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Life of Ralph Waldo Emerson Video

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Free Resource - November 18th, 2010
Free Resource of the Day

Emerson and the Examined Life

Hear America's former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky read passages from the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson in this special event commemorating Emerson's 200th year. Pinsky and Emerson scholars Richard Geldard and David M. Robinson discuss the life and practical philosophy of Emerson and the ways in which his essays still speak to us today. Pinsky reads from classic essays such as Self-Reliance, The Oversoul, and The American Scholar. This tribute to Emerson is available on streaming audio and MP3 download from the Forum Network.

Emerson and the Examined Life

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Democracy, Culture and the Voice of Poetry

The place of poetry in modern democracy is no place, according to conventional wisdom. The poet, we hear, is a casualty of mass entertainment and prosaic public culture, banished to the artistic sidelines to compose variations on insipid themes for a dwindling audience. Robert Pinsky, however, argues that this gloomy diagnosis is as wrongheaded as it is familiar. Pinsky, whose remarkable career as a poet itself undermines the view, writes that to portray poetry and democracy as enemies is to radically misconstrue both. The voice of poetry, he shows, resonates with profound themes at the very heart of democratic culture. There is no one in America better to write on this topic.

One of the country's most accomplished poets, Robert Pinsky served an unprecedented two terms as America's Poet Laureate (1997-2000) and led the immensely popular multimedia Favorite Poem Project, which invited Americans to submit and read aloud their favorite poems. Pinsky draws on his experiences and on characteristically sharp and elegant observations of individual poems to argue that expecting poetry to compete with show business is to mistake its greatest democratic strength—its intimate, human scale—as a weakness. As an expression of individual voice, a poem implicitly allies itself with ideas about individual dignity that are democracy's bedrock, far more than is mass participation. Yet poems also summon up communal life.. Even the most inward-looking work imagines a reader. And in their rhythms and cadences poems carry in their very bones the illusion and dynamic of call and response. Poetry, Pinsky writes, cannot help but mediate between the inner consciousness of the individual reader and the outer world of other people. As part of the entertainment industry, he concludes, poetry will always be small and overlooked. As an art—and one that is inescapably democratic—it is massive and fundamental.

Available on MP3 Download.

Democracy, Culture and the Voice of Poetry

University Press Audiobooks
       Featured Provider  

Up until now the university press has been one area of the book industry that typically hasn't made its way onto audio book. These academic, nonprofit publishing houses publish great scholarly titles and now we are excited to present a new publisher that is making these works available for the first time on audio download:

University Press Audiobooks

University Press Audiobooks publishes titles from the Harvard University Press, Yale University Press, Princeton University Press, University of California Press, and many other presses of prestigious universities. We're starting with over 30 of their audio books authored by prominent scholars such as Edward O. Wilson, Harold Bloom, Robert Pinsky, and more. These initial works span a variety of academic disciplines from philosophy to science to politics just to name a few. Here are a few highlights in these disciplines:

Philosophy:

Truth and Truthfulness by Bernard Williams - What does it mean to be truthful? What role does truth play in our lives? What do we lose if we reject truthfulness? No philosopher is better suited to answer these questions than Bernard Williams.

Philosophy and Real Politics by Raymond Geuss - Many contemporary political thinkers are gripped by the belief that their task is to develop an ideal theory of rights or justice for guiding and judging political actions. But Raymond Geuss argues that philosophers should first try to understand why real political actors behave as they actually do.

The Secular Mind by Robert Coles - Best-selling author Robert Coles offers a profound meditation on how secular culture has settled into the hearts and minds of Americans. This book is a sweeping essay on the shift from religious control over Western society to the scientific dominance of the mind.

Science:

The Big Questions in Science and Religion by Keith Ward - Can religious beliefs survive in the scientific age? Are they resoundingly outdated? Or, is there something in them of great importance, even if the way they are expressed will have to change given new scientific context? Keith Ward, an Anglican priest who was once an atheist, offers compelling insights into the often contentious relationship between diverse religious views and new scientific knowledge.

On Human Nature by Edward O. Wilson - With characteristic pungency and simplicity of style, Edward O. Wilson challenges old prejudices and current misconceptions about the nature-nurture debate. His goal is nothing less than the completion of the Darwinian revolution by bringing biological thought into the center of the social sciences and the humanities.

Primates and Philosophers by Frans de Waal - "It's the animal in us," we often hear when we've been bad. But why not when we're good? Primatologist Frans de Waal tackles this question by exploring the biological foundations of one of humanity's most valued traits: morality.

Politics:

On Democracy by Robert A. Dahl - In this accessible and authoritative book, one of the most prominent political theorists of our time provides a primer on democracy that clarifies what it is, why it is valuable, how it works, and what challenges it confronts in the future.

Inventing the Job of President: Leadership Style from George Washington to Andrew Jackson by Fred I. Greenstein - Fred Greenstein examines the leadership styles of the earliest presidents, men who served at a time when it was by no means certain that the American experiment in free government would succeed.

The Myth of the Rational Voter by Bryan Caplan - The greatest obstacle to sound economic policy is not entrenched special interests or rampant lobbying, but the popular misconceptions, irrational beliefs, and personal biases held by ordinary voters. This is economist Bryan Caplan's sobering assessment in this provocative and eye-opening book.

And here are a few more titles that may be of interest:

Democracy, Culture and the Voice of Poetry by Robert Pinsky

Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health by Marion Nestle

Ruin the Sacred Truths: Poetry and Belief from the Bible to the Present by Harold Bloom

And there are many other interesting titles all of which are worth looking at:

Browse Over 30 Titles from University Press Audiobooks

We look forwarding to adding many more titles from this great new publisher in the near future.

The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson Podcast

LearnOutLoud.com presents the Selected Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson Podcast. Born in 1803, Emerson was renowned during the mid 19th century as a philosopher, writer, public orator, naturalist, and spiritual trailblazer. The essays showcased on this podcast represent some of the best examples of this great American thinker's work.

The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson Podcast

Subscribe to LearnOutLoud's ever-expanding series of educational podcasts:

All LearnOutLoud's Podcasts

Some of the favorites are the Great Speeches in History Podcast which features original recording and narrations of great historical speeches, and The Philosophy Podcast which features key excerpts from classic philosophical works. Also be sure to check out our newest podcasts: the Art History Podcast, the Lit Summary Podcast, U.S. Presidents Podcast, Intro to Poetry Podcast, and the Classical Mythology Podcast, and the TeachOutLoud Podcast.

To check out all LearnOutLoud podcasts you can always visit: www.learnoutloud.com/podcast

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LearnOutLoud's Podcast Room on iTunes

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