Stewart Brand
Book Recommendations

  • The Good Ancestor

    The Good Ancestor

    The Good Ancestor

    Roman Krznaric
    4.14 (580)

    From the first seeds sown thousands of years ago, to the construction of the cities we still inhabit, to the scientific discoveries that have ensured our survival, we are the inheritors of countless gifts from the past. today, in an age driven by the tyranny of the now, with 24/7 news, the latest tweet, and the buy-now button commanding our attention, we rarely stop to consider how our actions will affect future generations. with such frenetic short-termism at the root of contemporary crises, the call for long-term thinking grows every

    Stewart Brand

    A very good book coming in May.

     — Source

  • Thinking, Fast and Slow

    Thinking, Fast and Slow

    Thinking, Fast and Slow

    Daniel Kahneman
    Psychology
    4.16 (389,431)

    In the highly anticipated thinking, fast and slow, kahneman takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. system 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; system 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. kahneman exposes the extraordinary capabilities—and also the faults and biases—of fast thinking, and reveals the pervasive influence of intuitive impressions on our thoughts and behavior. the impact of loss aversion and overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • The Long Summer

    The Long Summer

    The Long Summer

    Brian Fagan
    Social Science
    3.9 (652)

    For more than a century we've known that much of human evolution occurred in an ice age. starting about 15,000 years ago, temperatures began to rise, the glaciers receded, and sea levels rose. the rise of human civilization and all of recorded history occurred in this warm period, known as the holocene. until very recently we had no detailed record of climate changes during the holocene. now we do. in this engrossing and captivating look at the human effects of climate variability, brian fagan shows how climate functioned as what

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • 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

    Stewart Brand

    The main one is his Guns, Germs, and Steel book, though his Collapse book also has some interesting stuff to propose.

     — Source

  • Learning to Breathe Fire

    Learning to Breathe Fire

    Learning to Breathe Fire

    J.C. Herz
    4.22 (128)

    One of the most illuminating books ever on a sports subculture, learning to breathe fire combines vivid sports writing with a thoughtful meditation on what it means to be human. in the book, veteran journalist j.c. herz explains the science of maximum effort, why the modern gym fails an obese society, and the psychic rewards of ending up on the floor feeling as though you're about to die. the story traces crossfit’s rise, from a single underground gym in santa cruz to its adoption as the workout of choice for

    Stewart Brand

    Theres a nice book on it by J.C. Herz called Learning to Breathe Fire, which tells the story of how CrossFit came about.

     — Source

  • Homo Ludens

    Homo Ludens

    Homo Ludens

    Johan Huizinga
    Social Science
    4.02 (2,080)

    In homo ludens, the classic evaluation of play that has become a "must-read" for those in game design, dutch philosopher johan huizinga defines play as the central activity in flourishing societies. like civilization, play requires structure and participants willing to create within limits. starting with plato, huizinga traces the contribution of homo ludens, or "man the player" through medieval times, the renaissance, and into our modern civilization. huizinga defines play against a rich theoretical background, using cross-cultural examples from the humanities, business, and politics. homo ludens defines play for generations

    Stewart Brand

    Homo Ludens basically says Man, the player. Games are basically what we do.

     — Source

  • Machines of Loving Grace

    Machines of Loving Grace

    Machines of Loving Grace

    John Markoff
    History
    3.67 (555)

    Robots are poised to transform today's society as completely as the internet did twenty years ago. pulitzer prize-winning new york times science writer john markoff argues that we must decide to design ourselves into our future, or risk being excluded from it altogether.in the past decade, google introduced us to driverless cars; apple debuted siri, a personal assistant that we keep in our pockets; and an internet of things connected the smaller tasks of everyday life to the farthest reaches of the web. robots have become an integral part of

    Stewart Brand

    It's a good book

     — Source

  • The Water Will Come

    The Water Will Come

    The Water Will Come

    Jeff Goodell
    Nature
    4.18 (3,275)

    What if atlantis wasn't a myth but an early precursor to a new age of great flooding? across the globe, scientists and civilians alike are noticing rapidly rising sea levels and higher and higher tides pushing more water directly into the places we live, from our most vibrant, historic cities to our last remaining traditional coastal villages. with each crack in the great ice sheets of the arctic and antarctica, and each tick upwards of earth's thermometer, we are moving closer to the brink of broad disaster.by century's end, hundreds

    Stewart Brand

    Do read Jeff Goodells THE WATER WILL COME.

     — Source

  • Finite and Infinite Games

    Finite and Infinite Games

    Finite and Infinite Games

    James P. Carse
    Philosophy
    3.86 (4,807)

    An extraordinary book that will dramatically change the way you experience life.finite games are the familiar contests of everyday life, the games we play in business and politics, in the bedroom and on the battlefied -- games with winners and losers, a beginning and an end. infinite games are more mysterious -- and ultimately more rewarding. they are unscripted and unpredictable; they are the source of true freedom.in this elegant and compelling work, james carse explores what these games mean, and what they can mean to you. he offers stunning

    Stewart Brand

    A fundamental interest is gamification

     — Source

  • Scale

    Scale

    Scale

    Geoffrey West
    4.15 (3,801)

    The former head of the sante fe institute, visionary physicist geoffrey west is a pioneer in the field of complexity science, the science of emergent systems and networks. the term “complexity” can be misleading, however, because what makes west’s discoveries so beautiful is that he has found an underlying simplicity that unites the seemingly complex and diverse phenomena of living systems, including our bodies, our cities and our businesses. fascinated by issues of aging and mortality, west applied the rigor of a physicist to the biological question of why we

    Stewart Brand

    Geoffrey West did a talk version of his book Scale, which is particularly fantastic.

     — 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

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended on Tim Ferriss' podcast

     — Source

  • Use of Weapons

    Use of Weapons

    Use of Weapons

    Iain M. Banks
    Fiction
    4.17 (43,891)

    The man known as cheradenine zakalwe was one of special circumstances' foremost agents, changing the destiny of planets to suit the culture through intrigue, dirty tricks and military action.the woman known as diziet sma had plucked him from obscurity and pushed him towards his present eminence, but despite all their dealings she did not know him as well as she thought.the drone known as skaffen-amtiskaw knew both of these people. it had once saved the woman's life by massacring her attackers in a particularly bloody manner. it believed the man

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • Thinking in Time

    Thinking in Time

    Thinking in Time

    Richard E. Neustadt
    Business & Economics
    3.75 (552)

    Two noted professors offer easily remembered rules for using history effectively in day-to-day management of governmental and corporate affairs to avoid costly blunders. "an illuminating guide to the use and abuse of history in affairs of state".--arthur schlesinger.

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • Governing the Commons

    Governing the Commons

    Governing the Commons

    Elinor Ostrom
    Business & Economics
    4.2 (899)

    The governance of natural resources used by many individuals in common is an issue of increasing concern to policy analysts. both state control and privatization of resources have been advocated, but neither the state nor the market have been uniformly successful in solving common pool resource problems. after critiquing the foundations of policy analysis as applied to natural resources, elinor ostrom here provides a unique body of empirical data to explore conditions under which common pool resource problems have been satisfactorily or unsatisfactorily solved. dr. ostrom first describes three models

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • The Rise of the West

    The Rise of the West

    The Rise of the West

    William H. McNeill
    History
    4.11 (461)

    The rise of the west, winner of the national book award for history in 1964, is famous for its ambitious scope and intellectual rigor. in it, mcneill challenges the spengler-toynbee view that a number of separate civilizations pursued essentially independent careers, and argues instead that human cultures interacted at every stage of their history. the author suggests that from the neolithic beginnings of grain agriculture to the present major social changes in all parts of the world were triggered by new or newly important foreign stimuli, and he presents a

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • Our Bodies, Ourselves for the New Century

    Our Bodies, Ourselves for the New Century

    Our Bodies, Ourselves for the New Century

    Boston Women's Health Book Collective
    4.36 (7,385)

    A guide to women's health, including information on breast cancer, aids, pregnancy and childbirth, and medical practices and procedures.

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended on Tim Ferriss' podcast

     — Source

  • Imagined Worlds

    Imagined Worlds

    Imagined Worlds

    Freeman Dyson
    3.78 (144)

    Imagine a world where whole epochs will pass, cultures rise and fall, between a telephone call and the reply. think of the human race multiplying 500-million fold, or evolving new, distinct species. consider the technology of space colonization, computer-assisted reproduction, the "martian potato." one hundred years after h. g. wells visited the future in the time machine, freeman dyson marshals his uncommon gifts as a scientist and storyteller to take us once more to that ever-closer, ever-receding time to come.since disturbing the universe, the book that first brought him international

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • The Coming Population Crash

    The Coming Population Crash

    The Coming Population Crash

    Fred Pearce
    Social Science
    3.83 (250)

    Demography is destiny. it underlies many of the issues that shake the world, from war and economics to immigration. no wonder, then, that fears of overpopulation flared regularly over the last century, a century that saw the world's population quadruple. even today, baby booms are blamed for genocide and terrorism, and overpopulation is regularly cited as the primary factor driving global warming and other environmental issues.yet, surprisingly, it appears that the explosion is past its peak. around the world, in developing countries as well as in rich ones, today's women

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • Meditations

    Meditations

    Meditations

    Marcus Aurelius
    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.

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • Infinite in All Directions

    Infinite in All Directions

    Infinite in All Directions

    Freeman J. Dyson
    Science
    3.97 (348)

    Infinite in all directions is a popularized science at its best. in dyson's view, science and religion are two windows through which we can look out at the world around us. the book is a revised version of a series of the gifford lectures under the title "in praise of diversity" given at aberdeen, scotland. they allowed dyson the license to express everything in the universe, which he divided into two parts in polished prose: focusing on the diversity of the natural world as the first, and the diversity of

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • Beowulf

    Beowulf

    Beowulf

    Seamus Heaney
    3.46 (267,134)

    Beowulf is a major epic of anglo-saxon literature, probably composed between the first half of the seventh century and the end of the first millennium. the poem was inspired by germanic and anglo-saxon oral tradition recounting the exploits of beowulf, the hero who gave his name to the poem. here, it's transcribed as a verse epic, onto which are grafted christian additions.

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • The Past from Above

    The Past from Above

    The Past from Above

    Charlotte Trümpler
    4.56 (52)

    Now available in paperback, the past from above presents stunning aerial photographs of 250 of the world's foremost archaeological sites. the photographer, georg gerster, has been shooting ancient sites from the air for more than fifty years. in this current collection, his subjects range from the temple complex at karnak to the great wall of china, and from the acropolis in athens to aztec palaces in mexico. gerster's photographs are technical achievements--often produced under hair-raising circumstances--in their own right but at the same time offer a unique visual history of

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — 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

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • Turing's Cathedral

    Turing's Cathedral

    Turing's Cathedral

    George Dyson
    Computers
    3.58 (4,309)

    “it is possible to invent a single machine which can be used to compute any computable sequence,” twenty-four-year-old alan turing announced in 1936. in turing’s cathedral, george dyson focuses on a small group of men and women, led by john von neumann at the institute for advanced study in princeton, new jersey, who built one of the first computers to realize alan turing’s vision of a universal machine. their work would break the distinction between numbers that mean things and numbers that do things—and our universe would never be the

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • The Art Of The Long View

    The Art Of The Long View

    The Art Of The Long View

    Peter Schwartz
    Business & Economics
    3.82 (790)

    What increasingly affects all of us, whether professional planners or individuals preparing for a better future, is not the tangibles of life--bottom-line numbers, for instance--but the intangibles: our hopes and fears, our beliefs and dreams. only stories--scenarios--and our ability to visualize different kinds of futures adequately capture these intangibles.in the art of the long view, now for the first time in paperback and with the addition of an all-new user's guide, peter schwartz outlines the scenaric approach, giving you the tools for developing a strategic vision within your business.schwartz describes

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • Excession

    Excession

    Excession

    Iain M. Banks
    Fiction
    4.19 (28,929)

    The international sensation iain m. banks offers readers a deeply imaginative, wittily satirical tale, proving once again that he is "a talent to be reckoned with" ("locus"). in excession, the culture's espionage and dirty tricks section orders diplomat byr gen-hofoen to steal the soul of a long-dead starship captain. by accepting the mission, byr irrevocably plunges himself into a conspiracy: one that could either lead the universe into an age of peace or to the brink of annihilation.

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • Conceptual Physics

    Conceptual Physics

    Conceptual Physics

    Paul G. Hewitt
    3.96 (697)

    Conceptual physics, tenth edition helps readers connect physics to their everyday experiences and the world around them with additional help on solving more mathematical problems. hewitt's text is famous for engaging readers with analogies and imagery from real-world situations that build a strong conceptual understanding of physical principles ranging from classical mechanics to modern physics. with this strong foundation, readers are better equipped to understand the equations and formulas of physics, and motivated to explore the thought-provoking exercises and fun projects in each chapter. included in the package is the

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • A Short History of Nearly Everything

    A Short History of Nearly Everything

    A Short History of Nearly Everything

    Bill Bryson
    Science
    4.19 (344,268)

    In bryson's biggest book, he confronts his greatest challenge: to understand—and, if possible, answer—the oldest, biggest questions we have posed about the universe and ourselves. taking as territory everything from the big bang to the rise of civilization, bryson seeks to understand how we got from there being nothing at all to there being us. to that end, he has attached himself to a host of the world’s most advanced (and often obsessed) archaeologists, anthropologists, and mathematicians, travelling to their offices, laboratories, and field camps. he has read (or tried

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • The Merck Manual Home Health Handbook

    The Merck Manual Home Health Handbook

    The Merck Manual Home Health Handbook

    Robert Porter
    4.43 (21)

    This comprehensive medical resource, , extensively covers health care for newborns, the elderly, and everyone in between. the new provides the same authoritative information doctors have relied on in for more than a century, in easy-to-understand, everyday language. previous editions have sold more than 3 million copies. written by more than 200 internationally respected medical experts, this new edition of the world's bestselling reference presents in-depth information for medical situations, including:aginggynecological disordersheart diseasedigestive disorderscancernutrition problemsaidshormonal problemsinfections and immunizationsneurological disorderspediatric disordersmen's, women's and children's health issuesmental health disordersaccidents and injuriescare for

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • The Iliad

    The Iliad

    The Iliad

    Homer
    3.88 (389,997)

    Dating to the ninth century b.c., homer’s timeless poem still vividly conveys the horror and heroism of men and gods wrestling with towering emotions and battling amidst devastation and destruction, as it moves inexorably to the wrenching, tragic conclusion of the trojan war. renowned classicist bernard knox observes in his superb introduction that although the violence of the iliad is grim and relentless, it coexists with both images of civilized life and a poignant yearning for peace. combining the skills of a poet and scholar, robert fagles, winner of the

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • The Map Book

    The Map Book

    The Map Book

    Peter Barber
    4.1 (136)

    'journey over all the universe in a map, without the expense and fatigue of traveling, without suffering the inconveniences of heat, cold, hunger, and thirst.' --miguel de cervantes, in don quixotefrom the earliest of times, maps have fired our imaginations and helped us make sense of our world, from the global to the very local. head of map collections at the british library, peter barber has here compiled an historic and lavish atlas, charting the progress of civilization as our knowledge of the world expanded. simply organized as a progression

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • What Technology Wants

    What Technology Wants

    What Technology Wants

    Kevin Kelly
    Technology & Engineering
    3.72 (7,011)

    "verbalizing visceral feelings about technology, whether attraction or repulsion, kelly explores the “technium,” his term for the globalized, interconnected stage of technological development. arguing that the processes creating the technium are akin to those of biological evolution, kelly devotes the opening sections of his exposition to that analogy, maintaining that the technium exhibits a similar tendency toward self-organizing complexity. having defined the technium, kelly addresses its discontents, as expressed by the unabomber (although kelly admits to trepidation in taking seriously the antitechnology screeds of a murderer) and then as lived

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • Dune

    Dune

    Dune

    Frank Herbert
    Fiction
    4.24 (1,014,265)

    Set on the desert planet arrakis, dune is the story of the boy paul atreides, heir to a noble family tasked with ruling an inhospitable world where the only thing of value is the “spice” melange, a drug capable of extending life and enhancing consciousness. coveted across the known universe, melange is a prize worth killing for...when house atreides is betrayed, the destruction of paul’s family will set the boy on a journey toward a destiny greater than he could ever have imagined. and as he evolves into the mysterious

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • A Pattern Language

    A Pattern Language

    A Pattern Language

    Christopher Alexander,Ingrid Fiksdahl-King,Max Jacobson,Murray Silverstein,Sara Ishikawa,Shlomo Angel
    Architecture
    4.41 (4,548)

    At the core of a pattern language is the philosophy that in designing their environments people always rely on certain ‘languages,’ which, like the languages we speak, allow them to articulate and communicate an infinite variety of designs within a formal system which gives them coherence.this book provides a language of this kind. it will enable making a design for almost any kind of building, or any part of the built environment. ‘patterns,’ the units of this language, are answers to design problems: how high should a window sill be?;

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • Across Realtime

    Across Realtime

    Across Realtime

    Vernor Vinge
    4.15 (2,335)

    "the intricately plotted progress of characters from near to farfuture... on an earth which, like an abandon playground, has long ago been left behind by an evolving humanity... human-scale action within a vast canvas."-- the excyclopedia of science fiction.encompassing time-travel, powerful mystery and the future history of humanity to its last handful of survivors, across realtime spans millions of years and is an utterly engrossing sf classic."you can hardly turn the pages fast enough. as sheer entertainment, it's a winner"-- locus

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • Adventures of a Bystander

    Adventures of a Bystander

    Adventures of a Bystander

    Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management
    Biography & Autobiography
    4.35 (234)

    "adventures of a bystander" is drucker's autobiographical collection of stories and vignettes that create a social portrait of his life and times. this personal and informal work portrays drucker as a leader and thinker of infinite curiosity, imaginative, sympathetic, and enormously interested in people, ideas, and the forces behind them.

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on Tim Ferriss' podcast

     — Source

  • The Idea of Decline in Western History

    The Idea of Decline in Western History

    The Idea of Decline in Western History

    Arthur Herman
    History
    4.25 (163)

    From nazism to the sixties counter-culture, from britain's fabian socialists to america's multiculturalists, and from dracula and freud to robert bly and madonna, this work examines the idea of decline in western history and sets out to explain how the conviction of civilization's inevitable end has become a fixed part of the modern western imagination. through a series of biographical portraits spanning the 19th and 20th centuries, the author traces the roots of declinism and aims to shows how major thinkers of the past and present, including nietzsche, dubois, sartre

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • The Causes of War

    The Causes of War

    The Causes of War

    Geoffrey Blainey
    3.75 (208)

    Analyzing all international wars since 1700, causes of war solves the riddle of why some wars are long and some are short and demonstrates how the “outbreak of peace” offers insight into the outbreak of war. proving that war and peace are alternating phases of a relationship between rival nations, this widely quoted work offers a crucial, new understanding of international armed conflict.

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • A History of Civilizations

    A History of Civilizations

    A History of Civilizations

    Fernand Braudel
    History
    3.87 (984)

    "refreshingly broad-brush in its approach...this history provides the big picture."—the christian science monitor. written from a consciously anti-enthnocentric approach, this fascinating work is a survey of the civilizations of the modern world in terms of the broad sweep and continuities of history, rather than the "event-based" technique of most other texts.contentslist of mapstranslator´s introductionby way of prefaceintroduction: history and the present dayi. a history of civilizations1. changing vocabulary2. the study of civilization involves all social sciences3. the continuity of civilizationsii. civilizations outside europepart i. islam and the muslim world4. history5.

    Stewart Brand

    Stewart Brands recommendations

     — Source

  • The Player of Games

    The Player of Games

    The Player of Games

    Iain Banks
    Fiction
    4.27 (65,369)

    The culture - a humanoid/machine symbiotic society - has thrown up many great game players. one of the best is jernau morat gurgeh, player of games, master of every board, computer and strategy. bored with success, gurgeh travels to the empire of azad, cruel & incredibly wealthy, to try their fabulous game, a game so complex, so like life itself, that the winner becomes emperor. mocked, blackmailed, almost murdered, gurgeh accepts the game and with it the challenge of his life, and very possibly his death.

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • Brave New World

    Brave New World

    Brave New World

    Aldous Huxley
    Fiction
    3.99 (1,609,283)

    Brave new world is a dystopian novel by english author aldous huxley, written in 1931 and published in 1932. largely set in a futuristic world state, inhabited by genetically modified citizens and an intelligence-based social hierarchy, the novel anticipates huge scientific advancements in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation and classical conditioning that are combined to make a dystopian society which is challenged by only a single individual: the story's protagonist.

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • The Landmark Thucydides

    The Landmark Thucydides

    The Landmark Thucydides

    Robert B. Strassler,Thucydides
    History
    4.25 (2,385)

    You can find an alternative cover for this isbn here.thucydides called his account of two decades of war between athens and sparta "possession for all time, " and indeed it is the first and still most famous work in the western historical tradition. considered essential reading for generals, statesmen, and liberally educated citizens for more than 2,000 years, the peloponnesian war is a mine of military, moral, political, and philosophical wisdom.however, this classic book has long presented obstacles to the uninitiated reader. written centuries before the rise of modern historiography,

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • The Story of Writing

    The Story of Writing

    The Story of Writing

    Andrew Robinson
    Language Arts & Disciplines
    3.86 (297)

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • One True God

    One True God

    One True God

    Rodney Stark
    Religion
    3.65 (69)

    Western history would be unrecognizable had it not been for people who believed in one true god. there would have been wars, but no religious wars. there would have been moral codes, but no commandments. had the jews been polytheists, they would today be only another barely remembered people, less important, but just as extinct as the babylonians. had christians presented jesus to the greco-roman world as ''another'' god, their faith would long since have gone the way of mithraism. and surely islam would never have made it out of

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • The Way Life Works

    The Way Life Works

    The Way Life Works

    Mahlon Hoagland
    4.28 (82)

    In the tradition of david macaulay's the way things work, this popular-science book--a unique collaboration between a world-renowned molecular biologist and an equally talented artist--explains how life grows, develops, reproduces, and gets by. full color.

    Stewart Brand

    Stewart Brands recommendations

     — Source

  • Look to Windward

    Look to Windward

    Look to Windward

    Iain M. Banks
    Fiction
    4.19 (25,659)

    The twin novae battle had been one of the last of the idiran war, one of the most horrific. desperate to avert defeat, the idirans had induced not one but two suns to explode, snuffing out worlds & biospheres teeming with sentient life. they were attacks of incredible proportion - gigadeathcrimes. but the war ended and life went on. now, 800 years later, light from the 1st explosion is about to reach the masaq' orbital, home to the culture's most adventurous & decadent souls. there it will fall upon masaq's

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • Powers of Ten

    Powers of Ten

    Powers of Ten

    Philip Morrison,Phylis Morrison
    4.33 (233)

    Over 100,000 copies of this spectacular journey have already been sold. in forty-two consecutive scenes, each at a different 'power of ten' level of magnification, readers are taken from the dimension of one billion light years to the realm of the atom. the text and other illustrations depict what we can perceive at each progressively smaller level of magnitude. "a brilliant pictorial and textual embodiment of a wonderful idea." stephen jay gould videos of powers of ten are available from: riteltd. cross tree, walton street, walton in gordano, clevedon, avon

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • The King and the Corpse

    The King and the Corpse

    The King and the Corpse

    Heinrich Zimmer,Joseph Campbell
    4.3 (320)

    Drawing from eastern and western literatures, heinrich zimmer presents a selection of stories linked together by their common concern for the problem of our eternal conflict with the forces of evil. beginning with a tale from the arabian nights, this theme unfolds in legends from irish paganism, medieval christianity, the arthurian cycle, and early hinduism. in the retelling of these tales, zimmer discloses the meanings within their seemingly unrelated symbols and suggests the philosophical wholeness of this assortment of myth.

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • The Grand Design

    The Grand Design

    The Grand Design

    Leonard Mlodinow,Stephen Hawking
    Aerial photography
    4.04 (69,492)

    The first major work in nearly a decade by one of the world’s great thinkers—a marvelously concise book with new answers to the ultimate questions of life when and how did the universe begin? why are we here? why is there something rather than nothing? what is the nature of reality? why are the laws of nature so finely tuned as to allow for the existence of beings like ourselves? and, finally, is the apparent “grand design” of our universe evidence of a benevolent creator who set things in motion—or

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • The Landmark Herodotus

    The Landmark Herodotus

    The Landmark Herodotus

    Herodotus,Robert B. Strassler
    3.96 (47,312)

    From the editor of the widely praised the landmark thucydides, a new landmark edition of the histories by herodotus, the greatest classical work of history ever written.herodotus was a greek historian living in ionia during the fifth century bce. he traveled extensively through the lands of the mediterranean and the black sea and collected stories, and then recounted his experiences with the varied people and cultures he encountered. cicero called him “the father of history,” and his only work, the histories, is considered the first true piece of historical writing

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • Military Misfortunes

    Military Misfortunes

    Military Misfortunes

    Eliot A. Cohen
    History
    3.72 (227)

    Why do competent armies fail?• why did the american-led coalition in iraq fail to wage a classic counter-insurgency campaign for so long after the fall of baghdad?• why was the sophisticated israeli intelligence service so thoroughly surprised by the onslaught of combined arab armies during the yom kippur war of 1973?• how did a dozen german u-boats manage to humiliate the u.s. navy for nine months in 1942 -- sinking an average of 650,000 tons of shipping monthly?• what made the 1915 british-led invasion of gallipoli one of the bloodiest

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • Medieval Civilization 400-1500

    Medieval Civilization 400-1500

    Medieval Civilization 400-1500

    Jacques Le Goff
    4.15 (969)

    This one thousand year history of the civilization of western europe has already been recognized in france as a scholarly contribution of the highest order and as a popular classic. jacques le goff has written a book which will not only be read by generations of students and historians, but which will delight and inform all those interested in the history of medieval europe. part one, historical evolution, is a narrative account of the entire period, from the barbarian settlement of roman europe in the fifth, sixth and seventh centuries

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • Consider Phlebas

    Consider Phlebas

    Consider Phlebas

    Iain M. Banks
    Fiction
    3.86 (82,146)

    The war raged across the galaxy. billions had died, billions more were doomed. moons, planets, the very stars themselves, faced destruction, cold-blooded, brutal, and worse, random. the idirans fought for their faith; the culture for its moral right to exist. principles were at stake. there could be no surrender.within the cosmic conflict, an individual crusade. deep within a fabled labyrinth on a barren world, a planet of the dead proscribed to mortals, lay a fugitive mind. both the culture and the idirans sought it. it was the fate of horza,

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • The Sleepwalkers

    The Sleepwalkers

    The Sleepwalkers

    Arthur Koestler
    Fiction
    4.28 (957)

    An extraordinary history of humanity's changing vision of the universe. in this masterly synthesis, arthur koestler cuts through the sterile distinction between 'sciences' and 'humanities' to bring to life the whole history of cosmology from the babylonians to newton. he shows how the tragic split between science and religion arose and how, in particular, the modern world-view replaced the medieval world-view in the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century. he also provides vivid and judicious pen-portraits of a string of great scientists and makes clear the role that political bias

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on Tim Ferriss' podcast

     — 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

    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

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • The Western Canon

    The Western Canon

    The Western Canon

    Harold Bloom
    Literary Criticism
    3.86 (2,931)

    Literary critic harold bloom's the western canon is more than a required reading list—it is a vision. infused with a love of learning, compelling in its arguments for a unifying written culture, it argues brilliantly against the politicization of literature and presents a guide to the great works of the western literary tradition and essential writers of the ages. the western canon was nominated for the national book critics circle award.

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • The Epic of Gilgamesh

    The Epic of Gilgamesh

    The Epic of Gilgamesh

    N. K. Sandars
    3.71 (88,464)

    Miraculously preserved on clay tablets dating back as much as four thousand years, the poem of gilgamesh, king of uruk, is the world’s oldest epic, predating homer by many centuries. the story tells of gilgamesh’s adventures with the wild man enkidu, and of his arduous journey to the ends of the earth in quest of the babylonian noah and the secret of immortality. alongside its themes of family, friendship and the duties of kings, the epic of gilgamesh is, above all, about mankind’s eternal struggle with the fear of death.the

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • Memory of the World

    Memory of the World

    Memory of the World

    UNESCO
    3.56 (18)

    A new publication compiling documentary heritage items that are inscribed on the memory of the world register has been launched by unesco and harpercollins. documentary treasures from 1700 bc to the present day are accompanied by background information about their worldwide significance and illustrated by high quality photographic materials.documentary heritage in archives, libraries and museums constitutes a major part of the memory of peoples, and reflects the diversity of languages and cultures. unesco, through its memory of the world programme, promotes the preservation of this heritage for future generations and

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • The Better Angels of Our Nature

    The Better Angels of Our Nature

    The Better Angels of Our Nature

    Steven Pinker
    Psychology
    4.13 (27,354)

    Believe it or not, today we may be living in the most peaceful moment in our species' existence. in his gripping and controversial new work, new york times bestselling author steven pinker shows that despite the ceaseless news about war, crime, and terrorism, violence has actually been in decline over long stretches of history. exploding myths about humankind's inherent violence and the curse of modernity, this ambitious book continues pinker's exploration of the essence of human nature, mixing psychology and history to provide a remarkable picture of an increasingly enlightened

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • The State of the Art

    The State of the Art

    The State of the Art

    Iain M. Banks
    Fiction
    3.85 (16,797)

    The first ever collection of iain banks' short fiction, this volume includes the acclaimed novella, the state of the art. this is a striking addition to the growing body of culture lore, and adds definition and scale to the previous works by using the earth of 1977 as contrast. the other stories in the collection range from science fiction to horror, dark-coated fantasy to morality tale. all bear the indefinable stamp of iain banks' staggering talent.

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • Triumph of the City

    Triumph of the City

    Triumph of the City

    Edward L. Glaeser
    3.92 (5,305)

    America is an urban nation. more than two thirds of us live on the 3 percent of land that contains our cities. yet cities get a bad rap: they're dirty, poor, unhealthy, crime ridden, expensive, environmentally unfriendly... or are they? as edward glaeser proves in this myth-shattering book, cities are actually the healthiest, greenest, and richest (in cultural and economic terms) places to live. new yorkers, for instance, live longer than other americans; heart disease and cancer rates are lower in gotham than in the nation as a whole. more

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • The Eternal Frontier

    The Eternal Frontier

    The Eternal Frontier

    Tim Flannery
    History
    4.06 (775)

    In the eternal frontier, world-renowned scientist and historian tim flannery tells the unforgettable story of the geological and biological evolution of the north american continent, from the time of the asteroid strike that ended the age of dinosaurs 65 million years ago, to the present day. flannery describes the development of north america's deciduous forests and other flora, and tracks the immigration and emigration of various animals to and from europe, asia, and south america, showing how plant and animal species have either adapted or become extinct. the story takes

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — 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.

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • The Encyclopedia of Earth

    The Encyclopedia of Earth

    The Encyclopedia of Earth

    Dr. Robert Coenraads,Dr. Stephen Hutchinson,John O'Byrne,Karen McGhee,Michael Allaby,Prof. Ken Rubin
    4.43 (42)

    This sumptuously illustrated, beautifully written encyclopedia, the best book available on the topic, presents the most up-to-date information about planet earth in a style and format that will appeal to an extremely wide range of readers. with thousands of photographs, illustrations, diagrams, and maps and a text written by a team of international experts, it presents an impressive overview of our globe—beginning with the history of the universe and ending with today's conservation issues. a truly spectacular reference, the encyclopedia of earth offers new visual interpretations of many ideas, concepts,

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • The Pattern on the Stone

    The Pattern on the Stone

    The Pattern on the Stone

    W. Daniel Hillis
    4.05 (663)

    Most people are baffled by how computers work and assume that they will never understand them. what they don't realize—and what daniel hillis's short book brilliantly demonstrates—is that computers' seemingly complex operations can be broken down into a few simple parts that perform the same simple procedures over and over again.computer wizard hillis offers an easy-to-follow explanation of how data is processed that makes the operations of a computer seem as straightforward as those of a bicycle. avoiding technobabble or discussions of advanced hardware, the lucid explanations and colorful anecdotes

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source

  • The Future of Life

    The Future of Life

    The Future of Life

    E.O. Wilson
    Nature
    4.15 (2,919)

    From one of the world's most influential scientists (and two-time pulitzer prize–winning author) comes his most timely and important book yet: an impassioned call for quick and decisive action to save earth's biological heritage, and a plan to achieve that rescue.today we understand that our world is infinitely richer than was ever previously guessed. yet it is so ravaged by human activity that half its species could be gone by the end of the present century. these two contrasting truths—unexpected magnificence and underestimated peril—have become compellingly clear during the past

    Stewart Brand

    Recommended read on One Grand Book

     — Source