Though the Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion, it does not specify what qualifies as a religion. From its founding in the 1830s, Mormonism, a homegrown American faith, has drawn thousands of converts but far more critics. In A Peculiar People, J. Spencer Fluhman offers a comprehensive history of anti-Mormon thought and the associated passionate debates about religious authenticity in 19th-century America. He argues that understanding anti-Mormonism provides critical insight into the American psyche because Mormonism became a potent symbol around which ideas about religion and the state took shape. Fluhman documents how Mormonism was defamed, with attacks often aimed at polygamy, and shows how the new faith supplied a social enemy for a public agitated by the popular press and wracked with social and economic instability. Taking the story to the turn of the century, Fluhman demonstrates how Mormonism’s own transformations, the result of both choice and outside force, sapped the strength of the worst anti-Mormon vitriol, triggering the acceptance of Utah into the Union in 1896 and also paving the way for the dramatic, yet still grudging, acceptance of Mormonism as an American religion. J. Spencer Fluhman is assistant professor of history at Brigham Young University. 1. Language: English. Narrator: John Pruden. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/blak/005216/bk_blak_005216_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
For much of Western history, belief in God was taken for granted. As society has grown more secular, however, people have increasingly expressed disbelief in God. Today, a quarter of Americans are religiously unaffiliated, many of whom identify as atheists and agnostics. As the number of atheists has grown, so too have debates around the legitimacy of religion. Too often, these debates become embroiled in vitriol and personal attacks. And even those that take a more civil approach often focus on proving or disproving God's existence rather than fostering dialogue. This audio course presents balanced ways for believers and non-believers to engage in thoughtful conversations with each other. Presented by Joseph Godfrey, a leading professor on the philosophy of religion, these lectures are both analytical and sensitive. You will explore the different forms of atheism and scientific theories used to support the nonexistence of God. You'll also delve into classic texts by atheists (Nietzsche, Sartre, Marx) as well as insights about atheism from Christians like Aquinas, Karl Rahner, and John Hick. As you grapple with the complex questions that arise from these thinkers and texts, you will gain a deeper understanding of evidential arguments against God while also considering how such evidence does not necessarily block paths to belief. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Joseph J. Godfrey. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/nykm/000325/bk_nykm_000325_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
In the wake of tragic shootings in Newtown and Aurora, the anti-gun lobby has launched a campaign of lies, distortion, misrepresentation, and emotional manipulation that is breathtaking in its vitriol and its denial of basic facts. Their goal is to take away our Second Amendment rights and then disarm law-abiding Americans. Emily Miller tells her personal story of how being a single, female victim of a home invasion drove her to try to obtain a legally registered gun in Washington, D.C. The narrative - sometimes shocking, other times hilarious in its absurdity - gives the listener a real-life understanding of how gun-control laws only make it more difficult for honest, law-abiding people to get guns, while violent crime continues to rise. Using facts and newly uncovered research, Miller exposes the schemes politicians on Capitol Hill, in the White House, and around the country are using to deny people their Second Amendment rights. She exposes the myths that gun grabbers and liberal media use to get new laws passed that infringe on our right to keep and bear arms. The gun rights debate isn't just about firearms. It's about protecting a fundamental right that is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. It's about politicians who lie, manipulate, and outright break existing laws to get what they want. It's about President Obama wanting a bigger federal government to control you. Not just your guns - you. The fight for gun rights is the fight for freedom. Emily Miller says stand up and fight back now because your Second Amendment will only be the first to go. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Carla Mercer-Meyer. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/tant/003246/bk_tant_003246_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Vicky Beeching, called “arguably the most influential Christian of her generation” in The Guardian, began writing songs for the church in her teens. By the time she reached her early thirties, Vicky was a household name in churches on both sides of the pond. Recording multiple albums and singing in America’s largest megachurches, her music was used weekly around the globe and translated into numerous languages. But this poster girl for evangelical Christianity lived with a debilitating inner battle: she was gay. The tens of thousands of traditional Christians she sang in front of were unanimous in their view - they staunchly opposed same-sex relationships and saw homosexuality as a grievous sin. Vicky knew if she ever spoke up about her identity it would cost her everything. Faced with a major health crisis, at the age of 35 she decided to tell the world that she was gay. As a result, all hell broke loose. She lost her music career and livelihood, faced threats and vitriol from traditionalists, developed further health issues from the immense stress, and had to rebuild her life almost from scratch. But despite losing so much she gained far more: she was finally able to live from a place of wholeness, vulnerability, and authenticity. She finally found peace. What’s more, Vicky became a champion for others, fighting for LGBT equality in the church and in the corporate sector. Her courageous work is creating change in the US and the UK, as she urges people to celebrate diversity, live authentically, and become undivided. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Billie Fulford-Brown. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/harp/007512/bk_harp_007512_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Vicky Beeching, called 'arguably the most influential Christian of her generation' in The Guardian, began writing songs for the church in her teens. By the time she reached her early 30s, Vicky was a household name in churches on both sides of the pond.Recording multiple albums and singing in America's largest megachurches, her music was used weekly around the globe and translated into numerous languages.But this poster girl for evangelical Christianity lived with a debilitating inner battle: she was gay. The tens of thousands of traditional Christians she sang in front of were unanimous in their view - they staunchly opposed same-sex relationships and saw homosexuality as a grievous sin. Vicky knew if she ever spoke up about her identity it would cost her everything.Faced with a major health crisis, at the age of 35 she decided to tell the world that she was gay. As a result, all hell broke loose. She lost her music career and livelihood, faced threats and vitriol from traditionalists, developed further health issues from the immense stress and had to rebuild her life almost from scratch. But despite losing so much she gained far more: she was finally able to live from a place of wholeness, vulnerability, and authenticity. She finally found peace. What's more, Vicky became a champion for others, fighting for LGBT equality in the church and in the corporate sector. Her courageous work is creating change in the US and the UK, as she urges people to celebrate diversity, live authentically and become 'undivided'. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Billie Fulford-Brown. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/hcuk/003947/bk_hcuk_003947_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
From New York Times best-selling author, "one of America's top cultural critics" (Entertainment Weekly), and "The Ethicist" for The New York Times Magazine, comes a new book of all original pieces on villains and villainy. Chuck Klosterman has walked into the darkness. As a boy, he related to the cultural figures who represented goodness - but as an adult, he found himself unconsciously aligning with their enemies. This was not because he necessarily liked what they were doing; it was because they were doing it on purpose (and they were doing it better). They wanted to be evil. And what, exactly, was that supposed to mean? When we classify someone as a bad person, what are we really saying (and why are we so obsessed with saying it)? In I Wear the Black Hat, Klosterman questions the very nature of how modern people understand the concept of villainy. What was so Machiavellian about Machiavelli? Why don't we see Batman the same way we see Bernhard Goetz? Who's more worthy of our vitriol - Bill Clinton or Don Henley? What was O.J. Simpson's second-worst decision? And why is Klosterman still obsessed with some kid he knew for one week in 1985? Masterfully blending cultural analysis with self-interrogation and limitless imagination, I Wear the Black Hat delivers perceptive observations on the complexity of the anti-hero (seemingly the only kind of hero America still creates). I Wear the Black Hat is the rare example of serious criticism that's instantly accessible and really, really funny. Klosterman is the only writer doing whatever it is he's doing. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Chuck Klosterman. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/sans/006377/bk_sans_006377_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
A timely, counterintuitive defense of Wall Street and the big banks as the invisible - albeit flawed - engines that power our ideas and should be made to work better for all of us. Maybe you think the banks should be broken up and the bankers should be held accountable for the financial crisis in 2008. Maybe you hate the greed of Wall Street but know that it's important to the proper functioning of the world economy. Maybe you don't really understand Wall Street, and phrases such as credit default swap make your eyes glaze over. Maybe you are utterly confused by the fact that after attacking Wall Street mercilessly during his campaign, Donald Trump has surrounded himself with Wall Street veterans. But if you like your smartphone or your widescreen TV, your car or your morning bacon, your pension or your 401(k), then - whether you know it or not - you are a fan of Wall Street. William D. Cohan is no knee-jerk advocate for Wall Street and the big banks. He's one of America's most respected financial journalists and the progressive best-selling author of House of Cards. He has long been critical of the bad behavior that plagued much of Wall Street in the years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis, and because he spent 17 years as an investment banker on Wall Street, he is an expert on its inner workings as well. But in recent years he's become alarmed by the cheap shots and ceaseless vitriol directed at Wall Street's bankers, traders, and executives - the people whose job it is to provide capital to those who need it, the grease that keeps our economy humming. In this brisk, no-nonsense narrative, Cohan reminds us of the good these institutions do - and the dire consequences for us all if the essential role they play in making our lives better is carelessly curtailed. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Rob Shapiro. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/rand/004973/bk_rand_004973_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
The NBC journalist who covered - and took fire from - Donald Trump on the campaign trail offers an inside look at the most shocking presidential election in American history. Katy Tur was one of a select cadre of NBC reporters on the road during the grueling 2016 presidential campaign, reporting from small towns and venues across America for more than 16 months. At the beginning of the primaries, Tur was assigned the Trump campaign - a campaign widely considered a long shot by politicos and the media. But primary after primary, the novice outsider trumped his rivals and won the hearts and votes of many Republicans. His appeal to working-class whites, the GOP's traditional middle and upper middle class base, and conservative evangelicals took him all the way to the White House, astonishing the nation and the world. Unbelievable is Tur's inside account of being embedded with the campaign, revealing what it was like to report on the most combative and volatile major party candidate ever to run for office and win. At first, Trump tried to charm Tur into providing fawning coverage. When that didn't work, he stooped to berating and shaming her, stoking the rage of his legion of supporters - many who threatened Tur and other penned-in reporters at his events. The vitriol reached such a fever pitch that following one rally, during which Trump launched a personal attack against her, the Secret Service had to accompany Tur to her car. But Katy was not alone. Millions of Americans watched in disbelief as Trump ordered Tur to "be quiet" during one of his many press conferences and called her "disgraceful", "third-rate", "not nice", and "Little Katy". In response, thousands of people across the country rushed to her defense, tweeting #imwithtur. Intriguing, disturbing, and powerful, Unbelievable is an unprecedented eyewitness account of the 2016 election from an intelligent, dedicated journalist at the center of it - a thoughtf 1. Language: English. Narrator: Katy Tur. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/harp/006227/bk_harp_006227_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
This is a summary of Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster By writing Into Thin Air, Krakauer may have hoped to exorcise some of his own demons and lay to rest some of the painful questions that still surround the event. He takes great pains to provide a balanced picture of the people and events he witnessed and gives due credit to the tireless and dedicated Sherpas. He also avoids blasting easy targets such as Sandy Pittman, the wealthy socialite who brought an espresso maker along on the expedition. Krakauer's highly personal inquiry into the catastrophe provides a great deal of insight into what went wrong. But for Krakauer himself, further interviews and investigations only lead him to the conclusion that his perceived failures were directly responsible for a fellow climber's death. Clearly, Krakauer remains haunted by the disaster, and although he relates a number of incidents in which he acted selflessly and even heroically, he seems unable to view those instances objectively. In the end, despite his evenhanded and even generous assessment of others' actions, he reserves a full measure of vitriol for himself. When Jon Krakauer reached the summit of Mt. Everest in the early afternoon of May 10, 1996, he hadn't slept in 57 hours and was reeling from the brain-altering effects of oxygen depletion. As he turned to begin the perilous descent from 29,028 feet (roughly the cruising altitude of an Airbus jetliner), 20 other climbers were still pushing doggedly to the top, unaware that the sky had begun to roil with clouds. Into Thin Air is the definitive account of the deadliest season in the history of Everest by the acclaimed outside journalist and author of the best-selling Into the Wild. Taking the listener step by step from Katmandu to the mountain's deadly pinnacle, Krakauer has his listeners shaking on the edge of their seat. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Daniel Hawking. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/059726/bk_acx0_059726_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.