Classical Mythology: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Helen Morales

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN:

Category: History

Page: 144

View: 123

From Zeus and Europa, to Diana, Pan, and Prometheus, the myths of ancient Greece and Rome seem to exert a timeless power over us. But what do those myths represent, and why are they so enduringly fascinating? This imaginative and stimulating Very Short Introduction goes beyond a simple retelling of the stories to explore the rich history and diverse interpretations of classical myths in both high art and popular culture.

Myth

A Very Short Introduction

Author: Robert Alan Segal

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN:

Category: Religion

Page: 142

View: 939

This title introduces a wide array of approaches to understanding myth from varied disciplines. It uses the famous ancient myth of Adonis to analyse the ideas and individual approaches and theories of theorists such as Sigmund Freud, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Albert Camus, and Roland Barthes. This new edition considers the interactions of myth theory with cognitive science, the implications of the myth of Gaia, and the differences between story-telling and myth, as well as the future study of myth.

Socrates: A Very Short Introduction

Author: W. C. W. Taylor

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN:

Category: History

Page: 152

View: 335

Socrates has a unique position in the history of philosophy; it is no exaggeration to say that had it not been for his influence on Plato, the whole development of Western philosophy might have been unimaginably different. Yet Socrates wrote nothing himself, and our knowledge of him is derived primarily from the engaging and infuriating figure who appears in Plato's dialogues. In this Very Short Introduction, Christopher Taylor explores the life of Socrates and his philosophical activity, before looking to the responses his philosophical doctrines have evoked in the centuries since his betrayal and execution at fellow Athenian hands. Examining the relationship between the historical Socrates and the Platonic character, Taylor considers the complex question of how far it is possible to distinguish the philosopher's own thought from that of those others who wrote about him, and explores the enduring image of Socrates as the ideal exemplar of the philosophic life - a thinker whose moral and intellectual integrity permeated every detail of his life. This new edition also includes a new chapter analysing the reception and influence of Socrates in 19th and 20th century philosophical thought. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Reading: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Belinda Jack

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN:

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 152

View: 779

Today many people take reading for granted, but we remain some way off from attaining literacy for the global human population. And whilst we think we know what reading is, it remains in many ways a mysterious process, or set of processes. The effects of reading are myriad: it can be informative, distracting, moving, erotically arousing, politically motivating, spiritual, and much, much more. At different times and in different places reading means different things. In this Very Short Introduction Belinda Jack explores the fascinating history of literacy, and the opportunities reading opens. For much of human history reading was the preserve of the elite, and most reading meant being read to. Innovations in printing, paper-making, and transport, combined with the rise of public education from the late eighteenth century on, brought a dramatic rise in literacy in many parts of the world. Established links between a nation's levels of literacy and its economy led to the promotion of reading for political ends. But, equally, reading has been associated with subversive ideas, leading to censorship through multiple channels: denying access to education, controlling publishing, destroying libraries, and even the burning of authors and their works. Indeed, the works of Voltaire were so often burned that an enterprising Parisian publisher produced a fire-proof edition, decorated with a phoenix. But, as Jack demonstrates, reading is a collaborative act between an author and a reader, and one which can never be wholly controlled. Telling the story of reading, from the ancient world to digital reading and restrictions today, Belinda Jack explores why it is such an important aspect of our society. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The Etruscans: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Christopher Smith

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN:

Category: History

Page: 144

View: 810

From around 900 to 400 BC, the Etruscans were the most innovative, powerful, wealthy, and creative people in Italy. Their archaeological record is both substantial and fascinating, including tomb paintings, sculpture, jewellery, and art. In this Very Short Introduction, Christopher Smith explores Etruscan history, culture, language, and customs. Examining the controversial debates about their origins, he explores how they once lived, placing this within the geographical, economic, and political context of the time. Smith concludes by demonstrating how the Etruscans have been studied and perceived throughout the ages, and the impact this has had on our understanding of their place in history. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Classics: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Mary Beard

Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks

ISBN:

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 145

View: 164

Explores the relationship between the contemporary world and the ancient one.

Languages: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Stephen Anderson

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN:

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 152

View: 315

How many languages are there? What differentiates one language from another? Are new languages still being discovered? Why are so many languages disappearing? The diversity of languages today is varied, but it is steadily declining. In this Very Short Introduction, Stephen Anderson answers the above questions by looking at the science behind languages. Considering a wide range of different languages and linguistic examples, he demonstrates how languages are not uniformly distributed around the world; just as some places are more diverse than others in terms of plants and animal species, the same goes for the distribution of languages. Exploring the basis for linguistic classification and raising questions about how we identify a language, as well as considering signed languages as well as spoken, Anderson examines the wider social issues of losing languages, and their impact in terms of the endangerment of cultures and peoples. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The Mongols: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Morris Rossabi

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN:

Category: History

Page: 160

View: 693

In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the Mongols carved out the largest land-based empire in world history, stretching from Korea to Russia in the north and from China to Syria in the south, and unleashing an unprecedented level of violence. But as Morris Rossabi reveals in this Very Short Introduction, within two generations of their bloody conquests, the Mongols evolved from conquerors and predators to wise rulers who devised policies to foster the economies of the lands they had subjugated. By adopting political and economic institutions familiar to the local populations and recruiting native officials, they won over many of their non-Mongol subjects. In addition, Mongol nobles were ardent patrons of art and culture, supporting the production of Chinese porcelains and textiles, Iranian tiles and illustrated manuscripts, and Russian metalwork. Perhaps most important, the peace imposed by the Mongols on much of Asia and their promotion of trade resulted in considerable interaction among merchants, scientists, artists, and missionaries of different ethnic groups--including Europeans. Modern Eurasian and perhaps global history starts with the Mongol empire.

Radioactivity: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Claudio Tuniz

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN:

Category: Science

Page: 176

View: 415

You cannot hide from radioactivity. Even the book you are holding is slightly radioactive, but there are more serious risks. Radioactivity - the breakdown of unstable atomic nuclei, releasing radiation - is a fundamental process in nature. It is a process that has been harnessed to provide wide and important applications in science, medicine, industry, and energy production. But it remains much misunderstood - and feared, perhaps because nuclear radiation cannot be detected by human senses, and can undoubtedly do great harm if appropriate precautions are not taken. In recent times there have been increasing concerns about nuclear terrorism. The traces of radioactive atoms in rocks have allowed us to understand the nature and history of the Earth, in particular to date events in that history. Radioactive dating has been used for a variety of purposes, from determining the age of the first hominids to the dating of the Turin Shroud. The discovery of radioactivity has improved our survival kit, but also gave us the chance to reach a new level of awareness on the history of our species and its environmental impacts. In this Very Short Introduction, Claudio Tuniz explains the nature of radioactivity and discuss its role in nature. Describing radioactivity in the stars and in the Earth, he also looks at its wide range of applications in biomedicine and in science, as well as the mechanisms of nuclear fission and fusion, and the harnessing of nuclear power. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The Quakers: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Pink Dandelion

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN:

Category: Religion

Page: 160

View: 769

The Quakers are a fascinating religious group both in their origins and in the variety of reinterpretations of the faith since. Emerging from the social unrest of the English civil war, the Quakers have gone on to have an influence way beyond their numbers: be it their continued stance against war or their pioneering work against slavery. At the same time, Quakers maintain a distinctive worship method to achieve the direct encounter with God which has been at the heart of the movement since its beginning. This book charts the history of Quakerism and its present-day diversity, and outlines its approach to worship, belief, theology and language, and ecumenism. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Game Theory: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Ken Binmore

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN:

Category: Mathematics

Page: 200

View: 458

Games are everywhere: Drivers manoeuvring in heavy traffic are playing a driving game. Bargain hunters bidding on eBay are playing an auctioning game. A firm negotiating next year's wage is playing a bargaining game. The opposing candidates in an election are playing a political game. The supermarket's price for corn flakes is decided by playing an economic game. Game theory is about how to play such games in a rational way. Even when the players have not thought everything out in advance, game theory often works for the same reason that mindless animals sometimes end up behaving very cleverly: evolutionary forces eliminate irrational play because it is unfit. Game theory has seen spectacular successes in evolutionary biology and economics, and is beginning to revolutionize other disciplines from psychology to political science. This Very Short Introduction introduces the fascinating world of game theory, showing how it can be understood without mathematical equations, and revealing that everything from how to play poker optimally to the sex ratio among bees can be understood by anyone willing to think seriously about the problem. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Microeconomics: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Avinash Dixit

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN:

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 144

View: 450

Microeconomics - individuals' choices of where to live and work, how much to save, what to buy, and firms' decisions about location, hiring, firing, and investment - involves issues that concern us on a daily basis. But when people think about economics, they tend to place importance on the bigger picture - macroeconomics - including issues such as unemployment, inflation, and the competitiveness of nations. In this Very Short Introduction, Avinash Dixit argues that the microeconomy has a large impact on the economic world, arguably as much as the issues of macroeconomics. Dixit steers a clear path through the huge number of issues related to microeconomics, explaining what happens when things go well, as well as showing how they fail, why that happens, and what can be done about it. Using real-life examples from around the world, using the minimum of mathematics and including simple graphs, he provides insights into economics from psychology and sociology to explain economic behaviour and rational choice. An ideal introduction for anyone interested in business and economics. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Chinese Literature: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Sabina Knight

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN:

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 160

View: 663

Perhaps nowhere else has literature been as conscious a collective endeavor as in China, and China's survival over three thousand years may owe more to its literary traditions than to its political history. This Very Short Introduction tells the story of Chinese literature from antiquity to the present, focusing on the key role literary culture played in supporting social and political concerns. Embracing traditional Chinese understandings of literature as encompassing history and philosophy as well as poetry and poetics, storytelling, drama, and the novel, Sabina Knight discusses the philosophical foundations of literary culture as well as literature's power to address historical trauma and cultivate moral and sensual passions. From ancient historical records through the modernization and globalization of Chinese literature, Knight draws on lively examples to underscore the close relationship between ethics and aesthetics, as well as the diversity of Chinese thought. Knight also illuminates the role of elite patronage; the ways literature has served the interests of specific groups; and questions of canonization, language, nationalism, and cross-cultural understanding. The book includes Chinese characters for names, titles, and key terms.

Classical Literature: A Very Short Introduction

Author: William Allan

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN:

Category: Fiction

Page: 144

View: 190

From popular histories through to reworkings of classical subject matter by contemporary poets, dramatists, and novelists, the classical world and the masterpieces of its literature continue to fascinate readers and audiences in a huge variety of media. In this Very Short Introduction, William Allan explores what the 'classics' are and why they continue to shape our Western concepts of literature. Presenting a range of material from both Greek and Latin literature, he illustrates the variety and sophistication of these works, and considers examples from all the major genres. Ideal for the general reader interested in works of classic literature, as well as students at A-Level and University, this is a lively and lucid guide to the major authors and literary forms of the ancient period. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Accounting: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Christopher Nobes

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN:

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 144

View: 588

If you read the 'business pages' of a newspaper or if you listen to the financial news on the television or radio, you will often hear terms such as 'liability', 'balance sheet' or 'earnings'. These terms turn up in non-financial contexts as well: 'he was more of a liability than an asset'. If you invest in shares, have a building society account, or sit on a committee of the property company which owns your apartment block, you will receive financial statements every year. If you are a manager in a company, a hospital or a school, you will see accounting information often. This Very Short Introduction provides a guide to understanding and using accounting information. Christopher Nobes explains the main areas of accounting work, from bookkeeping and financial reporting to auditing and management accounting. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Privacy: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Raymond Wacks

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN:

Category: Political Science

Page: 160

View: 985

Some would argue that scarcely a day passes without a new assault on our privacy. In the wake of the whistle-blower Edward Snowden's revelations about the extent of surveillance conducted by the security services in the United States, Britain, and elsewhere, concerns about individual privacy have significantly increased. The Internet generates risks, unimagined even twenty years ago, to the security and integrity of information in all its forms. The manner in which information is collected, stored, exchanged, and used has changed forever; and with it, the character of the threats to individual privacy. The scale of accessible private data generated by the phenomenal growth of blogs, social media, and other contrivances of our information age pose disturbing threats to our privacy. And the hunger for gossip continues to fuel sensationalist media that frequently degrade the notion of a private domain to which we reasonably lay claim. In the new edition of this Very Short Introduction, Raymond Wacks looks at all aspects of privacy to include numerous recent changes, and considers how this fundamental value might be reconciled with competing interests such as security and freedom of expression. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Fashion: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Rebecca Arnold

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN:

Category: Design

Page: 160

View: 708

Fashion is a dynamic global industry that plays an important role in the economic, political, cultural, and social lives of an international audience. It spans high art and popular culture, and plays a significant role in material and visual culture. This book introduces fashion's myriad influences and manifestations. Fashion is explored as a creative force, a business, and a means of communication. From Karl Lagerfeld's creative reinventions of Chanel's iconic style to the multicultural reference points of Indian designer Manish Arora, from the spectacular fashion shows held in nineteenth century department stores to the mix-and-match styles of Japanese youth, the book examines the ways that fashion both reflects and shapes contemporary culture. Using historical and contemporary examples, it gives a clear understanding of how fashion has developed since the renaissance, while raising questions about its status, ethical credibility, and influence on consumers. The book provides insight into the structure of the fashion industry and how fashions are designed, promoted and consumed, in relation to relevant historical, social and cultural contexts. It is structured thematically, to look at the role and development of designers, the growth of shopping and the different businesses involved in making and selling fashionable clothes. Fashion's relationship to the wider culture is also explored, by considering its representation in art and collaborations between designers and artists, the moral controversies surrounding fashion, and attempts to produce ethical clothing, and the effects of globalisation on the fashion trade. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Geography: A Very Short Introduction

Author: John A. Matthews

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN:

Category: Science

Page: 200

View: 914

Modern Geography has come a long way from its historical roots in exploring foreign lands, and simply mapping and naming the regions of the world. Spanning both physical and human Geography, the discipline today is unique as a subject which can bridge the divide between the sciences and the humanities, and between the environment and our society. Using wide-ranging examples from global warming and oil, to urbanization and ethnicity, this Very Short Introduction paints a broad picture of the current state of Geography, its subject matter, concepts and methods, and its strengths and controversies. The book’s conclusion is no less than a manifesto for Geography’s future. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Sexuality: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Veronique Mottier

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN:

Category: Health & Fitness

Page: 168

View: 823

What shapes our sexuality? Is it a product of our genes, or of society, culture, and politics? How have concepts of sexuality and sexual norms changed over time? How have feminist theories, religion, and HIV/AIDS affected our attitudes to sex? Focusing on the social, political, and psychological aspects of sexuality, this Very Short Introduction examines these questions and many more, exploring what shapes our sexuality, and how our attitudes to sex have in turn shaped the wider world. Revealing how our assumptions about what is 'normal' in sexuality have, in reality, varied widely across time and place, this book tackles the major topics and controversies that still confront us when issues of sex and sexuality are discussed: from sex education, HIVAIDS, and eugenics, to religious doctrine, gay rights, and feminism. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Citizenship: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Richard Bellamy

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN:

Category: Political Science

Page: 152

View: 406

Interest in citizenship has never been higher. But what does it mean to be a citizen of a modern, complex community? Why is citizenship important? Can we create citizenship, and can we test for it? In this fascinating Very Short Introduction, Richard Bellamy explores the answers to these questions and more in a clear and accessible way. He approaches the subject from a political perspective, to address the complexities behind the major topical issues. Discussing the main models of citizenship, exploring how ideas of citizenship have changed through time from ancient Greece to the present, and examining notions of rights and democracy, he reveals the irreducibly political nature of citizenship today. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.