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Download The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction, by Matthew B. Crawford 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: Matthew B. Crawford Narrator: Robert Fass Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In his bestselling book Shop Class as Soulcraft, Matthew B. Crawford explored the ethical and practical importance of manual competence as expressed through mastery of our physical environment. In his brilliant followup, The World Beyond Your Head, Crawford investigates the challenge of mastering one’s own mind.

We often complain about our fractured mental lives and feel beset by outside forces that destroy our focus and disrupt our peace of mind. Any defense against this, Crawford argues, requires that we reckon with the way attention sculpts the self.

Crawford investigates the intense focus of ice hockey players and short-order chefs, the quasi-autistic behavior of gambling addicts, the familiar hassles of daily life, and the deep, slow craft of building pipe organs. He shows that our current crisis of attention is only superficially the result of digital technology, and it becomes more comprehensible when understood as the coming to fruition of certain assumptions at the root of Western culture that are profoundly at odds with human nature.

The World Beyond Your Head makes sense of an astonishing array of common experience, from the frustrations of airport security to the rise of the hipster. With implications for the way we raise our children, the design of public spaces, and democracy itself, this is a book of urgent relevance to contemporary life.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Crawford’s diagnosis of our scatterbrained ennui [is] on target and is peppered with startling insights.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Both impassioned and profound. Christopher Shea, The Washington Post on Shop Class as Soulcraft

  • Recent press coverage has sent word-of-mouth buzz on Shop Class through the roof, but it really is a book whose time, in our culture, has come. Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times on Shop Class as Soulcraft

  • “Fiercely intelligent.”


  • “Through philosophy and storytelling, Crawford has joined [the] project of loosening the grip of alienation and designed inhumanity. That’s a job well done.”

    Chronicle of Higher Education

  • “This brilliant work looks at individuals from varied walks of life…to focus on the theme of how important (and difficult) it is to truly pay attention in our noisy, busy world…Readers will feel rewarded for spending the time with a text this rich in excellent research, argument, and prose.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “[Crawford] sets out to establish that in a world of increasingly pervasive distractions, individualism can only be attained through focus.…This illuminating work will appeal to students of philosophy and sociology, as well as fans of good cultural analysis.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Robert Fass provides an intelligent and considered reading of this complex exploration of attention and focus in contemporary life…Fass’ voice is easy to listen to.”


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