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Extended Audio Sample Gossip: The Untrivial Pursuit, by Joseph Epstein 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: Joseph Epstein Narrator: Arthur More Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From critic Joseph Epstein comes a dishy, incisive exploration of gossip.

To his successful examinations of some of the most powerful forces in modern life—envy, ambition, snobbery, and friendship—the keen observer and critic Joseph Epstein now adds Gossip. Despite its reputation, he argues, gossip is no trivial matter and is an eternal and necessary human enterprise. Proving that he himself is a master of the art, Epstein serves up delightful mini-biographies of the great gossips of the Western world along with many choice bits from his own experience. He also makes a powerful case that gossip has morphed from its old-fashioned best—clever, mocking, and a great private pleasure—to a corrosive new-school version, thanks to the reach of the mass media and the Internet. Gossip has invaded and changed for the worse politics and journalism, causing unsubstantiated information to be presented as fact. Contemporary gossip claims to reveal truth, but as Epstein shows, it’s our belief in truth that gossip today threatens to undermine and destroy.

Written in his trademark erudite and witty style, Gossip captures the complexity of this immensely entertaining subject.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Amusing and serious in equal measures, Epstein grants [listeners] the pleasurable company of a master observer of humanity’s foibles.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Arthur Morey delivers a clear and uncomplicated narration.”


  • “[Listeners] who share Epstein’s concern about gossip’s power ‘to invade privacy, to wreck lives’, and his reluctance to wholly condemn it ‘because I enjoy it too much’ will find him disquieting and delightful.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Epstein packs a lot of historical information into his book, and this makes it a good choice for academic journalism and media collections. It will also spark lively discussions in nonfiction book groups.”

    Library Journal

  • “Arthur Morey reads with such breezy ease that you forget that Epstein isn’t doing the honors himself.”

    BookPage Audio Review

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About the Author

Joseph Epstein is the bestselling author of books including Snobbery and Friendship. He was formerly editor of the American Scholar, and his work has appeared in the New Yorker, Harper’s, the Atlantic, and other publications. Epstein lives in Evanston, Illinois.