Blue Dreams: The Science and the Story of the Drugs that Changed Our Minds [Audiobook]

Blue Dreams: The Science and the Story of the Drugs that Changed Our Minds [Audiobook]
Blue Dreams: The Science and the Story of the Drugs that Changed Our Minds [Audiobook] by Lauren Slater, read by Betsy Foldes Meiman
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]

Superfans: Into the Heart of Obsessive Sports Fandom [Audiobook]
Superfans: Into the Heart of Obsessive Sports Fandom [Audiobook] by George Dohrmann, read by Chris Ciulla
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.

Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America's Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan [Audiobook]

Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America's Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan [Audiobook]
Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America's Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan [Audiobook] by Steve Coll, read by Malcolm Hillgartner
2018 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 28 hrs 30 mins | 785.12MB

Resuming the narrative of his Pulitzer Prize-winning Ghost Wars, best-selling author Steve Coll tells for the first time the epic and enthralling story of America's intelligence, military, and diplomatic efforts to defeat Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan since 9/11.

Prior to 9/11, the United States had been carrying out small-scale covert operations in Afghanistan, ostensibly in cooperation, although often in direct opposition, with I.S.I., the Pakistani intelligence agency. While the US was trying to quell extremists, a highly secretive and compartmentalized wing of I.S.I., known as "Directorate S", was covertly training, arming, and seeking to legitimize the Taliban, in order to enlarge Pakistan's sphere of influence. After 9/11, when 59 countries, led by the US, deployed troops or provided aid to Afghanistan in an effort to flush out the Taliban and Al Qaeda, the US was set on an invisible slow-motion collision course with Pakistan.

Today, we know that the war in Afghanistan would falter badly because of military hubris at the highest levels of the Pentagon, the drain on resources and provocation in the Muslim world caused by the US-led invasion of Iraq, and corruption. But, more than anything, as Coll makes painfully clear, the war in Afghanistan was doomed because of the failure of the United States to apprehend the motivations and intentions of I.S.I.'s "Directorate S". This was a swirling and shadowy struggle of historic proportions, which endured over a decade and across both the Bush and Obama administrations, involving multiple secret intelligence agencies, a litany of incongruous strategies and tactics, and dozens of players, including some of the most prominent military and political figures. A sprawling American tragedy, the war was an open clash of arms but also a covert melee of ideas, secrets, and subterranean violence.

Coll excavates this grand battle, which took place away from the gaze of the American public. With unsurpassed expertise, original research, and attention to detail, he brings to life a narrative at once vast and intricate, local and global, propulsive and painstaking. This is the definitive explanation of how America came to be so badly ensnared in an elaborate, factional, and seemingly interminable conflict in South Asia. Nothing less than a forensic examination of the personal and political forces that shape world history, Directorate S is a complete masterpiece of both investigative and narrative journalism.

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