Books published by Basic Books

The Taste of Empire

Basic Books | October 3, 2017 | 368 pages
A history of the British Empire told through twenty meals eaten around the world In The Taste of Empire, acclaimed historian Lizzie Collingham tells the story of how the British Empire's quest for food shaped the modern world. Told through twenty meals over the course of 450 years, from the Far... More Info

Something Torn and New

Basic Books | February 24, 2018 | 162 pages
Professor:  Prof. Pius Adesanmi
Course Codes:  ENGL 5008
Semester:  Winter-2018
Novelist Ngugi wa Thiong'o has been a force in African literature for decades: Since the 1970s, when he gave up the English language to commit himself to writing in African languages, his foremost concern has been the critical importance of language to culture. InSomething Torn and New, Ngugi... More Info

Exact Thinking in Demented Times

Basic Books | December 5, 2017 | 384 pages
Inspired by Albert Einstein's theory of relativity and Bertrand Russell and David Hilbert's pursuit of the fundamental rules of mathematics, some of the most brilliant minds of the generation came together in post-World War I Vienna to present the latest theories in mathematics, science, and... More Info

What It's Like to Be a Dog

Basic Books | September 5, 2017 | 304 pages
What is it like to be a dog? A bat? Or a dolphin? To find out, neuroscientist Gregory Berns and his team began with a radical step: they taught dogs to go into an MRI scanner-completely awake. They discovered what makes dogs individuals with varying capacities for self-control, different value... More Info

The Cold War

Basic Books | September 5, 2017 | 720 pages
From a Bancroft Prize-winning scholar, a new global history of the Cold War and its ongoing impact around the world In The Cold War, Odd Arne Westad offers a new perspective on a century when a superpower rivalry and an ideological war transformed every corner of our globe. We traditionally think... More Info

The New Urban Crisis

Basic Books | April 11, 2017 | 320 pages
In recent years, the young, educated, and affluent have surged back into cities, reversing decades of suburban flight and urban decline. And yet all is not well, Richard Florida argues in The New Urban Crisis. Florida, one of the first scholars to anticipate this back-to-the-city movement in his... More Info

Local Knowledge

Basic Books | February 24, 2018 | 244 pages
In essays covering everything from art and common sense to charisma and constructions of the self, the eminent cultural anthropologist and author of The Interpretation of Cultures deepens our understanding of human societies through the intimacies of "local knowledge." A companion volume to The... More Info

Hidden Order

Basic Books | February 24, 1995 | 185 pages
al readers how Complexity--the watershed science agenda for at least the nexttwo decades--is affecting our lives.  More Info

First Bite

Basic Books (AZ) | December 1, 2015 | 336 pages
We do not come into the world with an innate sense of taste and nutrition; as omnivores, we have to learn how and what to eat, how sweet is too sweet, and what food will give us the most energy for the coming day. But how does this education happen? What are the origins of taste? In First Bite, the... More Info

The Cash Nexus: Economics And Politics From The Age Of Warfare Through The Age Of Welfare, 1700-2000

Basic Books | February 21, 2002 | 576 pages
Conventional wisdom has long claimed that economic change is the prime mover of political change, whether in the age of industry or Internet. But is it? Ferguson thinks it is high time we re-examined the link-the nexus, in Thomas Carlyle's phrase-between economics and politics. His central argument... More Info

The Fall of the Ottomans

Basic Books | March 10, 2015 | 512 pages
In 1914 the Ottoman Empire was depleted of men and resources after years of war against Balkan nationalist and Italian forces. But in the aftermath of the assassination in Sarajevo, the powers of Europe were sliding inexorably toward war, and not even the Middle East could escape the vast and... More Info

The Last Empire

Basic Books | June 2, 2015 | 544 pages
A prize-winning historian describes the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, dispelling the myth that the event was spurred on in part by the close relationship between George H.W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev. 20,000 first printing. (This book was previously listed in Forecast.)  More Info

The Good War

Basic Books (AZ) | November 11, 2014 | 416 pages
Provides a narrative history of the war in Afghanistan, from its inception after the September 11 attacks to the drawdown in 2014.  More Info

The Man who Shocked the World

Basic Books | February 23, 2009 | 368 pages
Presents a biography of Stanley Milgram, dicussing among other experiments his obedience experiments and shedding light on his personality and personal life.  More Info

The Vertigo Years

Basic Books | November 2, 2010 | 488 pages
Examines how changes from the Industrial Revolution prior to World War I brought about radical transformation in society, changes in education, and massive migration in population that led to one of the bloodiest events in history.  More Info

Free to Learn

Basic Books (AZ) | February 24, 2018 | 274 pages
A developmental psychologist argues that children who are freed to follow their own interests through self-directed play will become better learners and achievers than the way they learn in modern school, which he says shows them that learning is work and not fun. 15,000 first printing.  More Info

July 1914

Basic Books | February 24, 2018 | 460 pages
Focusing on the weeks preceding the beginning of World War I, traces the efforts of a group of statesmen who used the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand--which was largely ignored--to trigger the outbreak of war.  More Info

A conflict of visions

Basic Books (AZ) | June 5, 2007 | 329 pages
This revised edition of a classic analyzes the centuries-long debates about the nature of reason, justice, equality and power.  More Info

The Design of Everyday Things

Basic Books (AZ) | November 5, 2013 | 384 pages
Even the smartest among us can feel inept as we fail to figure out which light switch or oven burner to turn on, or whether to push, pull, or slide a door. The fault, argues this ingenious?even liberating?book, lies not in ourselves, but in product design that ignores the needs of users and the... More Info

Trauma and Recovery

Basic Books | February 24, 1997 | 290 pages
Examines how people adapt to traumatic events such as rape, domestic violence, terrorism, and combat, discusses the healing process, and provides a framework for treatment  More Info

Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat

Basic Books (AZ) | October 8, 2013 | 336 pages
Since prehistory, humans have braved sharp knives, fire, and grindstones to transform raw ingredients into something delicious—or at least edible. Tools shape what we eat, but they have also transformed how we consume, and how we think about, our food. In Consider the Fork, award-winning food... More Info

Three Squares: The Invention of the American Meal

Basic Books (AZ) | September 10, 2013 | 304 pages
We are what we eat, as the saying goes?but we are also how we eat, and when, and where. Our eating habits reveal as much about our national identity as the food on our plates, as food historian Abigail Carroll vividly demonstrates in Three Squares. Reaching back to colonial America, when settlers... More Info

Consider the Fork

Basic Books (AZ) | February 24, 2018 | 327 pages
Traces the history of cooking through a series of engaging cultural anecdotes while demonstrating how technological innovations ranging from the mortar and pestle to the microwave have shaped how and what humans eat.  More Info


Basic Books | October 25, 2006 | 302 pages
Chronicles the life of Huey P. Newton, discussing his childhood in poverty, involvement in the civil rights movement, role as cofounder and leader of the Black Panther Party, and other related topics.  More Info

How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America

Basic Books (AZ) | December 25, 2006 | 236 pages
With a new preface by the author. In the tradition of Backlash and The Morning After, and in a political climate where Roe v. Wade is in serious jeopardy, a young activist reveals that the Pro-Life Movement's real agenda is a war on contraception, family planning, and sexual freedom.  More Info

The Science of Evil

Basic Books (AZ) | September 4, 2012 | 272 pages
An award-winning British researcher with an extensive background in psychology and autism examines the lack of empathy common among a number of borderline personality disorders and discusses the social and environmental factors that can erode empathy and increase human cruelty.  More Info

The Haves and the Have-Nots

Basic Books (AZ) | August 7, 2012 | 258 pages
A leading economist at the World Bank's research division traces the history of financial inequality as reflected in famous stories, analyzing such examples as the monetary disparities between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy and the assets of wealthy ancient Romans compared to today's super-rich.  More Info

Life's Ratchet

Basic Books (AZ) | October 30, 2012 | 288 pages
A physicist describes how life emerges from the random motion of atoms through sophisticated cellular machinery and describes the long quest to determine the true nature of life from ancient Greece to the study of modern nanotechnology. 20,000 first printing.  More Info

Letters to a Young Activist

Basic Books (AZ) | July 31, 2012 | 192 pages
A social activist considers the spirit of activism, the guiding principles that govern today's activists, the changing nature of idealism, and the positive potential of the future.  More Info

Alone Together

Basic Books (AZ) | October 2, 2012 | 384 pages
A wake-up call from a cyber-expert: our use of technology is fueling disturbing levels of isolation, leaving us incapable of distinguishing between true human connection and digital communication  More Info