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Inventing the World Book Cover

Inventing the World: Venice and the Transformation of Western Civilization

December 2020

Over its 1100 year history as the longest standing republic in the world, the citizens of Venice invented a long list of ideas, methods, and goods that have shaped modern Western  history. We owe to Venetians our health care system, the  kind of government that runs Western cultures, and how we bank, read, and spend our leisure time. Capitalism and our very consumer culture began in Venice.


Books by Meredith Small

The Culture of Our Discontent


By many estimations, the Western medical model of mental health is dangerously incomplete. If we step outside of the traditional disease model there are many new and different ways to understand, treat, and even accept mental illness. Culture–how we collectively live, interact, and view the world–frames our mental outlook. Arguably, culture even creates it.



To what extent do our parenting practices help or hinder our children? As parents, how much influence do we have over what kind of people our children will grow up to be? In the follow-up to her critically acclaimed Our Babies, Ourselves, Cornell anthropologist Meredith Small now takes on these and other crucial questions about the development of preschool children aged one to six.

Our Babies, Ourselves


New parents are faced with innumerable decisions to make regarding the best way to care for their baby, and, naturally, they often turn for guidance to friends and family members who have already raised children. But as scientists are discovering, much of the trusted advice that has been passed down through generations needs to be carefully reexamined.

What's Love Got to do With it?


In this refreshingly down-to-earth exploration of human mating and sexuality, an acclaimed anthropologist looks at the fascinating intersection between the imperatives of our glands and genes, and the culture in which we live. Why do we fall in love with the people we do? Is there an alternative, more feminist, way to interpret traditional human sexual biology and evolution?

Meredith Small's book Female Choices

Female Choices

Exploring the origins of human sexuality, the author researches primates–prosimians, monkeys, and apes–and explains the battle of the sexes in terms of a war of different mating strategies.