The perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly

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.

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Marine Biology

  • Dive into the world's oceans, where marine biologist Philip Mladenov provides an accessible tour of marine life and human impacts
  • Explore the book's urgent message of sustainable practices and its vision for the oceans' future in 2050
  • the official 2020 English exam paper with 2 additional annotated sample essays with marking advice for each text
  • • Discover the vital role of oceans in oxygen production, climate stability, and food provision

Forensic Science

  • Explore forensic science with Jim Fraser's concise intro
  • Learn from high-profile cases like Rachel Nickell's murder and Jill Dando's unsolved case
  • Discover the impact of DNA profiling, fingerprinting, and global challenges in the field

The French Revolution

  • Delve into the tumultuous era of the French Revolution, marked by the end of monarchy and the rise of Napoleon
  • Discover the Revolution's enduring impact, including the ideology of human rights and decimalisation
  • William Doyle provides insights into the collapse of the old regime, the emergence of the Terror, and the revolution's far-reaching consequences

Philosophy of Science

  • Samir Okasha's Very Short Introduction explores the philosophy of science
  • Dive into questions about the objectivity of scientific knowledge and the nature of science
  • From the history of science to modern ethical dilemmas, uncover key themes and theories in contemporary philosophy of science

The Renaissance

  • Explore the Renaissance, a period of intellectual excitement and cultural experimentation
  • Delve into art, architecture, literature, science, trade, and global interactions
  • Gain insights into both the bright and dark sides, including religion, intolerance, and inequality of wealth, in this defining era of world history

Art History

  • The study of art history encompasses the history and evolution of painting, sculpture, and other visual arts
  • Explore the distinctiveness of art history and its social aspects like Feminist and Queer Art History
  • Learn about writing, presenting, reading, and looking at art, including global perspectives and art's unique ability to convey history

Renewable Energy

  • Explore the importance of renewables like solar, wind, and hydropower
  • Uncover challenges and opportunities in integrating them, with focus on the book's content
  • Gain insights into global efforts, innovations, and benefits of sustainable energy transition


  • Delve into the challenges of contemporary refugees and forced migrants worldwide
  • Explore the causes and impacts of the crisis on nations, global order, and the affected individuals
  • Understand the historical context and international responses, emphasizing the need for effective solutions to present and future challenges

International Relations

  • Within this concise introduction, discover how international relations affect security, economics, rights, and the global environment
  • Demystify complex theories and explore the transformation of political authority on a global scale, shaped by diverse social forces
  • Gain insights into the future of international relations amid profound global change


  • Explore the concept of evil in this concise introduction
  • Delve into philosophical perspectives on evil, from its existence to its role in secular morality
  • Contemplate whether evil is always horrific, the psychology of evildoers, and the nuances of this complex concept

Human Resource Management

  • Adrian Wilkinson explores the historical development of human resource management, shaped by political, legal, and economic changes
  • Discover how HRM evolved from campaigns for worker welfare to a complex discipline, adapting to globalization and new challenges
  • Gain insights into the diverse landscape of HRM practices and its role in modern organizations


  • Explore the profound impacts of globalization in this concise introduction
  • Manfred B. Steger defines key terms and delves into its historical context and major dimensions
  • Examine the ongoing debate over whether globalization is ultimately beneficial or detrimental, considering recent global events and challenges

Vatican II

  • An in-depth exploration of the profound impact of Vatican II (1962-1965) on the Catholic Church
  • Highlights how Vatican II's sixteen influential documents continue to shape various aspects of Catholic life and theology
  • Offers insight while providing historical context from the 1960s and firsthand accounts

Russian Revolution

  • Provides an analytical narrative of the main events and developments in Soviet Russia between 1917 and 1936
  • Examines the impact of the revolution on society as a whole-on different classes, ethnic groups, the army, men and women and youth
  • Explores how one structure of domination was replaced by another

Literary Theory

  • Explores literary theory, tackling its controversial nature and impact on culture and society
  • Explains key 'moves' in theory, addressing its implications for literature, human identity, and the power of language
  • Delves into modern themes, including the 'death of theory,' narrative theory's link to cognitive science, trauma theory, ecocriticism, and ethics and aesthetics