At some point every one of us embarks on a journey to find love. We meet people, date, get into and out of relationships, all with the hope of finding someone with whom we share a deep connection. This seems standard now, but it's wildly different from what people did even just decades ago. Single people today have more romantic options than at any point in human history.
"Entertaining and informative"
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.
"Captivating (if not an outlier)"
In the era of colorblindness, it is no longer socially permissible to use race, explicitly, as a justification for discrimination, exclusion, and social contempt. Yet, as legal star Michelle Alexander reveals, today it is perfectly legal to discriminate against convicted criminals in nearly all the ways that it was once legal to discriminate against African Americans.
"An essential read. A horrifying reality."
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.
"Thought provoking and Uplifting.... A++++++++!!!!!"
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.
"Marketing has a lot to learn from this book"
Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis - that of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over 40 years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.
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?
"Buy it now! Or not.. Trust your instincts."
Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit.
"Made me question justice, peers and myself."
We live in a culture of casual certitude. This has always been the case, no matter how often that certainty has failed. Though no generation believes there's nothing left to learn, every generation unconsciously assumes that what has already been defined and accepted is (probably) pretty close to how reality will be viewed in perpetuity. And then, of course, time passes. Ideas shift. Opinions invert. What once seemed reasonable eventually becomes absurd, replaced by modern perspectives that feel even more irrefutable and secure - until, of course, they don't.
"Another bad review for the narrator"
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.
"Mastery is both a goal and a destination..."
Every year, the average American eats 33 pounds of cheese (triple what we ate in 1970) and 70 pounds of sugar (about 22 teaspoons a day). We ingest 8,500 milligrams of salt a day, double the recommended amount, and almost none of that comes from the shakers on our table. It comes from processed food. It’s no wonder, then, that one in three adults, and one in five kids, is clinically obese.
"This is all too real, and YOU are the victim."
Grunt tackles the science behind some of a soldier's most challenging adversaries - panic, exhaustion, heat, noise - and introduces us to the scientists who seek to conquer them. Mary Roach dodges hostile fire with the U.S. Marine Corps Paintball Team as part of a study on hearing loss and survivability in combat. She visits the fashion design studio of U.S. Army Natick Labs and learns why a zipper is a problem for a sniper.
"A look into another world"
In Being Mortal, bestselling author Atul Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending. Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit.
In a series of illuminating, often surprising experiments, MIT behavioral economist Dan Ariely refutes the common assumption that we behave in fundamentally rational ways. Blending everyday experience with groundbreaking research, Ariely explains how expectations, emotions, social norms, and other invisible, seemingly illogical forces skew our reasoning abilities.
"Well researched, well written, & well read"
There are, in the United States, a significant and growing number of families who live on less than $2.00 per person, per day. That figure, the World Bank measure of poverty, is hard to imagine in this country - most of us spend more than that before we get to work or school in the morning.
"It Stays with You"
An inquisitive observer, thoughtful commentator, and assiduous craftsman, Neil Gaiman has long been celebrated for the sharp intellect and startling imagination that informs his fiction. Now The View from the Cheap Seats brings together, for the first time ever, more than 60 works of his outstanding nonfiction on topics and people close to his heart.
"A pleasure for Gaiman fans"
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.
"Amazing read - even for non-runners"
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.
"A Primer on Viral & Memorable Marketing"
Why is America living in an age of profound economic inequality? Why, despite the desperate need to address climate change, have even modest environmental efforts been defeated again and again? Why have protections for employees been decimated? Why do hedge-fund billionaires pay a far lower tax rate than middle-class workers? The conventional answer is that a popular uprising against "big government" led to the rise of a broad-based conservative movement.
"Hated this book!"
Since its release in 1949, The Hero with a Thousand Faces has influenced millions of readers by combining the insights of modern psychology with Joseph Campbell's revolutionary understanding of comparative mythology. In this book, Campbell outlines the Hero's Journey, a universal motif of adventure and transformation that runs through virtually all of the world's mythic traditions. He also explores the Cosmogonic Cycle, the mythic pattern of world creation and destruction.
"Meaningful and thought-provoking"
The Abolitionist is a confronting, and compassionate, treatise on the practice of abortion. The author challenges the listener to question their own ethics, as well as modern paradigms and complacencies. The work aims to disrupt outdated mindsets and challenge populist conformity, while uncovering additional disturbing and hidden facts about abortion. The Abolitionist is a must-listen for anyone concerned with human rights.
First published in 1973, Albert Bandura's Aggression: A Social Learning Analysis is a groundbreaking work that helped lay the foundations of the discipline of social psychology. Much of what we now know about the influences of the early childhood environment on delinquency and anti-social behavior can be traced back to Bandura's work. In the book, he uses the subject of aggression to demonstrate and explore the usefulness of what is called social learning theory.
Stanley Milgram was a young researcher at Yale in the 1960s when he recruited volunteers to help in a psychology experiment. These volunteers were asked to give electric shocks to "learners" whenever they got an answer to a question wrong. The "learners" were in on the deception, and were not actually receiving shocks, but the volunteers were unaware of this. To widespread surprise, Milgram reported that 40 to 65 percent of his volunteers did what the researcher told them, and gave the maximum shock to the "learners" even when they screamed in pain.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction - and the first black woman to win the Nobel Prize in literature - novelist, orator, and outspoken public intellectual Toni Morrison is best known for her novels. In Playing in the Dark, however, she enters the realm of literary criticism. Morrison, an African American, draws attention to the often-overlooked significance of race in literature, demonstrating "the impact of racism on those who perpetuate it". Reading the racial language between the lines of classic American fiction, Morrison shows that literature is never raceless.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is overtaking our human ability to absorb and process information. Robots are becoming increasingly dexterous, flexible, and safe to be around (except the military ones). AI is our most powerful technology, and you need to understand it. This new book from best-selling author Calum Chace argues that within a few decades, most humans will not be able to work for money. Self-driving cars will probably be the canary in the coal mine, providing a wake-up call for everyone who isn't yet paying attention.
"Peek Human, A Fantastically Terrible Outcome?"
Frantz Fanon's Black Skin, White Masks offers a radical analysis of the psychological effects of colonization on the colonized. Born in 1925 on the island of Martinique - at the time a French colony - Fanon witnessed firsthand the abuses of white colonizers and the system's effects on his country. His revulsion was only confirmed later in life when he worked as a psychiatrist in Algeria, another French colony. Fanon's work played a pivotal role in the civil rights movements of the 1960s and was later taken up by scholars of postcolonialist studies.
A self-educated man, Eric Hoffer was most likely born in 1898. He wrote in his spare time after doing shifts on the San Francisco docks, where he continued to work, even after becoming a successful author. Hoffer began writing The True Believer in the 1940s, as Nazism and fascism spread across Europe. Most analysts who were trying to work out how these movements became so powerful focused on their leaders and the ideas they trumpeted.
The Last Empire is Gore Vidal's ninth collection of essays in the course of his distinguished literary career. Vidal displays unparalleled range and inimitable style as he offers incisive observations about terrorism, civil liberties, the CIA, Al Gore, Tony Blair, and the Clintons, interwoven with a rich tapestry of personal anecdote, critical insight, and historical detail. Written between the first presidential campaign of Bill Clinton and the electoral crisis of 2000, The Last Empire is a sweeping coda to the still-existing conflicted vision of the American dream.
Everyone believes in Christmas, but what about Santa Claus? Is it only the young who wait for that one special evening every year? With the expertise of some of the world's most renowned Arctic experts, wildlife biologists, historians, and polar explorers, Robert Sullivan offers proof positive that Santa and his team do indeed exist.
When American sociologist C. Wright Mills's The Sociological Imagination was first published in 1959, it provoked much hostile reaction. This was understandable: the book was a hard-hitting attack on how sociology was practiced - and on a number of leading sociologists. Mills was a fierce critic of both modern capitalism and Soviet-style authoritarianism, and argued that the sociology profession failed to look at how people's problems are connected to the structures of the society in which they live.
The economic, political, and cultural changes in the West from the 18th century, as the Industrial Revolutions and French, showed significant changes in society on its past forms, mainly based on traditions. Thus arises the Sociology in the 18th century, with the first social research and the general ideas of the Enlightenment, as a way to understand and explain these social changes.
Die Wise does not offer seven steps for coping with death. It does not suggest ways to make dying easier. It pours no honey to make the medicine go down. Instead, with lyrical prose, deep wisdom, and stories from his two decades of working with dying people and their families, Stephen Jenkinson places death at the center of the discussion and asks us to behold it in all its painful beauty. Die Wise teaches the skills of dying, skills that have to be learned in the course of living deeply and well.
Linguistic structuralism studies the meaning of language based not just on definitions, but also on the relationships of words and sounds to each other. Lévi-Strauss's insight was to see that this concept of structuralism in linguistics could be applied to anthropology as well. He saw that while some cultures are very different from others, they all seem to have certain internal structural relationships in common. By tracing these structures across cultures, he tried to answer nothing less than the eternal question: "What is man?"
The era after World War II saw America's urban planners treat the lives of city-dwellers with disdain. It spawned a philosophy of urban renewal that valued the efficient movement of cars more than it valued the lives of people, and that wiped out entire neighborhoods dismissed by bureaucrats as slums. Published in 1961, Jane Jacobs's The Death and Life of Great American Cities examines the shortsightedness and failure of this philosophy. The book turns away from strict statistical study and abstract planning theory in favor of observations.
Sociologist Émile Durkheim's 1897 work On Suicide is a powerful evidence-based study of why people take their own lives. In the late 19th century it was generally accepted that each suicide was an individual phenomenon, caused by such personal factors as grief, loss, and financial problems. But Durkheim felt there were patterns in suicide rates, and believed that a more likely cause of suicide lay in the individual's relationship to society.
American sociologist Jack A. Goldstone examines the causes of revolutions and uprisings in the period between 1500 and 1800. Investigating cases in both Europe and Asia, the conclusions he reaches are surprising. Many thinkers had previously believed that Europe's distinctive history - and particularly the rise of capitalism - had created the specific revolutions and political changes that launched the continent on a path to global supremacy. Goldstone says this is wrong, and that European and Asian states were, in fact, all experiencing similar developments.
For most of us, the idea of life inside the golden triad of Park Avenue, Sagaponack, and St. Barths is just as exotic as the mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle. Luckily, Richard Kirshenbaum has a VIP pass to the Upper East Side and is willing to share the wealth - of gossip. His New York Observer column on uptown social life provides a fascinating glimpse behind the gilded curtain into the swanky restaurants and eye-popping vacation destinations where the one percent gathers.
Out of all the trees in the world, the ash is the most closely bound up with who we are. From tool handles to arrows, wheels and bowls to furniture and baseball bats, humans have made more and varied use of ash than any other kind of wood. Journeying across the English-speaking world, Robert Penn meets craftsmen with rare skills and a knowledge of the properties of ash developed over millennia.
American lawyer-turned-sociologist David Riesman published his first book, The Lonely Crowd, in 1950. Aimed at academics, it nonetheless gained a large popular audience. In it, Riesman explores the links between social character - the ways in which members of a society are similar to one another - and social structures. Riesman's work popularized sociology, helping to establish it as an academic discipline, and today it provides a fascinating window into the 1950s American psyche.
Traditionally, managers assumed people were lazy and would not work unless strictly controlled. McGregor, however, believed this form of management to be based on faulty assumptions about human nature, and felt that managers should reflect on their assumptions about what motivates people. He proposed they draw on research in psychology and the other social sciences to create working conditions that allow all employees to realize their full human potential.
Tribes are groups of people aligned around an idea, connected to a leader and to each other. Tribes make our world work, and always have. The new opportunity is that it's easier than ever to find, organize, and lead a tribe. The Web has enabled an explosion of all kinds of tribes - and created shortage of people to lead them. This is the growth industry of our time. Tribes will help you understand exactly what's at stake, and why YOU can and should lead a tribe of your own.
In 1929, in the blue-collar city of Portsmouth, Ohio, a company built a swimming pool the size of a football field; named Dreamland, it became the vital center of the community. Now, addiction has devastated Portsmouth, as it has hundreds of small rural towns and suburbs across America - addiction like no other the country has ever faced. How that happened is the riveting story of Dreamland.
"American Nightmare that is Necessary Reading"
From the Sunday Times top ten bestselling author of The Psychopath Test, a captivating and brilliant exploration of one of our world's most underappreciated forces: shame. 'It's about the terror, isn't it?' 'The terror of what?' I said. 'The terror of being found out.' For the past three years, Jon Ronson has travelled the world meeting recipients of high-profile public shamings. The shamed are people like us - people who, say, made a joke on social media that came out badly, or made a mistake at work.
"You'll never look at public shaming the same way"
From elicitation, pretexting, influence and manipulation all aspects of social engineering are picked apart, discussed and explained by using real world examples, personal experience and the Science & Technology behind them to unraveled the mystery in social engineering. Kevin Mitnick - one of the most famous social engineers in the world - popularized the term social engineering. He explained that it is much easier to trick someone into revealing a password than to exert the effort of hacking.
"Social Engineering Savvy"
Virtually all human societies were once organized tribally, yet over time most developed new political institutions which included a central state that could keep the peace and uniform laws that applied to all citizens. Some went on to create governments that were accountable to their constituents. We take these institutions for granted, but they are absent or are unable to perform in many of today’s developing countries—with often disastrous consequences for the rest of the world.
"Best Summary of Political History I've Read"
By synthesizing current research in the social sciences, Schwartz makes the counterintuitive case that eliminating choices can greatly reduce the stress, anxiety, and busyness of our lives. He offers eleven practical steps on how to limit choices to a manageable number, have the discipline to focus on the important ones and ignore the rest, and ultimately derive greater satisfaction from the choices you have to make.
"The Tyranny of Pop Economics"
When three-month-old Lia Lee arrived at the county hospital emergency room in Merced, California, a chain of events was set in motion from which neither she nor her parents nor her doctors would ever recover. Lia's parents, Foua and Nao Kao, were part of a large Hmong community in Merced, refugees from the CIA-run "Quiet War" in Laos.
"Good audiobook but narrator struggles with basic pronunciation"
On January 7, 1980, in the run-up to the publication of his landmark best seller Thy Neighbor's Wife, Gay Talese received an anonymous letter from a man in Colorado. "Since learning of your long-awaited study of coast-to-coast sex in America," the letter began, "I feel I have important information that I could contribute to its contents or to contents of a future book." The man went on to tell Talese an astonishing secret: that he had bought a motel to satisfy his voyeuristic desires.
It is now 100 years since drugs were first banned in the United States. On the eve of this centenary, journalist Johann Hari set off on an epic three-year, 30,000-mile journey into the war on drugs. What he found is that more and more people all over the world have begun to recognize three startling truths: Drugs are not what we think they are. Addiction is not what we think it is. And the drug war has very different motives to the ones we have seen on our TV screens for so long.
"A Must if the drug war has touched you at all"
A major new collection from "arguably the most important intellectual alive" (The New York Times). Noam Chomsky is universally accepted as one of the preeminent public intellectuals of the modern era. Over the past thirty years, broadly diverse audiences have gathered to attend his sold-out lectures. Now, in Understanding Power, Peter Mitchell and John Schoeffel have assembled the best of Chomsky's recent talks on the past, present, and future of the politics of power.
From batting averages and political polls to game shows and medical research, the real-world application of statistics continues to grow by leaps and bounds. How can we catch schools that cheat on standardized tests? How does Netflix know which movies you'll like? What is causing the rising incidence of autism? As best-selling author Charles Wheelan shows us in Naked Statistics, the right data and a few well-chosen statistical tools can help us answer these questions and more.
"Statistics is like a high caliber gun, very useful"
Claude M. Steele, who has been called “one of the few great social psychologists,” offers a vivid first-person account of the research that supports his groundbreaking conclusions on stereotypes and identity. He sheds new light on American social phenomena from racial and gender gaps in test scores to the belief in the superior athletic prowess of black men, and lays out a plan for mitigating these “stereotype threats” and reshaping American identities.
"One of my recent favorites"
Universally acclaimed from the time it was first published in 1968, Slouching Towards Bethlehem has been admired for decades as a stylistic masterpiece. Academy Award-winning actress Diane Keaton (Annie Hall, The Family Stone) performs these classic essays, including the title piece, which will transport the listener back to a unique time and place: the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco during the neighborhood’s heyday as a countercultural center.
"Didion deserves better."
In Men Explain Things to Me, Rebecca Solnit takes on the conversations between men who wrongly assume they know things and wrongly assume women don't. The ultimate problem, she shows in her comic, scathing essay, is female self-doubt and the silencing of women. Rebecca Solnit is the author of fourteen books about civil society, popular power, uprisings, art, environment, place, pleasure, politics, hope, and memory, most recently The Faraway Nearby, a book on empathy and storytelling.
"Great book, poor recording"
In The Blank Slate, Steven Pinker, one of the world's leading experts on language and the mind, explores the idea of human nature and its moral, emotional, and political colorings. With characteristic wit, lucidity, and insight, Pinker argues that the dogma that the mind has no innate traits, denies our common humanity and our individual preferences, replaces objective analyses of social problems with feel-good slogans, and distorts our understanding of politics, violence, parenting, and the arts.
"Great book from an amazing polymath author"
Here is an exceptionally clear introduction to law, covering the main subjects found in the first year of law school, giving us a basic understanding of how it all works. Listeners are introduced to every aspect of the legal system, from constitutional law and the litigation process to tort law, contract law, property law, and criminal law. Feinman illuminates each discussion with many intriguing, outrageous, and infamous cases.
"Very brought introduction to law issues"
I know my own mind. I am able to assess others in a fair and accurate way. These self-perceptions are challenged by leading psychologists Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald as they explore the hidden biases we all carry from a lifetime of exposure to cultural attitudes about age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, social class, sexuality, disability status, and nationality. Blindspot is the authors’ metaphor for the portion of the mind that houses hidden biases.
"A compelling read."
In Strategy: A History, Sir Lawrence Freedman, one of the world's leading authorities on war and international politics, captures the vast history of strategic thinking, in a consistently engaging and insightful account of how strategy came to pervade every aspect of our lives.
"Comprehensive 'Tour de Force' on Strategy"
Why do people dodge responsibility when things fall apart? Why the parade of public figures unable to own up when they screw up? Why the endless marital quarrels over who is right? Why can we see hypocrisy in others but not in ourselves? Are we all liars? Or do we really believe the stories we tell? Backed by years of research and delivered in lively, energetic prose, Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) offers a fascinating explanation of self-deception.
"Excellent insights, but a little too long"
For more than a decade, Katherine Zoepf has lived in or traveled throughout the Arab world, reporting on the lives of women, whose role in the region has never been more in flux. Only a generation ago, female adolescence as we know it in the West did not exist in the Middle East. There were only children and married women. Today, young Arab women outnumber men in universities, and a few are beginning to face down religious and social tradition in order to live independently, to delay marriage, and to pursue professional goals.
"A unique and enlightening perspective"