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Download America's Obsessives: The Compulsive Energy That Built a Nation Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Americas Obsessives: The Compulsive Energy That Built a Nation Audiobook, by Joshua Kendall Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joshua Kendall Narrator: Peter Ganim Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2013 ISBN: 9781611138320
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When most of us think of Charles Lindbergh, we picture a dashing twenty-five-year-old aviator stepping out of the Spirit of St. Louis after completing his solo flight across the Atlantic. What we don’t see is the awkward high school student who preferred ogling new gadgets at the hardware store to watching girls walk by in their summer dresses. Sure, Lindbergh’s unique mindset invented the pre-flight checklist, but his obsession with order also led him to demand that his wife and three German mistresses account for all their household expenditures in detailed ledgers.

Lucky Lindy is just one of several American icons whom Joshua Kendall puts on the psychologist’s couch in America’s Obsessives. Starting with the obsessive natures of some of Silicon Valley’s titans, he moves on to profile seven iconic figures, including founding father Thomas Jefferson, licentious librarian Melvil Dewey, condiment kingpin H. J. Heinz, slugger Ted Williams, and Estée Lauder.

In this fascinating look at the arc of American history through the lens of compulsive behavior, Kendall shows how some of our nation’s greatest achievements—from the Declaration of Independence to the invention of the iPhone—have roots in the disappointments and frustrations of early childhood.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A compelling look at how personality disorders can rule and ruin a life, and how those who come to terms with their constraints can achieve great things.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Readers will delight in the weirdness that the author has unearthed.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Kendall keeps the pages flying by with graceful prose rich in intriguing details drawn from his extensive research.”


  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week, June 2013
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About the Author

Joshua C. Kendall is the author of The Man Who Made Lists, about the creation of Roget’s Thesaurus, and The Forgotten Founding Father, a biography of Noah Webster, the lexicographer responsible for Webster’s Dictionary. He is also an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, Financial Times, Psychology Today, and BusinessWeek, among others. He is currently an associate fellow of Yale University’s Trumbull College.

About the Narrator

Peter Ganim, an Earphones Award–winning narrator, is an American actor who has appeared on stage, on television, and in film. He has performed voice-over work since 1994.