Steven Pinker is a Canadian-American cognitive psychologist, linguist, and popular science author. He is Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University, and is known for his advocacy of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind.

  • 36 Arguments for the Existence of God

    From the author of The Mind-Body Problem: a witty and intoxicating novel of ideas that plunges into the great debate between faith and reason.,At the center is Cass Seltzer, a professor of psychology whose book, The Varieties of Religious Illusion, has become a surprise best seller. Dubbed ???the atheist with a soul,??? he wins over the stunning Lucinda Mandelbaum??????the goddess of game theory.??? But he is haunted by reminders of two people who ignited his passion to understand religion: his teacher Jonas Elijah Klapper, a renowned literary scholar with a suspicious obsession with messianism, and an angelic six-year-old mathematical genius, heir to the leadership of an exotic Hasidic sect.,Hilarious, heartbreaking, and intellectually captivating, 36 Arguments explores the rapture and torments of religious experience in all its variety.

  • An Appetite for Wonder

    With the 2006 publication of The God Delusion, the name Richard Dawkins became a byword for ruthless skepticism and “brilliant, impassioned, articulate, impolite” debate (San Francisco Chronicle). his first memoir offers a more personal view.,His first book, The Selfish Gene, caused a seismic shift in the study of biology by proffering the gene-centered view of evolution. It was also in this book that Dawkins coined the term meme, a unit of cultural evolution, which has itself become a mainstay in contemporary culture.,In An Appetite for Wonder, Richard Dawkins shares a rare view into his early life, his intellectual awakening at Oxford, and his path to writing The Selfish Gene. He paints a vivid picture of his idyllic childhood in colonial Africa, peppered with sketches of his colorful ancestors, charming parents, and the peculiarities of colonial life right after World War II. At boarding school, despite a near-religious encounter with an Elvis record, he began his career as a skeptic by refusing to kneel for prayer in chapel. Despite some inspired teaching throughout primary and secondary school, it was only when he got to Oxford that his intellectual curiosity took full flight.,Arriving at Oxford in 1959, when undergraduates “left Elvis behind” for Bach or the Modern Jazz Quartet, Dawkins began to study zoology and was introduced to some of the university’s legendary mentors as well as its tutorial system. It’s to this unique educational system that Dawkins credits his awakening, as it invited young people to become scholars by encouraging them to pose rigorous questions and scour the library for the latest research rather than textbook “teaching to” any kind of test. His career as a fellow and lecturer at Oxford took an unexpected turn when, in 1973, a serious strike in Britain caused prolonged electricity cuts, and he was forced to pause his computer-based research. Provoked by the then widespread misunderstanding of natural selection known as “group selection” and inspired by the work of William Hamilton, Robert Trivers, and John Maynard Smith, he began to write a book he called, jokingly, “my bestseller.” It was, of course, The Selfish Gene.,Here, for the first time, is an intimate memoir of the childhood and intellectual development of the evolutionary biologist and world-famous atheist, and the story of how he came to write what is widely held to be one of the most important books of the twentieth century.

  • Atrocities

    ???An amusing (really) account of the murderous ways of despots, slave traders, blundering royals, gladiators and assorted hordes.??????New York Times,Evangelists of human progress meet their opposite in Matthew White???s epic examination of history???s one hundred most violent events, or, in White???s piquant phrasing, ???the numbers that people want to argue about.??? Reaching back to the Second Persian War in 480 BCE and moving chronologically through history, White surrounds hard facts (time and place) and succinct takeaways (who usually gets the blame?) with lively military, social, and political histories.

  • Clear and Simple as the Truth

    For more than a decade, Clear and Simple as the Truth has guided readers to consider style not as an elegant accessory of effective prose but as its very heart. Francis-No??l Thomas and Mark Turner present writing as an intellectual activity, not a passive application of verbal skills. In classic style, the motive is truth, the purpose is presentation, the reader and writer are intellectual equals, and the occasion is informal. This general style of presentation is at home everywhere, from business memos to personal letters and from magazine articles to student essays. Everyone talks about style, but no one explains it. The authors of this book do; and in doing so, they provoke the reader to consider style, not as an elegant accessory of effective prose, but as its very heart.,At a time when writing skills have virtually disappeared, what can be done? If only people learned the principles of verbal correctness, the essential rules, wouldn’t good prose simply fall into place? Thomas and Turner say no. Attending to rules of grammar, sense, and sentence structure will no more lead to effective prose than knowing the mechanics of a golf swing will lead to a hole-in-one. Furthermore, ten-step programs to better writing exacerbate the problem by failing to recognize, as Thomas and Turner point out, that there are many styles with different standards.,The book is divided into four parts. The first, “Principles of Classic Style,” defines the style and contrasts it with a number of others. “The Museum” is a guided tour through examples of writing, both exquisite and execrable. “The Studio,” new to this edition, presents a series of structured exercises. Finally, “Further Readings in Classic Prose” offers a list of additional examples drawn from a range of times, places, and subjects. A companion website, classicprose.com, offers supplementary examples, exhibits, and commentary, and features a selection of pieces written by students in courses that used Clear and Simple as the Truth as a textbook.

  • Enemies, A Love Story

    Almost before he knows it, Herman Broder, refugee and survivor of World War II, has three wives: Yadwiga, the Polish peasant who hid him from the Nazis; Masha , his beautiful and neurotic true love; and Tamara, his first wife, miraculously returned from the dead. Astonished by each new complication, and yet resigned to a life of evasion, Herman navigates a crowded, Yiddish New York with a sense of perpetually impending doom.

  • One Two Three . . . Infinity

    “. . . full of intellectual treats and tricks, of whimsy and deep scientific philosophy. It is highbrow entertainment at its best, a teasing challenge to all who aspire to think about the universe.” ??? New York Herald Tribune,One of the world’s foremost nuclear physicists (celebrated for his theory of radioactive decay, among other accomplishments), George Gamow possessed the unique ability of making the world of science accessible to the general reader.,He brings that ability to bear in this delightful expedition through the problems, pleasures, and puzzles of modern science. Among the topics scrutinized with the author’s celebrated good humor and pedagogical prowess are the macrocosm and the microcosm, theory of numbers, relativity of space and time, entropy, genes, atomic structure, nuclear fission, and the origin of the solar system.,In the pages of this book readers grapple with such crucial matters as whether it is possible to bend space, why a rocket shrinks, the “end of the world problem,” excursions into the fourth dimension, and a host of other tantalizing topics for the scientifically curious. Brimming with amusing anecdotes and provocative problems, One Two Three . . . Infinity also includes over 120 delightful pen-and-ink illustrations by the author, adding another dimension of good-natured charm to these wide-ranging explorations.,Whatever your level of scientific expertise, chances are you’ll derive a great deal of pleasure, stimulation, and information from this unusual and imaginative book. It belongs in the library of anyone curious about the wonders of the scientific universe. “In One Two Three . . . Infinity, as in his other books, George Gamow succeeds where others fail because of his remarkable ability to combine technical accuracy, choice of material, dignity of expression, and readability.” ??? Saturday Review of Literature

  • Take Pride

    A leading psychologist reveals how our most misunderstood emotion???pride???has shaped our minds and our culture, and shows how we can harness its power.,Why did Paul Gauguin abandon middle-class life to follow the path of a starving artist? What explains the massive success of Steve Jobs, a man with great ideas but weak programming skills and a questionable managerial style? How did Dean Karnazes???the famed ???Ultramarathon Man??????transform himself from a directionless desk jockey into an extreme athlete who once ran fifty marathons in fifty days? ,As the renowned emotion researcher Jessica Tracy reveals in , each of these superachievers has been motivated by an often maligned emotion: pride. Its dark, hubristic side is well known, but Tracy shows that pride is also essential for helping us become our best, brightest selves. By making us care about how others see us and how we see ourselves, pride makes us strive for excellence. In the right doses and the right contexts, it has been proven to boost creativity, motivate altruism, and confer power and prestige on those who display it. But while pride can inspire feats of genius, Tracy explains, it can also compel acts of apparent insanity and spectacular self-destructiveness, causing some people to seek status not through hard work but through intimidation, deception, and self-aggrandizement. Avoiding the bad kind of pride while nurturing the good kind might just be the secret to success.,In , Tracy explains why our species came to feel pride in both its good and bad varieties, and how we can make this double-edged emotion serve us???rather than the other way around.

  • The Beginning of Infinity

    The , bestseller: A provocative, imaginative exploration of the nature and progress of knowledge,???Dazzling.??? ??? Steven Pinker, ,???,In this groundbreaking book, award-winning physicist David Deutsch argues that explanations have a fundamental place in the universe???and that improving them is the basic regulating principle of all successful human endeavor. Taking us on a journey through every fundamental field of science, as well as the history of civilization, art, moral values, and the theory of political institutions, Deutsch tracks how we form new explanations and drop bad ones, explaining the conditions under which progress???which he argues is potentially boundless???can and cannot happen. Hugely ambitious and highly original, , explores and establishes deep connections between the laws of nature, the human condition, knowledge, and the possibility for progress.

  • The Blind Watchmaker

    Richard Dawkins???s classic remains the definitive argument for our modern understanding of evolution.,The Blind Watchmaker is the seminal text for understanding evolution today. In the eighteenth century, theologian William Paley developed a famous metaphor for creationism: that of the skilled watchmaker. In The Blind Watchmaker, Richard Dawkins crafts an elegant riposte to show that the complex process of Darwinian natural selection is unconscious and automatic. If natural selection can be said to play the role of a watchmaker in nature, it is a blind one???working without foresight or purpose.,In an eloquent, uniquely persuasive account of the theory of natural selection, Dawkins illustrates how simple organisms slowly change over time to create a world of enormous complexity, diversity, and beauty.

  • The Evolution of Human Sexuality

    Nature versus nurture – nowhere is the debate more heated than in the areas of sex and sex differences. , adds fuel to the fire. Symons’s thesis is that some of the typical differences between men and women in sexual behaviors, attitudes and feelings are innate: identical rearing of males and females will not result in identical sexualities.

  • The Happiness Curve

    “In this warm, wise, and witty overview, Jonathan Rauch combines evidence and experience to show his fellow adults that the best is yet to come.??? ???Steven Pinker, bestselling author of Enlightenment Now,This book will change your life by showing you how life changes.,Why does happiness get harder in your 40s? Why do you feel in a slump when you???re successful? Where does this malaise come from? And, most importantly, will it ever end?,Drawing on cutting-edge research, award-winning journalist Jonathan Rauch answers all these questions. He shows that from our 20s into our 40s, happiness follows a U-shaped trajectory, a ???happiness curve,??? declining from the optimism of youth into what???s often a long, low slump in middle age, before starting to rise again in our 50s.,This isn???t a midlife crisis, though. Rauch reveals that this slump is instead a natural stage of life???and an essential one. By shifting priorities away from competition and toward compassion, it equips you with new tools for wisdom and gratitude to win the third period of life.,And Rauch can testify to this personally because it was his own slump, despite acclaim as a journalist and commentator that compelled him to investigate the happiness curve. His own story and the stories of many others from all walks of life???from a steelworker and a limo driver to a telecoms executive and a philanthropist???show how the ordeal of midlife malaise reboots our values and even our brains for a rebirth of gratitude.,Full of insights and data and featuring many ways to endure the slump and avoid its perils and traps, The Happiness Curve doesn???t just show you the dark forest of midlife, it helps you find a path through the trees. It also demonstrates how we can???and why we must???do more to help each other through the woods. Midlife is a journey we mustn???t walk alone.

  • The Nurture Assumption

    This groundbreaking book, a Pulitzer Prize finalist and New York Times notable pick, rattled the psychological establishment when it was first published in 1998 by claiming that parents have little impact on their children’s development. In this tenth anniversary edition of The Nurture Assumption, Judith Harris has updated material throughout and provided a fresh introduction.,Combining insights from psychology, sociology, anthropology, primatology, and evolutionary biology, she explains how and why the tendency of children to take cues from their peers works to their evolutionary advantage. This electrifying book explodes many of our unquestioned beliefs about children and parents and gives us a radically new view of childhood.

  • Whole Earth Discipline

    “This is a very scary book by a very bright man, offering a picture of humanity’s future that is both ominous and exhilarating.” ???Edward O. Wilson,This eye-opening book by the legendary author of the National Book Award-winning Whole Earth Catalog persuasively details a new approach to our stewardship of the planet. Lifelong ecologist and futurist Stewart Brand relies on scientific rigor to shatter myths concerning nuclear energy, urbanization, genetic engineering, and other controversial subjects, showing exactly where the sources of our dilemmas lie and offering a bold, inventive set of policies and design- based solutions for shaping a more sustainable society. Thought- provoking and passionately argued, this is a pioneering book on one of the hottest issues facing humanity today.