The Quiet Man: The Indispensable Presidency of George H W Bush [Audiobook]

The Quiet Man: The Indispensable Presidency of George H W Bush [Audiobook]
The Quiet Man: The Indispensable Presidency of George H W Bush [Audiobook] by John H Sununu, read by Qarie Marshall
2015 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 12 hrs 49 mins | 359.74MB

In this major reassessment of George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st president of the United States, his former Chief of Staff offers a long overdue appreciation of the man and his universally underrated and misunderstood presidency.

“I’m a quiet man, but I hear the quiet people others don’t.”—George H. W. Bush

In this unique insider account, John H. Sununu pays tribute to his former boss—an intelligent, thoughtful, modest leader—and his overlooked accomplishments. Though George H. W. Bush is remembered for orchestrating one of the largest and most successful military campaigns in history—the Gulf War—Sununu argues that conventional wisdom misses many of Bush’s other great achievements.

During his presidency, the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union collapsed. Bush’s calm and capable leadership during this dramatic time helped shape a world in which the United States emerged as the lone superpower. Sununu reminds us that President Bush’s domestic achievements were equally impressive, including strengthening civil rights, enacting environmental protections, and securing passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the 1990 agreement which generated budget surpluses and a decade of economic growth.

Sununu offers unparalleled insight into this statesman who has been his longtime close friend. He worked with Bush when he was vice president under Ronald Reagan, helped him through a contentious GOP primary season and election in 1988, and as his chief of staff, was an active participant and front-row observer to many of the significant events of Bush’s presidency. Reverential yet scrupulously honest, Sununu reveals policy differences and clashes among the diverse personalities in and out of the White House, giving credit—and candid criticism—where it’s due.

The Quiet Man goes behind the scenes of this unsung but highly consequential presidency, and illuminates the man at its center as never before.

God's Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World [Audiobook]

God's Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World [Audiobook]
God's Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World [Audiobook] by Cullen Murphy, read by Robertson Dean
2012 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB + MOBI | 9 hrs 39 mins | 273.79MB

Established by the Catholic Church in 1231, the Inquisition continued in one form or another for almost seven hundred years. Though associated with the persecution of heretics and Jews — and with burning at the stake — its targets were more numerous and its techniques more ambitious. The Inquisition pioneered surveillance, censorship, and “scientific” interrogation. As time went on, its methods and mindset spread far beyond the Church to become tools of secular persecution. Traveling from freshly opened Vatican archives to the detention camps of Guantánamo to the filing cabinets of the Third Reich, the acclaimed writer Cullen Murphy traces the Inquisition and its legacy, showing that not only did its offices survive into the twentieth century, but in the modern world its spirit is more influential than ever.

With the combination of vivid immediacy and learned analysis that characterized his acclaimed Are We Rome?, Murphy puts a human face on a familiar but little-known piece of our past and argues that only by understanding the Inquisition can we hope to explain the making of the present.

Do You Do It or Does It Do You [Audiobook]

Do You Do It or Does It Do You [Audiobook]
Do You Do It or Does It Do You: How to Let the Universe Meditate You [Audiobook] by Alan Watts
2005 | MP3@64 kbps | 4 hrs 28 mins | 126.16MB

At the heart of the popularity of such spiritual teachers as Eckhart Tolle and Ken Wilber lies the spirit and intellectual passion of the seminal teacher who inspired them all?Alan Watts. Now, in response to our run-away bestselling audio collection Out of Your Mind, Sounds True is proud to present one of Alan Watts? most extraordinary learning sessions. Listeners will delight in hearing Alan Watts at his finest as he guides them with humor, deep insight, and startling wisdom into a genuine understanding of how the grand, exuberant Self plays the game of living through us, and vice versa. With rare guided meditations taught by Watts himself, Do You Do It or Does It Do You? is an essential audio seminar with one of the true pioneers of Western spirituality.

Evolving Ourselves [Audiobook]

Evolving Ourselves [Audiobook]
Evolving Ourselves: How Unnatural Selection and Nonrandom Mutation are Changing Life on Earth [Audiobook] by Juan Enriquez, Steve Gullans, read by Rob Shapiro
2015 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 10 hrs 50 mins | 306.91MB
“We are the primary drivers of change. We will directly and indirectly determine what lives, what dies, where, and when. We are in a different phase of evolution; the future of life is now in our hands.”

Why are rates of conditions like autism, asthma, obesity, and allergies exploding at an unprecedented pace? Why are humans living longer, getting smarter, and having far fewer kids? How might your lifestyle affect your unborn children and grandchildren? How will gene-editing technologies like CRISPR steer the course of human evolution? If Darwin were alive today, how would he explain this new world? Could our progeny eventually become a different species—or several?

In Evolving Ourselves, futurist Juan Enriquez and scientist Steve Gullans conduct a sweeping tour of how humans are changing the course of evolution—sometimes intentionally, sometimes not.

For example:

  • Globally, rates of obesity in humans nearly doubled between 1980 and 2014. What’s more, there’s evidence that other species, from pasture-fed horses to lab animals to house cats, are also getting fatter.
  • As reported by U.S. government agencies, the rate of autism rose by 131 percent from 2001 to 2010, an increase that cannot be attributed simply to increases in diagnosis rates.
  • Three hundred years ago, almost no one with a serious nut allergy lived long enough to reproduce. Today, despite an environment in which food allergies have increased by 50 percent in just over a decade, 17 million Americans who suffer from food allergies survive, thrive, and pass their genes and behaviors on to the next generation.
  • In the pre-Twinkie era, early humans had quite healthy mouths. As we began cooking, bathing, and using antibiotics, the bacteria in our bodies changed dramatically and became far less diverse. Today the consequences are evident not only in our teeth but throughout our bodies and minds.

Though these harbingers of change are deeply unsettling, the authors argue that we are also in an epoch of tremendous opportunity. New advances in biotechnology help us mitigate the cruel forces of natural selection, from saving prematurely born babies to gene therapies for sickle cell anemia and other conditions. As technology like CRISPR enables us to take control of our genes, we will be able to alter our own species and many others—a good thing, given that our eventual survival will require space travel and colonization, enabled by a fundamental redesign of our bodies.

Future humans could become great caretakers of the planet, as well as a more diverse, more resilient, gentler, and more intelligent species—but only if we make the right choices now.

Intelligent, provocative, and optimistic, Evolving Ourselves is the ultimate guide to the next phase of life on Earth.

The Future of Violence [Audiobook]

The Future of Violence [Audiobook]
The Future of Violence: Robots and Germs, Hackers and Drones - Confronting a New Age of Threat [Audiobook] by Benjamin Wittes, Gabriella Blum, read by Tom Weiner
2015 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 12 hrs 2 mins | 336.49MB

From drone warfare in the Middle East to digital spying by the National Security Agency, the U.S. government has harnessed the power of cutting-edge technology to awesome effect. But what happens when ordinary people have the same tools at their fingertips? Advances in cybertechnology, biotechnology, and robotics mean that more people than ever before have access to potentially dangerous technologies—from drones to computer networks and biological agents—which could be used to attack states and private citizens alike.

In The Future of Violence, law and security experts Benjamin Wittes and Gabriella Blum detail the myriad possibilities, challenges, and enormous risks present in the modern world, and argue that if our national governments can no longer adequately protect us from harm, they will lose their legitimacy. Consequently, governments, companies, and citizens must rethink their security efforts to protect lives and liberty. In this brave new world where many little brothers are as menacing as any Big Brother, safeguarding our liberty and privacy may require strong domestic and international surveillance and regulatory controls. Maintaining security in this world where anyone can attack anyone requires a global perspective, with more multinational forces and greater action to protect (and protect against) weaker states who do not yet have the capability to police their own people. Drawing on political thinkers from Thomas Hobbes to the Founders and beyond, Wittes and Blum show that, despite recent protestations to the contrary, security and liberty are mutually supportive, and that we must embrace one to ensure the other.

The Future of Violence is at once an introduction to our emerging world—one in which students can print guns with 3-D printers and scientists’ manipulations of viruses can be recreated and unleashed by ordinary people—and an authoritative blueprint for how government must adapt in order to survive and protect us.

Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs [Audiobook]

Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs [Audiobook]
Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs [Audiobook] by Johann Hari, read by Tim Gerard Reynolds
2015 | M4B@64 kbps + EPUB | 14 hrs 14 mins | 602.52MB

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.

In Chasing the Scream, Hari reveals his discoveries entirely through the stories of people across the world whose lives have been transformed by this war. They range from a transsexual crack dealer in Brooklyn searching for her mother, to a teenage hit-man in Mexico searching for a way out. It begins with Hari's discovery that at the birth of the drug war, Billie Holiday was stalked and killed by the man who launched this crusade - and it ends with the story of a brave doctor who has led his country to decriminalize every drug, from cannabis to crack, with remarkable results.

Chasing the Scream lays bare what we really have been chasing in our century of drug war - in our hunger for drugs, and in our attempt to destroy them. This audiobook will challenge and change how you think about one of the most controversial - and consequential - questions of our time.

How Star Wars Conquered the Universe [Audiobook]

How Star Wars Conquered the Universe [Audiobook]
How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise [Audiobook] by Chris Taylor, read by Nick Podehl
2014 | M4B@64 kbps + EPUB | 20 hrs 40 mins | 580.53MB

In 1973, a young filmmaker named George Lucas scribbled some notes for a far-fetched space-fantasy epic. More than forty years and $37 billion later, Star Wars–related products outnumber human beings, a stormtrooper army spans the globe, and “Jediism” has become a religion in its own right. Lucas’s creation has grown into far more than a cinematic classic; it is, quite simply, one of the most lucrative, influential, and interactive franchises of all time. Yet until now the complete history of Star Wars―its influences and impact, the controversies it has spawned, its financial growth and long-term prospects―has never been told.

In How Star Wars Conquered the Universe, veteran journalist Chris Taylor traces the series from the difficult birth of the original film through its sequels, the franchise’s death and rebirth, the prequels, and the preparations for a new trilogy. Taylor provides portraits of the friends, writers, artists, producers, and marketers who labored behind the scenes to turn Lucas’s idea into a legend. He also jousts with modern-day Jedi, tinkers with droid builders, and gets inside Boba Fett’s helmet, all to find out how Star Wars has attracted and inspired so many fans for so long.

Since the first film’s release in 1977, Taylor shows, Star Wars has conquered our culture with a sense of lightness and exuberance, while remaining serious enough to influence politics around the world and spread a spirituality that appeals to religious groups and atheists alike. Controversial digital upgrades and critically savaged prequels have actually made the franchise stronger than ever. Now, with a new set of savvy bosses holding the reins and Episode VII on the horizon, it looks like Star Wars is just getting started.

An energetic, fast-moving account of this creative and commercial phenomenon, How Star Wars Conquered the Universe explains how a filmmaker’s fragile dream beat out a surprising number of rivals and gained a die-hard, multigenerational fan base―and why it will be galvanizing our imaginations and minting money for generations to come.

The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 [Audiobook]

The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 [Audiobook]
The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 [Audiobook] by Lawrence Wright, read by Alan Sklar
2006 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 17 hrs 23 mins | 489.97MB

A sweeping narrative history of the events leading to 9/11, a groundbreaking look at the people and ideas, the terrorist plans and the Western intelligence failures that culminated in the assault on America. Lawrence Wright's remarkable book is based on five years of research and hundreds of interviews that he conducted in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, England, France, Germany, Spain, and the United States.

The Looming Tower achieves an unprecedented level of intimacy and insight by telling the story through the interweaving lives of four men: the two leaders of al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri; the FBI's counterterrorism chief, John O'Neill; and the former head of Saudi intelligence, Prince Turki al-Faisal.

As these lives unfold, we see revealed: the crosscurrents of modern Islam that helped to radicalize Zawahiri and bin Laden . . . the birth of al-Qaeda and its unsteady development into an organization capable of the American embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania and the attack on the USS Cole . . . O'Neill's heroic efforts to track al-Qaeda before 9/11, and his tragic death in the World Trade towers . . . Prince Turki's transformation from bin Laden's ally to his enemy . . . the failures of the FBI, CIA, and NSA to share intelligence that might have prevented the 9/11 attacks.

The Looming Tower broadens and deepens our knowledge of these signal events by taking us behind the scenes. Here is Sayyid Qutb, founder of the modern Islamist movement, lonely and despairing as he meets Western culture up close in 1940s America; the privileged childhoods of bin Laden and Zawahiri; family life in the al-Qaeda compounds of Sudan and Afghanistan; O'Neill's high-wire act in balancing his all-consuming career with his equally entangling personal life—he was living with three women, each of them unaware of the others' existence—and the nitty-gritty of turf battles among U.S. intelligence agencies.

Brilliantly conceived and written, The Looming Tower draws all elements of the story into a galvanizing narrative that adds immeasurably to our understanding of how we arrived at September 11, 2001. The richness of its new information, and the depth of its perceptions, can help us deal more wisely and effectively with the continuing terrorist threat.

Who's in Charge: Free Will and the Science of the Brain [Audiobook]

Who's in Charge: Free Will and the Science of the Brain [Audiobook]
Who's in Charge: Free Will and the Science of the Brain [Audiobook] by Michael S Gazzaniga, read by Pete Larkin
2011 | MP3@160 kbps | 8 hrs 5 mins | 574.33MB

The father of cognitive neuroscience and author of Human offers a provocative argument against the common belief that our lives are wholly determined by physical processes and we are therefore not responsible for our actions.

A powerful orthodoxy in the study of the brain has taken hold in recent years: Since physical laws govern the physical world and our own brains are part of that world, physical laws therefore govern our behavior and even our conscious selves. Free will is meaningless, goes the mantra; we live in a "determined" world.

Not so, argues the renowned neuroscientist Michael S. Gazzaniga in this thoughtful, provocative book based on his Gifford Lectures - one of the foremost lecture series in the world dealing with religion, science, and philosophy. Who's in Charge? proposes that the mind, which is somehow generated by the physical processes of the brain, "constrains" the brain just as cars are constrained by the traffic they create. Writing with what Steven Pinker has called "his trademark wit and lack of pretension", Gazzaniga shows how determinism immeasurably weakens our views of human responsibility; it allows a murderer to argue, in effect, "It wasn't me who did it - it was my brain." Gazzaniga convincingly argues that even given the latest insights into the physical mechanisms of the mind, there is an undeniable human reality: We are responsible agents who should be held accountable for our actions, because responsibility is found in how people interact, not in brains.

An extraordinary book that ranges across neuroscience, psychology, ethics, and the law with a light touch but profound implications, Who's in Charge? is a lasting contribution from one of the leading thinkers of our time.

One Minute to Midnight [Audiobook]

One Minute to Midnight [Audiobook]
One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War [Audiobook] by Michael Dobbs, read by Bob Walter
2008 | MP3 VBR V4 + EPUB | 16 hrs 24 mins | 551.77MB

In October 1962, at the height of the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union appeared to be sliding inexorably toward a nuclear conflict over the placement of missiles in Cuba. Veteran Washington Post reporter Michael Dobbs has pored over previously untapped American, Soviet, and Cuban sources to produce the most authoritative book yet on the Cuban missile crisis. In his hour-by-hour chronicle of those near-fatal days, Dobbs reveals some startling new incidents that illustrate how close we came to Armageddon.

Here, for the first time, are gripping accounts of Khrushchev's plan to destroy the U.S. naval base at Guantánamo; the accidental overflight of the Soviet Union by an American spy plane; the movement of Soviet nuclear warheads around Cuba during the tensest days of the crisis; the activities of CIA agents inside Cuba; and the crash landing of an American F-106 jet with a live nuclear weapon on board.

Dobbs takes us inside the White House and the Kremlin as Kennedy and Khrushchev agonize over the possibility of war. He shows how these two leaders recognized the terrifying realities of the nuclear age while Castro - never swayed by conventional political considerations - demonstrated the messianic ambition of a man selected by history for a unique mission. Dobbs brings us onto the decks of American ships patrolling Cuba; inside sweltering Soviet submarines and missile units as they ready their warheads; and onto the streets of Miami, where anti-Castro exiles plot the dictator's overthrow.

Mob Boss: The Life of Little Al D'arco [Audiobook]

Mob Boss: The Life of Little Al D'arco [Audiobook]
Mob Boss: The Life of Little Al D'arco, the Man Who Brought Down the Mafia [Audiobook] by Jerry Capeci, Tom Robbins, read by Michael Prichard
2013 | MP3@64 kbps | 16 hrs 16 mins | 461.28MB

Alfonso 'Little Al' D'Arco, the former acting boss of the Luchese crime family, was the highest-ranking mobster to ever turn government witness when he flipped in 1991.

His decision to flip prompted many others to make the same choice, including John Gotti's top aide, Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano, and his testimony sent more than fifty mobsters to prison. In Mob Boss, award-winning news reporters Jerry Capeci and Tom Robbins team up for this unparalleled account of D'Arco's life and the New York mob scene that he embraced for four decades.

Until the day he switched sides, D'Arco lived and breathed the old-school gangster lessons he learned growing up in Brooklyn and fine-tuned on the mean streets of Little Italy. But when he learned he was marked to be whacked, D'Arco quit the mob. His defection decimated his crime family and opened a window on mob secrets going back a hundred years.

After speaking with D'Arco, the authors reveal unprecedented insights, exposing shocking secrets, and troublesome truths about a city where a famous pizza parlor doubled as a Mafia center for multi-million-dollar heroin deals, where hit men carried out murders dressed as women, and where kidnapping a celebrity newsman's son was deemed appropriate revenge for the father's satirical novel.

Capeci and Robbins spent hundreds of hours in conversation with D'Arco, and exhausted many hours more fleshing out his stories in this riveting narrative that takes listeners behind the famous witness testimony for a comprehensive look at the Mafia in New York City.

The Economist Audio Edition [July 25, 2015]

The Economist Audio Edition [July 25, 2015]
The Economist Audio Edition [July 25, 2015]
MP3@48 kbps + EPUB + MOBI | 156.46MB

Empire of the geeks - and what could wreck it

  • The enemy inside every company
  • Labour's leftward march to oblivion
  • Was Confucius a communist?
  • Minimum-wage mania
  • The politics of procreation