New books

You can find the complete list of new acquisitions on the New books page. The list includes all English-language books bought by the Library in the last two month (and published in the last five years), the books are grouped according to theme and title.

Here you can read selected book recommendations from the list of the new books.

Uncreative writing

Uncreative writing / Kenneth Goldsmith
New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 2011. 260 p.

Can techniques traditionally thought to be outside the scope of literature, including word processing, databasing, identity ciphering, and intensive programming, inspire the reinvention of writing? The Internet and the digital environment present writers with new challenges and opportunities to reconceive creativity, authorship, and their relationship to language. Confronted with an unprecedented amount of texts and language, writers have the opportunity to move beyond the creation of new texts and manage, parse, appropriate, and reconstruct those that already exist. In addition to explaining his concept of uncreative writing, which is also the name of his popular course at the University of Pennsylvania, Goldsmith reads the work of writers who have taken up this challenge. Examining a wide range of texts and techniques, including the use of Google searches to create poetry, the appropriation of courtroom testimony, and the possibility of robo-poetics, Goldsmith joins this recent work to practices that date back to the early twentieth century. Writers and artists such as Walter Benjamin, Gertrude Stein, James Joyce, and Andy Warhol embodied an ethos in which the construction or conception of a text was just as important as the resultant text itself. By extending this tradition into the digital realm, uncreative writing offers new ways of thinking about identity and the making of meaning.

catalogue

The precariat: The new dangerous class

The precariat: The new dangerous class / Guy Standing
London: Bloomsbury, 2016. 336 p.

Described by Noam Chomsky as 'a very important book', Guy Standing's The Precariat has achieved cult status as the first account of this emerging class of people, facing lives of insecurity, moving in and out of jobs that give little meaning to their lives.

Guy Standing warns that the rapid growth of the precariat is producing instabilities in society. It is a dangerous class because it is internally divided, leading to the villainisation of migrants and other vulnerable groups. And, lacking agency, its members may be susceptible to the siren calls of political extremism. He argues for a new politics, in which redistribution and income security are reconfigured and in which the fears and aspirations of the precariat are made central to a progressive strategy.

Since first publication of this book in 2011, the precariat has become an ever more significant global phenomenon, highly visible in the Occupy movement and in protest movements around the world. In a new preface Guy Standing discusses such developments - are they indicative of the emergence of a new collective spirit, or do they simply reveal the growing size and growing anger of this new class?

catalogue

The dark net: Inside the digital underworld / Jamie Bartlett

The dark net: Inside the digital underworld / Jamie Bartlett
London: Heinemann, 2014. 303 p.

Beyond the familiar online world that most of us inhabit – a world of Google, Hotmail, Facebook and Amazon – lies a vast and often hidden network of sites, communities and cultures where freedom is pushed to its limits, and where people can be anyone, or do anything, they want. A world that is as creative and complex as it is dangerous and disturbing. A world that is much closer than you think.
The dark net is an underworld that stretches from popular social media sites to the most secretive corners of the encrypted web. It is a world that frequently appears in newspaper headlines, but one that is little understood, and rarely explored. The Dark Net is a revelatory examination of the internet today, and of its most innovative and dangerous subcultures: trolls and pornographers, drug dealers and hackers, political extremists and computer scientists, Bitcoin programmers and self-harmers, libertarians and vigilantes. Based on extensive first-hand experience, exclusive interviews and shocking documentary evidence, The Dark Net offers a startling glimpse of human nature under the conditions of freedom and anonymity, and shines a light on an enigmatic and ever-changing world.

catalogue

The organized mind

The organized mind : Thinking straight in the age of information overload / Daniel J. Levitin
New York: Plume Book, 2015. 496 p.

New York Times bestselling author and neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin shifts his keen insights from your brain on music to your brain in a sea of details.

The information age is drowning us with an unprecedented deluge of data. At the same time, we’re expected to make more - and faster - decisions about our lives than ever before. No wonder, then, that the average American reports frequently losing car keys or reading glasses, missing appointments, and feeling worn out by the effort required just to keep up.

But somehow some people become quite accomplished at managing information flow. In The Organized Mind, Daniel J. Levitin, PhD, uses the latest brain science to demonstrate how those people excel—and how readers can use their methods to regain a sense of mastery over the way they organize their homes, workplaces, and time.

With lively, entertaining chapters on everything from the kitchen junk drawer to health care to executive office workflow, Levitin reveals how new research into the cognitive neuroscience of attention and memory can be applied to the challenges of our daily lives. This Is Your Brain on Music showed how to better play and appreciate music through an understanding of how the brain works. The Organized Mind shows how to navigate the churning flood of information in the twenty-first century with the same neuroscientific perspective.

catalogue

Lives of the laureates

Lives of the laureates: Twenty-three Nobel economists/ ed. by Roger W. Spencer and David A. Macpherson
Cambridge, US: MIT Press, 2014. 427 p.

 

Lives of the Laureates offers readers an informal history of modern economic thought as told through autobiographical essays by twenty-three winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics. The essays not only provide unique insights into major economic ideas of our time but also shed light on the processes of intellectual discovery and creativity. This fifth edition adds five recent Nobel laureates to its list of contributors: Vernon L. Smith (2002), Clive W. J. Granger (2003), Edward C. Prescott (2004), Thomas C. Schelling (2005) and Edmund S. Phelps (2006). Also included is the editors' revised afterword, "Lessons from the Laureates."

Lives of the Laureates grows out of a continuing lecture series at Trinity University in San Antonio, which invites Nobelists from American universities to describe their evolution as economists in personal as well as technical terms. Each laureate achieves the goal of clarity without sacrificing inherently difficult content: Kenneth Arrow makes grasping the essentials of his "impossibility theorem" painless; Lawrence Klein clearly presents what goes into econometric "model building"; George Stigler masterfully describes his "information theory"; and so on. These lectures demonstrate the richness and diversity of contemporary economic thought. The reader will find that paths cross in unexpected ways -- that disparate thinkers were often influenced by the same teachers--and that luck as well as hard work plays a role in the process of scientific discovery.

 

catalogue

The great escape

The great escape: Health, wealth, and the origins of inequality / Angus Deaton
Princeton, US: Princeton Univ. Press, 2013. 360 p.

 

The world is a better place than it used to be. People are healthier, wealthier, and live longer. Yet the escapes from destitution by so many has left gaping inequalities between people and nations. Deaton tells the remarkable story of how, beginning 250 years ago, some parts of the world experienced sustained progress, opening up gaps and setting the stage for today's disproportionately unequal world. Deaton takes an in-depth look at the historical and ongoing patterns behind the health and wealth of nations, and addresses what needs to be done to help those left behind.

 

catalogue

Hubris: Why economists failed to predict the crisis and how to avoid the next one

Hubris: Why economists failed to predict the crisis and how to avoid the next one / Meghnad Desai
New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 2015. 287 p.

 

The failure of economists to anticipate the global financial crisis and mitigate the impact of the ensuing recession has spurred a public outcry. Economists are under fire, but questions concerning exactly how to redeem the discipline remain unanswered. In this provocative book, renowned economist Meghnad Desai investigates the evolution of economics and maps its trajectory against the occurrence of major political events to provide a definitive answer.
Desai underscores the contribution of hubris to economists’ calamitous lack of foresight, and he makes a persuasive case for the profession to re-engage with the history of economic thought. He dismisses the notion that one over-arching paradigm can resolve all economic eventualities while urging that an array of already-available theories and approaches be considered anew for the insights they may provide toward preventing future economic catastrophes. With an accessible style and keen common sense, Desai offers a fresh perspective on some of the most important economic issues of our time.

 

catalogue

Wikipedia U: Knowledge, authority, and liberal education in the digital age

Wikipedia U: Knowledge, authority, and liberal education in the digital age / Thomas Leitch

Baltimore: Hopkins Univ. Press, 2014. 164 p.

Since its launch in 2001, Wikipedia has been a lightning rod for debates about knowledge and traditional authority. It has come under particular scrutiny from publishers of print encyclopedias and college professors, who are skeptical about whether a crowd-sourced encyclopedia―in which most entries are subject to potentially endless reviewing and editing by anonymous collaborators whose credentials cannot be established―can ever truly be accurate or authoritative.
In Wikipedia U, Thomas Leitch argues that the assumptions these critics make about accuracy and authority are themselves open to debate. After all, academics are expected both to consult the latest research and to return to the earliest sources in their field, each of which has its own authority. And when teachers encourage students to master information so that they can question it independently, their ultimate goal is to create a new generation of thinkers and makers whose authority will ultimately supplant their own.
Wikipedia U offers vital new lessons about the nature of authority and the opportunities and challenges of Web 2.0. Leitch regards Wikipedia as an ideal instrument for probing the central assumptions behind liberal education, making it more than merely, as one of its severest critics has charged, "the encyclopedia game, played online."

catalogue

Confronting capitalism

Confronting capitalism: Real solutions for a troubled economic system / Philip Kotler
New York: Amacom, 2015. 248 p.

With the fall of the Berlin Wall, one economic model emerged triumphant. Capitalism—spanning a spectrum from laissez faire to authoritarian—shapes the market economies of all the wealthiest and fastest-growing nations.

But trouble is cracking its shiny veneer. In the U.S., Europe, and Japan, economic growth has slowed down. Wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few; natural resources are exploited for short-term profit; and good jobs are hard to find.

With piercing clarity, Philip Kotler explains 14 major problems undermining capitalism, including persistent poverty, job creation in the face of automation, high debt burdens, the disproportionate influence of the wealthy on public policy, steep environmental costs, boom-bust economic cycles, and more.

Amidst its dire assessment of what's ailing us, Confronting Capitalism delivers a heartening message: We can turn things around. Movements toward shared prosperity and a higher purpose are reinvigorating companies large and small, while proposals abound on government policies that offer protections without stagnation. Kotler identifies the best ideas, linking private and public initiatives into a force for positive change.

Combining economic history, expert insight, business lessons, and recent data, this landmark book elucidates today's critical dilemmas and suggests solutions for returning to a healthier, more sustainable Capitalism - that works for all.

catalogue

Mobile research methods: Opportunities and challenges of mobile research methodologies

Mobile research methods: Opportunities and challenges of mobile research methodologies / ed. by Daniele Toninelli, Robert Pinter and Pablo de Padraza
London: Ubiquity Press, 2015. 156 p.

Daily activity sees data constantly flowing through cameras, the internet, satellites, radio frequencies, sensors, private appliances, cars, smartphones, tablets and the like. Among all the tools currently used, mobile devices, especially mobile phones, smartphones and tablets, are the most widespread, with their use becoming prevalent in everyday life within both developed and developing countries. Shopping, reading newspapers, participating in forums, projecting and completing surveys, communicating with friends and making new ones, filing tax returns and getting involved in politics are all examples of how ingrained mobile technology is to modern lifestyleMobile devices allow a wide range of heterogeneous activities and, as a result, have great potential in terms of the different types of data that can be collected. The use of mobile devices to collect, analyse and apply research data is explored here. This book focuses on the use of mobile devices in various research contexts, aiming to provide a detailed and updated knowledge on what is a comparatively new field of study. This is done considering different aspects: main methodological possibilities and issues; comparison and integration with more traditional survey modes or ways of participating in research; quality of collected data; use in commercial market research; representativeness of studies based only on the mobile-population; analysis of the current spread of mobile devices in several countries, and so on. Thus, the book provides interesting research findings from a wide range of countries and contexts. This book was developed in the framework of WebDataNet’s Task Force 19. WebDataNet, was created in 2009 by a group of researchers focusing on the discussion on data collection methods.

catalogue

Pages