What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

J.D. Salinger

January 29, 2010, 6:48 AM
Following the death of iconic American author J.D. Salinger yesterday, publisher Roger Lathbury recalls a book deal with the eccentric writer which went sour: “In 1988, Roger Lathbury, an English professor at George Mason University and owner of a small literary publishing outfit based in his house in Alexandria, decided on a lark to write to J.D. Salinger, asking if he could publish ‘Hapworth 16, 1924,’ Salinger's last published work, which appeared as a story in the New Yorker in 1965 and never made it into book form. Amazingly, Salinger wrote back promptly, saying, essentially, ‘I'll think about it.’ Then, nothing. For eight years. Until July 26, 1996, when Lathbury, just having completed teaching his morning classes, picked up the phone in his home office. ‘Here was the voice, 'I would like to speak to Mr. Lathbury,' ‘ Lathbury recalled. ‘People don't know how small the operation is here. His voice had a New York accent, and sounded like the recording of Walt Whitman that's available. He identified who he was -- I don't remember if he said, 'This is J.D. Salinger' or 'This is Salinger' -- and I said: 'Well, um . . . I am delighted that you called.'’ To his amazement, Lathbury's tiny Orchises Press had itself a deal with the reclusive novelist. But only briefly. Half a year later, with the book nearing publication, Salinger pulled the plug on the project.”
 

J.D. Salinger

Newsletter: Share: