From the Yale Blog

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The Year That Changed Everything in Literature

November 28, 2013

John Sutherland’s A Little History of Literature introduces great classics from across the ages: Beowulf, Shakespeare, Don Quixote, the Romantics, Dickens, Moby Dick, The Waste Land, Woolf, 1984 and dozens of others. These are works ancient and modern, …

What is Literature?

November 12, 2013

John Sutherland’s ‘Little History’ tackles a very big subject: the glorious span of literature from Greek myth to graphic novels, from The Epic of Gilgamesh to Harry Potter. In this extract from the book, Sutherland addresses a fundamental question; wh …

Dangerous Books Around the World

October 5, 2013

Books have always had the power to make authorities rather uncomfortable. Sometimes it’s because the novel makes the government look bad, goes against the teachings of a particular religion, or says things that are simply too salacious for conservative …

Antoine–Laurent Lavoisier and the myth of phlogiston

August 23, 2013

Yale University Press’ Little Histories collection is a family of books that take a closer look at some of the most significant events, ideas, discoveries and people throughout history. To celebrate the launch of the paperback edition of William Bynum’ …

Measuring pressure is tricky, just ask Stephen Hales’ horse!

August 21, 2013

Robert Boyle was fascinated by the world and he spent his life trying to explain why things are as they are. He was a chemist, physicist and inventor, and his work went on to be a major influence on the founder of modern chemistry, Isaac Newton. He was …

Genius and Tragedy: The Life of Alan Turing

June 23, 2013

History is rife with examples of persecuted scientists—think Rhazes, Galileo, and Servetus, for starters—but it would be a mistake to think that such injustice was limited to the early pages of our history. As recently as the 1950s, a great injustice w …

The End of Slavery in America

June 19, 2013

On this day in 1862, a momentous event in American history took place: Congress finally outlawed slavery in United States …read more

‘Life Without Pain Has No Meaning’: Arthur Schopenhauer

June 12, 2013

If you had to draw up a list of philosophers you’d least like to get stuck next to at a dinner party, it would probably be wise to place Arthur Schopenhauer’s name at the very top. Schopenhauer did not possess, to put it mildly, a pleasant …

The Banality of Evil: Hannah Arendt

June 5, 2013

How could humans have committed all those atrocities that characterised the Holocaust? Were they all monsters and sadists, delighting in the pain of others? Or, more terrifyingly, were they just people like you and me, who simply didn’t recognise …

Happy Vesak Day!

May 24, 2013

Yale University Press’ Little Histories collection is a family of books that takes a closer look at some of the most significant events, ideas, discoveries and people throughout history. As part of our ongoing coverage of the collection, here …