Subjects Freshman Year Reading African American Studies African Studies American Studies Anthropology Art, Film, Music and Architecture Asian Studies Business and Economics Criminology Education Environmental Studies Foreign Language Instructional Materials Gender Studies History Irish Studies Jewish Studies Latin American & Caribbean Studies Law and Legal Studies Literature and Drama Literature in Spanish Media Issues, Journalism and Communication Middle East Studies Native American Studies Philosophy Political Science Psychology Reference Religion Russian and Eastern European Studies Science and Mathematics Sociology Study Aids


E-Newsletters: Click here to be notified of new titles in your field
Click here to request Desk/Exam copies
Freshman Year Reading
View Our Award Winners
Click here to view our Catalogs

101 Featured Titles

Sort: Author  Date  Format  Price  Title


Exam Copy
Engines of Creation
The Coming Era of Nanotechnology
Written by Eric Drexler


Format: Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Publisher: Anchor
On Sale: September 16, 1987
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-0-385-19973-5 (0-385-19973-2)

Foreword by Marvin Minsky. This brilliant work heralds the new age of nanotechnology, which will give us thorough and inexpensive control of the structure of matter. Drexler examines the enormous implications of these developments for medicine, the economy, and the environment, and makes astounding yet well-founded projections for the future. Read more >

Exam Copy
Why Things Break
Understanding the World By the Way It Comes Apart
Written by Mark Eberhart


Format: Trade Paperback, 272 pages
Publisher: Broadway Books
On Sale: September 28, 2004
Price: $14.00
ISBN: 978-1-4000-4883-0 (1-4000-4883-4)

Why Things Break explores the fascinating question of what holds things together (for a while), what breaks them apart, and why the answers have a direct bearing on our everyday lives.

When Mark Eberhart was growing up in the 1960s, he learned that splitting an atom leads to a terrible explosion—which prompted... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
The Technological Society

Written by Jacques Ellul


Format: Paperback, 512 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: October 12, 1967
Price: $14.95
ISBN: 978-0-394-70390-9 (0-394-70390-1)

Introduction by Robert K. Merton, translated by John Wilkinson.  As insightful and wise today as it was when originally published in 1954, Jacques Ellul's The Technological Society has become a classic in its field, laying the groundwork for all other studies of technology and society that have followed.  Ellul offers a penetrating analysis... Read more >

Exam Copy
Faraday, Maxwell, and the Electromagnetic Field
How Two Men Revolutionized Physics
Written by Nancy Forbes and Basil Mahon


Format: Hardcover, 320 pages
Publisher: Prometheus Books
On Sale: March 11, 2014
Price: $25.95
ISBN: 978-1-61614-942-0 (1-61614-942-6)

Two of the boldest and most creative scientists of all time were Michael Faraday (1791-1867) and James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879). This is the story of how these two men - separated in age by forty years - discovered the existence of the electromagnetic field and devised a radically new theory which... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Secret Weapons
Technology, Science and the Race to Win World War II
Written by Brian J. Ford


Format: Hardcover, 304 pages
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
On Sale: September 20, 2011
Price: $25.95
ISBN: 978-1-84908-390-4 (1-84908-390-8)

Powerful illustrations and a unique new narrative make this an incomparable illustrated history of the secret weapons that changed the course of World War II. The book’s basic structure is chronological, charting the race in technology between the Allied and Axis powers, with examples of their use in battle, along with... Read more >
Also available as a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
Hat in the Ring
The Birth of American Air Power in the Great War
Written by Bert Frandsen


Format: Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: July 6, 2010
Price: $24.95
ISBN: 978-1-58834-281-2 (1-58834-281-6)

When Congress declared war in April 1917, the Europeans had already deployed their third generation of fighters, equipped with machine guns and capable of speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour, while the American Air Service consisted of only a handful of aviators in unarmed trainers. In this first in-depth... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
The Information
A History, A Theory, A Flood
Written by James Gleick


Format: Trade Paperback, 544 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: March 6, 2012
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-1-4000-9623-7 (1-4000-9623-5)

A New York Times Notable Book
A Los Angeles Times and Cleveland Plain Dealer Best Book of the Year

From the bestselling author of the acclaimed Chaos and Genius comes a thoughtful and provocative exploration of the big ideas of the modern era: Information, communication, and information theory.

Acclaimed science writer James Gleick... Read more >

Exam Copy
The Information
A History, a Theory, a Flood
Written by James Gleick


Format: Hardcover, 544 pages
Publisher: Pantheon
On Sale: March 1, 2011
Price: $35.00
ISBN: 978-0-375-42372-7 (0-375-42372-9)

The story of information begins in a time profoundly unlike our own, when every thought and utterance vanished as soon as it was born. From the invention of scripts and alphabets to the long misunderstood “talk­ing drums” of Africa, James Gleick tells the story of information technologies that changed the very... Read more >

Exam Copy
What Just Happened
A Chronicle from the Information Frontier
Written by James Gleick


Format: Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: June 10, 2003
Price: $13.00
ISBN: 978-0-375-71391-0 (0-375-71391-3)

For the past decade change seemed to happen over night, every night. Fueled by the exponential rise of technology, the digital revolution was difficult for many to make sense of, but James Gleick watched and analyzed, criticized and commended, participated in and prophesized about the instantaneous transformations of the world as... Read more >
Also available as an unabridged audiobook download.

Exam Copy
The Story of Science: Aristotle Leads the Way
Aristotle Leads the Way
Written by Joy Hakim


Format: Hardcover, 256 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: November 17, 2004
Price: $24.95
ISBN: 978-1-58834-160-0 (1-58834-160-7)

Not too long ago, in earth time, no one thought the universe had a history. The scientific and religious experts believed that the world had been created as it is today and that nothing had changed. Those experts did their best but they were wrong--really wrong. The Story of Science: Aristotle... Read more >

Exam Copy
The Story of Science: Einstein Adds a New Dimension
Einstein Adds a New Dimension
Written by Joy Hakim


Format: Hardcover, 480 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: November 1, 2007
Price: $27.95
ISBN: 978-1-58834-162-4 (1-58834-162-3)

Joy Hakim’s The Story of Science: Einstein Adds a New Dimension brings us to the recent past and the groundbreaking discoveries made in it: the quantum world, the theory of relativity, and nuclear physics. These discoveries created our modern world, from solar-powered calculators to cell phones to global positioning systems and... Read more >

Exam Copy
The Story of Science: Newton at the Center
Newton at the Center
Written by Joy Hakim


Format: Hardcover, 480 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: November 1, 2005
Price: $27.95
ISBN: 978-1-58834-161-7 (1-58834-161-5)

In volume two, students will watch as Copernicus’s systematic observations place the sun at the center of our universe–to the dismay of establishment thinkers. After students follow the achievements and frustrations of Galileo, Kepler, and Descartes, they will appreciate the amazing Isaac Newton, whose discoveries about gravity, motion, colors, calculus, and... Read more >

Exam Copy
Storm over Iraq
Air Power and the Gulf War
Written by Richard Hallion


Format: Trade Paperback, 386 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: March 17, 1997
Price: $19.95
ISBN: 978-1-56098-723-9 (1-56098-723-5)

An incisive account of the Persian Gulf War, Storm Over Iraq shows how the success of Operation Desert Storm was the product of two decades of profound changes in the American approach to defense, military doctrine, and combat operations. The first detailed analysis of why the Gulf War could be fought... Read more >

Exam Copy
On the Frontier
Experimental Flight at NASA Dryden
Written by Richard P. Hallion and Michael H. Gorn


Format: Trade Paperback, 584 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: July 6, 2010
Price: $39.95
ISBN: 978-1-58834-289-8 (1-58834-289-1)

This little known classic history of flight-testing the Xplanes is reborn, sweepingly revised and updated with new and recently released information. Aviation enthusiasts will savor the most detailed account available of record-setting aircraft like the X-1 and XZ-15, flown by Chuck Yeager and other legends, as well as all the cutting-edge... Read more >

Exam Copy
The Mind of War
John Boyd and American Security
Written by Grant Hammond


Format: Trade Paperback, 248 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: August 17, 2004
Price: $17.95
ISBN: 978-1-58834-178-5 (1-58834-178-X)

The ideas of US Air Force Colonel John Boyd have transformed American military policy and practice. A first-rate fighter pilot and a self-taught scholar, he wrote the first manual on jet aerial combat; spearheaded the design of both of the Air Force’s premier fighters, the F-15 and the F-16; and shaped... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
They Changed the World: Bell, Edison and Tesla

Written by Lewis Helfand
Illustrated by Naresh Kumar


Format: Trade Paperback, 96 pages
Publisher: Campfire
On Sale: June 17, 2014
Price: $12.99
ISBN: 978-93-80741-87-1 (93-80741-87-1)

Despite having three completely different approaches, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison and Nicola Tesla each made significant contributions to the field of science and laid the foundation for modern technology.  As their paths crossed, a rivalry grew, with Tesla pushed into the shadows of history until a resurgence in the 1990s. ... Read more >

Exam Copy
History of the Space Shuttle, Volume Two
Development of the Space Shuttle, 1972-1981
Written by T. A. Heppenheimer


Format: Trade Paperback, 504 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: July 6, 2010
Price: $32.95
ISBN: 978-1-58834-285-0 (1-58834-285-9)

Basing his work on virtually untapped NASA archives, T. A. Heppenheimer has produced the second volume of his definitive history of the space shuttle. Volume Two traces the development of the shuttle through a decade of engineering setbacks and breakthroughs, program-management challenges, and political strategizing, culminating in the first launch in... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
A Short History of Nuclear Folly

Written by Rudolph Herzog
Translated by Jefferson Chase


Format: Hardcover, 256 pages
Publisher: Melville House
On Sale: April 30, 2013
Price: $26.00
ISBN: 978-1-61219-173-7 (1-61219-173-8)

In the spirit of Dr. Strangelove and The Atomic Café, a blackly sardonic people’s history of atomic blunders and near-misses revealing the hushed-up and forgotten episodes in which the great powers gambled with catastrophe. Rudolph Herzog presents a devastating account of history’s most irresponsible uses of nuclear technology. From the rarely... Read more >
Also available as an eBook and a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
Engines of Change
The American Industrial Revolution, 1790-1860
Written by Brooke Hindle and Stephen Lubar


Format: Trade Paperback, 310 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: October 17, 1986
Price: $21.95
ISBN: 978-0-87474-539-9 (0-87474-539-X)

Engines of Change is based on a Smithsonian Institution exhibit of the same title. The principal theme is the importance of technological transfer. It ventures beyond discussion of machines and tools to consider the effects of geographical dimension, natural resources, business practices, the role of women, ethnic diversity, and education. In... Read more >

Exam Copy
Rescuing Prometheus
Four Monumental Projects that Changed Our World
Written by Thomas P. Hughes


Format: Trade Paperback, 384 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: March 14, 2000
Price: $19.95
ISBN: 978-0-679-73938-8 (0-679-73938-6)

In his farewell address, President Dwight Eisenhower warned against the dangers posed by the "military-industrial-university complex."  His warning became a rallying cry of liberal dissent and, for some, this partnership became the most ominous aspect of what came to be known as the "establishment."

Rescuing Prometheus presents a radically different view of the... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Creeping Failure
How We Broke the Internet and What We Can Do to Fix It
Written by Jeffrey Hunker


Format: Hardcover, 288 pages
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
On Sale: August 24, 2010
Price: $25.95
ISBN: 978-0-7710-4148-8 (0-7710-4148-9)

The Internet is often called a superhighway, but it may be more analogous to a city: an immense tangle of streets, highways, and interchanges, lined with homes and businesses, playgrounds and theatres. We may not physically live in this city, but most of us spend a lot of time there, and... Read more >
Also available as an eBook and a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
The Published Writings of Wilbur and Orville Wright

Edited by Peter Jakab and Rick Young


Format: Trade Paperback, 368 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: June 17, 2004
Price: $22.95
ISBN: 978-1-58834-142-6 (1-58834-142-9)

For the first time, nearly seventy of Wilbur and Orville Wright’s published writings are brought together in a single, annotated reference. Spanning the decades from the brothers’ turn-of-the-century experiments with gliders until Orville’s death in 1948, the articles describe the design of their aircraft, early test flights, and camp life at... Read more >

Exam Copy
Visions of a Flying Machine
The Wright Brothers and the Process of Invention
Written by Peter Jakab


Format: Trade Paperback, 272 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: April 17, 1997
Price: $18.95
ISBN: 978-1-56098-748-2 (1-56098-748-0)

This acclaimed book on the Wright Brothers takes the reader straight to the heart of their remarkable achievement, focusing on the technology and offering a clear, concise chronicle of precisely what they accomplished and how they did it. This book deals with the process of the invention of the airplane and... Read more >

Exam Copy
Kelly
More Than My Share of It All
Written by Clarence L. Johnson


Format: Trade Paperback, 224 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: December 17, 1989
Price: $21.95
ISBN: 978-0-87474-491-0 (0-87474-491-1)

Clarence L. “Kelly” Johnson led the design of such crucial aircraft as the P-38 and Constellation, but he will be more remembered for the U-2 and SR-71 spy planes. His extraordinary leadership of the Lockheed “Skunk Works” cemented his reputation as a legendary figure in American aerospace management.

“Reads like the autobiography... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Tex Johnston
Jet-Age Test Pilot
Written by A.M. Johnston


Format: Trade Paperback, 274 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: December 17, 2000
Price: $17.95
ISBN: 978-1-56098-931-8 (1-56098-931-9)

One of America’s most daring and accomplished test pilots, Tex Johnston flew the first US jet airplanes and, in a career spanning the 1930s through the 1970s, helped create the jet age at such pioneering aerospace companies as Bell Aircraft and Boeing.

“There seem to be two Tex Johnstons: the one who... Read more >
View pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
Page 2 of 5