Nick Szabo is a computer scientist, legal scholar and cryptographer known for his research in digital contracts and digital currency. The phrase and concept of “smart contracts” was developed by Szabo with the goal of bringing what he calls the “highly evolved” practices of contract law and practice

  • A History of Western Technology

    This history of technology from Graeco-Roman times through the early twentieth century is told through contemporary writings by technologists, churchmen, naturalists, poets, economists, and statesman. These writings reveal how historical circumstance altered the direction of technical development, and how the intellectual forces of a period influenced and were in turn modified by technical progress.,Topics covered include the position of technology in ancient Greece; early Christianity and technology; Islamic technology; engineering artists in the Renaissance; technical undertakings in the Baroque period; eighteenth-century England’s lead in technology ; the factory system of the industrial age; and automation in the twentieth century. Each section of the book contains numerous illustrations.

  • A Splendid Exchange

    Acclaimed by readers and critics around the globe, A Splendid Exchange is a sweeping narrative history of world trade???from Mesopotamia in 3000 B.C. to the firestorm over globalization today???that brilliantly explores trade???s colorful and contentious past and provides new insights into its future.

  • Atlas Shrugged

    Peopled by larger-than-life heroes and villains, charged with towering questions of good and evil, Atlas Shrugged is Ayn Rand???s magnum opus: a philosophical revolution told in the form of an action thriller???nominated as one of America???s best-loved novels by PBS???s The Great American Read. Who is John Galt? When he says that he will stop the motor of the world, is he a destroyer or a liberator? Why does he have to fight his battles not against his enemies but against those who need him most? Why does he fight his hardest battle against the woman he loves? You will know the answer to these questions when you discover the reason behind the baffling events that play havoc with the lives of the amazing men and women in this book. You will discover why a productive genius becomes a worthless playboy…why a great steel industrialist is working for his own destruction…why a composer gives up his career on the night of his triumph…why a beautiful woman who runs a transcontinental railroad falls in love with the man she has sworn to kill.,Atlas Shrugged, a modern classic and Rand???s most extensive statement of Objectivism???her groundbreaking philosophy???offers the reader the spectacle of human greatness, depicted with all the poetry and power of one of the twentieth century???s leading artists.

  • Conquest, Tribute and Trade

    This new edition of Conquest, Tribute and Trade: How the Quest for Precious Metals Gave Birth to Globalization (2016) has been revised to improve the clarity of the text, maps and end-notes. The book itself attempts to explain the birth of globalization in a new way and address three interrelated developments which have been under-analyzed, pigeon-holed or even ignored.,First, how and why the discovery, extraction and distribution of precious metals — gold, copper and, above all, silver — enabled the closely-related Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch to supersede the great Italian city-states, neutralize the Ottomans and overturn centuries of Muslim domination in Africa and Asia during the course of the sixteenth century.,Second, how and why the Europeans squandered much of the metallic wealth of Africa, the Americas and the Far East on inconclusive military affairs, exploited (and often destroyed) indigenous societies across the globe and left behind a wake of east-west animosities which has lasted for five centuries.,And third, how and why a breakaway portion of the Spanish Netherlands, the Dutch Republic, co-opted many of the achievements of the Iberians, gained control of increasingly large stocks of precious metals between 1590 and 1609 and served as a commercial ???bridge??? to the later British Empire (and the United States).,The book is intended to serve as a very modern tale of business and economic history which just happens to be set in the sixteenth century. The narrative details the central, driving, multidimensional (and almost unbelievable) roles played by a handful of mines and metallurgical works; the larger-than-life characters who discovered, financed or exploited these mineral resources and created the world???s first multinational corporations; and the spectacular squander, measured in financial and human terms, which resulted from a never-ending series of military campaigns and helped to shift the balance of global power to (and from) a succession of would-be empires.,Conquest, Tribute and Trade also helps to explain how and why Europe???s remarkable geographical conquests in this one century, the sixteenth, laid a foundation of Western dominance (and animosities) which has lasted for roughly five hundred years, introduced patterns of economic development which are being repeated in the twenty-first and generated a host of lessons to be studied by anyone interested in the processes through which commercial empires are won and lost.

  • Getting To Maybe

    Professors Fischl and Paul explain law school exams in ways no one has before, all with an eye toward improving the reader’s performance. The book begins by describing the difference between educational cultures that praise students for ‘right answers,’ and the law school culture that rewards nuanced analysis of ambiguous situations in which more than one approach may be correct. Enormous care is devoted to explaining precisely how and why legal analysis frequently produces such perplexing situations.,But the authors don’t stop with mere description. Instead, Getting to Maybe teaches how to excel on law school exams by showing the reader how legal analysis can be brought to bear on examination problems. The book contains hints on studying and preparation that go well beyond conventional advice. The authors also illustrate how to argue both sides of a legal issue without appearing wishy-washy or indecisive. Above all, the book explains why exam questions may generate feelings of uncertainty or doubt about correct legal outcomes and how the student can turn these feelings to his or her advantage.,In sum, although the authors believe that no exam guide can substitute for a firm grasp of substantive material, readers who devote the necessary time to learning the law will find this book an invaluable guide to translating learning into better exam performance.

  • Glass

    Picture, if you can, a world without glass. There would be no microscopes or telescopes, no sciences of microbiology or astronomy. People with poor vision would grope in the shadows, and planes, cars, and even electricity probably wouldn’t exist. Artists would draw without the benefit of three-dimensional perspective, and ships would still be steered by what stars navigators could see through the naked eye.,In Glass: A World History, Alan Macfarlane and Gerry Martin tell the fascinating story of how glass has revolutionized the way we see ourselves and the world around us. Starting ten thousand years ago with its invention in the Near East, Macfarlane and Martin trace the history of glass and its uses from the ancient civilizations of India, China, and Rome through western Europe during the Renaissance, Enlightenment, and Industrial Revolution, and finally up to the present day. The authors argue that glass played a key role not just in transforming humanity’s relationship with the natural world, but also in the divergent courses of Eastern and Western civilizations. While all the societies that used glass first focused on its beauty in jewelry and other ornaments, and some later made it into bottles and other containers, only western Europeans further developed the use of glass for precise optics, mirrors, and windows. These technological innovations in glass, in turn, provided the foundations for European domination of the world in the several centuries following the Scientific Revolution.,Clear, compelling, and quite provocative, Glass is an amazing biography of an equally amazing subject, a subject that has been central to every aspect of human history, from art and science to technology and medicine.

  • Masters of the Word

    In his new book, William J. Bernstein, the celebrated author of A Splendid Exchange, chronicles the history of media, starting with the origin of writing thousands of years ago in Mesopotamia. The revolutionary tool gave rise to the world???s ancient empires. And when Phoenician traders took their alphabet to Greece, literacy???s first boom led to the birth of drama and democracy.,But it???s not just new communication technologies that have changed the world???it???s access to them. Vernacular bibles gave rise to religious dissent, but it was only when the combination of cheaper paper and Gutenberg???s printing press drove down the cost of books by 97 percent that the fuse of Reformation was lit. The Industrial Revolution allowed information to move faster and farther than ever before, though it concentrated power in the hands of those who ran radio and TV stations, large newspapers, and then, totalitarian governments. With the twenty-first century boom of the mobile Internet, control of media has again spread, and the world is both more connected and freer than ever before. An utterly captivating, enlightening book, Masters of the Word will change the way you look at technology, human history, and power.

  • Metaphors We Live By

    The now-classic Metaphors We Live By changed our understanding of metaphor and its role in language and the mind. Metaphor, the authors explain, is a fundamental mechanism of mind, one that allows us to use what we know about our physical and social experience to provide understanding of countless other subjects. Because such metaphors structure our most basic understandings of our experience, they are “metaphors we live by”???metaphors that can shape our perceptions and actions without our ever noticing them.,In this updated edition of Lakoff and Johnson’s influential book, the authors supply an afterword surveying how their theory of metaphor has developed within the cognitive sciences to become central to the contemporary understanding of how we think and how we express our thoughts in language.

  • Money Changes Everything

    “[A] magnificent history of money and finance.”???New York Times Book Review,”Convincingly makes the case that finance is a change-maker of change-makers.”???Financial Times,In the aftermath of recent financial crises, it’s easy to see finance as a wrecking ball: something that destroys fortunes and jobs, and undermines governments and banks. In Money Changes Everything, leading financial historian William Goetzmann argues the exact opposite???that the development of finance has made the growth of civilizations possible. Goetzmann explains that finance is a time machine, a technology that allows us to move value forward and backward through time; and that this innovation has changed the very way we think about and plan for the future. He shows how finance was present at key moments in history: driving the invention of writing in ancient Mesopotamia, spurring the classical civilizations of Greece and Rome to become great empires, determining the rise and fall of dynasties in imperial China, and underwriting the trade expeditions that led Europeans to the New World. He also demonstrates how the apparatus we associate with a modern economy???stock markets, lines of credit, complex financial products, and international trade???were repeatedly developed, forgotten, and reinvented over the course of human history.,Exploring the critical role of finance over the millennia, and around the world, Goetzmann details how wondrous financial technologies and institutions???money, bonds, banks, corporations, and more???have helped urban centers to expand and cultures to flourish. And it’s not done reshaping our lives, as Goetzmann considers the challenges we face in the future, such as how to use the power of finance to care for an aging and expanding population.,Money Changes Everything presents a fascinating look into the way that finance has steered the course of history.

  • The 10,000 Year Explosion

    Resistance to malaria. Blue eyes. Lactose tolerance. What do all of these traits have in common? Every one of them has emerged in the last 10,000 years.,Scientists have long believed that the ???great leap forward??? that occurred some 40,000 to 50,000 years ago in Europe marked end of significant biological evolution in humans. In this stunningly original account of our evolutionary history, top scholars Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending reject this conventional wisdom and reveal that the human species has undergone a storm of genetic change much more recently. Human evolution in fact accelerated after civilization arose, they contend, and these ongoing changes have played a pivotal role in human history. They argue that biology explains the expansion of the Indo-Europeans, the European conquest of the Americas, and European Jews’ rise to intellectual prominence. In each of these cases, the key was recent genetic change: adult milk tolerance in the early Indo-Europeans that allowed for a new way of life, increased disease resistance among the Europeans settling America, and new versions of neurological genes among European Jews.,Ranging across subjects as diverse as human domestication, Neanderthal hybridization, and IQ tests, Cochran and Harpending’s analysis demonstrates convincingly that human genetics have changed and can continue to change much more rapidly than scientists have previously believed. A provocative and fascinating new look at human evolution that turns conventional wisdom on its head, The 10,000 Year Explosion reveals the ongoing interplay between culture and biology in the making of the human race.

  • The Black Book of Communism

    Already famous throughout Europe, this international bestseller plumbs recently opened archives in the former Soviet bloc to reveal the actual, practical accomplishments of Communism around the world: terror, torture, famine, mass deportations, and massacres. Astonishing in the sheer detail it amasses, the book is the first comprehensive attempt to catalogue and analyze the crimes of Communism over seventy years.,”Revolutions, like trees, must be judged by their fruit,” Ignazio Silone wrote, and this is the standard the authors apply to the Communist experience???in the China of “the Great Helmsman,” Kim Il Sung’s Korea, Vietnam under “Uncle Ho” and Cuba under Castro, Ethiopia under Mengistu, Angola under Neto, and Afghanistan under Najibullah. The authors, all distinguished scholars based in Europe, document Communist crimes against humanity, but also crimes against national and universal culture, from Stalin’s destruction of hundreds of churches in Moscow to Ceausescu’s leveling of the historic heart of Bucharest to the widescale devastation visited on Chinese culture by Mao’s Red Guards.,As the death toll mounts???as many as 25 million in the former Soviet Union, 65 million in China, 1.7 million in Cambodia, and on and on???the authors systematically show how and why, wherever the millenarian ideology of Communism was established, it quickly led to crime, terror, and repression. An extraordinary accounting, this book amply documents the unparalleled position and significance of Communism in the hierarchy of violence that is the history of the twentieth century.

  • The Columbian Exchange

    Thirty years ago, Alfred Crosby published a small work that illuminated a simple point, that the most important changes brought on by the voyages of Columbus were not social or political, but biological in nature. The book told the story of how 1492 sparked the movement of organisms, both large and small, in both directions across the Atlantic. This Columbian exchange, between the Old World and the New, changed the history of our planet drastically and forever.,The book The Columbian Exchange changed the field of history drastically and forever as well. It has become one of the foundational works in the burgeoning field of environmental history, and it remains one of the canonical texts for the study of world history. This 30th anniversary edition of The Columbian Exchange includes a new preface from the author, reflecting on the book and its creation, and a new foreword by J. R. McNeill that demonstrates how Crosby established a brand new perspective for understanding ecological and social events. As the foreword indicates, The Columbian Exchange remains a vital book, a small work that contains within the inspiration for future examinations into what happens when two peoples, separated by time and space, finally meet.

  • The Fatal Conceit

    Hayek gives the main arguments for the free-market case and presents his manifesto on the “errors of socialism.” Hayek argues that socialism has, from its origins, been mistaken on factual, and even on logical, grounds and that its repeated failures in the many different practical applications of socialist ideas that this century has witnessed were the direct outcome of these errors. He labels as the “fatal conceit” the idea that “man is able to shape the world around him according to his wishes.”,”The achievement of The Fatal Conceit is that it freshly shows why socialism must be refuted rather than merely dismissed???then refutes it again.”???David R. Henderson, Fortune.,”Fascinating. . . . The energy and precision with which Mr. Hayek sweeps away his opposition is impressive.”???Edward H. Crane, Wall Street Journal,F. A. Hayek is considered a pioneer in monetary theory, the preeminent proponent of the libertarian philosophy, and the ideological mentor of the Reagan and Thatcher “revolutions.”

  • The Fourth Part of the World

    ???Old maps lead you to strange and unexpected places, and none does so more ineluctably than the subject of this book: the giant, beguiling Waldseem??ller world map of 1507.??? So begins this remarkable story of the map that gave America its name.,For millennia Europeans believed that the world consisted of three parts: Europe, Africa, and Asia. They drew the three continents in countless shapes and sizes on their maps, but occasionally they hinted at the existence of a “fourth part of the world,” a mysterious, inaccessible place, separated from the rest by a vast expanse of ocean. It was a land of myth???until 1507, that is, when Martin Waldseem??ller and Matthias Ringmann, two obscure scholars working in the mountains of eastern France, made it real. Columbus had died the year before convinced that he had sailed to Asia, but Waldseem??ller and Ringmann, after reading about the Atlantic discoveries of Columbus???s contemporary Amerigo Vespucci, came to a startling conclusion: Vespucci had reached the fourth part of the world. To celebrate his achievement, Waldseem??ller and Ringmann printed a huge map, for the first time showing the New World surrounded by water and distinct from Asia, and in Vespucci???s honor they gave this New World a name: America.,The Fourth Part of the World is the story behind that map, a thrilling saga of geographical and intellectual exploration, full of outsize thinkers and voyages. Taking a kaleidoscopic approach, Toby Lester traces the origins of our modern worldview. His narrative sweeps across continents and centuries, zeroing in on different portions of the map to reveal strands of ancient legend, Biblical prophecy, classical learning, medieval exploration, imperial ambitions, and more. In Lester???s telling the map comes alive: Marco Polo and the early Christian missionaries trek across Central Asia and China; Europe???s early humanists travel to monastic libraries to recover ancient texts; Portuguese merchants round up the first West African slaves; Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci make their epic voyages of discovery; and finally, vitally, Nicholas Copernicus makes an appearance, deducing from the new geography shown on the Waldseem??ller map that the earth could not lie at the center of the cosmos. The map literally altered humanity???s worldview.,One thousand copies of the map were printed, yet only one remains. Discovered accidentally in 1901 in the library of a German castle it was bought in 2003 for the unprecedented sum of $10 million by the Library of Congress, where it is now on permanent public display. Lavishly illustrated with rare maps and diagrams, The Fourth Part of the World is the story of that map: the dazzling story of the geographical and intellectual journeys that have helped us decipher our world.

  • The Measure of Reality

    The Measure of Reality discusses the epochal shift from qualitative to quantitative perception in Western Europe during the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. This shift made modern science, technology, business practice, and bureaucracy possible. It affected not only the obvious – such as measurements of time and space and mathematical technique – but, equally and simultaneously, music and painting, thus proving that the shift was even more profound than once thought.

  • The Most Powerful Idea in the World

    If all measures of human advancement in the last hundred centuries were plotted on a graph, they would show an almost perfectly flat line???until the eighteenth century, when the Industrial Revolution would cause the line to shoot straight up, beginning an almost uninterrupted march of progress. ?? ,In The Most Powerful Idea in the World, William Rosen tells the story of the men responsible for the Industrial Revolution and the machine that drove it???the steam engine. In the process he tackles the question that has obsessed historians ever since: What made eighteenth-century Britain such fertile soil for inventors? Rosen???s answer focuses on a simple notion that had become enshrined in British law the century before: that people had the right to own and profit from their ideas.,The result was a period of frantic innovation revolving particularly around the promise of steam power. Rosen traces the steam engine???s history from its early days as a clumsy but sturdy machine, to its coming-of-age driving the wheels of mills and factories, to its maturity as a transporter for people and freight by rail and by sea. Along the way we enter the minds of such inventors as Thomas Newcomen and James Watt, scientists including Robert Boyle and Joseph Black, and philosophers John Locke and Adam Smith???all of whose insights, tenacity, and ideas transformed first a nation and then the world.,William Rosen is a masterly storyteller with a keen eye for the ???aha!??? moments of invention and a gift for clear and entertaining explanations of science. The Most Powerful Idea in the World will appeal to readers fascinated with history, science, and the hows and whys of innovation itself.

  • The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe

    In 1979 Elizabeth Eisenstein provided the first full-scale treatment of the fifteenth-century printing revolution in the West in her monumental two-volume work, The Printing Press as an Agent of Change. This abridged edition, after summarising the initial changes introduced by the establishment of printing shops, goes on to discuss how printing challenged traditional institutions and affected three major cultural movements: the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the rise of modern science. Also included is a later essay which aims to demonstrate that the cumulative processes created by printing are likely to persist despite the recent development of new communications technologies.

  • The Red Queen

    Referring to Lewis Carroll’s Red Queen from Through the Looking-Glass, a character who has to keep running to stay in the same place, Matt Ridley demonstrates why sex is humanity’s best strategy for outwitting its constantly mutating internal predators. The Red Queen answers dozens of other riddles of human nature and culture — including why men propose marriage, the method behind our maddening notions of beauty, and the disquieting fact that a woman is more likely to conceive a child by an adulterous lover than by her husband. Brilliantly written, The Red Queen offers an extraordinary new way of interpreting the human condition and how it has evolved.

  • The Selfish Gene

    The million copy international bestseller, critically acclaimed and translated into over 25 languages. As influential today as when it was first published, The Selfish Gene has become a classic exposition of evolutionary thought. Professor Dawkins articulates a gene’s eye view of evolution – a view giving centre stage to these persistent units of information, and in which organisms can be seen as vehicles for their replication.,This imaginative, powerful, and stylistically brilliant work not only brought the insights of Neo-Darwinism to a wide audience, but galvanized the biology community, generating much debate and stimulating whole new areas of research. Forty years later, its insights remain as relevant today as on the day it was published.This 40th anniversary edition includes a new epilogue from the author discussing the continuing relevance of these ideas in evolutionary biology today, as well as the original prefaces and foreword, and extracts from early reviews.Oxford Landmark Science books are ‘must-read’ classics of modern science writing which have crystallized big ideas, and shaped the way we think.

  • The Wealth of Nations

    This seminal work on political economy and the foundation of the modern market economy was originally published in 1776. Rich in historical background and acute observations of the 18th-century scene, Adam Smith’s masterpiece of economic analysis is also an insightful work of political philosophy. Its revolutionary concepts, including the notion that self-interest stimulates the healthiest economic conditions for all, remain influential with politicians and economists alike.