Conducts a definitive study of the social structure and symbiotic relationships of termites, social wasps, bees, and ants.
This is a book about the mystery and the passion, the imagination, religion, and poetry, the philosophy, the intellectual flights—and, above all, the people—that have created the science of astronomy, from Thales of Miletus predicting eclipses in the sixth century B.C. to today’s scientists probing the cosmic significance of the mysterious “black holes” discovered in 1970. With authority and charm, the distinguished Harvard astronomer Charles A. Whitney here re-creates the lives and temperaments of the great astronomers and retraces the ingenious arguments, the feats of observation and deduction, and the leaps of intuition by which they have gradually unveiled a picture of the universe and have brought us to an understanding of our own planet’s place in it.
The narratives in this book are of journeys made in three wildernesses – on a coastal island, in a Western mountain range, and on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The four men portrayed here have different relationships to their environment, and they encounter each other on mountain trails, in forests and rapids, sometimes with reserve, sometimes with friendliness, sometimes fighting hard across a philosophical divide.
A classic chronicle of America’s reach for greatness in the midst of the Cold War, Of a Fire on the Moon compiles the reportage Mailer published between 1969 and 1970 in Life magazine: gripping firsthand dispatches from inside NASA’s clandestine operations in Houston and Cape Kennedy; technical insights into the magnitude of their awe-inspiring feat; and prescient meditations that place the event in human context as only Mailer could.
Photographs and commentary explore the face of the ocean’s floor, its geographical characteristics and animal life.
Examines the medical, moral, and social conditions prevailing at the time in order to understand why America embraced Freud’s psychoanalytic theories.
From Chapter One:
This book . . . begins with the ecosphere, the setting in which civilization has done its great—and terrible—deeds. Then it moves to a description of some of the damage we have done to the ecosphere—to the air, the water, the soil. However, by now such horror stories of environmental destruction are familiar, even tiresome. Much less clear is what we need to learn from them, and so I have chosen less to shed tears for our past mistakes than to try to understand them. Most of this book is an effort to discover which human acts have broken the circle of life, and why. I trace the environmental crisis from its overt manifestations in the ecosphere to the ecological stresses which they reflect, to the faults in productive technology—and in its scientific background—that generate these stresses, and finally to the economic, social, and political forces which have driven us down this self-destructive course. All this in the hope—and expectation—that once we understand the origins of the environmental crisis, we can begin to manage the huge undertaking of surviving it.
Recipient of the John Burroughs Medal.