Jean Piaget (1896-1980)
Swiss psychologist known for his work on child development. Piaget’s theory of cognitive development and epistemological view are together called “genetic epistemology”.
- Play, Dreams and Imitation in Childhood An analysis of early child development through the various forms of imitation, symbolic play, and cognitive representation
- The Moral Judgment of the Child (1932) This seminal book by this century’s most important development psychologist chronicles the evolution of children’s moral thinking from preschool to adolescence, tracing the concepts of lying, cheating, adult authority, punishment, and responsibility, and offering important insights into how they learn — or fail to learn — the difference between right and wrong.
Carl Rogers (1902–1987)
American psychologist and among the founders of the humanistic approach to psychology.
- A Way of Being (1980). A profound and deeply personal collection of essays by renowned psychologist Carl Rogers. The late Carl Rogers, founder of the humanistic psychology movement and father of client-centered therapy, based his life’s work on his fundamental belief in the human potential for growth. A Way of Being was written in the early 1980s, near the end of Carl Rogers’s career, and serves as a coda to his classic On Becoming a Person. More philosophical than his earlier writings, it traces his professional and personal development and ends with a prophetic call for a more humane future.
- On Becoming a Person (1961). In this book one of America’s most distinguished psychologists describes his experiences in helping people to discover the path to personal growth through an understanding of their own limitations and potential. What is personal growth? Under what conditions is it possible? How can one person help another? What is creativity, and how can it be fostered? These are some of the issues raised, which challenge many concepts of traditional psychology.
Henri Ellenberger (1905-1993)
- The Discovery Of The Unconscious : The History And Evolution Of Dynamic Psychiatry (1970). This classic work is a monumental, integrated view of man’s search for an understanding of the inner reaches of the mind. In an account that is both exhaustive and exciting, the distinguished psychiatrist and author demonstrates the long chain of development,through the exorcists, magnetists, and hypnotists,that led to the fruition of dynamic psychiatry in the psychological systems of Janet, Freud, Adler, and Jung. (Amazon:US, UK, CA)
- Existence: A new dimension in psychiatry and psychology (1958). Since its publication in 1958, Existence has been regarded as the most important, complete and lucid account of the existentialist approach to psychology. From the works of the leading spokesmen of the existential analytical movement, the editors have selected classic case histories and other writings to define the new approach which seeks to understand mental illness, in the words of Rollo May, “…not as deviations from the conceptual yardstick of this or that psychiatrist…but as deviations in the structure of the particular patient’s existence, the disruptions of his condition humaine.”
Carl Jung (1875–1961)
Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology.
- Modern Man in Search of a Soul (1933). A provocative and enlightening look at spiritual unease and its contribution to the void in modern civilization. Considered by many to be one of the most important books in the field of psychology, Modern Man in Search of a Soul is a comprehensive introduction to the thought of Carl Gustav Jung. In this book, Jung examines some of the most contested and crucial areas in the field of analytical psychology, including dream analysis, the primitive unconscious, and the relationship between psychology and religion. Additionally, Jung looks at the differences between his theories and those of Sigmund Freud, providing a valuable basis for anyone interested in the fundamentals of psychoanalysis.
- Answer to Job The unique importance of his work lies rather in his discovery and treatment of religious, or potentially religious, factors in his investigation into the unconscious as a whole and in his general therapeutic practice. In Answer to Job, first published in Zurich in 1952, Jung employs the familiar language of theological discourse. Such terms as “God,” “wisdom,” and “evil” are the touchstones of his argument. And yet, Answer to Job, perhaps Jung’s most controversial work, is not an essay in theology as much as it is an examination of the symbolic role that theological concepts play in a person’s psychic life.
- Aion: Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self (1951) The central theme of the volume is the symbolic representation of the psychic totality through the concept of the Self, whose traditional historical equivalent is the figure of Christ. Jung demonstrates his thesis by an investigation of the Allegoria Christi, especially the fish symbol, but also of Gnostic and alchemical symbolism, which he treats as phenomena of cultural assimilation. The first four chapters, on the ego, the shadow, and the anima and animus, provide a valuable summation of these key concepts in Jung’s system of psychology.
- Psychology: East and West (1940) In this book, Dr. Jung, who has been the author of some of the most provocative hypotheses in modern psychology, describes what he regards as an authentic religious function in the unconscious mind. Using a wealth of material from ancient and medieval gnostic, alchemistic, and occultistic literature, he discusses the religious symbolism of unconscious processes and the possible continuity of religious forms that have appeared and reappeared through the centuries.
- Symbols of Transformation (1967). Jung said that book: “laid down a programme to be followed for the next few decades of my life.” It covered many and varied fields of study, including among others: psychiatry, psychoanalysis, ethnology and comparative religion. It became a standard work and was translated into French, Dutch and Italian as well as English. Its somewhat misleading title in English was The Psychology of the Unconscious. Jung later said “it was the explosion of all those psychic contents which could find no room, no breathing space, in the constricting atmosphere of Freudian psychology…. It was an attempt, only partially successful, to create a wider setting for medical psychology and to bring the whole of the psychic phenomena within its purview.”
- Mysterium Coniunctionis (1963). Mysterium Coniunctionis was Jung’s last work of book length and gives a final account of his lengthy researches in alchemy. It was Jung’s empirical discovery that certain key problems of modern man were prefigures in what t he alchemists called their ‘art’ or ‘process’. Jung maintained that ‘the world of alchemical symbols does not belong to the rubbish heap of the past, but stands in a very real and living relationship to our most recent discoveries concerning the psychology of the unconscious The Journal of Analytical Psychology said of this book: “What Jung has to convey is so truly original and so far ranging in its implications that I suspect this book will be a real challenge even to those most psychologically sophisticated. What he here presents in rich and documented detail can perhaps best be described as an anatomy of the objective psyche.”
- Psychology and Alchemy 1944 Alchemy is central to Jung’s hypothesis of the collective unconscious. In this volume he begins with an outline of the process and aims of psychotherapy, and then moves on to work out the analogies between alchemy, Christian dogma and symbolism and his own understanding of the analytic process. Introducing the basic concepts of alchemy, Jung reminds us of the dual nature of alchemy, comprising both the chemical process and a parallel mystical component. He also discusses the seemingly deliberate mystification of the alchemists. Finally, in using the alchemical process as providing insights into individuation, Jung emphasises the importance of alchemy in relating to us the transcendent nature of the psyche.
- The Symbolic Life ‘Collected Works, The Symbolic Life’ has 160 items representative of the author’s numerous interests, his wide circle of professional & personal acquaintance, & his inquiring mind. Its contents span 60 years; they include forewords to books by pupils & colleagues, replies to journalistic questionnaires, encyclopedia articles, occasional addresses & letters on technical subjects.
- Two Essays on Analytical Psychology (1953). This volume has become known as perhaps the best introduction to Jung’s work. In these famous essays. “The Relations between the Ego and the Unconscious”and “On the Psychology of the Unconscious,” he presented the essential core of his system. Historically, they mark the end of Jung’s intimate association with Freud and sum up his attempt to integrate the psychological schools of Freud and Adler into a comprehensive framework.
- Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious (1969) Essays which state the fundamentals of Jung’s psychological system: “On the Psychology of the Unconscious” & “The Relations Between the Ego & the Unconscious,” with their original versions in an appendix
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
- The Interpretation of Dreams (1899). Freud’s discovery that the dream is the means by which the unconscious can be explored is undoubtedly the most revolutionary step forward in the entire history of psychology. Dreams, according to his theory, represent the hidden fulfillment of our unconscious wishes.
- An Outline of Psychoanalysis (1938)“According to the prevailing view human sexual life consists essentially in an endeavor to bring one’s own genitals into contact with those of someone of the opposite sex.”
Erich Neumann (1905 – 1960)
- The Origins and History of Consciousness The first of Erich Neumann’s works to be translated into English, this eloquent book draws on a full range of world mythology to show that individual consciousness undergoes the same archetypal stages of development as has human consciousness as a whole. Neumann, one of Jung’s most creative students and a renowned practitioner of analytical psychology in his own right, shows how the stages begin and end with the symbol of the Uroboros, or tail-eating serpent. The intermediate stages are projected in the universal myths of the World Creation, Great Mother, Separation of the World Parents, Birth of the Hero, Slaying of the Dragon, Rescue of the Captive, and Transformation and Deification of the Hero. Throughout the sequence the Hero is the evolving ego consciousness.
- The Great Mother examines how the Feminine has been experienced and expressed in many cultures from prehistory to our own time. Appearing as goddess and demon, gate and pillar, garden and tree, hovering sky and containing vessel, the Feminine is seen as an essential factor in the dialectical relation of individual consciousness, symbolized by the child, to the ungraspable matrix, symbolized by the Great Mother.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918–2008)
- The Gulag Archipelago Drawing on his own incarceration and exile, as well as on evidence from more than 200 fellow prisoners and Soviet archives, Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn reveals the entire apparatus of Soviet repression — the state within the state that ruled all-powerfully.Through truly Shakespearean portraits of its victims — men, women, and children — we encounter secret police operations, labor camps and prisons; the uprooting or extermination of whole populations, the welcome that awaited Russian soldiers who had been German prisoners of war. Yet we also witness the astounding moral courage of the incorruptible, who, defenseless, endured great brutality and degradation. The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956 — a grisly indictment of a regime, fashioned here into a veritable literary miracle — has now been updated with a new introduction that includes the fall of the Soviet Union and Solzhenitsyn’s move back to Russia.
- One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich First published in the Soviet journal Novy Mir in 1962, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovichstands as a classic of contemporary literature. The story of labor-camp inmate Ivan Denisovich Shukhov, it graphically describes his struggle to maintain his dignity in the face of communist oppression. An unforgettable portrait of the entire world of Stalin’s forced work camps, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovichis one of the most extraordinary literary documents to have emerged from the Soviet Union and confirms Solzhenitsyn’s stature as “a literary genius whose talent matches that of Dosotevsky, Turgenev, Tolstoy” — Harrison Salisbury
- The First Circle (released in 1968)Soviet Union, Semi-autobiographical novel Set in Moscow during a three-day period in December 1949, ‘The First Circle’ is the story of the prisoner Gleb Nerzhin, a brilliant mathematician. At the age of thirty-one, Nerzhin has survived the war years on the German front and the postwar years in a succession of Russian prisons and labor camps. His story is interwoven with the stories of a dozen fellow prisoners — each an unforgettable human being — from the prison janitor to the tormented Marxist intellectual who designed the Dnieper dam; of the reigning elite and their conflicted subordinates; and of the women, wretched or privileged, bound to these men. A landmark of Soviet literature, ‘The First Circle’ is as powerful today as it was when it was first published, nearly thirty years ago.
- Cancer Ward. Winner of the 1970 Nobel Prize in Literature. A largely autobiographical account of a group of people who pass through the cancer wing of a provincial Soviet hospital in 1955, it is a vivid portrait of individuals in isolation whose collective concern is disease. Through the stories of patients and doctors, political prisoners and bureaucrats, the young and the old, it probes the fears and the hopes of an entire cross-section of Soviet society. Cancer Ward has been seen as a metaphor for the malignancy afflicting the Russian nation, but the moral and ethical questions it raises-about love and conscience, life and death, spiritual sorrows and triumphs-rise above their immediate political context to assure universal significance.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821–1881) Literary movement: Realism
- Notes from Underground (1864). Dostoevsky’s most revolutionary novel, Notes from Underground marks the dividing line between nineteenth- and twentieth-century fiction, and between the visions of self each century embodied. One of the most remarkable characters in literature, the unnamed narrator is a former official who has defiantly withdrawn into an underground existence. In full retreat from society, he scrawls a passionate, obsessive, self-contradictory narrative that serves as a devastating attack on social utopianism and an assertion of man’s essentially irrational nature. “It is clear to me now that, owing to my unbounded vanity and to the high standard I set for myself, I often looked at myself with furious discontent, which verged on loathing, and so I inwardly attributed the same feeling to everyone.”
- Crime and Punishment (1866). The poverty-stricken Raskolnikov, a talented student, devises a theory about extraordinary men being above the law, since in their brilliance they think “new thoughts” and so contribute to society. He then sets out to prove his theory by murdering a vile, cynical old pawnbroker and her sister.The act brings Raskolnikov into contact with his own buried conscience and with two characters — the deeply religious Sonia, who has endured great suffering, and Porfiry, the intelligent and discerning official who is charged with investigating the murder — both of whom compel Raskolnikov to feel the split in his nature. Dostoevsky provides readers with a suspenseful, penetrating psychological analysis that goes beyond the crime — which in the course of the novel demands drastic punishment — to reveal something about the human condition: The more we intellectualize, the more imprisoned we become.
- The Idiot (1869). Returning to Russia from a sanitarium in Switzerland, the Christ-like epileptic Prince Myshkin finds himself enmeshed in a tangle of love, torn between two women — the notorious kept woman Nastasya and the pure Aglaia — both involved, in turn, with the corrupt, money-hungry Ganya. In the end, Myshkin’s honesty, goodness, and integrity are shown to be unequal to the moral emptiness of those around him. In her revision of the Garnett translation, Anna Brailovsky has corrected inaccuracies wrought by Garnett’s drastic anglicization of the novel, restoring as much as possible the syntactical structure of the original.
- The Demons (1871). Inspired by the true story of a political murder that horrified Russians in 1869, Fyodor Dostoevsky conceived of Demons as a “novel-pamphlet” in which he would say everything about the plague of materialist ideology that he saw infecting his native land. What emerged was a prophetic and ferociously funny masterpiece of ideology and murder in pre-revolutionary Russia.
- The Karamazov Brothers (1880). “Heartily recommended to any reader who wishes to come as close to Dostoevsky’s Russian as it is possible.” ―Joseph Frank, Princeton University. The last of Dostoevsky’s finest works, telling the story of the four Karamazov brothers — each with his own distinct personality and desires. Exploring the secret depths of humanity’s struggles and sins, Dostoevsky unfolds a grand epic which attempts to venture into mankind’s darkest heart, and grasp the true meaning of existence.. “Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”“I love mankind, he said, “but I find to my amazement that the more I love mankind as a whole, the less I love man in particular.”“The more stupid one is, the closer one is to reality. The more stupid one is, the clearer one is. Stupidity is brief and artless, while intelligence squirms and hides itself. Intelligence is unprincipled, but stupidity is honest and straightforward.”
Theodore Dalrymple (1949-)
- Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass (2001). Here is a searing account-probably the best yet published-of life in the underclass and why it persists as it does. Theodore Dalrymple, a British psychiatrist who treats the poor in a slum hospital and a prison in England, has seemingly seen it all. Yet in listening to and observing his patients, he is continually astonished by the latest twist of depravity that exceeds even his own considerable experience. Dalrymple’s key insight in Life at the Bottom is that long-term poverty is caused not by economics but by a dysfunctional set of values, one that is continually reinforced by an elite culture searching for victims. This culture persuades those at the bottom that they have no responsibility for their actions and are not the molders of their own lives. Drawn from the pages of the cutting-edge political and cultural quarterly City Journal, Dalrymple’s book draws upon scores of eye-opening, true-life vignettes that are by turns hilariously funny, chillingly horrifying, and all too revealing-sometimes all at once. And Dalrymple writes in prose that transcends journalism and achieves the quality of literature.
- Our Culture, What’s Left of It : The Mandarins and the Masse (2005) This new collection of essays by the author of Life at the Bottom bears the unmistakable stamp of Theodore Dalrymple’s bracingly clearsighted view of the human condition. In these pieces, Dr. Dalrymple ranges over literature and ideas, from Shakespeare to Marx, from the breakdown of Islam to the legalization of drugs. Here is a book that restores our faith in the central importance of literature and criticism to our civilization. “Theodore Dalrymple is the best doctor-writer since William Carlos Williams.”-Peggy Noonan. Includes “When Islam Breaks Down,” named the best journal article of 2004 by David Brooks of the New York Times.
Ken Kesey (1935-2001)
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962). Like George Orwell and Philip Wylie, Ken Kesey is concerned with man’s battle to be himself in a world of increasing controls, the battle of joy and freedom against a society which fosters guilt and shame. His first novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, tells the story of a struggle between a man and a woman for the spirits and hearts of a group of people who have been defeated by the world.
- Sometimes a Great Notion (1964). Following the astonishing success of his first novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken Kesey wrote what Charles Bowden calls “one of the few essential books written by an American in the last half century.” This wild-spirited tale tells of a bitter strike that rages through a small lumber town along the Oregon coast. Bucking that strike out of sheer cussedness are the Stampers. Out of the Stamper family’s rivalries and betrayals Ken Kesey has crafted a novel with the mythic impact of Greek tragedy.
- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Hunter S. Thompson (1971). Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is the best chronicle of drug-soaked, addle-brained, rollicking good times ever committed to the printed page. It is also the tale of a long weekend road trip that has gone down in the annals of American pop culture as one of the strangest journeys ever undertaken.
- Wuthering Heights Emily Bronte (1847). Wuthering Heights is a wild, passionate story of the intense and almost demonic love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a foundling adopted by Catherine’s father. After Mr Earnshaw’s death, Heathcliff is bullied and humiliated by Catherine’s brother Hindley and wrongly believing that his love for Catherine is not reciprocated, leaves Wuthering Heights, only to return years later as a wealthy and polished man. He proceeds to exact a terrible revenge for his former miseries.
- Flowers for Algernon Daniel Keyes The classic novel about a daring experiment in human intelligence Charlie Gordon, IQ 68, is a floor sweeper and the gentle butt of everyone’s jokes — until an experiment in the enhancement of human intelligence turns him into a genius. But then Algernon, the mouse whose triumphal experimental tranformation preceded his, fades and dies, and Charlie has to face the possibility that his salvation was only temporary.
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960). A widowed lawyer (Gregory Peck) with two bright children (Mary Badham, Phillip Alford) defends a black man falsely accused of raping a white woman in 1930s Alabama.
- The Master and Margarita Mikhail Bulgakov 1967. Mikhail Bulgakov’s devastating satire of Soviet life was written during the darkest period of Stalin’s regime. Combining two distinct yet interwoven parts — one set in ancient Jerusalem, one in contemporary Moscow — the novel veers from moods of wild theatricality with violent storms, vampire attacks, and a Satanic ball; to such somber scenes as the meeting of Pilate and Yeshua, and the murder of Judas in the moonlit garden of Gethsemane; to the substanceless, circus-like reality of Moscow. Its central characters, Woland (Satan) and his retinue — including the vodka-drinking black cat, Behemoth; the poet, Ivan Homeless; Pontius Pilate; and a writer known only as The Master, and his passionate companion, Margarita — exist in a world that blends fantasy and chilling realism, an artful collage of grotesqueries, dark comedy, and timeless ethical questions.
- The Horse’s Mouth by Joyce Cary (1944). The Horse’s Mouth follows the adventures of Gulley Jimson, an artist who would exploit his friends and acquaintances to earn a quid, told from his point of view, just as the other books in the First Trilogy tell events from their central characters’ different points of view. Cary’s novel also uses Gulley’s unique perspective to comment on the social and political events of the time. “To forgive is wisdom, to forget is genius. And easier. Because it’s true. It’s a new world every heart beat.”
- The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence (1964). “I can’t change what’s happened to me in my life, or make what’s not occurred take place. But I can’t say I like it, or accept it, or believe it’s for the best. I don’t and never shall, not even if I’m damned for it.”
- I, Claudius by Robert Graves (1934). Set in the first century A.D. in Rome and written as an autobiographical memoir, this colorful story of the life of the Roman emperor Claudius stands as one of the modern classics of historical fiction.
- The House of God by Samuel Shem (1978). The hilarious novel of the healing arts that reveals everything your doctor never wanted you to know
- The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe (1968). Tom Wolfe’s much-discussed kaleidoscopic non-fiction novel chronicles the tale of novelist Ken Kesey and his band of Merry Pranksters. In the 1960s, Kesey led a group of psychedelic sympathizers around the country in a painted bus, presiding over LSD-induced “acid tests” all along the way. Long considered one of the greatest books about the history of the hippies, Wolfe’s ability to research like a reporter and simultaneously evoke the hallucinogenic indulgence of the era ensures that this book, written in 1967, will live long in the counter-culture canon of American literature.
- The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else Hernando De Soto. “The hour of capitalism’s greatest triumph,” writes Hernando de Soto, “is, in the eyes of four-fifths of humanity, its hour of crisis.” In The Mystery of Capital, the world-famous Peruvian economist takes up the question that, more than any other, is central to one of the most crucial problems the world faces today: Why do some countries succeed at capitalism while others fail?In strong opposition to the popular view that success is determined by cultural differences, de Soto finds that it actually has everything to do with the legal structure of property and property rights. Every developed nation in the world at one time went through the transformation from predominantly informal, extralegal ownership to a formal, unified legal property system. In the West we’ve forgotten that creating this system is also what allowed people everywhere to leverage property into wealth. This persuasive book will revolutionize our understanding of capital and point the way to a major transformation of the world economy.
- Genius Hans Eysenck (1995) This text presents a novel theory of creativity that is based on the linkage between the psychopathological characteristics of creative persons and geniuses. It traces creativity from DNA through personality to special cognitive processes and the qualities of genius.
- Systemantics: How Systems Work and Especially How They Fail John Gall (1975). Dr. Gall observes that, instead, system failure is an intrinsic feature of systems. He thereby derives the term ‘General Systemantics’ in deference to the notion of a sweeping theory of system failure, but attributed to an intrinsic feature based on laws of system behavior.
- Little Science, Big Science Derek J. de Solla Price. Little Science, Big Science is a book of collected lectures given by Derek J. De Solla Price, first published in 1963. It Examines modern science, looks at scientific literature, and discusses the growth of science, invisible colleges, and the process of discovery
- The Denial of Death Ernest Becker. Winner of the Pulitzer prize in 1974 and the culmination of a life’s work, The Denial of Death is Ernest Becker’s brilliant and impassioned answer to the “why” of human existence. In bold contrast to the predominant Freudian school of thought, Becker tackles the problem of the vital lie — man’s refusal to acknowledge his own mortality. In doing so, he sheds new light on the nature of humanity and issues a call to life and its living that still resonates more than twenty years after its writing.
- The Rise of Statistical Thinking 1820–1900 Theodore M. Porter (1986). “An outstanding feature of Mr. Porter’s book is its depiction of the interrelationships between statistics and certain intellectual and social movements. . . . [The book] is unfailingly interesting”. — Morris Kline, New York Times Book Review “The Rise of Statistical Thinking avoids technicalities and concentrates on the flow of ideas between the natural and social sciences. It emphasizes the philosophical issues raised by novel statistical methods, and how they affected the subject’s development”. – Ian Stewart, Nature
- Tolstoy Henri Troyat (1965) – Troyat was a French author, biographer, historian and novelist. Leo Tolstoy embodies the most extraordinary contradictions. He was a wealthy aristocrat who preached the virtues of poverty and the peasant life, a misogynist who wrote Anna Karenina, and a supreme writer who declared, “Literature is rubbish.” From Tolstoy’s famously bad marriage to his enormously successful career, Troyat presents a brilliant portrait that reads like an epic novel written by Tolstoy himself.
- Stalin: The First In-depth Biography Based on Explosive New Documents from Russia’s Secret Archives Edvard Radzinsky (1995) – Granted privileged access to Russia’s secret archives, Edvard Radzinsky has broken down the iron curtain of myth, secrecy and lies that has surrounded Stalin’s life and career, painting a picture of the Soviet strongman as more calculating, ruthless and blood-crazed than has ever been described or imagined.
Nikos Kazantzakis (1883-1957)
- The Fratricides The Fratricides is about internecine strife in a village in the Epirus during the Greek civil war of the late 1940s. Many of the villagers, including Captain Drakos, son of the local priest Father Yanaros, have taken to the mountains and joined the Communist rebels. It is Holy Week and, with murder, death and destruction everywhere, Father Yanaros feels that he himself is bearing the sins of the world.
- Zorba the GreekThe classic novel Zorba the Greek is the story of two men, their incredible friendship, and the importance of living life to the fullest. Zorba, a Greek working man, is a larger-than-life character, energetic and unpredictable. He accompanies the unnamed narrator to Crete to work in the narrator’s lignite mine, and the pair develops a singular relationship. The two men couldn’t be further apart: The narrator is cerebral, modest, and reserved; Zorba is unfettered, spirited, and beyond the reins of civility. Over the course of their journey, he becomes the narrator’s greatest friend and inspiration and helps him to appreciate the joy of living.
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900)
German philosopher of the late 19th century who challenged the foundations of Christianity and traditional morality.
- Beyond Good and Evil : Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future After kicking open the doors to twentieth-century philosophy in Thus Spake Zarathustra, Friedrich Nietzsche refined his ideal of the superman with the 1886 publication of Beyond Good and Evil.Conventional morality is a sign of slavery, Nietzsche maintains, and the superman goes beyond good and evil in action, thought, and creation. Nietzsche especially targets what he calls a “slave morality” that fosters herdlike quiescence and stigmatizes the “highest human types.” In this pathbreaking work, Nietzsche’s philosophical and literary powers are at their height: with devastating irony and flashing wit he gleefully dynamites centuries of accumulated conventional wisdom in metaphysics, morals, and psychology, clearing a path for such twentieth-century innovators as Thomas Mann, André Gide, Sigmund Freud, George Bernard Shaw, André Malraux, and Jean-Paul Sartre, all of whom openly acknowledged their debt to him.
- The Will to Power Nietzsche’s notebooks, kept by him during his most productive years, offer a fascinating glimpse into the workshop and mind of a great thinker, and compare favorably with the notebooks of Gide and Kafka, Camus and Wittgenstein. The Will to Power, compiled from the notebooks, is one of the most famous books of the past hundred years, but few have studied it. Here, at last, is the first critical edition in any language.
- On the Genealogy of Morals On the Genealogy of Morals (1887) is a book about the history of ethics and about interpretation. Nietzsche rewrites the former as a history of cruelty, exposing the central values of the Judaeo-Christian and liberal traditions — compassion, equality, justice — as the product of a brutal process of conditioning designed to domesticate the animal vitality of earlier cultures. The result is a book which raises profoundly disquieting issues about the violence of both ethics and interpretation. Nietzsche questions moral certainties by showing that religion and science have no claim to absolute truth, before turning on his own arguments in order to call their very presuppositions into question. The Genealogy is the most sustained of Nietzsche’s later works and offers one of the fullest expressions of his characteristic concerns. This edition places his ideas within the cultural context of his own time and stresses the relevance of his work for a contemporary audience.
- The Antichrist (1895) Phenomenology & Existentialism, Christianity, Jesus, Democracy, Elitism, Morality, Plutocracy, Saint Paul Here is Friedrich Nietzsche’s great masterpiece The Anti-Christ, wherein Nietzsche attacks Christianity as a blight on humanity. This classic is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand Nietzsche and his place within the history of philosophy. “We should not deck out and embellish Christianity: it has waged a war to the death against this higher type of man, it has put all the deepest instincts of this type under its ban, it has developed its concept of evil, of the Evil One himself, out of these instincts-the strong man as the typical reprobate, the ‘outcast among men.’ Christianity has taken the part of all the weak, the low, the botched; it has made an ideal out of antagonism to all the self-preservative instincts of sound life; it has corrupted even the faculties of those natures that are intellectually most vigorous, by representing the highest intellectual values as sinful, as misleading, as full of temptation. The most lamentable example: the corruption of Pascal, who believed that his intellect had been destroyed by original sin, whereas it was actually destroyed by Christianity!” –Friedrich Nietzsche
- The Gay Science Nietzsche called The Gay Science “the most personal of all my books.” It was here that he first proclaimed the death of God — to which a large part of the book is devoted — and his doctrine of the eternal recurrence. Most of the book was written just before Thus Spoke Zarathustra, the last part five years later, after Beyond Good and Evil. We encounter Zarathustra in these pages as well as many of Nietzsche’s most interesting philosophical ideas and the largest collection of his own poetry that he himself ever published.
After Buddha was dead, people
showed his shadow for centuries afterwards in a
cave, — an immense frightful shadow. God is dead:
but as the human race is constituted, there will
perhaps be caves for millenniums yet, in which
people will show his shadow. — And we — we have
still to overcome his shadow! page §108
Northrop Frye (1912–1991)
- The Great Code (1982). An examination of the influence of the Bible on Western art and literature and on the Western creative imagination in general. Frye persuasively presents the Bible as a unique text distinct from all other epics and sacred writings. “No one has set forth so clearly, so subtly, or with such cogent energy as Frye the literary aspect of our biblical heritage” (New York Times Book Review).
- Words with Power : Being a Second Study of “the Bible and Literature” (1990). Frye continues his exploration, begun in The Great Code, of the influence of Biblical themes and forms of expression on Western literature, with discussions of authors ranging from Chaucer and Shakespeare to Yeats and Eliot. Frye identifies four key elements found in the Bible-the mountain, the garden, the cave, and the furnace-and describes how they recur in later secular writings.
Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910)
Russian writer who primarily wrote novels and short stories.
- The Kingdom of God Is Within You. Banned in Russia, Tolstoy’s The Kingdom of God Is Within Youwas deemed a threat to church and state. The culmination of a lifetime’s thought, it espouses a commitment to Jesus’s message of turning the other cheek. In a bold and original manner, Tolstoy shows his readers clearly why they must reject violence of any sort — even that sanctioned by the state or the church — and urges them to look within themselves to find the answers to questions of morality.
- A Confession. A Confession — an essay by Leo Tolstoy on his religious thoughts — shows the great author in process of looking for answers to profound questions that trouble all who take them on: “What will come of my life?” and “What is the meaning of life?” these are questions whose answers were an absolute requirement for Tolstoy. In the course of the essay, Tolstoy shows different attempts to find answers on the examples of science, philosophy, eastern wisdom and the opinions of his fellow novelists. . . . finding no workable solution in any of these, Tolstoy recognizes the deep religious convictions of ordinary people as containing the key to true answers.
World War II
- Man’s Search for Meaning Viktor Frankl (1946) – Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of others he treated later in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Frankl’s theory-known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos (“meaning”)-holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful. “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”“Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.”“But there was no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bore witness that a man had the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer.”“An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behavior. “One of the outstanding contributions to psychological thought in the last fifty years.” — Carl R. Rogers (1959)v
- The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich William L. Shirer (1960) – The famed foreign correspondent and historian William L. Shirer, who had watched and reported on the Nazis since 1925, spent five and a half years sifting through this massive documentation. The result is a monumental study that has been widely acclaimed as the definitive record of one of the most frightening chapters in the history of mankind. This worldwide bestseller has been acclaimed as the definitive book on Nazi Germany; it is a classic work. The accounts of how the United States got involved and how Hitler used Mussolini and Japan are astonishing, and the coverage of the war-from Germany’s early successes to her eventual defeat-is must reading
- Ordinary Men : Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland Christopher Browning 1992 – Ordinary Men has been admired all over the world and is now published in the UK for the first time. It takes as its basis the detailed records of one squad from the Nazis’ extermination groups and explores in detail its composition, its actions, andthe methods by which it was trained to perform acts of genocide on an industrial scale. He introduces us to cheerful, friendly, ordinary men who killed without hesitation or apparent remorse for years on end, in docile obedience to an authority theyhappily accepted as legitimate. It is a valuable corrective to the idea of German uniqueness and offers a much more chilling picture of human beings as avidly suggestible and desperate for an organising purpose in their lives, however disgusting.
- The Rape of Nanking : The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II Iris Chang (1997) – In December 1937, the Japanese army swept into the ancient city of Nanking. Within weeks, more than 300,000 Chinese civilians and soldiers were systematically raped, tortured, and murdered, a death toll exceeding that of the atomic blasts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. Using extensive interviews with survivors and newly discovered documents, Iris Chang has written the definitive history of this horrifying episode.
- The Painted Bird Jerzy Kosinski – Originally published in 1965, The Painted Bird established Jerzy Kosinski as a major literary figure. Called by the Los Angeles Times “one of the most imposing novels of the decade,” it was eventually translated into more than thirty languages. A harrowing story that follows the wanderings of a boy abandoned by his parents during World War II, The Painted Bird is a dark story that examines the proximity of terror and savagery to innocence and love.
Aldous Huxley (1894–1963)
- Brave New World 1932. Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs, all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone harbouring an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations, where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress “Chronic remorse, as all the moralists are agreed, is a most undesirable sentiment. If you have behaved badly, repent, make what amends you can and address yourself to the task of behaving better next time. On no account brood over your wrongdoing. Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean.
- The Doors of Perception1954. As only he can, Aldous Huxley explores the mind’s remote frontiers and the unmapped areas of human consciousness. These two astounding essays are among the most profound studies of the effects of mind-expanding drugs written in this century. “The course of every intellectual, if he pursues his journey long and unflinchingly enough, ends in the obvious, from which the non-intellectuals have never stirred.”
- Island. In Island, his last novel, Huxley transports us to a Pacific island where, for 120 years, an ideal society has flourished. Inevitably, this island of bliss attracts the envy and enmity of the surrounding world. A conspiracy is underway to take over Pala, and events begin to move when an agent of the conspirators, a newspaperman named Faranby, is shipwrecked there. What Faranby doesn’t expect is how his time with the people of Pala will revolutionize all his values and — to his amazement — give him hope.
- Point Counterpoint 1928. Aldous Huxley’s lifelong concern with the dichotomy between passion and reason finds its fullest expression both thematically and formally in his masterpiece Point Counter Point. By presenting a vision of life in which diverse aspects of experience are observed simultaneously, Huxley characterizes the symptoms of “the disease of the modern man” in the manner of a composer — themes and characters are repeated, altered slightly, and played off one another in a tone that is at once critical and sympathetic.
Ernest Hemingway (1899–1961)
- A Farewell To Arms. In 1918 Ernest Hemingway went to war, to the war to end all wars. He volunteered for ambulance service in Italy, was wounded, and twice decorated. Out of his experiences came A Farewell to Arms. Hemingway’s description of war is unforgettable. He recreates the fear, the comradeship, the courage of his young American volunteer, and the men and women he meets in Italy with total conviction. But A Farewell to Arms is not only a novel of war. In it, Hemingway has also created a love story of immense drama and uncompromising passion.
- For Whom the Bell Tolls. In 1937 Ernest Hemingway traveled to Spain to cover the civil war there for the North American Newspaper Alliance. Three years later he completed the greatest novel to emerge from “the good fight”, For Whom the Bell Tolls. The story of Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades attached to an antifascist guerilla unit in the mountains of Spain, it tells of loyalty and courage, love and defeat, and the tragic death of an ideal. In his portrayal of Jordan’s love for the beautiful Maria and his superb account of El Sordo’s last stand, in his brilliant travesty of La Pasionaria and his unwillingness to believe in blind faith, Hemingway surpasses his achievement in The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms to create a work at once rare and beautiful, strong and brutal, compassionate, moving and wise. “If the function of a writer is to reveal reality,” Maxwell Perkins wrote to Hemingway after reading the manuscript, “no one ever so completely performed it.” Greater in power, broader in scope, and more intensely emotional than any of the author’s previous works, it stands as one of the best war novels of all time.
- The Old Man and the Sea. It is the story of an old Cuban fisherman and his supreme ordeal: a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. Using the simple, powerful language of a fable, Hemingway takes the timeless themes of courage in the face of defeat and personal triumph won from loss and transforms them into a magnificent twentieth-century classic.
- The Charterhouse of Parma. Richard Howard’s exuberant and definitive rendition of Stendhal’s stirring tale has brought about the rediscovery of this classic by modern readers. Stendhal narrates a young aristocrat’s adventures in Napoleon’s army and in the court of Parma, illuminating in the process the whole cloth of European history. As Balzac wrote, “Never before have the hearts of princes, ministers, courtiers, and women been depicted like this…one sees perfection in every detail.”
- The Red and the Black. Handsome, ambitious Julien Sorel is determined to rise above his humble provincial origins. Soon realizing that success can only be achieved by adopting the subtle code of hypocrisy by which society operates, he begins to achieve advancement through deceit and self-interest. His triumphant career takes him into the heart of glamorous Parisian society, along the way conquering the gentle, married Madame de Rênal, and the haughty Mathilde. But then Julien commits an unexpected, devastating crime — and brings about his own downfall. The Red and the Black is a lively, satirical portrayal of French society after Waterloo, riddled with corruption, greed and ennui, and Julien — the cold exploiter whose Machiavellian campaign is undercut by his own emotions — is one of the most intriguing characters in European literature.
John Steinbeck (1902–1968)
- East of Eden. ‘There is only one book to a man,’ Steinbeck wrote of East of Eden, his most ambitious novel. Set in the rich farmland of the Salinas Valley, California, this powerful, often brutal novel, follows the intertwined destinies of two families — the Trasks and the Hamiltons — whose generations hopelessly re-enact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel. Here Steinbeck created some of his most memorable characters and explored his most enduring themes: the mystery of identity; the inexplicability of love, and the murderous consequences of love’s absence.
- Of Men and Mice. The compelling story of two outsiders striving to find their place in an unforgiving world.Drifters in search of work, George and his simple-minded friend Lennie have nothing in the world except each other and a dream — a dream that one day they will have some land of their own. Eventually they find work on a ranch in California’s Salinas Valley, but their hopes are doomed as Lennie, struggling against extreme cruelty, misunderstanding and feelings of jealousy, becomes a victim of his own strength. Tackling universal themes such as the friendship of a shared vision, and giving voice to America’s lonely and dispossessed, Of Mice and Men has proved one of Steinbeck’s most popular works, achieving success as a novel, a Broadway play and three acclaimed films.
- The Grapes of Wrath. (1939) First published in 1939, Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize winning epic of the Great Depression chronicles the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and tells the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads, driven from their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into haves and have-nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity.
George Orwell (1903–1950)
English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic whose work is marked by lucid prose, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism and outspoken support of democratic socialism.
- 1984 (1948) Among the seminal texts of the 20th century, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a rare work that grows more haunting as its futuristic purgatory becomes more real. Published in 1949, the book offers political satirist George Orwell’s nightmare vision of a totalitarian, bureaucratic world and one poor stiff’s attempt to find individuality. The brilliance of the novel is Orwell’s prescience of modern life — the ubiquity of television, the distortion of the language — and his ability to construct such a thorough version of hell. Required reading for students since it was published, it ranks among the most terrifying novels ever written.
- The Road to Wigan Pier (1937) A searing account of George Orwell’s experiences of working-class life in the bleak industrial heartlands of Yorkshire and Lancashire, The Road to Wigan Pier is a brilliant and bitter polemic that has lost none of its political impact over time. His graphically unforgettable descriptions of social injustice, slum housing, mining conditions, squalor, hunger and growing unemployment are written with unblinking honesty, fury and great humanity. “One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words ‘Socialism’ and ‘Communism’ draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, ‘Nature Cure’ quack, pacifist, and feminist in England.”
- Animal Farm 1945. As ferociously fresh as it was more than a half century ago, this remarkable allegory of a downtrodden society of overworked, mistreated animals, and their quest to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality is one of the most scathing satires ever published. As we witness the rise and bloody fall of the revolutionary animals, we begin to recognize the seeds of totalitarianism in the most idealistic organization; and in our most charismatic leaders, the souls of our cruelest oppressors.
- Down and Out in Paris and London 1933. This unusual fictional account, in good part autobiographical, narrates without self-pity and often with humor the adventures of a penniless British writer among the down-and-out of two great cities. In the tales of both cities we learn some sobering Orwellian truths about poverty and society. “He was an embittered atheist (the sort of atheist who does not so much disbelieve in God as personally dislike Him), and took a sort of pleasure in thinking that human affairs would never improve.”
- Homage to Catalonia 1938. A firsthand account of the brutal conditions of the Spanish Civil War ‘Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic Socialism as I understand it’. Thus wrote Orwell following his experiences as a militiaman in the Spanish Civil War, chronicled in Homage to Catalonia. Here he brings to bear all the force of his humanity, passion and clarity, describing with bitter intensity the bright hopes and cynical betrayals of that chaotic episode: the revolutionary euphoria of Barcelona, the courage of ordinary Spanish men and women he fought alongside, the terror and confusion of the front, his near-fatal bullet wound and the vicious treachery of his supposed allies. “All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.”
Oliver Sacks (1933–2015)
British neurologist, naturalist, historian of science, and author.
- An Anthropologist on Mars‘An inexhaustible tourist at the farther reaches of the mind, Sacks presents, in sparse, unsentimental prose, the stories of seven of his patients. The result is as rich, vivid and compelling as any collection of short fictional stories’ Independent on Sunday As with his previous bestseller, The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat, in An Anthropologist on Mars Oliver Sacks uses case studies to illustrate the myriad ways in which neurological conditions can affect our sense of self, our experience of the world, and how we relate to those around us. Writing with his trademark blend of scientific rigour and human compassion, he describes patients such as the colour-blind painter or the surgeon with compulsive tics that disappear in the operating theatre; patients for whom disorientation and alienation — but also adaptation — are inescapable facts of life.
- Awakenings. Awakenings — which inspired the major motion picture — is the remarkable story of a group of patients who contracted sleeping-sickness during the great epidemic just after World War I. Frozen for decades in a trance-like state, these men and women were given up as hopeless until 1969, when Dr. Oliver Sacks gave them the then-new drug L-DOPA, which had an astonishing, explosive, “awakening” effect. Dr. Sacks recounts the moving case histories of his patients, their lives, and the extraordinary transformations which went with their reintroduction to a changed world.
- The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat. In his most extraordinary book, “one of the great clinical writers of the twentieth century” (The New York Times) recounts the case histories of patients lost in the bizarre, apparently inescapable world of neurological disorders. Oliver Sacks’s The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat tells the stories of individuals afflicted with fantastic perceptual and intellectual aberrations: patients who have lost their memories and with them the greater part of their pasts; who are no longer able to recognize people and common objects; who are stricken with violent tics and grimaces or who shout involuntary obscenities; whose limbs have become alien; who have been dismissed as retarded yet are gifted with uncanny artistic or mathematical talents.
Raymond Chandler (1888–1959)
- The Big Sleep. “Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid….He is the hero; he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man.” Selected as one of Time Magazine’s All-Time 100 Novels, with the following review: “‘I was neat, clean, shaved and sober, and I didn’t care who knew it. I was everything the well-dressed private detective ought to be.’ This sentence, from the first paragraph of The Big Sleep, marks the last time you can be fully confident that you know what’s going on.
- The Long Goodbye. Marlowe befriends a down on his luck war veteran with the scars to prove it. Then he finds out that Terry Lennox has a very wealthy nymphomaniac wife, who he’s divorced and re-married and who ends up dead. And now Lennox is on the lam and the cops and a crazy gangster are after Marlowe.
- The Neuropsychology of Anxiety Jeffrey Gray and Neil McNaughton (1982). The Neuropsychology of Anxiety first appeared in 1982, quickly establishing itself as a classic work in the psychology and neuroscience literature. It presented an innovative, and at times controversial, theory of anxiety and the brain systems, especially the septo-hippocampal system, that subserve it.
- Affective Neuroscience : The Foundations of Human and Animal Emotions Jaak Panksepp (2004)Some investigators have argued that emotions, especially animal emotions, are illusory concepts outside the realm of scientific inquiry. However, with advances in neurobiology and neuroscience, researchers are demonstrating that this position is wrong as they move closer to a lasting understanding of the biology and psychology of emotion. In Affective Neuroscience, Jaak Panksepp provides the most up-to-date information about the brain-operating systems that organize the fundamental emotional tendencies of all mammals. Presenting complex material in a readable manner, the book offers a comprehensive summary of the fundamental neural sources of human and animal feelings, as well as a conceptual framework for studying emotional systems of the brain. Panksepp approaches emotions from the perspective of basic emotion theory but does not fail to address the complex issues raised by constructionist approaches. These issues include relations to human consciousness and the psychiatric implications of this knowledge. The book includes chapters on sleep and arousal, pleasure and fear systems, the sources of rage and anger, and the neural control of sexuality, as well as the more subtle emotions related to maternal care, social loss, and playfulness. Representing a synthetic integration of vast amounts of neurobehavioral knowledge, including relevant neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and neurochemistry, this book will be one of the most important contributions to understanding the biology of emotions since Darwins The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals.
- The Emotional Brain : The Mysterious Underpinnings of Emotional Life by Joseph E. LeDoux (1998). What happens in our brains to make us feel fear, love, hate, anger, joy? do we control our emotions, or do they control us? Do animals have emotions? How can traumatic experiences in early childhood influence adult behavior, even though we have no conscious memory of them? In The Emotional Brain, Joseph LeDoux investigates the origins of human emotions and explains that many exist as part of complex neural systems that evolved to enable us to survive. Unlike conscious feelings, emotions originate in the brain at a much deeper level, says LeDoux, a leading authority in the field of neural science and one of the principal researchers profiled in Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence. In this provocative book, LeDoux explores the underlying brain mechanisms responsible for our emotions, mechanisms that are only now being revealed. The Emotional Brain presents some fascinating findings about our familiar yet little understood emotions. For example, our brains can detect danger before we even experience the feeling of being afraid. The brain also begins to initiate physical responses (heart palpitations, sweaty palms, muscle tension) before we become aware of an associated feeling of fear. Conscious feelings, says LeDoux, are somewhat irrelevant to the way the emotional brain works. He points out that emotional responses are hard-wired into the brain’s circuitry, but the things that make us emotional are learned through experience. And this may be the key to understanding, even changing, our emotional makeup. Many common psychiatric problems — such as phobias or posttraumatic stress disorder — involve malfunctions in the way emotion systems learn and remember. Understanding how thesemechanisms normally work will have important consequences for how we view ourselves and how we treat emotional disorders
- Brain Architecture: Understanding the Basic Plan Larry SwansonDepending on your point of view the brain is an organ, a machine, a biological computer, or simply the most important component of the nervous system. How does it work as a whole? What are its major parts and how are they interconnected to generate thinking, feelings, and behavior? This book surveys 2,500 years of scientific thinking about these profoundly important questions from the perspective of fundamental architectural principles, and then proposes a new model for the basic plan of neural systems organization based on an explosion of structural data emerging from the neuroanatomy revolution of the 1970’s
- An Ecological Approach to Visual Perception JJ Gibson (1979)This is a book about how we see: the environment around us (its surfaces, their layout, and their colors and textures); where we are in the environment; whether or not we are moving and, if we are, where we are going; what things are good for; how to do things (to thread a needle or drive an automobile); or why things look as they do. The basic assumption is that vision depends on the eye which is connected to the brain. The author suggests that natural vision depends on the eyes in the head on a body supported by the ground, the brain being only the central organ of a complete visual system. When no constraints are put on the visual system, people look around, walk up to something interesting and move around it so as to see it from all sides, and go from one vista to another. That is natural vision — and what this book is about.
- The New Executive Brain : Frontal Lobes in a Complex World Elkhonon Goldberg (2009). Elkhonon Goldberg’s groundbreaking The Executive Brain was a classic of scientific writing, revealing how the frontal lobes command the most human parts of the mind “…develop[s] insights into a variety of conditions and dispositions, including specific brain injuries, drug effects, sex differences, schizophrenia, acttention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and more. An especially informative chapter deals with cognitive rehabilitation, including what can be done to stave off dementia. Goldberg also finds parallels between the evolution of the brain and the fates of political systems, including the collapse of the Soviet Union and the assertion of ethnic identities throughout the world…This is a ruminative book…often laced with revealing anecdotes.” — PsycCRITIQUES
- Mephistopheles: The Devil in the Modern World by Jeffrey Burton Russell. Mephistopheles is the fourth and final volume of a critically acclaimed history of the concept of the Devil. The series constitutes the most complete historical study ever made of the figure that has been called the second most famous personage in Christianity
- The Bible: Designed to be Read as Living Literature Ernest Sutherland Bates (1936) Exquisitely redesigned, this Bible is rendered in a readable continuous narrative, arranged in historical order, and is based on extensive scholarship. The text has been restyled to reflect the soul of the different literary forms, from poetry to drama, song to psalms, blended together to create the most widely read document in the world.
- The Crisis of Islam Bernard Lewis (2003) . In his first book since What Went Wrong? Bernard Lewis examines the historical roots of the resentments that dominate the Islamic world today and that are increasingly being expressed in acts of terrorism. He looks at the theological origins of political Islam and takes us through the rise of militant Islam in Iran, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, examining the impact of radical Wahhabi proselytizing, and Saudi oil money, on the rest of the Islamic world.
- Huston Smith (introductory): The World’s Religions. The World’s Religions, by beloved author and pioneering professor Huston Smith (Tales of Wonder), is the definitive classic for introducing the essential elements and teachings of the world’s predominant faiths, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, as well as regional native traditions.This revised and updated edition provides sympathetic descriptions of the various traditions, explaining how they work “from the inside,” which is a big reason why this cherished classic has sold more than two million copies since it first appeared in 1958.v
Mircea Eliade (1907-1986)
Romanian-born historian of religion, fiction writer, philosopher, professor at the University of Chicago, and one of the pre-eminent interpreters of world religion in this century.
- A History of Religious Ideas Vol. 1, Vol. 2 and Vol. 3 (1978) “No one has done so much as Mr. Eliade to inform literature students in the West about ‘primitive’ and Oriental religions. . . . Everyone who cares about the human adventure will find new information and new angles of vision.” — Martin E. Marty, New York Times Book Review
- Vol. 1: From the Stone Age to the Eleusinian mysteries“No one has done so much as Mr. Eliade to inform literature students in the West about ‘primitive’ and Oriental religions…Everyone who cares about the human adventure will find new information and new angles of vision.” — Martin E. Marty, “New York Times Book Review”
- Vol. 2: From Guatuama Buddha to the triumph of Christianity In volume 2 of this monumental work, Mircea Eliade continues his magisterial progress through the history of religous ideas. The religions of ancient China, Brahmanism and Hinduism, Buddha and his contemporaries, Roman religion, Celtic and German religion, Judaism, the Hellenistic period, the Iranian syntheses, and the birth of Christianity — all are encompassed in this volume.
- Vol. 3: From Muhammad to the Age of ReformsThis volume completes the immensely learned three-volume A History of Religious Ideas. Eliade examines the movement of Jewish thought out of ancient Eurasia, the Christian transformation of the Mediterranean area and Europe, and the rise and diffusion of Islam from approximately the sixth through the seventeenth centuries. Eliade’s vast knowledge of past and present scholarship provides a synthesis that is unparalleled. In addition to reviewing recent interpretations of the individual traditions, he explores the interactions of the three religions and shows their continuing mutual influence to be subtle but unmistakable. (Amazon:🇺🇸US, 🇬🇧UK, 🇨🇦CA)
- Myth and Reality (1962). From the first page of Eliade’s Myth and Reality: “Everyone knows that from the time of Xenophanes (ca. 565-470)–who was the first to criticize and reject the ‘mythological’ expressions of the divinity employed by Homer and Hesiod–the Greeks steadily continued to empty mythos of all religious and metaphysical value.”
- Myths, Dreams and Mysteries (1957). The author’s purpose is to interpret, and to ease, an encounter which history has made inevitable. But Professor Eliade is too good a scholar, and it too wise in his judgment, to fall into syncretist fallacies. He has no argument to offer other than that which is implicit in a penetrating and sympathetic scrutiny of the mythologies that vivify ancient communities and tell us so much of the perennial meaning and destiny of man…
- Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy (1951). Historical study of the different forms of shamanism around the world
- The Forge and the Crucible (1956). The book traces historical rites and symbols associated with mines, smiths and other metal workers.
- The Sacred and the Profane (1957). In “The Sacred and the Profane,” Mircea Eliade observes that while contemporary people believe their world is entirely profane, or secular, they still at times find themselves connected unconsciously to the memory of something sacred. It’s this premise that both drives Eliade’s exhaustive exploration of the sacred–as it has manifested in space, time, nature and the cosmos, and life itself–and buttresses his expansive view of the human experience.
Recommended in 2018
- The Rational Optimist : How Prosperity Evolve by Matt Ridley (2010) “Random violence makes the news precisely because it is so rare, routine kindness does not make the news precisely because it is so commonplace. “
- Progress : Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future by Johan Norberg (2016)“A child born today is more likely to reach retirement age than his forebears were to live to their fifth birthday.” “Despite what we hear on the news and from many authorities, the great story of our era is that we are witnessing the greatest improvement in global living standards ever to take place. Poverty,”
- The Great Escape : Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality by Angus Deaton (2013)“If you want to learn about why human welfare overall has gone up so much over time, you should read The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality.”–Bill Gates
- How to Spend $75 Billion to Make the World a Better Place by Björn Lomborg (2006)Edited by Bjrn Lomborg, this abridged version of the highly acclaimed Global Crises, Global Solutions provides a serious yet accessible springboard for debate and discussion on the world’s most serious problems, and what we can do to solve them. In a world fraught with problems and challenges, we need to gauge how to achieve the greatest good with our money. This unique book provides a rich set of dialogs examining ten of the most serious challenges facing the world today: climate change, the spread of communicable diseases, conflicts and arms proliferation, access to education, financial instability, governance and corruption, malnutrition and hunger, migration, sanitation and access to clean water, and subsidies and trade barriers. Each problem is introduced by a world-renowned expert who defines the scale of the issue and examines a range of policy options.
- Earth in Human Hands : Shaping Our Planet’s Future by David Grinspoon (2016). “It sometimes seems to rub people the wrong way to say anything sympathetic about humanity, positive about our potential influence on Earth or hopeful about our future. How could you not be shocked and alarmed by our jarring, accelerating influence on this planet? We rightfully feel some deep regret, and some shame, at how we have (not) managed ourselves. However, our obligation now is to move beyond just lamenting the job we’ve done as reluctant, incompetent planet-shapers. We have to face the fact that we’ve become a planetary force, and figure out how to be a better one.” —
- Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker (2018)“As we care about more of humanity, we’re apt to mistake the harms around us for signs of how low the world has sunk rather than how high our standards have risen.” “There can be no question of which was the greatest era for culture; the answer has to be today, until it is superseded by tomorrow.”
- Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World–and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling (2018) “Forming your worldview by relying on the media would be like forming your view about me by looking only at a picture of my foot.” “A hopeful book about the potential for human progress when we work off facts rather than our inherent biases” Barack Obama
- Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Books By Jordan Peterson
- Maps of Meaning (1999). Why have people from different cultures and eras formulated myths and stories with similar structures? What does this similarity tell us about the mind, morality, and structure of the world itself? Jordan Peterson offers a provocative new hypothesis that explores the connection between what modern neuropsychology tells us about the brain and what rituals, myths, and religious stories have long narrated. A cutting-edge work that brings together neuropsychology, cognitive science, and Freudian and Jungian approaches to mythology and narrative, Maps of Meaning presents a rich theory that makes the wisdom and meaning of myth accessible to the critical modern mind
- 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos (2018). What does everyone in the modern world need to know? Renowned psychologist Jordan B. Peterson’s answer to this most difficult of questions uniquely combines the hard-won truths of ancient tradition with the stunning revelations of cutting-edge scientific research.