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My approach is to take notes/bookmark throughout the book the first time, so I can refer to certain sections in the future.
Definitely has enough info in this book to be a textbook, but fortunately it is a more enjoyable read.
Steven Pinker's other masterpiece "The Blank Slate" is still my favorite non-fiction. "How the Mind Works" is a more technical and challenging read/listen, but both are highly recommended based on their wealth of researched facts and arguments.
Probably the best way to absorb "How the Mind Works" is to read it. I found myself rewinding multiple times to re-listen to the more technical parts. Be prepared to exercise your mind, and you will be rewarded.
For an easier listen, "The Blank Slate" is just as informative; it is more on societal impact of our understanding on the mind rather than the technical mind mechanisms explored in this book.
MLK translates well in any format as each offers a different perspective. The first 2 audio speeches were not very clear, so it's recommended to do a quick search for the speeches online and read along with the audio.
It's an important piece of history, and many of the subjects covered are still very relevant. Non-violent progress is a fundamental human struggle.
If there's every an autobiography worth reading, this would be one of them.
I actually really enjoyed the narration, clear and easy pace.
MLK describing the darkest moments of his many protests, the social and personal dilemmas...
"Even the most starless midnight may herald the dawn of some great fulfillment."
This autobiography is so large in scope that it serves as a great introductory overview of MLK and his times, with audio excerpts of his speeches.
I was more interested in digging deeper into some of his beliefs and tactics, which needs to be found elsewhere, a 9-hour autobiography is limited. Despite being an autobiography, this was pieced together after MLK's death so it does do a good job covering his ideas and speeches.
Now, how about an unabridged audio version of Malcolm X's autobiography?
This audiobook starts pretty slow, but the historical preamble sets the stage for the more-concise facts that start pouring in during the 2nd half.
The topic of mental health, de-institutionalization, lack of accountability, and for-profit "solutions" are highly relevant. Just walk in the city and you'll encounter the consequences when you pass the homeless people muttering to themselves. And that's only the portion that are not incarcerated or in for-profit nursing homes (which should be used for the elderly).
Honestly took me a while to get used to, but the story makes up for it.
When making public policy, use science/research/evidence over ideology.
In this book, the shutting down of State mental hospitals was based on ideology around society and mental health that sounded good but parts of it were simply not backed by scientific evidence (which admittedly was sparse during that time since psychiatry was still in its infancy). The movement had no chance of evolving during the Nixon/Reagen era: they not only supported privatization, they were hostile to psychiatry!
Powerful topic and unique format (the book is mostly discussions between Julian Assange & three other hacktivists, and I found the format refreshing and easy-to-follow). Definitely recommended.
A perfect precursor to this book would be "This Machine Kills Secrets", which provides a great overview of the backbone historical details of modern encryption, all in an easy-to-understand and open-minded narrative.
Open your eyes.
This book's topic is critical for anyone who is not deluded enough to think they and their children/grandchildren can live in a protective bubble regardless of that happens to the rest of the world.
The book exposes the convergence of climate change with previous trends of economic imperialism and Cold War arms/violence. Thus, this book primarily frames the issue of climate-induced poverty, migration, and xenophobia in the political theater.
At first glance I might prefer more analysis on the economic side, but I do appreciate the author's argument that the #1 priority is to curtail greenhouse emissions and not wait for any drastic restructuring the world's socioeconomic structure. However you frame it though, both are connected.
For more environmental details, try "Eaarth" by Bill McKibben
A great read/listen on free market/austerity consequences to public health: "The Body Economic"
For more economics:
"Capital in the Twenty-First Century" (Piketty)
"All the Presidents' Bankers" (Prins)
"The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap" (Taibbi)
The topic of how economic ideologies affect healthcare policies, and how that in turn affects you, me, our families and friends... well, it's an essential topic indeed.
Plenty of gems like this one to broaden one's understanding of Economics and how it actually works in the real world. It is critical to realize how much of establishment Economics is more ideology than actual science! Austerity is clearly a mechanism to funnel money to the top, no one can argue the atrocious short-term consequences and this book demonstrates the long-term consequences are not rosy either.
Other related non-fiction gems:
"Capital in the Twenty-First Century"
"A Fighting Chance" (Elizabeth Warren's memoir, easy read)
"Retirement Heist" (technical but very informative)
I've heard impressive reviews for the following:
"Wall Street: A History" (Geisst)
"All the Presidents' Bankers"
"The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires"
"Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism"
"The Fine Print: How Big Companies Use 'Plain English' to Rob You Blind"
Perfect narration: clear and easy-to-follow-along pace.
Asides overarching facts, this book provided personal cases to make the reader/listener realize that there are faces, lives, and loved ones behind each statistic.
The writers of this have their hearts in the right place, but keep in mind their background (healthcare policies) restricts them to frame questions in that arena... which does offer new perspectives, but clearly this topic needs to also be explored in the economic arena more deeply. There are many "but why?" moments to economic events that the story encounters but cannot address.
Always pleasantly surprised when insightful non-fictions sneak into Audible.
This book takes one segment of predatory Capitalism, the exploitation of employee pensions for CEO profiteering, and tears the issue wide open, exposing all sorts of criminal and psychopathic behavior benefiting a few and harming the masses.
Not only is it a chilling expose, this book is highly-relevant. Who isn't affected by retirement and pensions?
Other related audio gems: "Predator Nation" (author directed "Inside Job"), "Treasure Islands" (offshore tax havens), "The Divide" & "Griftopia" (Matt Taibbi)...
An easy, more personable starting point may be: "A Fighting Chance" by Elizabeth Warren.
As ever, Hitchens comes out swinging and holds nothing back; it helps that war criminal Kissinger providers such a large target.
Like the polemics "No One Left to Lie To" (neocon Clintons) and "The Missionary Position" (Mother Teresa), Christopher Hitchens tears down any residual public misconceptions with facts and finesse.
This book presents numerous criminal activities regarding Indochina, Bangladesh, Latin America, Cyprus, East Timor, journalist Demetracopoulos, and Kissinger's personal corporate profiteering.
Strap on your seat belts and enjoy the ride.
This book will get anyone interested in the modern world of secrets and information that can drastically influence where power is kept: the masses or the elite masters. The book covers important events in the secrets arena, from the Pentagon Papers to OpenLeaks.
Powerful topic, well-researched and written, and (uniquely) not much stigma of personal bias. Mr. Greenberg makes sure to lay out the facts first before reacting to them (as evidenced by the descriptions of the feud between Assange and Domscheit-Berg).
If you have not been introduced to the topic then you will see the world with new perspectives afterwards. Both easy-to-absorb and insightful.
Highly-recommended; gripping and informative, non-fiction at its very best!
If you can't get Christopher Hitchens to narrate his own books (like he did with his memoir "Hitch-22"), then the next best option is Simon Prebble. The style just matches perfectly, and this coming from someone who is not used to listening to British ascents.
Didn't Hitchens consider naming this book "Sacred Cow"?
Eloquent and biting; great polemic to accompany Hitchen's more-overall critiques of mass religion ("The Portable Atheist", "god is not Great"). Do consider watching the online videos of Hitchens debating (or destroying?) religious supporters.
Also, this format of critiquing a public figure is similar to his other short polemics: "The Trial of Henry Kissinger" and "No One Left to Lie To" (on those neocon Clintons). While I find his Iraq positions more debatable, these 3 polemics offer little room for debate but plenty of room for enjoyment.
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