Scotland: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Rab Houston
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 019157886X
Category: History
Page: 192
View: 5973

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Since Devolution in 1999 Scotland has become a focus of intense interest both within Britain and throughout the wider world. In this Very Short Introduction, Rab Houston explores how an independent Scottish nation emerged in the Middle Ages, how it was irrevocably altered by Reformation, links with England and economic change, and how Scotland influenced the development of the modern world. Examining politics, law, society, religion, education, migration, and culture, he examines how the nation's history has made it distinct from England, both before and after Union, how it overcame internal tensions between Highland and Lowland society, and how it has today arrived at a political, social and culture watershed. Authoritative, lucid, and ranging widely over issues of environment, people, and identity, this is Scotland's story without myths: an ideal introduction for those interested in the Scots, but also a balanced yet refreshing challenge to those who already feel at home in Scotland past and present. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Mountains: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Martin Price
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191003379
Category: Science
Page: 144
View: 1762

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Mountains cover a quarter of the Earth's land surface and are home to about 12 percent of the global population. They are the sources of all the world's major rivers, affect regional weather patterns, provide centres of biological and cultural diversity, hold deposits of minerals, and provide both active and contemplative recreation. Yet mountains are also significantly affected by climate change; as melting and retreating glaciers show. Given the manifold goods and services which mountains provide to the world, such changes are of global importance. In this Very Short Introduction, Martin Price outlines why mountains matter at the global level, and addresses the existing and likely impacts of climate change on mountain, hydrological and ecological systems. Considering the risks associated with the increasing frequency of extreme events and 'natural hazards' caused by climate change, he discusses the implications for both mountain societies and wider populations, and concludes by emphasizing the need for greater cooperation in order to adapt to climate change in our increasingly globalized world. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Islam: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Malise Ruthven
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0199642877
Category: Religion
Page: 200
View: 3765

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Islam features widely in the news, often in its most militant forms, but few people in the non-Muslim world really understand its nature. Malise Ruthven's Very Short Introduction, offers essential insights into the big issues, provides fresh perspectives on contemporary questions, and guides us through the complex debates.

The Ice Age

A Very Short Introduction
Author: Jamie Woodward
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199580693
Category: History
Page: 163
View: 2137

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"In an era of warming climate, the study of the ice age past is now more important than ever. This book examines the wonders of the Quaternary ice age - to show how ice age landscapes and ecosystems were repeatedly and rapidly transformed as plants, animals, and humans reorganized their worlds." --Publisher.

Nineteenth-Century Britain: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Christopher Harvie,Colin Matthew
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191606499
Category: History
Page: 192
View: 6700

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First published as part of the best-selling The Oxford Illustrated History of Britain, Christopher Harvie and Colin Matthew's Very Short Introduction to Nineteenth-Century Britain is a sharp but subtle account of remarkable economic and social change and an even more remarkable political stability. Britain in 1789 was overwhelmingly rural, agrarian, multilingual, and almost half Celtic. By 1914, when it faced its greatest test since the defeat of Napoleon, it was largely urban and English. Christopher Harvie and Colin Matthew show the forces behind Britain's rise to its imperial zenith, and the continuing tensions within the nations and classes of the 'union state'. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The English Language


Author: Simon Horobin
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198709250
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 168
View: 5693

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The English language is spoken by more than a billion people throughout the world. But where did English come from? And how has it evolved into the language used today?In this Very Short Introduction Simon Horobin investigates how we have arrived at the English we know today, and celebrates the way new speakers and new uses mean that it continues to adapt. Engaging with contemporary concerns about correctness, Horobin considers whether such changes areimprovements, or evidence of slipping standards. What is the future for the English language? Will Standard English continue to hold sway, or we are witnessing its replacement by newly emerging Englishes?ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, andenthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Psychotherapy

A Very Short Introduction
Author: Tom Burns,Eva Burns-Lundgren
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0199689369
Category: Psychology
Page: 127
View: 9354

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Over the last century, psychotherapy has transformed from an obscure treatment for wealthy, intellectual neurotics in fin-de-siècle Vienna to a widely used treatment for emotional and psychological difficulties. In this compendium, the authors map the development of psychotherapy, from its origins in Freud's psychoanalysis to the range of approaches available today, including counseling, cognitive behavior therapy, mindfulness, and group therapies.--From publisher description.

Medieval Literature

A Very Short Introduction
Author: Elaine Treharne
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0199668493
Category: History
Page: 144
View: 2074

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This Very Short Introduction provides a compelling account of the emergence of the earliest literature in Britain and Ireland, including English, Welsh, Scottish, Irish, Anglo-Latin and Anglo-Norman. Introducing the reader to some of the greatest poetry, prose and drama ever written, Elaine Treharne discusses the historical and intellectual background to these works, and considers the physical production of the manuscripts and the earliest beginnings of print culture. Covering both well-known texts, such as Beowulf, The Canterbury Tales and the Mabinogion, as well as texts that are much less familiar, such as sermons, saints' lives, lyrics and histories, Treharne discusses major themes such as sin and salvation, kingship and authority, myth and the monstrous, and provides a full, but brief, account of one of the major periods in literary history. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The British Constitution: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Martin Loughlin
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199697698
Category: Law
Page: 135
View: 6598

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The British constitution has grown organically in response to changes in its economic, political, and social environment, and is not contained in a single authoritative text. In this Very Short Introduction, Martin Loughlin examines the nature and authority of the constitution, and its challenging prospects for the future.

Isotopes

A Very Short Introduction
Author: Rob Ellam
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198723628
Category: Science
Page: 144
View: 3507

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An isotope is a variant form of a chemical element, containing a different number of neutrons in its nucleus. Most elements exist as several isotopes. Many are stable while others are radioactive, and some may only exist fleetingly before decaying into other elements. In this Very Short Introduction, Rob Ellam explains how isotopes have proved enormously important across all the sciences and in archaeology. Radioactive isotopes may be familiar from their use in nuclear weapons, nuclear power, and in medicine, as well as in carbon dating. They have been central to establishing the age of the Earth and the origins of the solar system. Combining previous and new research, Ellam provides an overview of the nature of stable and radioactive isotopes, and considers their wide range of modern applications. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Anaesthesia: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Aidan O'Donnell
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191633925
Category: Medical
Page: 160
View: 9899

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What do anaesthetists do? How does anaesthesia work? What are the risks? And how does the anaesthetist know if you are really asleep? Anaesthesia is a mysterious and sometimes threatening process. In this Very Short Introduction, Aidan O'Donnell takes the reader on a tour through the whole of the modern anaesthetic practice. He begins by explaining general anaesthesia: what it is, how it is produced, and how it differs from natural sleep and other forms of unconsciousness. He goes on to consider the main categories of anaesthetic drugs, including anaesthetic vapours, intravenous agents, muscle relaxants, and analgesics, together with explanations of how they work and what their purpose is. Set against the historical background of anaesthetic and surgical practice, O'Donnell examines the large role anaesthetists play in specialised areas such as intensive care medicine, pain medicine, and childbirth; and finally, he considers the risks of anaesthesia, putting in to context that anaesthesia is a very safe process. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Roman Britain

A Very Short Introduction
Author: Peter Salway
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0198712162
Category: History
Page: 122
View: 5901

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First published in The Oxford Illustrated History of Britain, 1984; first published as a Very Short Introduction, 2000.

Witchcraft: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Malcolm Gaskill
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019923695X
Category: History
Page: 146
View: 3346

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Examines the history and origins of witchcraft, from pre-history to the present day, considering why it still features so heavily in our culture

Nuclear Power: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Maxwell Irvine
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191620319
Category: Science
Page: 160
View: 2471

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With the World desperate to find energy sources that do not emit carbon gasses, nuclear power is back on the agenda and in the news, following the increasing cost of fossil fuels and concerns about the security of their future supply. However, the term 'nuclear power' causes anxiety in many people and there is confusion concerning the nature and extent of the associated risks. Here, Maxwell Irvine presents a concise introduction to the development of nuclear physics leading up to the emergence of the nuclear power industry. He discusses the nature of nuclear energy and deals with various aspects of public concern, considering the risks of nuclear safety, the cost of its development, and waste disposal. Dispelling some of the widespread confusion about nuclear energy, Irvine considers the relevance of nuclear power, the potential of nuclear fusion, and encourages informed debate about its potential. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Psychiatry: a Very Short Introduction


Author: Tom Burns
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0198826206
Category: Medical
Page: 152
View: 4377

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Psychiatry is an endlessly controversial endeavor, incorporating emotively-charged questions over the reality of mental illness, the medicalization of everyday life, and the role of nature versus nurture which cause constant discussion today, and on which almost everyone has an opinion. In this Very Short Introduction Tom Burns explores the nature of psychiatry, focusing on what it can and cannot do, and discussing why its history has been beset by dramatic shifts in emphasis and types of treatment. Considering the main disorders that have shaped its practice (such as schizophrenia and manic depression), he analyzes how it differs from (and overlaps with) psychology and psychotherapy. Many of the controversies arise from its dual origin 200 years ago and the separate development of psychiatry with a more "medical" approach in the asylums, rather than the psychological approach which birthed psychoanalysis and various forms of psychotherapy. Discussing philosophical issues of psychiatry's legitimacy, Burns explores the mistakes psychiatry has made and the blind alleys in its history, before looking forward to the likely changes in its practice with the coming of artificial intelligence and virtual reality. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Intelligence: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Ian J. Deary
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191579491
Category: Philosophy
Page: 148
View: 8713

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People value their powers of thinking and most of us are interested in why some people seem to drive a highly tuned Rolls Royce brain while others potter along with a merely serviceable Ford Fiesta. This Very Short Introduction describes what psychologists have discovered about how and why people differ in their thinking powers. The book takes readers from no knowledge about the science of human intelligence to a stage where they are able to make judgements for themselves about some of the key questions about human mental ability differences. Each chapter deals with a central issue that is both scientifically lively and of considerable general interest, and is structured around a diagram which is explained in the course of the chapter. The issues discussed include whether there are several different types of intelligence, whether intelligence differences are caused by genes or the environment, the biological basis of intelligence differences, and whether intelligence declines or increases as we grow older. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

British Politics: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Anthony Wright
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199661103
Category: Law
Page: 131
View: 579

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An interpretative essay on the British political system looks at the key characteristics and ideas of the British tradition, explores what makes British politics distinctive, and considers how the system continues to evolve.

Freemasonry: a Very Short Introduction


Author: Andreas Önnerfors
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198796277
Category: Social Science
Page: 152
View: 7126

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Freemasonry is one of the oldest and most widespread voluntary organizations in the world. Over the course of three centuries men (and women) have organized themselves socially and voluntarily under its name. With a strong sense of liberation, moral enlightenment, cosmopolitan openness and forward-looking philanthropy, freemasonry has attracted some of the sharpest minds in history and has created a strong platform for nascent civil societies across the globe. With the secrecy of internally communicated knowledge, the clandestine character of organization, and the enactment of rituals and the elaborate use of symbols, freemasonry has also opened up feelings of distrust, as well as allegations of secretiveness and conspiracy. This Very Short Introduction introduces the inner activities of freemasonry, and the rituals, symbols and practices. Looking at the development of the organizational structure of masonry from the local to the global level, Andreas Onnerfors considers perceptions of freemasonry from the outside world, and navigates through the prevalent fictions and conspiracy theories. He also discusses how freemasonry has from its outset struggled with issues of exclusion based upon gender, race and religion, despite promoting tolerant openness and inclusion. Finally Onnerfors shines a light on the rarely discussed but highly compelling history of female agency in Masonic and Para-Masonic orders. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Twentieth-Century Britain: A Very Short Introduction


Author: Kenneth O. Morgan
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191606480
Category: History
Page: 144
View: 6713

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First published as part of the best-selling The Oxford Illustrated History of Britain, Kenneth Morgan's Very Short Introduction to Twentieth-Century Britain examines the forces of consensus and of conflict in twentieth-century Britain. The account covers the trauma of the First World War and the social divisions of the twenties; fierce domestic and foreign policy debates in the thirties; the impact of the Second World War for domestic transformation, popular culture and the loss of empire; the transition from the turmoil of the seventies to the aftermath of Thatcherism and the advent of New Labour. Throughout, cultural and artistic themes are woven into the analysis, along with the distinct national experiences of Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. The profound tension that shook the United Kingdom are juxtaposed against equally deep forces for stability, cohesion, and a sense of historic identity. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.