Useful Books for Tourist Guiding



The Geography of Thought : How Asians and Westerners Think Differently...and Why
by Richard Nisbett

Editorial Reviews From Publishers Weekly
This book may mark the beginning of a new front in the science wars. Nisbett, an eminent psychologist and co-author of a seminal Psychological Review paper on how people talk about their decision making, reports on some of his latest work in cultural psychology. He contends that "[h]uman cognition is not everywhere the same"-that those brought up in Western and East Asian cultures think differently from one another in scientifically measurable ways. Such a contention pits his work squarely against evolutionary psychology (as articulated by Steven Pinker and others) and cognitive science, which assume all appreciable human characteristics are "hard wired." Initial chapters lay out the traditional differences between Aristotle and Confucius, and the social practices that produced (and have grown out of) these differing "homeostatic approaches" to the world: Westerners tend to inculcate individualism and choice (40 breakfast cereals at the supermarket), while East Asians are oriented toward group relations and obligations ("the tall poppy is cut down" remains a popular Chinese aphorism). Next, Nisbett presents his actual experiments and data, many of which measure reaction times in recalling previously shown objects. They seem to show East Asians (a term Nisbett uses as a catch-all for Chinese, Koreans, Japanese and others) measurably more holistic in their perceptions (taking in whole scenes rather than a few stand-out objects). Westerners, or those brought up in Northern European and Anglo-Saxon-descended cultures, have a "tunnel-vision perceptual style" that focuses much more on identifying what's prominent in certain scenes and remembering it. Writing dispassionately yet with engagement, Nisbett explains the differences as "an inevitable consequence of using different tools to understand the world." If his explanation turns out to be generally accepted, it means a big victory for memes in their struggle with genes.

From Scientific American

Nisbett, a psychologist and Distinguished University Professor at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, used to believe that "all human groups perceive and reason in the same way." A series of events and studies led him gradually to quite another view, that Asians and Westerners "have maintained very different systems of thought for thousands of years." Different how? "The collective or interdependent nature of Asian society is consistent with Asians' broad, contextual view of the world and... read more


The Encyclopedia of Stupidity
by Matthijs van Boxsel

Editorial Reviews Book Description
Encyclopedias are no longer just the preserve of knowledge and the knowledgeable. In this enjoyable and witty catalog of human weakness, Matthijs van Boxsel brings together an A-Z of the stupid, the comic and the nonsensical throughout history. The author maintains that our culture is the product of a series of failed attempts to comprehend stupidity, the quality he considers the key condition for intelligence and the foundation of our civilization. Basing his analysis on fairy tales, cartoons, garden architecture, baroque ceilings, jokes, flimsy excuses, science fiction and figures from King Midas to the dumb blonde, Van Boxsel fathoms the logic of this opposite world.



Asia in the Making of Europe:
A Century of Advance, Volume 3 in 4 Books

by Donald Frederick Lach, Edwin J. Van Kley

Editorial Reviews From Book News, Inc.
This monumental achievement, the first comprehensive study of Asian influences on Western culture, was launched to acclaim in 1965 with Volume I: A Century of Discovery (2 books), which covered the 15th century (and is cited in BCL3). In 1970 the first book of Volume II: A Century of Wonder appeared, and two additional books followed eight years later (and were selected as among the best books of 1978 by the New York Times Book Review. This volume covered the 16th century. In the long-awaited Volume III: A Century of Advance, the authors extend their coverage to the 17th century, one that witnessed an explosion of materials as Europeans pushed deeper into the interior of lands that had formerly been known only on their periphery. The four books of Volume III are also available individually. Book 1: Trade, Missions, Literature (46753-8, $85) reviews the preceding volumes and discusses the variety of ways information about Asia arrived in Europe. The remaining three books, focusing on writings by region, are Book 2: South Asia (46754-6, $75); Book 3: Southeast Asia (46755-4, $65); and Book 4: East Asia (46756-2, $85). Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.



Published annually, TYR celebrates the traditional myths, culture, and social institutions of pre-Christian, pre-modern Europe. It includes in-depth, original articles, interviews, translations of essential works by radical traditionalist and anti-modern thinkers, as well as extensive reviews of books, films, music, and the arts.
It means to reject the modern, materialist reign of "quantity over quality," the absence of any meaningful spiritual values, environmental devastation, the mechanization and over-specialization of urban life, and the imperialism of corporate mono-culture, with its vulgar "values" of progress and efficiency. It means to yearn for the small, homogeneous tribal societies that flourished before Christianity -- societies in which every aspect of life was integrated into a holistic system.
Resacralization of the world versus materialism; folk/traditional culture versus mass culture; natural social order versus an artificial hierarchy based on wealth; the tribal community versus the nation-state; stewardship of the earth versus the "maximization of resources"; a harmonious relationship between men and women versus the "war between the sexes"; handicrafts and artisanship versus Industrial mass-production.
STEPHEN EDRED FLOWERS on "Integral Culture"; JOSCELYN GODWIN on the Italian esotericist JULIUS EVOLA; French philosopher ALAIN DE BENOIST's interview with "new comparative mythologist" GEORGES DUMEZIL; NIGEL PENNICK on the "Spiritual Arts and Crafts"; STEVE POLLINGTON on the Germanic war god Woden; MICHAEL MOYNIHAN on divine traces in the Nibelungenlied; COLLIN CLEARY on the anti-modern television series The Prisoner; JOSHUA BUCKLEY'S interview with IAN READ of the English heathen music group FIRE + ICE, and much more.


Art of the First Cities: The Third Millennium B.C. from the Mediterranean to the Indus
by Joan Aruz

Editorial Reviews
Book Description
This handsomely illustrated book highlights one of the most important and creative periods in the history of art: a time marked by the appearance of the city states of the Sumerians, the citadel of Troy, the splendid royal tombs at Ur, and the monumental cities at Mohenjodaro and Harappa. The volume examines the cultural achievements of these first urban societies, placing them in a historical context. Topics covered include the emergence of the first city states, the birth of written language, and trade and cultural interconnections between the ancient Near East and outlying areas. More than five hundred works of art, including sculpture, jewelry, vessels, weapons, cylinder seals, and tablets executed in a wide variety of materials such as stone, metal, clay, ivory, and semiprecious stones are included. The insightful texts are written by leading scholars in the field.


Exploring Culture: Exercises, Stories, and Synthetic Cultures
Geert Hofstede

A unique training book containing over 100 culture awareness exercises, dialogues, stories incidents and simulations that bring to life Geert Hofstede's five dimensions of culture. These dimensions are: power distance, collectivism versus individualism, femininity versus masculinity, uncertainly avoidance, and long-term versus short-term orientation. Exploring Culture also contains new material on Geert Hofstede's cultural dimensions and the synthetic cultures. An excellent partner to Hofstede's popular Cultures & Organizations


Voice Power: Using Your Voice to Captivate, Persuade and Command Attention
Renee Grant-Williams

Celebrity voice coach, Renee grant-Williams reveals the trade secrets behind persuasive voices and shows readers how to apply positive vocal techniques to business and personal situations. Learn how to breathe properly, project your voice and unleash and direct the power of communication in your speech. Discover the power of silence and become confident, persuasive presenters and public speakers.
From the Publisher
A high-energy, entertaining, interactive book that shows how anyone can apply the "tricks of the trade" used by great singers to make the speaking voice its most powerful and effective.


Culture's Consequence: Comparing Values, Behaviours, Institutions and Organizations Across Nations
Geert Hofstede

The Second Edition of this classic work, first published in 1981 and an international bestseller, explores the differences in thinking and social action that exist among members of more than 50 modern nations. Geert Hofstede argues that people carry 'mental programs' which are developed in the family


After The Ice: A Global Human History
Steve Mithen

How did prehistoric men live? Where did they travel to? What did they do when they got there? Why did they create art? What did they believe? Did they fight wars? Where all people doing the same thing at the same time, everywhere in the world? These, and hundreds of other questions, are answered in this work. Steven Mithen draws on the latest cutting-edge research in archaeology, cognitive science, palaeontology, geology and the evolutionary sciences to create a comprehensive picture of minds, societies and landscapes of 22,000 years ago.
Steven Mithen is Professor of Early Prehistory and Head of the School of Human and Environmental Sciences at the University of Reading. He studied subjects ranging from fine art to computer science at the Universities of London, Sheffield and York, before specialising in archaeology at Cambridge. Since moving to the University of Reading in 1992, he has directed excavations in western Scotland and southern Jordan, used computer simulation for archaeological research and become a leading figure in the development of 'cognitive archaeology'. His previous books include Thoughtful Foragers: A Study in Prehistoric Decision Making (1990), The Prehistory of the Mind (1996), Creativity in Human Evolution and Prehistory (1998) and Hunter-Gatherer Landscape Archaeology (2000).


Man Walks into a Pub: A Sociable History of Beer

A sparkling, premium strength history of beer, served with irreverence and wit by an industry insider. Told in a witty and popular style, this take on an amazing and amusing subject is stuffed full of remarkable tales and facts with which to astound your mates down the pub. It's a sozzled tale of fungi, yeast obsessed monks, an Egyptian Goddess, a bear in yellow nylon, and a Canadian bloke who changed the drinking habits of a nation. The history of British beer drinking is a social history of the nation itself, full of catastrophe (the Great Beer Flood of 1814), heroism (beer and the World War II) and an awful lot of hangovers.



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