    3.93 (25,613)

    Internationally renowned theoretical physicist and bestselling author Lawrence Krauss offers provocative, revelatory answers to the biggest philosophical questions: Where did our universe come from? Why does anything exist? And how is it all going to end? 'Why is there something rather than nothing?' is the question atheists and scientists are always asked,and until now there has not been a satisfying scientific answer. Today, exciting scientific advances provide new insight into this cosmological mystery: not only cansomething arise from nothing, but something willalwaysarise from nothing. A mind-bending trip back to the beginning of the beginning, A Universe from Nothingauthoritatively presents the most recent evidence that explains how our universe evolved - and the implications for how it's going to end. It will provoke, challenge, and delight readers to look at the most basic underpinnings of existence in a whole new way. In the words of Richard Dawkins: this could potentially be the most important scientific book since Darwin's On the Origin of Species.

    Sam Harris

    Physics and Mathematics Recommended Reading List

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  • The Second Machine Age
    Sam Harris

    History, Economics, and Politics Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • Free Will

    Free Will

    Free Will

    Sam Harris
    Science
    3.87 (28,863)

    The physiologist Benjamin Libet famously demonstrated that activity in the brain's motor regions can be detected some 300 milliseconds before a person feels that he has decided to move. Another lab recently used fMRI data to show that some "conscious" decisions can be predicted up to 10 seconds before they enter awareness (long before the preparatory motor activity detected by Libet). Clearly, findings of this kind are difficult to reconcile with the sense that one is the conscious source of one's actions. The question of free will is no mere curio of philosophy seminars. A belief in free will underwrites both the religious notion of "sin" and our enduring commitment to retributive justice. The Supreme Court has called free will a "universal and persistent" foundation for our system of law. Any scientific developments that threatened our notion of free will would seem to put the ethics of punishing people for their bad behaviour in question.In Free Will Harris debates these ideas and asks whether or not, given what brain science is telling us, we actually have free will?

    Sam Harris

    Philosophy Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • Buddhism without Beliefs

    Buddhism without Beliefs

    Buddhism without Beliefs

    Stephen Batchelor
    Buddhism
    3.96 (8,978)

    Buddhism Without Beliefs presents a new interpretation of Buddhism and proposes realistic, non-religious, Buddhist solutions to the existential anguish that most of us live in.

    Sam Harris

    Eastern Philosophy and Meditation Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • An Anthropologist on Mars

    An Anthropologist on Mars

    An Anthropologist on Mars

    Oliver Sacks
    Psychology
    4.12 (21,283)

    Paradoxical portraits of seven neurological patients, including a surgeon consumed by the compulsive tics of tourette's syndrome unless he is operating; an artist who loses all sense of color in a car accident, but finds new creative power in black & white; & others.

    Sam Harris

    Mind and Life Sciences Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • Lying

    Lying

    Lying

    Sam Harris
    Philosophy
    3.87 (17,310)

    Sam Harris

    Philosophy Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales

    The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales

    The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales

    Oliver Sacks
    Biography & Autobiography
    4.05 (188,728)

    If a man has lost a leg or an eye, he knows he has lost a leg or an eye; but if he has lost a self—himself—he cannot know it, because he is no longer there to know it. dr. oliver sacks recounts the stories of patients struggling to adapt to often bizarre worlds of neurological disorder. here are people who can no longer recognize everyday objects or those they love; who are stricken with violent tics or shout involuntary obscenities; who have been dismissed as autistic or retarded, yet

    Sam Harris

    Mind and Life Sciences Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order

    The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order

    The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order

    Samuel P. Huntington
    Political Science
    3.76 (10,927)

    "sam huntington, one of the west's most eminent political scientists, presents a challenging framework for understanding the realities of global politics in the next century. the clash of civilizations and the remaking of world order is one of the most important books to have emerged since the end of the cold war." --henry a. kissingerbased on the author's seminal article in foreign affairs, samuel p. huntington's the clash of civilizations and the remaking of world order is a provocative and prescient analysis of the state of world politics after the

    Sam Harris

    History, Economics, and Politics Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • The Journalist And The Murderer

    The Journalist And The Murderer

    The Journalist And The Murderer

    Janet Malcolm
    Language Arts & Disciplines
    3.8 (3,634)

    A seminal work and examination of the psychopathology of journalism. Using a strange and unprecedented lawsuit as her larger-than-life example -- the lawsuit of Jeffrey MacDonald, a convicted murderer, against Joe McGinniss, the author of Fatal Vision, a book about the crime -- she delves into the always uneasy, sometimes tragic relationship that exists between journalist and subject. In Malcolm's view, neither journalist nor subject can avoid the moral impasse that is built into the journalistic situation. When the text first appeared, as a two-part article in The New Yorker, its thesis seemed so radical and its irony so pitiless that journalists across the country reacted as if stung. Her book is a work of journalism as well as an essay on journalism: it at once exemplifies and dissects its subject. In her interviews with the leading and subsidiary characters in the MacDonald-McGinniss case -- the principals, their lawyers, the members of the jury, and the various persons who testified as expert witnesses at the trial -- Malcolm is always aware of herself as a player in a game that, as she points out, she cannot lose. The journalist-subject encounter has always troubled journalists, but never before has it been looked at so unflinchingly and so ruefully. Hovering over the narrative -- and always on the edge of the reader's consciousness -- is the MacDonald murder case itself, which imparts to the book an atmosphere of anxiety and uncanniness. The Journalist and the Murderer derives from and reflects many of the dominant intellectual concerns of our time, and it will have a particular appeal for those who cherish the odd, the off-center, and the unsolved.

    Sam Harris

    General Nonfiction Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • Imagined Worlds
    Sam Harris

    Mind and Life Sciences Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • The Varieties of Religious Experience
    Sam Harris

    Religion and Religious Criticism Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • Our Mathematical Universe
    Sam Harris

    Physics and Mathematics Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • The Awakening of Intelligence

    The Awakening of Intelligence

    The Awakening of Intelligence

    Jiddu Krishnamurti
    Religion
    4.38 (1,543)

    This comprehensive record of Krishnamurti’s teachings is an excellent, wide-ranging introduction to the great philosopher’s thought. With among others, Jacob Needleman, Alain Naude, and Swami Venkatasananda, Krishnamurti examines such issues as the role of the teacher and tradition; the need for awareness of ‘cosmic consciousness; the problem of good and evil; and traditional Vedanta methods of help for different levels of seekers.

    Sam Harris

    Eastern Philosophy and Meditation Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • Daily Rituals

    Daily Rituals

    Daily Rituals

    Mason Currey
    History
    3.63 (16,742)

    From Beethoven and Kafka to George Sand, Picasso and Agatha Christie, this compilation of letters, diaries and interviews reveals the profound fusion of discipline and dissipation through which the artistic temperament is allowed to evolve, recharge and emerge. 20,000 first printing.

    Sam Harris

    General Nonfiction Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • Guns, Germs, and Steel

    Guns, Germs, and Steel

    Guns, Germs, and Steel

    Jared Diamond
    Civilization
    4.03 (353,255)

    "diamond has written a book of remarkable scope ... one of the most important and readable works on the human past published in recent years."winner of the pulitzer prize and a national bestseller: the global account of the rise of civilization that is also a stunning refutation of ideas of human development based on race.in this "artful, informative, and delightful" (william h. mcneill, new york review of books) book, jared diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. societies that had a head start in food

    Sam Harris

    History, Economics, and Politics Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • Going Clear

    Going Clear

    Going Clear

    Lawrence Wright
    Religion
    4.02 (41,758)

    A clear-sighted revelation, a deep penetration into the world of scientology by the pulitzer prize-winning author of the now-classic study of al-qaeda's 9/11 attack, the looming tower. based on more than two hundred personal interviews with both current and former scientologists--both famous and less well known--and years of archival research, lawrence wright uses his extraordinary investigative skills to uncover for us the inner workings of the church of scientology: its origins in the imagination of science-fiction writer l. ron hubbard; its struggles to find acceptance as a legitimate (and legally

    Sam Harris

    General Nonfiction Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • The Denial of Death

    The Denial of Death

    The Denial of Death

    Daniel Goleman,Ernest Becker,Sam Keen
    Philosophy
    4.13 (9,983)

    Winner of the pulitzer prize in 1974 and the culmination of a life's work, the denial of death is ernest becker's brilliant and impassioned answer to the "why" of human existence. in bold contrast to the predominant freudian school of thought, becker tackles the problem of the vital lie -- man's refusal to acknowledge his own mortality. in doing so, he sheds new light on the nature of humanity and issues a call to life and its living that still resonates more than twenty years after its writing.

    Sam Harris

    Mind and Life Sciences Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • You Are Not a Gadget

    You Are Not a Gadget

    You Are Not a Gadget

    Jaron Lanier
    Computers
    3.56 (5,873)

    A computer-age visionary argues that the Internet has failed to live up to its early promises, sharing cautionary perspectives on the Web 2.0 design concept while optimistically evaluating the Internet as a positive cultural vehicle.

    Sam Harris

    Philosophy Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • The Strange Death of Europe

    The Strange Death of Europe

    The Strange Death of Europe

    Douglas Murray
    Political Science

    The Strange Death of Europe is the internationally bestselling account of a continent and a culture caught in the act of suicide, now updated with new material taking in developments since it was first published to huge acclaim. These include rapid changes in the dynamics of global politics, world leadership and terror attacks across Europe. Douglas Murray travels across Europe to examine first-hand how mass immigration, cultivated self-distrust and delusion have contributed to a continent in the grips of its own demise. From the shores of Lampedusa to migrant camps in Greece, from Cologne to London, he looks critically at the factors that have come together to make Europeans unable to argue for themselves and incapable of resisting their alteration as a society. Murray's "tremendous and shattering" book (The Times) addresses the disappointing failures of multiculturalism, Angela Merkel's U-turn on migration, the lack of repatriation and the Western fixation on guilt, uncovering the malaise at the very heart of the European culture. His conclusion is bleak, but the predictions not irrevocable. As Murray argues, this may be our last chance to change the outcome, before it's too late.

    Sam Harris

    General Nonfiction Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • Blasphemy

    Blasphemy

    Blasphemy

    Douglas Preston
    Fiction
    3.69 (9,365)

    A CIA operative is sent to a remote Arizona mountain with a group of scientists to turn on the world's biggest supercollider. His mission: to discover a secret that will either destroy the world ... or save it.

    Sam Harris

    History, Economics, and Politics Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • A World Lit Only by Fire

    A World Lit Only by Fire

    A World Lit Only by Fire

    William Manchester
    History
    3.84 (11,025)

    A "lively and engaging" history of the Middle Ages (Dallas Morning News) from the acclaimed historian William Manchester, author of The Last Lion. From tales of chivalrous knights to the barbarity of trial by ordeal, no era has been a greater source of awe, horror, and wonder than the Middle Ages. In handsomely crafted prose, and with the grace and authority of his extraordinary gift for narrative history, William Manchester leads us from a civilization tottering on the brink of collapse to the grandeur of its rebirth: the dense explosion of energy that spawned some of history's greatest poets, philosophers, painters, adventurers, and reformers, as well as some of its most spectacular villains. "Manchester provides easy access to a fascinating age when our modern mentality was just being born." --Chicago Tribune

    Sam Harris

    History, Economics, and Politics Recommended Reading List

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  • Collapse

    Collapse

    Collapse

    Jared Diamond
    Epic poetry
    Greek
    History
    3.91 (70,048)

    Brilliant, illuminating, and immensely absorbing, collapse is destined to take its place as one of the essential books of our time, raising the urgent question: how can our world best avoid committing ecological suicide?in his million-copy bestseller guns, germs, and steel, jared diamond examined how and why western civilizations developed the technologies and immunities that allowed them to dominate much of the world. now in this brilliant companion volume, diamond probes the other side of the equation: what caused some of the great civilizations of the past to collapse into

    Sam Harris

    History, Economics, and Politics Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956

    The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956

    The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956

    Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn,Edward E. Ericson Jr.
    History
    4.3 (24,066)

    Drawing on his own incarceration and exile, as well as on evidence from more than 200 fellow prisoners and soviet archives, aleksandr i. solzhenitsyn reveals the entire apparatus of soviet repression—the state within the state that ruled all-powerfully. through truly shakespearean portraits of its victims—men, women, and children—we encounter secret police operations, labor camps and prisons; the uprooting or extermination of whole populations, the welcome that awaited russian soldiers who had been german prisoners of war. yet we also witness the astounding moral courage of the incorruptible, who, defenseless, endured

    Sam Harris

    History, Economics, and Politics Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • The Selfish Gene

    The Selfish Gene

    The Selfish Gene

    Richard Dawkins
    Science
    4.14 (158,155)

    Inheriting the mantle of revolutionary biologist from darwin, watson, and crick, richard dawkins forced an enormous change in the way we see ourselves and the world with the publication of the selfish gene. suppose, instead of thinking about organisms using genes to reproduce themselves, as we had since mendel's work was rediscovered, we turn it around and imagine that "our" genes build and maintain us in order to make more genes. that simple reversal seems to answer many puzzlers which had stumped scientists for years, and we haven't thought of

    Sam Harris

    Mind and Life Sciences Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • The Crisis of Islam

    The Crisis of Islam

    The Crisis of Islam

    Bernard Lewis
    History
    3.7 (3,123)

    In his first book since bernard lewis examines the historical roots of the resentments that dominate the islamic world today and that are increasingly being expressed in acts of terrorism. he looks at the theological origins of political islam and takes us through the rise of militant islam in iran, egypt, and saudi arabia, examining the impact of radical wahhabi proselytizing, and saudi oil money, on the rest of the islamic world. ranges widely through thirteen centuries of history, but in particular it charts the key events of the twentieth

    Sam Harris

    Religion and Religious Criticism Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • Average Is Over

    Average Is Over

    Average Is Over

    Tyler Cowen
    Business & Economics
    3.65 (1,976)

    A renowned economist describes the post-recession job market that is erasing the middle range, leaving only high-earning jobs that utilize machine intelligence and data analysis and low-earning jobs for those who aren't learning and adopting the new technologies.

    Sam Harris

    History, Economics, and Politics Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • Predictably Irrational

    Predictably Irrational

    Predictably Irrational

    Dan Ariely
    Business & Economics
    4.11 (110,759)

    Intelligent, lively, humorous, and thoroughly engaging, "The Predictably Irrational" explains why people often make bad decisions and what can be done about it.

    Sam Harris

    Mind and Life Sciences Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • The Life You Can Save

    The Life You Can Save

    The Life You Can Save

    Peter Singer
    Philosophy
    4.16 (4,721)

    Argues that for the first time in history we're in a position to end extreme poverty throughout the world, both because of our unprecedented wealth and advances in technology, therefore we can no longer consider ourselves good people unless we give more to the poor. Reprint.

    Sam Harris

    Philosophy Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • 10% Happier

    10% Happier

    10% Happier

    Dan Harris
    Self-Help
    3.91 (90,765)

    #1 New York Times Bestseller Winner of the 2014 Living Now Book Award for Inspirational Memoir "An enormously smart, clear-eyed, brave-hearted, and quite personal look at the benefits of meditation." —Elizabeth Gilbert Nightline anchor Dan Harrisembarks on an unexpected, hilarious, and deeply skeptical odyssey through the strange worlds of spirituality and self-help, and discovers a way to get happier that is truly achievable. After having a nationally televised panic attack, Dan Harris knew he had to make some changes. A lifelong nonbeliever, he found himself on a bizarre adventure involving a disgraced pastor, a mysterious self-help guru, and a gaggle of brain scientists. Eventually, Harris realized that the source of his problems was the very thing he always thought was his greatest asset: the incessant, insatiable voice in his head, which had propelled him through the ranks of a hypercompetitive business, but had also led him to make the profoundly stupid decisions that provoked his on-air freak-out. Finally, Harris stumbled upon an effective way to rein in that voice, something he always assumed to be either impossible or useless: meditation, a tool that research suggests can do everything from lower your blood pressure to essentially rewire your brain. 10% Happier takes readers on a ride from the outer reaches of neuroscience to the inner sanctum of network news to the bizarre fringes of America’s spiritual scene, and leaves them with a takeaway that could actually change their lives.

    Sam Harris

    Eastern Philosophy and Meditation Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • Slouching Towards Bethlehem

    Slouching Towards Bethlehem

    Slouching Towards Bethlehem

    Joan Didion
    Literary Collections
    4.18 (43,006)

    Twenty essays on such diverse topics as John Wayne, the Haight-Ashbury culture, and the Newport mansions

    Sam Harris

    General Nonfiction Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • Life at the Bottom

    Life at the Bottom

    Life at the Bottom

    Theodore Dalrymple
    Social Science
    4.22 (2,770)

    Here is a searing account-probably the best yet published-of life in the underclass and why it persists as it does. theodore dalrymple, a british psychiatrist who treats the poor in a slum hospital and a prison in england, has seemingly seen it all. yet in listening to and observing his patients, he is continually astonished by the latest twist of depravity that exceeds even his own considerable experience. dalrymple's key insight in life at the bottom is that long-term poverty is caused not by economics but by a dysfunctional set

    Sam Harris

    History, Economics, and Politics Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • DMT

    DMT

    DMT

    Rick Strassman
    Body
    Mind & Spirit
    4.07 (9,385)

    A clinical psychiatrist explores the effects of dmt: a behind-the-scenes look at the cutting edge of psychedelic research.from 1990 to 1995 dr. rick strassman conducted us dea-approved clinical research at the university of new mexico in which he injected 60 volunteers with dmt, one of the most powerful psychedelics known. his detailed account of those sessions is an inquiry into the nature of the human mind and the therapeutic potential of psychedelics. dmt, a plant-derived chemical that is also manufactured by the human brain, consistently produced near-death and mystical experiences.

    Sam Harris

    Mind and Life Sciences Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • The Caged Virgin

    The Caged Virgin

    The Caged Virgin

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali
    Social Science
    3.75 (2,549)

    Muslims who explore sources of morality other than islam are threatened with death, and muslim women who escape the virgins' cage are branded whores. so asserts ayaan hirsi ali's profound meditation on islam and the role of women, the rights of the individual, the roots of fanaticism, and western policies toward islamic countries and immigrant communities. hard-hitting, outspoken, and controversial, "the caged virgin" is a call to arms for the emancipation of women from a brutal religious and cultural oppression and from an outdated cult of virginity. it is a

    Sam Harris

    History, Economics, and Politics Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • Genome

    Genome

    Genome

    Matt Ridley
    Science
    4.05 (24,846)

    Sam Harris

    Mind and Life Sciences Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • Justice as Fairness

    Justice as Fairness

    Justice as Fairness

    John Rawls,Professor John Rawls
    Philosophy
    3.91 (1,292)

    This book originated as lectures for a course on political philosophy that Rawls taught regularly at Harvard in the 1980s. In time the lectures became a restatement of his theory of justice as fairness, revised in light of his more recent papers and his treatise Political Liberalism (1993). As Rawls writes in the preface, the restatement presents "in one place an account of justice as fairness as I now see it, drawing on all [my previous] works." He offers a broad overview of his main lines of thought and also explores specific issues never before addressed in any of his writings. Rawls is well aware that since the publication of A Theory of Justice in 1971, American society has moved farther away from the idea of justice as fairness. Yet his ideas retain their power and relevance to debates in a pluralistic society about the meaning and theoretical viability of liberalism. This book demonstrates that moral clarity can be achieved even when a collective commitment to justice is uncertain.

    Sam Harris

    Philosophy Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • In Cold Blood

    In Cold Blood

    In Cold Blood

    Truman Capote
    True Crime
    4.06 (573,250)

    Powerful account of the brutal slaying of a Kansas family by two young ex-convicts.

    Sam Harris

    General Nonfiction Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind
    Sam Harris

    Eastern Philosophy and Meditation Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • The Paradox of Choice

    The Paradox of Choice

    The Paradox of Choice

    Barry Schwartz
    Psychology
    3.84 (31,035)

    Whether we're buying a pair of jeans, ordering a cup of coffee, selecting a long-distance carrier, applying to college, choosing a doctor, or setting up a 401(k), everyday decisions -- both big and small -- have become increasingly complex due to the overwhelming abundance of choice with which we are presented. As Americans, we assume that more choice means better options and greater satisfaction. But beware of excessive choice: choice overload can make you question the decisions you make before you even make them, it can set you up for unrealistically high expectations, and it can make you blame yourself for any and all failures. In the long run, this can lead to decision-making paralysis, anxiety, and perpetual stress. And, in a culture that tells us that there is no excuse for falling short of perfection when your options are limitless, too much choice can lead to clinical depression. In The Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz explains at what point choice -- the hallmark of individual freedom and self-determination that we so cherish -- becomes detrimental to our psychological and emotional well-being. In accessible, engaging, and anecdotal prose, Schwartz shows how the dramatic explosion in choice -- from the mundane to the profound challenges of balancing career, family, and individual needs -- has paradoxically become a problem instead of a solution. Schwartz also shows how our obsession with choice encourages us to seek that which makes us feel worse. By synthesizing current research in the social sciences, Schwartz makes the counter intuitive case that eliminating choices can greatly reduce the stress, anxiety, and busyness of our lives. He offers eleven practical steps on how to limit choices to a manageable number, have the discipline to focus on those that are important and ignore the rest, and ultimately derive greater satisfaction from the choices you have to make.

    Sam Harris

    Mind and Life Sciences Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • God Is Not Great

    God Is Not Great

    God Is Not Great

    Christopher Hitchens
    Social Science
    3.94 (98,921)

    Christopher Hitchens, described in the London Observer as “one of the most prolific, as well as brilliant, journalists of our time” takes on his biggest subject yet–the increasingly dangerous role of religion in the world. In the tradition of Bertrand Russell’s Why I Am Not a Christian and Sam Harris’s recent bestseller, The End Of Faith, Christopher Hitchens makes the ultimate case against religion. With a close and erudite reading of the major religious texts, he documents the ways in which religion is a man-made wish, a cause of dangerous sexual repression, and a distortion of our origins in the cosmos. With eloquent clarity, Hitchens frames the argument for a more secular life based on science and reason, in which hell is replaced by the Hubble Telescope’s awesome view of the universe, and Moses and the burning bush give way to the beauty and symmetry of the double helix.

    Sam Harris

    You can get the benefit of both his voice and his writing if you listen to his audiobooks, the ones he read himself.

     — Source

  • Eichmann in Jerusalem

    Eichmann in Jerusalem

    Eichmann in Jerusalem

    Hannah Arendt
    History
    4.21 (19,036)

    Hannah Arendt's authoritative report on the trial of Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann includes further factual material that came to light after the trial, as well as Arendt's postscript directly addressing the controversy that arose over her account.

    Sam Harris

    History, Economics, and Politics Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • The Fabric of Reality

    The Fabric of Reality

    The Fabric of Reality

    David Deutsch
    Science
    4.12 (4,589)

    For david deutsch, a young physicist of unusual originality, quantum theory contains our most fundamental knowledge of the physical world. taken literally, it implies that there are many universes “parallel” to the one we see around us. this multiplicity of universes, according to deutsch, turns out to be the key to achieving a new worldview, one which synthesizes the theories of evolution, computation, and knowledge with quantum physics. considered jointly, these four strands of explanation reveal a unified fabric of reality that is both objective and comprehensible, the subject of

    Sam Harris

    Physics and Mathematics Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • The God Delusion

    The God Delusion

    The God Delusion

    Richard Dawkins
    Religion
    3.89 (254,858)

    A preeminent scientist - and the world's most prominent atheist - asserts the irrationality of belief in god, and the grievous harm religion has inflicted on society, from the crusades to 9/11.with rigor and wit, dawkins examines god in all his forms, from the sex-obsessed tyrant of the old testament, to the more benign (but still illogical) celestial watchmaker favored by some enlightenment thinkers. he eviscerates the major arguments for religion, and demonstrates the supreme improbability of a supreme being. he shows how religion fuels war, foments bigotry, and abuses

    Sam Harris

    Religion and Religious Criticism Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • What Is Life? with Mind and Matter and Autobiographical Sketches

    What Is Life? with Mind and Matter and Autobiographical Sketches

    What Is Life? with Mind and Matter and Autobiographical Sketches

    Erwin Schrodinger,Roger Penrose
    Philosophy
    4.15 (5,729)

    What is life? is a 1944 non-fiction science book written for the lay reader by physicist erwin schrödinger. the book was based on a course of public lectures delivered by schrödinger in february 1943 at trinity college, dublin. schrödinger's lecture focused on one important question: "how can the events in space and time which take place within the spatial boundary of a living organism be accounted for by physics and chemistry?" in the book, schrödinger introduced the idea of an "aperiodic crystal" that contained genetic information in its configuration of

    Sam Harris

    Mind and Life Sciences Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • The Origin of Species

    The Origin of Species

    The Origin of Species

    Charles Darwin
    Science
    3.98 (106,337)

    This classic work of scientific literature, presenting the theory of evolution by means of natural selection, is still both relevant and controversial in the twenty-first century. THIS ENRICHED CLASSIC EDITION INCLUDES: A concise introduction that gives the reader important background information A chronology of the author's life and work A timeline of significant events that provides the book's historical context An outline of key themes to guide the reader's own interpretations Detailed explanatory notes Critical analysis, including contemporary and modern perspectives on the work Discussion questions to promote lively classroom and book group interaction A list of recommended related

    Sam Harris

    Mind and Life Sciences Recommended Reading List

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  • The Psychopath Test

    The Psychopath Test

    The Psychopath Test

    Jon Ronson
    Psychology
    3.94 (131,943)

    They say one out of every hundred people is a psychopath. You probably passed one on the street today. These are people who have no empathy, who are manipulative, deceitful, charming, seductive, and delusional. The Psychopath Test is the New York Times bestselling exploration of their world and the madness industry. When Jon Ronson is drawn into an elaborate hoax played on some of the world's top scientists, his investigation leads him, unexpectedly, to psychopaths. He meets an influential psychologist who is convinced that many important business leaders and politicians are in fact high-flying, high-functioning psychopaths, and teaches Ronson how to spot them. Armed with these new abilities, Ronson meets a patient inside an asylum for the criminally insane who insists that he's sane, a mere run-of-the-mill troubled youth, not a psychopath—a claim that might be only manipulation, and a sign of his psychopathy. He spends time with a death-squad leader institutionalized for mortgage fraud, and with a legendary CEO who took joy in shutting down factories and firing people. He delves into the fascinating history of psychopathy diagnosis and treatments, from LSD-fueled days-long naked therapy sessions in prisons to attempts to understand serial killers. Along the way, Ronson discovers that relatively ordinary people are, more and more, defined by their most insane edges. The Psychopath Test is a fascinating adventure through the minds of madness.

    Sam Harris

    Mind and Life Sciences Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • The Trial of Socrates
    Sam Harris

    History, Economics, and Politics Recommended Reading List

     — Source

  • The Professor and the Madman

    The Professor and the Madman

    The Professor and the Madman

    Simon Winchester
    Biography & Autobiography
    3.82 (108,392)

    New York Times Bestseller Simon Winchester’s classic about the making of the Oxford English Dictionary—soon to be a major motion picture starring Sean Penn and Mel Gibson. The making of the Oxford English Dictionary was one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken. As definitions were collected, the overseeing committee, led by Professor James Murray, was stunned to discover that one man, Dr. W. C. Minor, had submitted more than ten thousand. But their surprise would pale in comparison to what they were about to discover when the committee insisted on honoring him. For Dr. Minor, an American Civil War veteran, was also an inmate at an asylum for the criminally insane. Masterfully researched and eloquently written, The Professor and the Madman is an extraordinary tale of madness, genius, and the incredible obsessions of two remarkable men that led to the making of the Oxford English Dictionary—and literary history. “The linguistic detective story of the decade.... Winchester does a superb job of historical research.”—William Safire, New York Times Magazine

    Sam Harris

    History, Economics, and Politics Recommended Reading List

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  • The Age of Spiritual Machines

    The Age of Spiritual Machines

    The Age of Spiritual Machines

    Ray Kurzweil
    Computers
    3.9 (4,114)

    The creator of the Kurzweil Reading Machine, the Kurzweil synthesizer, and the Windows 95 voicerecognition program offers logical and readable forecasts about twentyfirst century technology. Reprint.

    Sam Harris

    Mind and Life Sciences Recommended Reading List

     — Source