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Download The Mansion of Happiness: A History of Life and Death Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Mansion of Happiness: A History of Life and Death (Unabridged), by Jill Lepore
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (337 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jill Lepore Narrator: Coleen Marlo Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Renowned Harvard scholar and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore has composed a strikingly original, ingeniously conceived, and beautifully crafted history of American ideas about life and death from before the cradle to beyond the grave.

How does life begin? What does it mean? What happens when we die? All anyone can do is ask, Lepore writes. That's why any history of ideas about life and death has to be, like this book, a history of curiosity. Lepore starts that history with the story of a 17th-century Englishman who had the idea that all life begins with an egg and ends it with an American who, in the 1970s, began freezing the dead. In between, life got longer, the stages of life multiplied, and matters of life and death moved from the library to the laboratory, from the humanities to the sciences.

Lately, debates about life and death have determined the course of American politics. Each of these debates has a history. Investigating the surprising origins of the stuff of everyday life - from board games to breast pumps - Lepore argues that the age of discovery, Darwin, and the space age turned ideas about life on earth topsy-turvy. New worlds were found, she writes, and old paradises were lost.

As much a meditation on the present as an excavation of the past, The Mansion of Happiness is delightful, learned, and altogether beguiling.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Robin | 2/16/2014

    " this book was really detailed and factual, but interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by t m | 2/9/2014

    " This was a really interesting book. It just wasn't the book I thought I was going to be reading. "A history of life and death" implied a different scope than this book covered. The author is funny and loving of her subject matter, but it is a tangential affair, and can take a little while to see where she's going in any given chapter. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Cheri | 2/4/2014

    " I didn't quite finish this book, which is unusual for me. It was interesting, but not enough to make me want to finish it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Angie Klink | 1/23/2014

    " The Mansion of Happiness is filled with quirky history and facts I enjoyed thoroughly. From the story of Milton Bradley (the man and his company), E.B.White's inspiration in writing "Stuart Little," one of my favorite childhood books, and his quest for publication, to the politics of breast feeding, "The Mansion of Happiness (which is a British game similar to Milton Bradley's "Life" board game in the U.S.), is an entertaining and enlightening read. "

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