Book cover of Fossil Men: The Quest for the Oldest Skeleton and the Origins of Humankind by Kermit Pattison
Archaeology

Fossil Men: The Quest for the Oldest Skeleton and the Origins of Humankind

It is the ultimate mystery: where do we come from? In 1994, a team led by fossil-hunting legend Tim White uncovered a set of ancient bones in Ethiopia’s Afar region. Radiometric dating of nearby rocks indicated the resulting skeleton, classified as Ardipithecus ramidus—nicknamed “Ardi”—was an astounding 4.4 million years old, more than a million years older than the world-famous “Lucy.” The team spent the next 15 years studying the bones in strict secrecy, all while continuing to rack up landmark fossil discoveries in the field and becoming increasingly ensnared in bitter disputes with scientific peers and Ethiopian bureaucrats. […Learn More]

Book cover of Impact: How Rocks from Space Led to Life, Culture, and Donkey Kong by Greg Brennecka
Astronomy & Space Science

Impact: How Rocks from Space Led to Life, Culture, and Donkey Kong

A Short History of Nearly Everything meets Astrophysics for People in a Hurry in this humorous, accessible exploration of how meteorites have helped not only build our planet but steered the evolution of life and human culture.

The Solar System. Dinosaurs. Donkey Kong. What is the missing link? Surprisingly enough, it’s meteorites. They explain our past, constructed our present, and could define our future. […Learn More]

Biography & Autobiography

Why We Drive: Toward a Philosophy of the Open Road

Once we were drivers, the open road alive with autonomy, adventure, danger, trust, and speed. Today we are as likely to be in the back seat of an Uber as behind the wheel ourselves. Tech giants are hurling us toward a shiny, happy “self-driving” future, selling utopia but equally keen to advertise to a captive audience strapped into another expensive device. Are we destined, then, to become passengers, not drivers? Why We Drive reveals that much more may be at stake than we might think. […Learn More]

Astronomy & Space Science

Liftoff: Elon Musk and the Desperate Early Days That Launched SpaceX

The dramatic inside story of the historic flights that launched SpaceX—and Elon Musk—from a shaky startup into the world’s leading-edge rocket company

SpaceX has enjoyed a miraculous decade. Less than 20 years after its founding, it boasts the largest constellation of commercial satellites in orbit, has pioneered reusable rockets, and in 2020 became the first private company to launch human beings into orbit. Half a century after the space race it is private companies, led by SpaceX, standing alongside NASA pushing forward into the cosmos, and laying the foundation for our exploration of other worlds. […Learn More]

History

The New Rules of War: Victory in the Age of Durable Disorder

War is timeless. Some things change—weapons, tactics, technology, leadership, objectives—but our desire to go into battle does not. We are living in the age of Durable Disorder—a period of unrest created by numerous factors: China’s rise, Russia’s resurgence, America’s retreat, global terrorism, international criminal empires, climate change, dwindling natural resources, and bloody civil wars. Sean McFate has been on the front lines of deep state conflicts and has studied and taught the history and practice of war. […Learn More]

Kilo: Inside the Deadliest Cocaine Cartels - From the Jungles to the Streets by Toby Muse
International & World Politics

Kilo: Inside the Deadliest Cocaine Cartels from the Jungles to the Streets

For fans of the Netflix show Narcos and readers of true crime, Kilo is a deeply reported account of life inside Colombia’s drug cartels, using unprecedented access in the cartels to trace a kilo of cocaine—from the fields where it is farmed, to the hit men who protect it, to the smuggling ships that bring it to American shores. […Learn More]