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

The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction Audiobook, by Matthew B. Crawford Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Matthew B. Crawford Narrator: Robert Fass Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2015 ISBN: 9781427260703
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A groundbreaking new book from the bestselling author of Shop Class as Soulcraft

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 follow-up, 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 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

  • 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

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

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

    Chicago Tribune

  • “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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About the Author

Matthew B. Crawford is a senior fellow at the University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture and a fabricator of components for custom motorcycles. His bestselling book Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work, which has been translated into nine languages, has prompted a wide rethinking of education and labor policies in the United States and Europe, leading The Sunday Times to call him “one of the most influential thinkers of our time.”

About the Narrator

Robert Fass is a veteran actor and twice winner of the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. He has earned mulltiple Earphones Awards, including one for his narration of Francisco Goldman’s Say Her Name, which was named one of AudioFile magazine’s Best Audiobooks of 2011. He has given voice to modern and classic fiction writers alike, including Ray Bradbury, Joyce Carol Oates, Isaac Asimov, Jeffrey Deaver, and John Steinbeck, as well as to nonfiction works in history, memoir, health, journalism, and business.