Our Authors1

Birds of Mongolia

Mongolia is a huge, landlocked central Asian country encompassing a wide range of habitats, including forests, vast treeless plains, the Altai Mountains, and, of course, the Gobi Desert. With an avian population that reflects this diverse landscape, the country is rapidly becoming a popular destination for birders. The first field guide dedicated to the birds of Mongolia, this beautiful volume provides in-depth details for 502 species, including all residents, migrants, and vagrants.

Gombobaatar Sundev, Mongolia’s most famous ornithologist, and Christopher Leahy follow traditional field-guide design with lavish color plates—112 in total—depicting every species and many distinct plumages and races. Authoritative text on facing pages explores identification, voice, habitat, behavior, and status. Detailed maps not to be found anywhere else accompany the species entries.

Birds of Mongolia is an indispensable guide for birders, adventurers, and all those interested in this central Asian nation.

  • The first dedicated field guide to the birds of Mongolia
  • In-depth details for 502 species, including all residents, migrants, and vagrants
  • 112 lavish color plates
  • Authoritative text explores identification, voice, habitat, behavior, and status
  • Up-to-date distribution maps for all species

Digital Cash: The Unknown History of the Anarchists, Utopians, and Technologists Who Created Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin may appear to be a revolutionary form of digital cash without precedent or prehistory. In fact, it is only the best-known recent experiment in a long line of similar efforts going back to the 1970s. But the story behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and its blockchain technology has largely been untold—until now. In Digital Cash, Finn Brunton reveals how technological utopians and political radicals created experimental money to bring about their visions of the future: protecting privacy or bringing down governments, preparing for apocalypse or launching a civilization of innovation and abundance that would make its creators immortal.

The incredible story of the pioneers of cryptocurrency takes us from autonomous zones on the high seas to the world’s most valuable dump, from bank runs to idea coupons, from time travelers in a San Francisco bar to the pattern securing every twenty-dollar bill, and from marketplaces for dangerous secrets to a tank of frozen heads awaiting revival in the far future. Along the way, Digital Cash explores the hard questions and challenges that these innovators faced: How do we learn to trust and use different kinds of money? What makes digital objects valuable? How does currency prove itself as real to us? What would it take to make a digital equivalent to cash, something that could be created but not forged, exchanged but not copied, and which reveals nothing about its users?

Filled with marvelous characters, stories, and ideas, Digital Cash is an engaging and accessible account of the strange origins and remarkable technologies behind today’s cryptocurrency explosion.

Beyond Global Warming: How Numerical Models Revealed the Secrets of Climate Change

Syukuro Manabe is perhaps the leading pioneer of modern climate modeling. Beyond Global Warming is his compelling firsthand account of how the scientific community came to understand the human causes of climate change, and how numerical models using the world’s most powerful computers have been instrumental to these vital discoveries.

Joined by atmospheric scientist Anthony Broccoli, Manabe shows how climate models have been used as virtual laboratories for examining the complex planetary interactions of atmosphere, ocean, and land. Manabe and Broccoli use these studies as the basis for a broader discussion of human-induced global warming—and what the future may hold for a warming planet. They tell the stories of early trailblazers such as Svante Arrhenius, the legendary Swedish scientist who created the first climate model of Earth more than a century ago, and they provide rare insights into Manabe’s own groundbreaking work over the past five decades. Expertly walking readers through key breakthroughs, they explain why increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide has caused temperatures to rise in the troposphere yet fall in the stratosphere, why the warming of the planet’s surface differs by hemisphere, why drought is becoming more frequent in arid regions despite the global increase in precipitation, and much more.

Authoritative and illuminating, Beyond Global Warming is an invaluable insider’s look at some of today’s most cutting-edge Earth science, and a rare window into a brilliant scientific mind.

Beyond Global Warming: How Numerical Models Revealed the Secrets of Climate Change

Beyond Global Warming: How Numerical Models Revealed the Secrets of Climate Change

Syukuro Manabe is perhaps the leading pioneer of modern climate modeling. Beyond Global Warming is his compelling firsthand account of how the scientific community came to understand the human causes of climate change, and how numerical models using the world’s most powerful computers have been instrumental to these vital discoveries.

Joined by atmospheric scientist Anthony Broccoli, Manabe shows how climate models have been used as virtual laboratories for examining the complex planetary interactions of atmosphere, ocean, and land. Manabe and Broccoli use these studies as the basis for a broader discussion of human-induced global warming—and what the future may hold for a warming planet. They tell the stories of early trailblazers such as Svante Arrhenius, the legendary Swedish scientist who created the first climate model of Earth more than a century ago, and they provide rare insights into Manabe’s own groundbreaking work over the past five decades. Expertly walking readers through key breakthroughs, they explain why increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide has caused temperatures to rise in the troposphere yet fall in the stratosphere, why the warming of the planet’s surface differs by hemisphere, why drought is becoming more frequent in arid regions despite the global increase in precipitation, and much more.

Authoritative and illuminating, Beyond Global Warming is an invaluable insider’s look at some of today’s most cutting-edge Earth science, and a rare window into a brilliant scientific mind.

The Opinion of Mankind: Sociability and the Theory of the State from Hobbes to Smith

What is the modern state? Conspicuously undertheorized in recent political theory, this question persistently animated the best minds of the Enlightenment. Recovering David Hume and Adam Smith’s long-underappreciated contributions to the history of political thought, The Opinion of Mankind considers how, following Thomas Hobbes’s epochal intervention in the mid-seventeenth century, subsequent thinkers grappled with explaining how the state came into being, what it fundamentally might be, and how it could claim rightful authority over those subject to its power.

Hobbes has cast a long shadow over Western political thought, particularly regarding the theory of the state. This book shows how Hume and Smith, the two leading lights of the Scottish Enlightenment, forged an alternative way of thinking about the organization of modern politics. They did this in part by going back to the foundations: rejecting Hobbes’s vision of human nature and his arguments about our capacity to form stable societies over time. In turn, this was harnessed to a deep reconceptualization of how to think philosophically about politics in a secular world. The result was an emphasis on the “opinion of mankind,” the necessary psychological basis of all political organization.

Demonstrating how Hume and Smith broke away from Hobbesian state theory, The Opinion of Mankind also suggests ways in which these thinkers might shape how we think about politics today, and in turn how we might construct better political theory.

Prime Suspects: The Anatomy of Integers and Permutations

Integers and permutations—two of the most basic mathematical objects—are born of different fields and analyzed with separate techniques. Yet when the Mathematical Sciences Investigation team of crack forensic mathematicians, led by Professor Gauss, begins its autopsies of the victims of two seemingly unrelated homicides, Arnie Integer and Daisy Permutation, they discover the most extraordinary similarities between the structures of each body.

Prime Suspects is a graphic novel that takes you on a voyage of forensic discovery, exploring some of the most fundamental ideas in mathematics. Travel with Detective von Neumann as he leaves no clue unturned, from shepherds’ huts in the Pyrenees to secret societies in the cafés of Paris, from the hidden codes in the music of the stones to the grisly discoveries in Finite Fields. Tremble at the ferocity of the believers in deep and rigid abstraction. Feel the frustration—and the excitement—of our young heroine, Emmy Germain, as she blazes a trail for women in mathematical research and learns from Professor Gauss, the greatest forensic detective of them all.

Beautifully drawn and exquisitely detailed, Prime Suspects is unique, astonishing, and witty—a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience mathematics like never before.

Prime Suspects: The Anatomy of Integers and Permutations

Integers and permutations—two of the most basic mathematical objects—are born of different fields and analyzed with separate techniques. Yet when the Mathematical Sciences Investigation team of crack forensic mathematicians, led by Professor Gauss, begins its autopsies of the victims of two seemingly unrelated homicides, Arnie Integer and Daisy Permutation, they discover the most extraordinary similarities between the structures of each body.

Prime Suspects is a graphic novel that takes you on a voyage of forensic discovery, exploring some of the most fundamental ideas in mathematics. Travel with Detective von Neumann as he leaves no clue unturned, from shepherds’ huts in the Pyrenees to secret societies in the cafés of Paris, from the hidden codes in the music of the stones to the grisly discoveries in Finite Fields. Tremble at the ferocity of the believers in deep and rigid abstraction. Feel the frustration—and the excitement—of our young heroine, Emmy Germain, as she blazes a trail for women in mathematical research and learns from Professor Gauss, the greatest forensic detective of them all.

Beautifully drawn and exquisitely detailed, Prime Suspects is unique, astonishing, and witty—a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience mathematics like never before.

The City-State of Boston: The Rise and Fall of an Atlantic Power, 1630-1865

In the vaunted annals of America’s founding, Boston has long been held up as an exemplary “city upon a hill” and the “cradle of liberty” for an independent United States. Wresting this iconic urban center from these misleading, tired clichés, The City-State of Boston highlights Boston’s overlooked past as an autonomous city-state, and in doing so, offers a pathbreaking and brilliant new history of early America. Following Boston’s development over three centuries, Mark Peterson discusses how this self-governing Atlantic trading center began as a refuge from Britain’s Stuart monarchs and how—through its bargain with slavery and ratification of the Constitution—it would tragically lose integrity and autonomy as it became incorporated into the greater United States.

Drawing from vast archives, and featuring unfamiliar figures alongside well-known ones, such as John Winthrop, Cotton Mather, and John Adams, Peterson explores Boston’s origins in sixteenth-century utopian ideals, its founding and expansion into the hinterland of New England, and the growth of its distinctive political economy, with ties to the West Indies and southern Europe. By the 1700s, Boston was at full strength, with wide Atlantic trading circuits and cultural ties, both within and beyond Britain’s empire. After the cataclysmic Revolutionary War, “Bostoners” aimed to negotiate a relationship with the American confederation, but through the next century, the new United States unraveled Boston’s regional reign. The fateful decision to ratify the Constitution undercut its power, as Southern planters and slave owners dominated national politics and corroded the city-state’s vision of a common good for all.

Peeling away the layers of myth surrounding a revered city, The City-State of Boston offers a startlingly fresh understanding of America’s history.

The City-State of Boston: The Rise and Fall of an Atlantic Power, 1630-1865

In the vaunted annals of America’s founding, Boston has long been held up as an exemplary “city upon a hill” and the “cradle of liberty” for an independent United States. Wresting this iconic urban center from these misleading, tired clichés, The City-State of Boston highlights Boston’s overlooked past as an autonomous city-state, and in doing so, offers a pathbreaking and brilliant new history of early America. Following Boston’s development over three centuries, Mark Peterson discusses how this self-governing Atlantic trading center began as a refuge from Britain’s Stuart monarchs and how—through its bargain with slavery and ratification of the Constitution—it would tragically lose integrity and autonomy as it became incorporated into the greater United States.

Drawing from vast archives, and featuring unfamiliar figures alongside well-known ones, such as John Winthrop, Cotton Mather, and John Adams, Peterson explores Boston’s origins in sixteenth-century utopian ideals, its founding and expansion into the hinterland of New England, and the growth of its distinctive political economy, with ties to the West Indies and southern Europe. By the 1700s, Boston was at full strength, with wide Atlantic trading circuits and cultural ties, both within and beyond Britain’s empire. After the cataclysmic Revolutionary War, “Bostoners” aimed to negotiate a relationship with the American confederation, but through the next century, the new United States unraveled Boston’s regional reign. The fateful decision to ratify the Constitution undercut its power, as Southern planters and slave owners dominated national politics and corroded the city-state’s vision of a common good for all.

Peeling away the layers of myth surrounding a revered city, The City-State of Boston offers a startlingly fresh understanding of America’s history.