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K. Cunningham

K. Cunningham San Francisco, CA Member Since 2002

Kerry

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  • "The Greatest Thinkers of our Genera..."

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    I have read this rather long book twice now. I think I'll read it again soon. I hope you will, too (and I hope you = everyone).

    The idea that we are living in the most peaceful, least murderous time in the history of the planet is an oddly uncomfortable one for many. First, it just doesn't feel that way. We hear about and see on TV and the internet a seemingly endless stream of stories about mass killings, senseless acts of cruelty, war and even genocide. Also, if we say now is better than ever, then maybe people will stop working to make the world yet less violent.

    And for those of us in our middle years, we can readily look back and say that, Yes, things were simpler then. We left our doors unlocked. Kids played outside, etc.

    The thing is, it doesn't really take all that much more thinking to notice that not that long ago even in this country women and African Americans were not allowed to vote. Not long ago, we had segregation, lynchings, race riots, assassinations of our leaders, a long a protracted war in Southeast Asia, which followed not long after a protracted (Undeclared) war in Korea, which came very shortly after the nuclear bombing of Japan, which essentially ended the worst global war ever, which some historians consider to have been simply part two of the other worst global war ever. And as one goes back in time, the wars, genocides, ethnic cleansings, etc., keep piling on.

    The massive tyrants responsible for the annihilation of tens, maybe hundreds of millions of people in the beginning and middle of the 20th century are long gone. There hasn't been conflict among the world's super powers since the bombs fell on Japan.

    On a scale much closer to home, Pinker talks at length about the change in the moral zeitgeist such that treating wives and children as property is outlaw throughout a much greater part of the globe today than just 30 years ago. Spanking children could land you in jail. Spanking your dog can now land you in jail in some places! Foods and cosmetics are often "cruelty" free, where the idea was unheard of not long ago.

    Pinker does a brilliant and thorough (800+ pages worth) job of laying out all the statistics to support his case that violence has actually declined. More importantly, he adduces a long list of forces that have contributed to that decline. It's a big book, and it's not possible to summarize it in a few paragraphs. However, it might suffice to say that the forces Pinker adduces are pretty well supported in their various academic disciplines (anthropology, sociology, psychology).

    Among the most interesting forces thought to be at work civilizing the world is commerce. This is one that ruffles some feathers a bit, but the argument is essentially this. When you look at the data, what appears to be the case is that countries that trade with each other don't tend to kill each other. Pinker uses a line from writer Robert Wright, who said (paraphrasing), "The reason I don't want to kill the Japanese is that they make my minivan." The line is intended to be ironic, of course, but the point stands. When our economic lives are intertwined, we find ways to resolve disputes peaceably. How likely is it that France and Spain would go to war today over disputed territory in the Alps? Moreover, by this stage in world history, we (powerful countries) have figured out that overtaking and subjugating nations by force is more expensive than trading with them and imposing economic and policy-based restrictions. One may object to neo-liberalism, but it can hardly be more objectionable than its predecessor strategy, conquest and empire. This part of the book and argument is long and involved and fascinating.

    Another strong force in the civilizing of the globe involves media and its globalizing effects. Again, we may not like what we see in our media outlets every day, but the fact that people nearly everywhere know a lot about people nearly everywhere else on earth helps reduce violence. The reason it does is that the more we know about other people, the more we can put ourselves in their shoes, the less likely we are to kill them. We can relate a little more. We don't de-humanize them as much. This isn't to say that racism, culturism, etc, has or ever will go away. We are a tribal species. But, data show that as people in general are more and more able to reason abstractly about the world, and to think about what it is like to be someone other than who they are, the less violent they are. This type of reasoning leads to more understanding and less killing. There are plenty of exceptions to this, and this isn't to say that neighboring countries or ethnic groups within countries don't still kill each other. They certainly do (but moreso when infused with lots of religious fervor). But, in general, the trend is away from killing.

    A final point. PInker cites a good deal of data and some theorizing to suggest that even the 21st century terrorism plague is already fading away. The reason: it doesn't work. In the big picture, terrorists never succeed in accomplishing what they wanted to accomplish via their terrorism. Ireland is not united. Basque country is not independent. Israel is still Israel.

    To continue to make things better, it is critical that we know what has worked in the past. Many strategies and natural trends have contributed to making the world a safer place today. The Better Angels lays out in detail what has been working. It is well worth knowing what they are. It is also helpful to feel just a bit better about who we are as a species today.

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    The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Steven Pinker
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
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    We’ve all had the experience of reading about a bloody war or shocking crime and asking, “What is the world coming to?” But we seldom ask, “How bad was the world in the past?” In this startling new book, the best-selling cognitive scientist Steven Pinker shows that the world of the past was much worse. In fact, we may be living in the most peaceable era in our species’ existence.

    Teddy says: "Excellent Book All Over"
  • "Why Good People Are Divided - Good ..."

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    By and large, I think this is a good and even an important book. In it, Haidt very clearly lays out the research that supports the view that human beings have been endowed by evolution with 6 moral intuitions, or foundations. The moral intuitions are innate, which Haidt clearly explains does not mean fixed and immutable, but, rather, arranged in advance of experience. We don't all have a fixed set of moral intuitions, but there is a limited palate from which experience may paint the picture of how we perceive the world.

    The most important part of Haidt's research and the argument of this book is that liberal and conservatives share these moral intuitions but tend to emphasize them very differently, and it is the different emphases that cause the divisions among us. In brief, liberals tend to assign moral weight to issues of justice (is it fair - does everyone have an equal chance) and harm/care (does it cause harm to another - bad; or does it help another - good). Conservatives share these intuitions, but their take on justice is different. For a conservative, justice is determined by proportionality. Each according to his/ her contribution, not his/ her need. In addition, everyone, but conservatives to a much greater extent than liberals, also feel that questions of loyalty (to one's group/family/country), authority (obedience), and purity/ sanctity (as in not mixing this with that) are moral issues. A sixth intuition concerns liberty. Here again, however, liberals and conservatives differ in how they think about liberty. Liberals wish to be free of constraints applied by other members of the group, while conservatives think of liberty as freedom from government.

    As a framework for parsing arguments between liberals and conservatives, I think this is extraordinarily helpful. What Haidt and colleagues argue is that when we disagree with our ideological counterparts, the disagreements arise from differences in the weight we apply to these moral intuitions. For liberals, there really are just two primary moral issues, fairness and harm/care, while conservatives also value authority, loyalty, purity and liberty to a great extent.

    Importantly, Haidt argues that each of the moral intuitions has been vital to the evolution of human culture. While those among us who are liberals care more about justice and care, without the other intuitions, we would never have achieved the groupishness and hence the culture that separates humans from other animals. It is primarily the conservative intuitions that have been responsible for providing the glue that held groups together over our evolutionary history, and it is as groups that human beings have generated a culture that has distanced us from our primitive ape cousins.

    Not much to take issue with there.

    Ultimately, however, Haidt explains that his study of morality produced in him a sort of conversion from liberal to moderately conservative, having discovered the value of groupish moral intuitions. He also cites research showing that conservatives are better able to take the view of a liberal into account that vice versa, and invites liberals to try to broaden their view to include these other intuitions. His suggestion in this book and elsewhere is that more conservative voices should be added to the intellectual debate over the role of moral intuitions in society.

    So here's my problem with that. 1) I am liberal and have a hard time, as he says, understanding how the groupish intuitions might continue to retain their value as moral intuitions in the modern world. It seems to me that many of our greatest problems today have to do with the oversized role of these moral intuitions in buttressing parochial concerns (issues of importance to my group only), leading to inter-group conflict.
    2) I am a member of a group (gays) that has been and still is legally disenfranchised in this country, and that disenfranchisement is largely justified by referral to the moral intuition purity. I can't marry my partner, because too many people in this country believe that to allow me to do so would somehow violate the purity/sanctity of heterosexual marriage. So, I can't get behind it. Of course, that is my parochial concern, but I can point to similar concerns that would affect nearly everyone. Purity/Sanctity, in my view, is a moral intuition that has outlived its useful life.
    3) Too much of Haidt's argument has the flavor of a naturalistic fallacy. One is committing the naturalistic fallacy when one deems something to be good on the basis of it being natural. Another way it is expressed is when a person assumes that something ought or should be a certain way solely on the basis that it is that way in nature. Haidt's argument is more subtle than saying that because people are endowed with six moral intuitions, therefore all six ought to be valued equally. But, for may taste, his argument still relies mostly on the argument that because these six moral foundations were all critical for the development of what we consider to be civilized society, that they are all to be consulted in policy- and decision-making now. Much of our civilization consists of norms and rules for curbing natural instincts. The instincts that continually reify parochial groupishness, ie, the conservative moral intuitions, are among the natural instincts that I believe must be curbed. An alternative take is that the moral foundations are fine as is, but the groups to which they are applied must be continually enlarged to include everyone, and then perhaps everything. Clearly, this circle-enlarging has been occurring and will likely continue. That's great. But, shouldn't we also work to limit the sway of the intuitions that, while historically vital, are presently harmful or at best of dubious value for large swathes (i.e., anyone not in the majority) of our society today?

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    The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Jonathan Haidt
    • Narrated By Jonathan Haidt
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    In The Righteous Mind, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt explores the origins of our divisions and points the way forward to mutual understanding. His starting point is moral intuition - the nearly instantaneous perceptions we all have about other people and the things they do. These intuitions feel like self-evident truths, making us righteously certain that those who see things differently are wrong. Haidt shows us how these intuitions differ across cultures, including the cultures of the political left and right.

    Douglas says: "A Brilliant And Insightful Book!"
  1. The Better Angels of Our ...
  2. The Righteous Mind: Why G...
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A Peek at KHarrang's Bookshelf

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KHarrang's greatest hits:
  • Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human

    "Fascinating book about early human development..."

    Overall

    This is a fascinating book that makes for great listening. One measure of a good book is how much I tell others about it. After listening to Wrangham's book about the effect of cooking on human development, I find myself mentioning it to all my friends and acquaintences (my family is probably sick of hearing about raw food diets, and the unappreciated effects of cooking on food and culture). In addition to those interested in early human development, this book also renders useful information about the dangers of today's hyper-processed foods (mostly obesity). Highly recommended. Great content and good narrator.

  • Outliers: The Story of Success

    "Captivating (if not an outlier)"

    Overall

    Regardless of what you ultimately think of the author's analysis, Gladwell is a masterful storyteller, weaving together interesting anecdotes from such diverse sources as plane crash research to hillbilly feuds to standardized math tests. That Gladwell narrates the audio book himself adds greatly to the listening experience. Critics will complain that his thesis is obvious (that opportunity, cultural inheritence and hard work play key roles in success), or that his examples are selective and ignore in turn outliers that don't illustrate his points -- or, somewhat inconsistently, both. But Gladwell's books are successful because he examines phenomena and topics of importance in an accessible and entertaining way. No one should mistake Malcolm Gladwell for a big thinker like, say, Stephen J. Gould, but Gladwell would be the first one to tell you that he's no outlier. Don't accept everything the author says as truth revealed, but do listen to this book -- it's one of the best non-fiction offerings available through Audible.

  • Notes from No Man’s Land: American Essays

    "Well Written (If Not Well Thought Out)"

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    Eula Biss is a talented writer with interesting life experiences, and many of the essays in this collection are lyrical explorations of her thinking. With the theme of race interwoven throughout her writings, this makes for a thought-provoking book, and one capable of passionate discussion, e.g., in a book group.

    That said, the author seems to use the personal essay format as permission to put forth her most superficial views, often poorly researched if at all. For example, she begins the book by stating the oft-repeated conclusion that there is no biological basis for race, which is therefore a purely social construct. Even the most casual research shows that this is wishful thinking and scientifically incorrect (see, Race Is Seen as Real Guide To Track Roots of Disease, By Nicholas Wade, Published: July 30, 2002 in the New York Times). What the author means is that the biological differences are exceedingly minor and cannot support all the behavioral claims or segregationists, etc., but this is no excuse to misstate facts. Similarly, the author later boldly states that the historical record is completely devoid of documentation of a certain practice, as if she has actually reviewed the historical record in its entirety.

    Personally, my aha moment was realizing that racism can be thought of as merely a subset of the more general shunning of otherness. And this is why I think of the book as, at best, a well written series of essays based on the most lightweight analysis of the purported subject matter. The author describes some of the most atrocious examples of racism, but seems to see these only as stemming from the bad traits of certain members of the currently predominant racial group—rather than something universal in the human condition. This produces a lot of guilt on the author’s part, but little understanding much less any prescription for improvement.

    Perhaps I owe the author thanks for making me think about this by writing much I found to disagree with.

  • The Faith Instinct: How Religion Evolved and Why It Endures

    "Interesting Subject (if you tolerate the narrator)"

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    This book begins with an interesting premise: given the universality of religions of various sorts with all human populations, is there some evolutionary advantage this commonality could have conferred such that religion could be said to be genetic in some sense?

    If you're looking for a well written, up to date, and understandable survey on this topic, then this is a good place to start. (Several of the reviewers that pan this book seem be say either that they disagree with the conclusions or they already know everything presented.) Perhaps not the definitive treatment of this subject, but a good survey. For example, I found the discussion of how altruism and aggression/warfare could have developed together to be fascinating (if depressing!).

    My problem with this book was the narrator. Maybe this is just a personal thing that will not bother others, but I found the narration so annoying that I could not finish the audiobook. No offense, but the narrator sounds like a chain smoker with a basso profundo voice recorded too early in the morning. Gasping for air before each sentence, he drove me crazy. He would be great for a political attack ad ("John Smith... wrong for America"), but not non fiction audiobooks.

    But again, maybe it's just me: try the sample before you buy, and if you're fine with the narrator, then enjoy this interesting book.

glamazon

glamazon The Coast of Rhode Island 06-28-13 Member Since 2003

glam

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  • "Thoroughly Original, Inspiring and ..."

    17 of 17 helpful votes

    I wanted to read this as soon as the book appeared in the audible.com inventory. "The Undertaking" attracted my attention as the subject is neither common nor comfortable for many. So I couldn't wait to jump right in.

    Thomas Lynch is both a published poet and the director of a funeral home; perhaps an odd pairing of professions, but each job informs the other and stories of the living (as he cares for and buries the dead) flow poetically through this novel as the Huron River flows through his home town in Michigan. As Lynch anecdotally brings life to those his clients have left behind, the poetry within the prose is musical, nuanced, and sustaining.

    Kevin T. Collins' performance makes a substantial contribution and I am not certain this book will impact readers in quite the same way as hearing it read with such sensitivity, emotion, and grace, and at times I could not tell if I was reading prose or poetry.
    ,

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    The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Thomas Lynch
    • Narrated By Kevin T. Collins
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    Ostensibly about death and its attendant rituals, The Undertaking is in the end about life. In each case, he writes, it is the one that gives meaning to the other. A funeral director in Milford, Michigan, Lynch is that strangest of hyphenates, a poet-undertaker, but according to Lynch, all poets share his occupation, "looking for meaning and voices in life and love and death." Looking for meaning takes him to all sorts of unexpected places, both real and imagined. He embalms the body of his own father, celebrates the rebuilt bridge to his town's old cemetery, and more.

    glamazon says: "Thoroughly Original, Inspiring and Mesmerizing!"

What's Trending in Social Sciences:

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    • By John Jeremiah Sullivan
    • Narrated By John Jeremiah Sullivan
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    In Pulphead, John Jeremiah Sullivan takes us on an exhilarating tour of our popular, unpopular, and at times completely forgotten culture. Simultaneously channeling the gonzo energy of Hunter S. Thompson and the wit and insight of Joan Didion, Sullivan shows us - with a laidback, erudite Southern charm that's all his own - how we really (no, really) live now. In his native Kentucky, Sullivan introduces us to Constantine Rafinesque, a nineteenth-century polymath genius who concocted a dense, fantastical prehistory of the New World.

    Jody R. Nathan says: "interesting and intelligent"
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UNABRIDGED) by MK Asante Narrated by MK Asante, Adenrele Ojo

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    • By MK Asante
    • Narrated By MK Asante, Adenrele Ojo
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    A rebellious boy's journey through the wilds of urban America and the shrapnel of a self-destructing family - this is the riveting story of a generation told through one dazzlingly poetic new voice. MK Asante was born in Zimbabwe to American parents: a mother who led the new nation's dance company and a father who would soon become a revered pioneer in black studies. But things fell apart, and a decade later MK was in America, a teenager lost in a fog of drugs, sex, and violence on the streets of North Philadelphia.

    m stephens says: "riveting"
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    Fire in the Ashes: Twenty-Five Years Among the Poorest Children in America

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Jonathan Kozol
    • Narrated By Keythe Farley
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    In this powerful and culminating work about a group of inner-city children he has known for many years, Jonathan Kozol returns to the scene of his prize-winning books Rachel and Her Children and Amazing Grace, and to the children he has vividly portrayed, to share with us their fascinating journeys and unexpected victories as they grow into adulthood. For nearly 50 years Jonathan has pricked the conscience of his readers by laying bare the savage inequalities inflicted upon children for no reason but the accident of being born to poverty within a wealthy nation.

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    Arguably (






UNABRIDGED) by Christopher Hitchens Narrated by Simon Prebble

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    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Christopher Hitchens
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
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    (10)
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    For over 40 years, Christopher Hitchens wrote, with passionate commitment, on matters that others feared to broach. This assortment of essays spans his whole career and encompasses his writing on politics, literature, and religion. It is the most comprehensive collection of Hitchens' work, and contains all aspects of his wide repertoire as journalist, polemicist, and critic.

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    Outliers: The Story of Success (






UNABRIDGED) by Malcolm Gladwell Narrated by Malcolm Gladwell

    Outliers: The Story of Success

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Narrated By Malcolm Gladwell
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    In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing.

    S Prabhu says: "Excellent book; well adapted for the audio format"
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    Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

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    Why we think it’s a great listen: Want to join the “superhumans”? Luckily you don’t have to run to catch up with them, thanks to McDougall’s and Sanders’ inspiring (and motivating) journey through history, science, physiology, health, entertaining characters and unlikely friendships. Full of incredible characters, amazing athletic achievements, cutting-edge science, and, most of all, pure inspiration, Born to Run is an epic adventure.

    Corey says: "Amazing read - even for non-runners"
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    The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (






UNABRIDGED) by Malcolm Gladwell Narrated by Malcolm Gladwell

    The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Narrated By Malcolm Gladwell
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    In The Tipping Point, New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell looks at why major changes in society happen suddenly and unexpectedly. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a few fare-beaters and graffiti artists fuel a subway crime wave, or a satisfied customer fill the empty tables of a new restaurant. These are social epidemics, and the moment when they take off, when they reach their critical mass, is the Tipping Point.

    Marian Hanganu says: "Exceptional!"
  • Outliers: The Story of Success (






UNABRIDGED) by Malcolm Gladwell Narrated by Malcolm Gladwell

    Outliers: The Story of Success

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Narrated By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9734)
    Performance
    (4259)
    Story
    (4265)

    In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing.

    S Prabhu says: "Excellent book; well adapted for the audio format"
  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking (






UNABRIDGED) by Susan Cain Narrated by Kathe Mazur

    Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Susan Cain
    • Narrated By Kathe Mazur
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    At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled "quiet," it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society--from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.

    Teddy says: "Thought provoking and Uplifting.... A++++++++!!!!!"
  • Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street (






UNABRIDGED) by John Brooks Narrated by Johnny Heller

    Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By John Brooks
    • Narrated By Johnny Heller
    Overall
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    What do the $350 million Ford Motor Company disaster known as the Edsel, the fast and incredible rise of Xerox, and the unbelievable scandals at General Electric and Texas Gulf Sulphur have in common? Each is an example of how an iconic company was defined by a particular moment of fame or notoriety; these notable and fascinating accounts are as relevant today to understanding the intricacies of corporate life as they were when the events happened.

  • Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain (






UNABRIDGED) by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner Narrated by Stephen J. Dubner

    Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner
    • Narrated By Stephen J. Dubner
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    The New York Times best-selling Freakonomics changed the way we see the world, exposing the hidden side of just about everything. Now, with Think Like a Freak, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner have written their most revolutionary book yet. With their trademark blend of captivating storytelling and unconventional analysis, they take us inside their thought process and offer a blueprint for an entirely new way to solve problems. The topics range from business to philanthropy to sports to politics, all with the goal of retraining your brain.

    Nancy says: "Only if you don't listen to the podcast....."
  •  
  • The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (






UNABRIDGED) by Malcolm Gladwell Narrated by Malcolm Gladwell

    The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Narrated By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4577)
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    (2217)
    Story
    (2220)

    In The Tipping Point, New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell looks at why major changes in society happen suddenly and unexpectedly. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a few fare-beaters and graffiti artists fuel a subway crime wave, or a satisfied customer fill the empty tables of a new restaurant. These are social epidemics, and the moment when they take off, when they reach their critical mass, is the Tipping Point.

    Marian Hanganu says: "Exceptional!"
  • Mastery (






UNABRIDGED) by Robert Greene Narrated by Fred Sanders

    Mastery

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Robert Greene
    • Narrated By Fred Sanders
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    Story
    (770)

    What did Charles Darwin, middling schoolboy and underachieving second son, do to become one of the earliest and greatest naturalists the world has known? What were the similar choices made by Mozart and by Caesar Rodriguez, the U.S. Air Force's last ace fighter pilot? In Mastery, Robert Greene's fifth book, he mines the biographies of great historical figures for clues about gaining control over our own lives and destinies. Picking up where The 48 Laws of Power left off, Greene culls years of research and original interviews to blend historical anecdote and psychological insight, distilling the universal ingredients of the world's masters.

    Chlo-bell says: "Mastery is both a goal and a destination..."
  • Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (






UNABRIDGED) by Malcolm Gladwell Narrated by Malcolm Gladwell

    Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Malcolm Gladwell
    • Narrated By Malcolm Gladwell
    Overall
    (7424)
    Performance
    (2190)
    Story
    (2180)

    In his landmark best seller The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell redefined how we understand the world around us. Now, in Blink, he revolutionizes the way we understand the world within. Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant, in the blink of an eye, that actually aren't as simple as they seem. Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept?

    Liz says: "encore!"
  • Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life (






UNABRIDGED) by William Deresiewicz Narrated by Mel Foster

    Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By William Deresiewicz
    • Narrated By Mel Foster
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Excellent Sheep takes a sharp look at the high-pressure conveyor belt that begins with parents and counselors who demand perfect grades and culminates in the skewed applications Deresiewicz saw firsthand as a member of Yale's admissions committee. As schools shift focus from the humanities to "practical" subjects like economics and computer science, students are losing the ability to think in innovative ways.

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  • The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap (






UNABRIDGED) by Matt Taibbi Narrated by Ray Porter

    The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs)
    • By Matt Taibbi
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (313)
    Performance
    (280)
    Story
    (285)

    Poverty goes up. Crime goes down. The prison population doubles. Fraud by the rich wipes out 40 percent of the world’s wealth. The rich get massively richer. No one goes to jail. In search of a solution, journalist Matt Taibbi discovered the Divide, the seam in American life where our two most troubling trends - growing wealth inequality and mass incarceration - come together, driven by a dramatic shift in American citizenship: Our basic rights are now determined by our wealth or poverty.

    Michael says: "Capitalism and Democracy Collide"
  • Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics (






UNABRIDGED) by Charles Krauthammer Narrated by Charles Krauthammer, George Newbern

    Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Charles Krauthammer
    • Narrated By Charles Krauthammer, George Newbern
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (449)
    Performance
    (393)
    Story
    (395)

    A brilliant stylist known for an uncompromising honesty that challenges conventional wisdom at every turn, Krauthammer has for decades dazzled readers with his keen insight into politics and government. His weekly column is a must-read in Washington and across the country. Now, finally, the best of Krauthammer's intelligence, erudition, and wit are collected in one volume.

    Alan says: "Charles K, author and narrator ..... enuf said"
  • Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen (






UNABRIDGED) by Christopher McDougall Narrated by Fred Sanders

    Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Christopher McDougall
    • Narrated By Fred Sanders
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4670)
    Performance
    (2430)
    Story
    (2467)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Want to join the “superhumans”? Luckily you don’t have to run to catch up with them, thanks to McDougall’s and Sanders’ inspiring (and motivating) journey through history, science, physiology, health, entertaining characters and unlikely friendships. Full of incredible characters, amazing athletic achievements, cutting-edge science, and, most of all, pure inspiration, Born to Run is an epic adventure.

    Corey says: "Amazing read - even for non-runners"
  • Contagious: Why Things Catch On (






UNABRIDGED) by Jonah Berger Narrated by Keith Nobbs

    Contagious: Why Things Catch On

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Jonah Berger
    • Narrated By Keith Nobbs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (733)
    Performance
    (620)
    Story
    (624)

    Why do some products get more word of mouth than others? Why does some online content go viral? Word of mouth makes products, ideas, and behaviors catch on. It's more influential than advertising and far more effective. Can you create word of mouth for your product or idea? According to Berger, you can. Whether you operate a neighborhood restaurant, a corporation with hundreds of employees, or are running for a local office for the first time, the steps that can help your product or idea become viral are the same.

    Douglas C. Bates says: "A Primer on Viral & Memorable Marketing"
  • A World Gone Social: How Companies Must Adapt to Survive (






UNABRIDGED) by Ted Coine, Mark Babbitt Narrated by Tim Andres Pabon

    A World Gone Social: How Companies Must Adapt to Survive

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Ted Coine, Mark Babbitt
    • Narrated By Tim Andres Pabon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Just like the meteor that likely precipitated the end of the dinosaurs, social media is having a monumental impact on the world's economy; a change so dramatic that it has created a new business era. Welcome... to the Social Age. What does the Social Age mean for your business? Containing stories, analysis of real-world scenarios, and indispensable guidance, A World Gone Social gives you the tools and information you need to survive - and thrive - in a business climate in which customers hold all the cards...

  • In Faith and in Doubt: How Religious Believers and Nonbelievers Can Create Strong Marriages and Loving Families (






UNABRIDGED) by Dale McGowan Narrated by Sean Runnette

    In Faith and in Doubt: How Religious Believers and Nonbelievers Can Create Strong Marriages and Loving Families

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Dale McGowan
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
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    (0)

    Interfaith marriages fail more often than same-faith partnerships. So what are the chances of survival for the ultimate mixed marriage - one between religious and nonreligious partners? Nearly 20 percent of Americans now self-identify as nonreligious, including millions who are married to religious believers. Despite the differences, many of these marriages succeed beautifully. In this landmark book, popular author and secular humanist Dale McGowan explores some of the stories of these unions.

  • Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life (






UNABRIDGED) by William Deresiewicz Narrated by Mel Foster

    Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By William Deresiewicz
    • Narrated By Mel Foster
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Excellent Sheep takes a sharp look at the high-pressure conveyor belt that begins with parents and counselors who demand perfect grades and culminates in the skewed applications Deresiewicz saw firsthand as a member of Yale's admissions committee. As schools shift focus from the humanities to "practical" subjects like economics and computer science, students are losing the ability to think in innovative ways.

  • Bad English: A History of Linguistic Aggravation (






UNABRIDGED) by Ammon Shea Narrated by Mike Chamberlain

    Bad English: A History of Linguistic Aggravation

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Ammon Shea
    • Narrated By Mike Chamberlain
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
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    Bad English is sure to enlighten, enrage, and perhaps even inspire. Filled with historic and contemporary examples, the audiobook chronicles the long and entertaining history of language mistakes, and features some of our most common words and phrases, including decimate, hopefully, enormity, that vs. which, enervate vs. energize, bemuse vs. amuse, literally vs. figuratively, ain't, irregardless, socialist, OMG, and stupider.

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  • India Dishonoured: Behind a Nation's War on Women (






UNABRIDGED) by Sunny Hundal Narrated by Neil Shah

    India Dishonoured: Behind a Nation's War on Women

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 14 mins)
    • By Sunny Hundal
    • Narrated By Neil Shah
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
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    In December 2012, the violent gang rape of a young Indian woman in Delhi shocked the world. India was a country of booming modernisation twinned with centuries-old cultural riches. Was the cruelty of the assault indicative of something profoundly disturbing lurking beneath the surface? Sunny Hundal's arresting exploration of how Indian society treats its women argues exactly this. As a country, India has a disproportionate amount of men to women. They are financial and often social burdens upon their parents.

  • A Marriage Proposal: The Importance of Equal Marriage and What It Means for All of Us (






UNABRIDGED) by Sophie Ward Narrated by Kelly Birch

    A Marriage Proposal: The Importance of Equal Marriage and What It Means for All of Us

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 32 mins)
    • By Sophie Ward
    • Narrated By Kelly Birch
    Overall
    (1)
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    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Marriage is the institution through which our lives are defined: We are married, divorced, single, or widowed. It gives shape to our family relationships. Through marriage, we have access to the words for the closest connections in our lives, such as aunts and uncles, grandparents and step-children. Marriage is an internationally recognized institution that eases international travel and work for spouses. It formalizes a union using traditions we have built up and treasure.

  • Sociology: Exploring Human Society (






UNABRIDGED) by Line-in Publishing Narrated by Paul Heitsch

    Sociology: Exploring Human Society

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs)
    • By Line-in Publishing
    • Narrated By Paul Heitsch
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    This comprehensive audio textbook has 17 chapters covering the beginnings of sociology as an academic research discipline, culture and media, sociological research, socialization across the life course, social structure and social interaction, groups and organizations, deviance and crime, and social class and social stratification, global stratification, race and ethnicity, gender and sex, sexuality, family, religion, education and healthcare, politics, the economy, and population and society.

  • All the Rebel Women: The Rise of the Fourth Wave of Feminism (






UNABRIDGED) by Kira Cochrane Narrated by Anna Parker-Naples

    All the Rebel Women: The Rise of the Fourth Wave of Feminism

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Kira Cochrane
    • Narrated By Anna Parker-Naples
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
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    On a bright day at the Epsom Derby, 4 June 1913, Emily Wilding Davison was hit by the king’s horse in one of the defining moments of the fight for women’s suffrage - what became known as feminism’s first wave. The second wave arose in the late-1960s, activists campaigning tirelessly for women’s liberation, organising around a wildly ambitious slate of issues - a struggle their daughters continued in the third wave that blossomed in the early 1990s. Now, 100 years on from the campaign for the vote, a new tide of feminist voices is rising.

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  • Connected: The Power of Modern Community (






UNABRIDGED) by Marc Thomas, Hannah Waldram, Ed Walker Narrated by Anna Parker-Naples

    Connected: The Power of Modern Community

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 29 mins)
    • By Marc Thomas, Hannah Waldram, Ed Walker
    • Narrated By Anna Parker-Naples
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    In Connected, Hannah Waldram, Ed Walker and Marc Thomas explore examples from across the world which demonstrate that social media is a hugely powerful tool, but it is when it combines with physical communities - spurring action, amplifying a message, organizing movements - that it becomes truly transformative. It is a fascinating insight into how communities can be so much greater than the sum of their parts, and how the power of the internet has become seamlessly woven into community action.

  • The Language of Houses (






UNABRIDGED) by Alison Lurie Narrated by Nancy Linari

    The Language of Houses

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Alison Lurie
    • Narrated By Nancy Linari
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
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    The Language of Clothes came to be highly regarded in the literature of couture and design. Lurie has returned with The Language of Houses, a provocative and entertaining journey through the architecture of houses and buildings and the divided spaces within come to reflect the attitudes and purposes of the organizations and people who inhabit them.

  • Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street (






UNABRIDGED) by John Brooks Narrated by Johnny Heller

    Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By John Brooks
    • Narrated By Johnny Heller
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
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    (1)

    What do the $350 million Ford Motor Company disaster known as the Edsel, the fast and incredible rise of Xerox, and the unbelievable scandals at General Electric and Texas Gulf Sulphur have in common? Each is an example of how an iconic company was defined by a particular moment of fame or notoriety; these notable and fascinating accounts are as relevant today to understanding the intricacies of corporate life as they were when the events happened.