Best Selling Books by William Cook

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release date: Jan 02, 2001
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Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs for Generalized Causal Inference
This long awaited successor of the original Cook/Campbell Quasi-Experimentation: Design and Analysis Issues for Field Settings represents updates in the field over the last two decades. The book covers four major topics in field experimentation:
release date: Aug 07, 2017
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LEGO and Philosophy: Constructing Reality Brick By Brick (The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series)

How profound is a little plastic building block? It turns out the answer is “very”! 22 chapters explore philosophy through the world of LEGO which encompasses the iconic brick itself as well as the animated televisions shows, feature films, a vibrant adult fan base with over a dozen yearly conventions, an educational robotics program, an award winning series of videogames, hundreds of books, magazines, and comics, a team-building workshop program for businesses and much, much more.

  • Dives into the many philosophical ideas raised by LEGO bricks and the global multimedia phenomenon they have created
  • Tackles metaphysical, logical, moral, and conceptual issues in a series of fascinating and stimulating essays
  • Introduces key areas of philosophy through topics such as creativity and play, conformity and autonomy, consumption and culture, authenticity and identity, architecture, mathematics, intellectual property, business and environmental ethics
  • Written by a global group of esteemed philosophers and LEGO fans
  • A lively philosophical discussion of bricks, minifigures, and the LEGO world that will appeal to LEGO fans and armchair philosophers alike
release date: Nov 01, 2016
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Plotto: The Master Book of All Plots

A classic how-to manual, William Wallace Cook's Plotto is one writer's personal theory--"Purpose, opposed by Obstacle, yields Conflict"--painstakingly diagrammed through hundreds of situations and scenarios

In the 1920s, dime store novelist William Wallace Cook painstakingly diagramed and cataloged his personal writing method―“Purpose, opposed by Obstacle, yields Conflict”―for the instruction and illumination of his fellow authors. His effort resulted in an astonishing 1,462 plot scenarios, and Plotto: The Master Book of All Plots was born. A how-to manual for plot, hailed by the Boston Globe as “First aid to troubled riters,” Plotto influenced Erle Stanley Gardner, author of the Perry Mason books, and a young Alfred Hitchcock.

At first glance, Plotto operates with a machinelike logic, but from its endless amalgamations writers will find inspiration for narratives with limitless possibility. Open the book to any page to find plots you may never have known existed--from morose cannibals to gun-wielding preachers to phantom automobiles.

Equal parts reference guide and historical oddity, Plotto is sure to amaze and delight writers for another hundred years.
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release date: Dec 16, 2013
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Documenting the Documentary: Close Readings of Documentary Film and Video, New and Expanded Edition (Contemporary Approaches to Film and Media Series)

Originally released in 1998, Documenting the Documentary responded to a scholarly landscape in which documentary film was largely understudied and undervalued aesthetically, and analyzed instead through issues of ethics, politics, and film technology. Editors Barry Keith Grant and Jeannette Sloniowski addressed this gap by presenting a useful survey of the artistic and persuasive aspects of documentary film from a range of critical viewpoints. This new edition of Documenting the Documentary adds five new essays on more recent films in addition to the text of the first edition.

Thirty-one film and media scholars, many of them among the most important voices in the area of documentary film, cover the significant developments in the history of documentary filmmaking from Nanook of the North (1922), the first commercially released documentary feature, to contemporary independent film and video productions like Werner Herzog's Grizzly Man (2005) and the controversial Borat (2006). The works discussed also include representative examples of many important national and stylistic movements and various production contexts, from mainstream to avant-garde. In all, this volume offers a series of rich and revealing analyses of those "regimes of truth" that still fascinate filmgoers as much today as they did at the very beginnings of film history.

As documentary film and visual media become increasingly important ways for audiences to process news and information, Documenting the Documentary continues to be a vital resource to understanding the genre. Students and teachers of film studies and fans of documentary film will appreciate this expanded classic volume.

release date: Aug 30, 2017
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BINOCULARS: Fallacy & Fact: The Instruments, The Industry and You

“Decades of experience concentrated into the highest possible SNR.”

— Stephen F. Tonkin, Author Binocular Astronomy

“Bill Cook is a seasoned optical professional who has perfected ‘everything binocular’ with his no nonsense approach to straightening the curves of understanding concerning them. With an unmatched writing style, his vignette on Collimation vs. Conditional Alignment is spot on!”

— Gail Fisher, Repair Manager, Swarovski Optik

“I have gone through your book and I am amazed — it should be printed asap! It was not only fun to read, but also highly educational and absolutely worth studying, even for the experienced binocular user.”

— Holger Merlitz, Professor of Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics,

Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian, PR China.

“This is an important book and one that should be read by engineers, binocular users, collectors, dealers, and manufacturers.”

— Paul R. Yoder, Fellow Member of SPIE and OSA,

Co-Author Field Guide to Binoculars and Scopes

Written for any serious user, “Binoculars: Fallacy & Fact” provides a fascinating look at the world of binoculars by someone who knows binoculars inside and out. And when I say inside, I mean truly inside as Bill Cook has spent his career adjusting and repairing binoculars. Bill knows his stuff and he is not afraid to clarify the facts and to share his honest opinions with us. The book comes across as a casual conversation making it an easy read but chock-full of information illuminated by personal anecdotes.

— John E. Greivenkamp, Professor, College of Optical Sciences, University of Arizona

“Going through the US Navy Opticalman “A” School with Bill, serving with him aboard USS Grand Canyon, and later working with him at Captain’s Nautical Supplies in Seattle, I can attest that you’ll not find a man more passionate or knowledgeable about optics and binoculars. Any odd-ball questions asked by the novice or self-proclaimed expert are quickly answered in a straight-forward and accurate manner. This book goes well beyond the ever-regurgitated numbers and gets into the facts of how it all works.”

— Cory A. Suddarth, President, Suddarth Optical Repair

“When it comes to optics, think Bill Cook. I have known him for several decades and his credentials are as strong as they come. When a question arises that I am unsure of, he is one of the first to be called on among the dozen or so experts I trust.

Bill is not out to protect brands and factories when they continually mislead consumers about their products. Instead, he tells it like it is — straight and honest — even when manufacturers get upset when they hear the truth.

This book will not only be helpful for those thinking about purchasing a binocular, but also those who want to learn more about the instrument they have now.”

— Alan Hale has served as C.E.O. and President of Celestron and is currently Chairman Emeritus of the company. Alan is the author of “Sport Optics – Binoculars, Spotting Scopes, and Riflescopes”

release date: Nov 18, 2011
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The Medieval World View: An Introduction
The Medieval World View, Third Edition, presents the presuppositions of medieval society in a systematic fashion by integrating brief, self-contained selections from primary texts and carefully captioned photographs into a narrative of the medieval world and its foundations.

The text is divided into five parts. Treating both the classical and biblical antecedents of the Middle Ages and ending in Late Antiquity, Part One includes a thorough discussion of the monumental figure of St. Augustine. Part Two deals with the Mediterranean World, including Byzantium and Islam, and ending with the disintegration of the Roman Empire in the West. Part Three deals with the early Middle Ages, extending the narrative from the end of the Western Empire through the renaissance associated with the reign of Charlemagne. Part Four examines the High Middle Ages, following developments in the Church, in politics, in philosophy and theology, and in the arts from the twelfth century until the fourteenth. Part Five, an epilogue, traces the transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, focusing primarily on the fourteenth century but also looking forward to the fifteenth century and beyond.
The third edition features two entirely new chapters, Chapter 5 on Byzantium and Chapter 6 on Islam. Handling sophisticated issues with great clarity and ease, The Medieval World View is ideal for courses in Medieval history, literature, or art history.
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release date: Jul 28, 2006
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release date: Nov 01, 1990
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Foundations of Program Evaluation: Theories of Practice

Foundations of Program Evaluation heralds a thorough exploration of the field of program evaluation--looking back on its origins. By summarizing, comparing, and contrasting the work of seven major theorists of program evaluation, this book provides an important perspective on the current state of evaluation theory and provides suggestions for ways of improving its practice. Beginning in Chapter Two, the authors develop a conceptual framework to analyze how successfully each theory meets the specific criteria of its framework. Each subsequent chapter is devoted to the presentation of the theoretical and practical advice of a significant theorist--Michael Scriven, Donald Campbell, Carol Weiss, Joseph Wholey, Robert Stake, Lee Cronbach, and Peter Rossi.

release date: Nov 09, 2014
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In Pursuit of the Traveling Salesman: Mathematics at the Limits of Computation

What is the shortest possible route for a traveling salesman seeking to visit each city on a list exactly once and return to his city of origin? It sounds simple enough, yet the traveling salesman problem is one of the most intensely studied puzzles in applied mathematics―and it has defied solution to this day. In this book, William Cook takes readers on a mathematical excursion, picking up the salesman's trail in the 1800s when Irish mathematician W. R. Hamilton first defined the problem, and venturing to the furthest limits of today’s state-of-the-art attempts to solve it. He also explores its many important applications, from genome sequencing and designing computer processors to arranging music and hunting for planets.

In Pursuit of the Traveling Salesman travels to the very threshold of our understanding about the nature of complexity, and challenges you yourself to discover the solution to this captivating mathematical problem.

release date: Feb 28, 2000
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Strategics: The Art and Science of Holistic Strategy

Most of what passes for strategic planning is not strategic at all. It is long-range planning or comprehensive planning, or in some cases just program or project planning. The result is a relinquishment of control to external conditions and circumstances, the perpetuation of obsolete systems, and organizational fragmentation and internal conflict. The opportunity to create new possibilities and realities―the ultimate object of strategy―is lost. Cook maintains that even to attempt strategy there must first be a strategic system, a system that deals with strategic issues, decision-making, and strategic action, which is preceded by strategic thinking. Cook combines these three aspects of strategy into a coherent, powerful concept that reinvigorates strategy with its original forceful meaning: strategos―to lead an army. In this way strategy becomes the means by which communities continuously create artifactual systems to serve extraordinary purposes. His book contains sound, pragmatic theory, original insights into strategic issues, and detailed hands-on guidance on all phases of strategic thinking, planning, and action.

Cook explains that stragetics can be expressed as thinking, planning, and action. Strategic thinking will always embrace five arenas: the definition of strategy, the meaning of leaders and leading, the distinction between condition and cause, the nature of systems, and the characteristics of organizations. Strategic planning, as a currently popular management practice, is not what it was originally. The definition has changed. The only definition that captures the original intent is: the means by which a community of people create artifactual systems to serve extraordinary purposes. Dr. Cook points out that strategic action is seldom included in any contemporary intepretation or application of strategy, yet action is both the realization of strategy and the creation of new possibilities beyond strategy. In that sense, strategic action is the end and the beinning of strategics. Thus, Cook takes the traditional idea of strategic planning, infuses it with strategic thinking, and carries it to strategic action. Instead of merely improving what already exists, organizations can create new systems that are capable of what he calls constant emergence―always vital, always creative.

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