Book cover of Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington by James Kirchick
History

Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington 

Washington, D.C., has always been a city of secrets. Few have been more dramatic than the ones revealed in James Kirchick’s Secret City.

For decades, the specter of homosexuality haunted Washington. The mere suggestion that a person might be gay destroyed reputations, ended careers, and ruined lives. At the height of the Cold War, fear of homosexuality became intertwined with the growing threat of international communism, leading to a purge of gay men and lesbians from the federal government. […Learn More]

Book cover of 8 Billion and Counting: How Sex, Death, and Migration Shape Our World by Jennifer Sciubba
International & World Politics

8 Billion and Counting: How Sex, Death, and Migration Shape Our World

A provocative description of the power of population change to create the conditions for societal transformation.

As the world nears 8 billion people, the countries that have led the global order since World War II are becoming the most aged societies in human history. At the same time, the world’s poorest and least powerful countries are suffocating under an imbalance of population and resources. […Learn More]

Book cover of Free Speech: A History from Socrates to Social Media by Jacob Mchangama
History

Free Speech: A History from Socrates to Social Media

Hailed as the “first freedom,” free speech is the bedrock of democracy. But it is a challenging principle, subject to erosion in times of upheaval. Today, in democracies and authoritarian states around the world, it is on the retreat.

In Free Speech, Jacob Mchangama traces the riveting legal, political, and cultural history of this idea. Through captivating stories of free speech’s many defenders […Learn More]

Book cover of Why We Fight: The Roots of War and the Paths to Peace by Christopher Blattman
History

Why We Fight: The Roots of War and the Paths to Peace

Despite the Russian invasion of Ukraine or the fear of another American civil war, most of the time wars don’t happen, and of the millions of hostile rivalries worldwide, only a fraction erupt into violence. At this moment of crisis in world affairs, this necessary book from a seasoned peacebuilder and acclaimed expert in the field lays out the root causes and remedies for war and explain the reasons why conflict wins over compromise; and how peacemakers can turn the tides once conflict threatens to or becomes war. Its message could not be more urgent right now. […Learn More]

Book cover of Corruptible: Who Gets Power and How It Changes Us by Brian Klaas
Health and Psychology

Corruptible: Who Gets Power and How It Changes Us

An “absorbing, provocative, and far-reaching” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) look at what power is, who gets it, and what happens when they do, based on over 500 interviews with those who (temporarily, at least) have had the upper hand—from the creator of the Power Corrupts podcast and Washington Post columnist Brian Klaas. […Learn More]

Book cover of The Joy of Science by Jim Al-Khalili
Science & Math

The Joy of Science

Quantum physicist, New York Times bestselling author, and BBC host Jim Al-Khalili reveals how 8 lessons from the heart of science can help you get the most out of life

Today’s world is unpredictable and full of contradictions, and navigating its complexities while trying to make the best decisions is far from easy. The Joy of Science presents 8 short lessons on how to unlock the clarity, empowerment, and joy of thinking and living a little more scientifically. […Learn More]

Book cover of On the Fringe: Where Science Meets Pseudoscience by Michael Gordin
Politics & Social Science

On the Fringe: Where Science Meets Pseudoscience

Everyone has heard of the term “pseudoscience”, typically used to describe something that looks like science, but is somehow false, misleading, or unproven. Many would be able to agree on a list of things that fall under its umbrella– astrology, phrenology, UFOlogy, creationism, and eugenics might come to mind. But defining what makes these fields “pseudo” is a far more complex issue. It has proved impossible to come up with a simple criterion that enables us to differentiate pseudoscience from genuine science. […Learn More]

Book cover of The Genetic Lottery: Why DNA Matters for Social Equality by Kathryn Paige Harden
Biological Sciences

The Genetic Lottery: Why DNA Matters for Social Equality

A provocative and timely case for how the science of genetics can help create a more just and equal society

In recent years, scientists like Kathryn Paige Harden have shown that DNA makes us different, in our personalities and in our health―and in ways that matter for educational and economic success in our current society. […Learn More]