The astonishing accounts of almost modern technological achievements found in the Homeric Epics constitute one of the so-called Homeric Issues. The question is whether such achievements existed in reality or whether they were just poetic conceptions. Both views have their followers and adversaries. For example, robots, either in human form, as the golden girls serving Hephaestus, or in animal form, as the gold and silver mastiffs of King Alcinous, or even the intelligent, self-propelled ships of the Phaeacins, could hardly have existed in an era for which no evidence or even hints of prime movers exist.
The remarkable life of Alexander the Great, one of the greatest military geniuses of all time, vividly told by one of the world's leading experts in Greek history. With all the intensity, insight, and narrative drive that made The Spartans such a hit with critics and readers, Paul Cartledge's Alexander the Great: glowingly illuminates the brief but iconic life of Alexander (356-323 BC), king of Macedon, conqueror of the Persian Empire, and founder of a new world order.
The definitive, Nobel Prize–winning history of World War II, universally acknowledged as a magnificent historical reconstruction and an enduring work of literature.
"After the end of the World War of 1914 there was a deep conviction and almost universal hope that peace would reign in the world. This heart's desire of all the peoples could easily have been gained by steadfastness in righteous convictions, and by reasonable common sense and prudence."
John Skylitzes' extraordinary Middle Byzantine chronicle covers the reigns of the Byzantine emperors from the death of Nicephorus I in 811 to the deposition of Michael VI in 1057, and provides the only surviving continuous narrative of the late tenth and early eleventh centuries. A high official living in the late eleventh century, Skylitzes used a number of existing Greek histories (some of them no longer extant) to create a digest of the previous three centuries.
Keynes profoundly influenced the New Deal and created the basis for classic economic theory.
"I can think of no single book that has so changed the conception held by economists as to the working of the capitalist system" --- Robert L. Heilbroner.
A president faced an economic depression that wouldn't go away, and a deeply disgruntled electorate. Not for the first or last time, the option of entering a war seemed politically appealing. How badly did President Franklin Delano Roosevelt want a war and to what lengths was he willing to go to get one? These questions have vexed historians for many decades. Pearl Harbor: The Seeds and Fruits of Infamy by Percy Greaves Jr. (1906–1984), published for the first time in 2010, blows the top off a 70-year coverup, reporting for the first time on long-suppressed interviews, documents, and corroborated evidence.
In Kuwait, American forces are locked and loaded for the invasion of Iraq. In Paris, a covert agent is close to cracking a terrorist cell. And just north of the equator, a sailboat manned by a drug runner and a pirate is witness to the unspeakable. In one instant, all around the world, everything will change. A wave of inexplicable energy slams into the continental United States. America as we know it vanishes.
In all major regions of the world, the economic recession is deep-seated, resulting in mass unemployment, the collapse of state social programs and the impoverishment of millions of people. The meltdown of financial markets was the result of institutionalized fraud and financial manipulation. The economic crisis is accompanied by a worldwide process of militarization, a war without borders led by the U.S. and its NATO allies.
A black swan is a highly improbable event with three principal characteristics: It is unpredictable; it carries a massive impact; and, after the fact, we concoct an explanation that makes it appear less random, and more predictable, than it was. The astonishing success of Google was a black swan; so was 9/11. For Nassim Nicholas Taleb, black swans underlie almost everything about our world, from the rise of religions to events in our own personal lives.