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Download Cultural Amnesia: Necessary Memories from History and the Arts Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Cultural Amnesia: Necessary Memories from History and the Arts Audiobook, by Clive James
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (571 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Clive James Narrator: Clive James Publisher: Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd. Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2008 ISBN:
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In this book can be heard the merest edge of an enormous conversation. As they never were in life, we can imagine the speakers all gathered in some vast room, wearing name tags in case they don't recognize each other (although some recognize each other all too well, and avoid contact).

My heroes and heroines are here. The reader will recognize some of their names, while other names will be more obscure. My intellectual betes noires are here too, and the same division might apply.

An almanac combining a comprehensive survey of modern culture with an annotated index of who-was-who and what-was-what, Cultural Amnesia is Clive James' unique take on the places and the faces that shaped the 20th century.

From Anna Akhmatova to Stefan Zweig, via Charles de Gaulle, Hitler, Thomas Mann and Charlie Chaplin, this varied and unfailingly absorbing book is both story and history, both public memoir and personal record - and provides an essential field-guide to the vast movements of taste, intellect, politics, and delusion that helped to prepare the times we live in now. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Paul | 2/20/2014

    " James has overstepped himself here, trying to make a major cultural statement out of a misconceived and poorly argued collection of short essays on significant cultural figures. Hyperbolic as hell, too. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suby | 2/12/2014

    " What the author says is very true! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Molly Cashio | 1/17/2014

    " beautiful. rockin the english language. :) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Justin | 1/14/2014

    " So far, pretty damned good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wendy | 1/6/2014

    " Stuffy self-congratulatory writing, but still a pretty fun read. How much I learned about obscure Weimar literary figures! How little I ever really wanted to know! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jp | 12/24/2013

    " Extraordinary survey of thinkers and artists combined with James sui generis ability to link themes across time and space. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 cassandramonds | 10/26/2013

    " I read this to get introduced to some of the great minds of the 20th century that I don't know much about. Now I have a big long list of James' recommendations to tackle. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 HKd | 9/30/2013

    " A smart intelligent book about some people I know but mostly ones I've never heard of. I dip it into often and always enjoy what I read and also come away with extra titles for my To Read list. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tabitha | 9/28/2013

    " The essays in this book are a little thin. But...It's really amazing to read about so many forgotten and nearly forgotten artists and writers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joseph | 2/23/2013

    " Clive James has done an amazing job of explaining western culture through profiles of important figures. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 10/18/2012

    " I love love LOVE Clive James. You may not. This book certainly walks the line between pretentious and awesome. You can see on which side I think it fell. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jill Malone | 9/12/2012

    " What a marvel of a book. Eloquent, impassioned--the kind of book where you keep exclaiming Yes! Yes! as you read it. James's arguments for humanism and liberal democracy are vital and luminous. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Linda | 11/5/2011

    " Scattered, random. People varied from the obscure to the very well=known. Most were male. This would be a book to dip into occasionally as there were some worthy thoughts and connections but as a whole I was glad to get to the end "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tuyet | 5/10/2011

    " on nyt notable book list: tried to be cultured and literary and read this book from a noted critic on different topics; well written and expansive - but it is like 1000 pages so I wasn't ambitious enough to finish it; this encyclopedia is better read by randomly picking entries - "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris | 5/8/2011

    " In parts brilliant and in others ridiculously tedious. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suby | 2/10/2011

    " What the author says is very true! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 3/30/2010

    " Good overview of cultural history, some compelling insights. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Molly | 8/11/2009

    " beautiful. rockin the english language. :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 8/10/2009

    " Clive James is a thinker. He's one of the few essayists (I forgot the word he applies to himself) that I can disagree wildly with, and still read what he has to say. As a thinker, he makes his reader think. That's a rare gift. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 7/14/2009

    " Some of the essays are a touch too lazy or underdeveloped (or overdeveloped) for five stars, but there are moments of pure greatness. The trio of Manns alone make it worthy your money. "

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About the Author

Clive James is an Australian memoirist, poet, translator, critic, and broadcaster who has written more than thirty books of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. He lives in Cambridge, United Kingdom.