American Cosmic

UFOs, Religion, Technology
Narrated by: Norah Tocci
Length: 8 hrs and 55 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (236 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

More than half of American adults and more than 75 percent of young Americans believe in intelligent extraterrestrial life. This level of belief rivals that of belief in God. American Cosmic examines the mechanisms at work behind the thriving belief system in extraterrestrial life, a system that is changing and even supplanting traditional religions. 

Over the course of a six-year ethnographic study, D. W. Pasulka interviewed successful and influential scientists, professionals, and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who believe in extraterrestrial intelligence, thereby disproving the common misconception that only fringe members of society believe in UFOs. She argues that widespread belief in aliens is due to a number of factors, including their ubiquity in modern media like The X-Files, which can influence memory, and the believability lent to that media by the search for planets that might support life. American Cosmic explores the intriguing question of how people interpret unexplainable experiences and argues that the media is replacing religion as a cultural authority that offers believers answers about non-human intelligent life.

©2019 Oxford University Press (P)2019 Tantor

What listeners say about American Cosmic

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  • Me
  • 02-18-19

Content - Exceptional - Norah Tocci needs lessons

The absolute WORST narrator I've heard. Norah Tocci consistently mispronounces well-known words. Aren't these narrations reviewed????????


16 people found this helpful

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Interesting angle at UFO research

This book wasn't exactly what I expected, and I have to say the content made me uneasy at times. However, in the end I think it was a fascinating angle at UFO research, even if I might not fully agree with some of its conclusions.

As for the narration.. I feel bad for Norah that people are bashing her narration so much (she must read these reviews, too). Yeah, probably not the best narration, but when sped up by 20% it was quite listenable. This is the first book I've ever listened to that I could speed up by 20% without it sounding unnaturally accelerated. With most audiobooks, speeding up the narration by anything beyond 5-10% makes the narration sound unnatural, but not in this case.

4 people found this helpful

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Good content, author should have narrated

I listened to the author speak on one of my usual podcasts and bought the book based on her good tale telling. Was sad not to hear her very compelling voice telling its own story in this audiobook. Perfectly enjoyable and thought provoking content :)

9 people found this helpful

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Exellent book!

well narrated, Exellent read on the research of the phenomenon of UFO'S and more. interesting look into the Invisible colledge.

3 people found this helpful

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Fascinating

D.W. Pasulka does a marvelous job of bringing an intuition that has long been a neglected part of the ufology/paranormal research communities to bear on the prejudices of both the academic and popular audience. John Keel, Jacques Valée, Jeffrey Kripal, and their ilk have been arguing for years that the UFO and related phenomena may be best understood in terms of mythology and religion as opposed to the material presence or absence of little green men from outer space. This means walking a very fine epistemological line between credulity and skepticism that makes scholars of religion and believers in such phenomena uncomfortable in equal measure. It is, nonetheless, essential to the ufology community as much as the academy of religion to consider the ways in which the fictional may be real, and the real may be fictional. Pasulka walks the line effortlessly, intertwining arguments of this kind with a narrative of her scholarly travels and researches that itself exemplifies her point and communicates to her readers a deep and personal sense of urgency when it comes to understanding and empathizing with 'experiencers'.

Norah Tocci's narration is a little dry, but by no means detracts from the excitement here.

2 people found this helpful

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Fascinating dive into the know & unknown

A non-judgmental view of what we think we know of our world and what it might actually be. Written in a way that laypeople, like, me can easily understand. Read with an open mind and leave your pre-conceived notions at the door.

2 people found this helpful

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4th time listening.

I heard about this great book on the mysterious universe podcast, season 21, episode 06. It basically covers all my favorite topics in one amazing story; with the added bonus of feeling like I was reading a self-help book at times (like reading about the protocols). I have even begun applying some in my own life. No wasted money here. Stop reading and buy the damn thing.

2 people found this helpful

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Interesting viewpoint

Loved this as it offered a new point of view for me. Well written and researched. Makes me want to read more of her writing. A lot of the reviewers didn’t like the narrator but I didn’t have any great problem with her voice or interpretation. The only minor problem as a listener was that sometimes I wasn’t absolutely sure that a different voice/person was speaking until a few sentences into the paragraph. Really a minor thing. Overall a worthwhile listen.

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Well written,thoughtful,objective -woman scholar

I heard an interview on the Mysterious Universe Podcast with this writer. She was so exuberant and well spoken I had to hear more of her unique, incredibly intelligent book. During the interview she shared that after the book came out she was been banned on social media for no reason that she knows of! Makes you wonder!The things she writes about aren't shocking but very interesting and compelling -especially in regards to the US and our history with UFO'S. Don't let this completely factual narrative slip by you! Intertwining spirituality with phenomenon is such an interesting angle to me. I absolutely loved this book. I'll be listening to it again asap.

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Great !!

Highly recommended this Audio book, sorry was great and very informative. Give it a listen when you get a chance !!

1 person found this helpful

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  • M J Ritzema
  • 02-21-19

wow what a great story

Over and over I kept thinking "yes I'd never thought about it like that before". Right up there with anything else in the genre. I'd go as far as to say it's on a par with Majestic by Whitley Strieber. The theologians viewpoint and deep knowledge of religion really intrigued me. If you have an interest in this subject matter get this book now! Only criticism is the narration sounds a bit robotic.

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  • Argonheart Po
  • 03-10-20

New, insightful angle to look at the UFO phenomena

UFOs are once again in the limelight of public attention thanks to mainstream publications, but dr. Pasulka's book is able to bring new insight and depth to the conversation. As a scholar of religion, the author has a novel and unusual approach by finding connections between the seemingly unrelated fields of UFO appearances, religious epiphany and the so called synchronicities. The narration, however, while clear and easily understandable, sometimes loose the right tonality and picks up an oddly cheerful tone that does not necessarily goes well with the topic at hand. Also, anyone narrating a UFO related book should know the right pronunciation of Whitley Strieber's name, especially if it comes up multiple times in the text...

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  • Jonathan
  • 12-01-19

Simply wow

Tyler is wow, James is wow
If you want to know all this book is for you

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  • Jonathan
  • 08-30-19

Great book. Unbearable narration

Excellent study of ufology and spirituality. Not the usual sneery, arrogant stuff you get on TV documentary channels but serious work from a professor of religious studies.

The problem here is Norah Tocci, who may be the single worst reader I’ve ever encountered on audible. She is absolutely dreadful - comparable to a cheery Mary Poppins emulator, spouting meaningless phrase like a robotic tts stoked on a dose of lithium.

Just read the brilliant, subtle and erudite book instead.




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  • sekurumurray
  • 06-16-19

The Truth is inside of us, not out there!

American Cosmic is as much about our own spiritual destiny as our materialist world view of Ufology and the technologies that are spun off from relics and artefacts of crashed objects. It ties together ideas from quantum physics, religion, eye witness accounts of UFO's, belief systems and the impact of the media thereof, and the future of mankind.

it was an interesting and fun read.