The Infernal Library: On Dictators, the Books They Wrote, and Other Catastrophes of Literacy [Audiobook]
07 March 2018, 08:05
2018 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 15 hrs 25 mins | 426.06MB
The Infernal Library is a harrowing audiobook tour of "dictator literature" in the 20th century, featuring the soul-killing prose and poetry of Hitler, Mao, and many more, which shows how books have sometimes shaped the world for the worse.
Since the days of the Roman Empire dictators have written books. But in the 20th century despots enjoyed unprecedented print runs to (literally) captive audiences. The titans of the genre - Stalin, Mussolini, and Khomeini among them - produced theoretical works, spiritual manifestos, poetry, memoirs, and even the occasional romance novel and established a literary tradition of boundless tedium that continues to this day.
How did the production of literature become central to the running of regimes? What do these books reveal about the dictatorial soul? And how can books and literacy, most often viewed as inherently positive, cause immense and lasting harm? Putting daunting research to revelatory use, journalist Daniel Kalder asks and brilliantly answers these questions.
Marshalled upon the beleaguered shelves of The Infernal Library are the books and commissioned works of the century's most notorious figures. Their words led to the deaths of millions. Their conviction in the significance of their own thoughts brooked no argument. It is perhaps no wonder then, as Kalder argues, that many dictators began their careers as writers.
Blue Dreams: The Science and the Story of the Drugs that Changed Our Minds [Audiobook]
24 February 2018, 23:47
2018 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 13 hrs 33 mins | 373.38MB
A groundbreaking and revelatory history of psychotropic drugs, from "a thoroughly exhilarating and entertaining writer" (Washington Post).
Although one in five Americans now takes at least one psychotropic drug, the fact remains that nearly seventy years after doctors first began prescribing them, not even their creators understand exactly how or why these drugs work--or don't work--on what ails our brains. Blue Dreams offers the explosive story of the discovery and development of psychiatric medications, as well as the science and the people behind their invention, told by a riveting writer and psychologist who shares her own experience with the highs and lows of psychiatric drugs.
Lauren Slater's revelatory account charts psychiatry's journey from its earliest drugs, Thorazine and lithium, up through Prozac and other major antidepressants of the present. Blue Dreams also chronicles experimental treatments involving Ecstasy, magic mushrooms, the most cutting-edge memory drugs, placebos, and even neural implants. In her thorough analysis of each treatment, Slater asks three fundamental questions: how was the drug born, how does it work (or fail to work), and what does it reveal about the ailments it is meant to treat?
Fearlessly weaving her own intimate experiences into comprehensive and wide-ranging research, Slater narrates a personal history of psychiatry itself. In the process, her powerful and groundbreaking exploration casts modern psychiatry's ubiquitous wonder drugs in a new light, revealing their ability to heal us or hurt us, and proving an indispensable resource not only for those with a psychotropic prescription but for anyone who hopes to understand the limits of what we know about the human brain and the possibilities for future treatments.
Superfans: Into the Heart of Obsessive Sports Fandom [Audiobook]
23 February 2018, 08:53
2018 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 6 hrs 39 mins | 183.14MB
A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist pulls back the curtain on the extraordinary inner lives of America's most obsessive sports fans.
There are fans, and then there are fanatics. In this wondrously immersive look at American sports fandom, George Dohrmann travels the country to find out what distinguishes an ordinary, everyday enthusiast from that special breed of supporter known as the superfan. In Minnesota, Dohrmann meets newly minted generals of the Viking World Order, a Minnesota Vikings affinity group organized along military lines. In Oregon, he shares a few beers with a determined soccer fan who amassed - almost singlehandedly - a 4,000-strong cheering section for the fledgling Portland Timbers. In Illinois, he talks with the parents of a five-year-old boy whose intense hatred of Tom Brady went viral on YouTube. Through these and other intimate profiles, Dohrmann shows us the human faces behind the colored face paint, the real people inside the elaborate costumes who prowl the stands and parking lots at stadiums from coast to coast.
In addition to the fans themselves, Dohrmann also talks with the experts who study them. He uses the latest thinking in sports psychology - some of it learned during a spirited round of miniature golf with a group of professors at the annual Sports Psychology Forum - to unravel the answers to such burning questions as: How does fandom begin? What are its effects on everyday life? When does it go too far?
For everyone who's ever body-painted their torso with the team colors of their alma mater before heading off to a sports bar - or even just screamed at their television during the NBA Finals, Superfans offers an entertaining and insightful exploration of the many ways human beings find meaning in something bigger than themselves.