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December 16, 2011

5 Great Christopher Hitchens Debates

christopher-hitchens-debates-blog.jpg Author and journalist Christopher Hitchens passed away yesterday at the age of 62. Hitchens was known as a polemicist and contrarian and his skills in rhetoric made for very engaging debates which he participated in. We've picked out five of the best debates on audio & video from the past few years in which Hitchens debated a worthy opponent. Since the publication of his bestselling book God Is Not Great in which he argues against religion, Hitchens has been one of the more vocal advocates of atheism in today's world. Four of the debates we feature here are about religion. Hitchens also stirred controversy with his support of the Iraq War and his sympathy for neoconservative ideas, and in one debate we feature Hitchens argues his political stance. Enjoy these debates from the late Christopher Hitchens:

1. Tony Blair and Christopher Hitchens Debate Religion

Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and Christopher Hitchens debate "Is Religion a Force for Good in the World?". Blair, who recently converted to Catholicism, uses his oratory skills to passionately argue that religion motivates a great deal of good in the modern world, and that a world without religion would be worse off for many reasons. Blair concedes that a great deal of harm has been committed by religious fanatics throughout history, but that this is not a reason to get rid of religion anymore than bad politicians are a valid reason to get rid of politics. Hitchens agrees that religion is not going away, but counters that the world would be better with a great deal more secularism and less religion. He focuses on problems which are compounded when religion intrudes such as poverty and its relation to the subjugation of women. They field over an hour of questions from the audience. It's an excellent debate from two very talented rhetoricians. It is available on streaming video from the C-SPAN video library.

2. Christopher Hitchens and Rabbi David Wolpe: The Great God Debate

In this debate Hitchens and Rabbi David Wolpe take a look at many aspects of religion starting with answering "What is God?" and then arguing the various merits of the religious and secular worldviews. Rabbi Wolpe argues that religious belief leads to more basic goodness for the individual and for society as a whole as believers are more charitable and do more good works than non-believers. Hitchens argues that much of religious practice is wicked such as missionaries who prosthelytize to those who are weak and vulnerable. It's a very well conducted debate with both sides contributing strong arguments. This debate is available on MP3 audio download and streaming video from the Forum Network.

3. On Whether Christopher Hitchens Was Wrong

In this 2008 Hitchens debate liberal author and blogger Eric Alterman talks with Christopher Hitchens via webcam on bloggingheads.tv. The majority of the hour long debate revolves around Hitchens' support of the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Both argue many points about foreign policy in the Middle East. Alterman argues that liberals have become the true conservative and common sense party in America and the neo-conservatives to which he feels Hitchens belongs are the true radicals. Hitchens begs to differ. In the end they do both agree that they are voting for Barack Obama in 2008. This debate is available on MP3 audio download and streaming video from bloggingheads.tv.

4. The God Debate: Hitchens vs. D'Souza

Christopher Hitchens debates conservative author and Christian apologist Dinesh D'Souza in this debate from the University of Notre Dame. D'Souza argues on the grounds of reason that God is best explanation for the origins of life, the human moral compass, and our capacity of good and evil. Hitchens argues that the universe isn't as ordered as D'Souza would like to believe and that science can prove how the universe came from nothing without the need of a Creator or intelligent design. This debates is available on for free on streaming video on YouTube.

5. Al Sharpton and Christopher Hitchens Debate

Listen to a stimulating debate between the Reverand Al Sharpton and God Is Not Great author Christopher Hitchens. Hitchens provides many arguments against religion, arguing against religious texts, dogmatic beliefs, and a creator God. Al Sharpton contends that Hitchens cannot prove the non-existence of God and argues that if immoral acts are performed in the name of God that they have no relation to the great character of God. They both reflect on the modern implications of a belief in God, as Hitchens denounces the intrusion of religion into politics and culture (particularly in the Middle East) and Sharpton emphasizes the role of religion in positive social change such as in the American Civil Rights Movement. The whole debate is handled with good humor, even if neither Sharpton nor Hitchens are able to change one another's minds. This debate was held at the New York Public Library and is available on streaming video from FORA.tv.

And if those aren't enough, here are four more Christopher Hitchens debates:

Christopher Hitchens and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach Debate at 92nd Street Y

Does Atheism Poison Everything?: Christopher Hitchens Debates David Berlinski

Poison or Cure? Religious Belief in the Modern World: Christopher Hitchens Debates Alister McGrath

Christopher Hitchens and John Haldane at Oxford - We Don't Do God?: God in the Public Square

And for more great audio & video from Christopher Hitchens check out our author pages for him: Christopher Hitchens Audio & Video


December 9, 2011

2011 Audio Book Gift Guide

christmas2011audiobookfeatureblog.jpgWe've finally finished our 2011 Audio Book Gift Guide. Looking for some great holiday gifts? At LearnOutLoud.com we've assembled a list of the best new and most popular audio book releases from 2011. You can check out all of our new releases here:

Popular 2011 Audiobook New Releases

All the audio books on our list are available on Audio CD and are in stock and ready to ship from LearnOutLoud.com. And many of them are available on Audio Download. No matter who you're giving gifts to this year, you're sure to find an audio book they'll enjoy and learn from. To make it easy, we've divided this list of the best new releases from 2011 into categories. We've picked a selection of audio books from our most popular categories. Here is a selection of great audio book gifts from the categories of Self Development, Business, and Religion & Spirituality:

Self Development Audio Book Gifts:

1. How To Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age by Dale Carnegie

2. The Four Purposes of Life by Dan Millman (Only on Audio Download)

3. Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength by Roy Baumeister & John Tierney

4. Take Back Your Life by Geneen Roth

5. The Millionaire Messenger by Brendon Burchard

6. Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being by Martin Seligman

7. Spontaneous Happiness by Dr. Andrew Weil

8. Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, & Al Switzler

9. Meditations for Weight Loss by Marianne Williamson

10. Finding Inner Courage by Mark Nepo

11. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman

12. Unlimited: How to Build an Exceptional Life by Jillian Michaels

13. The Mindful Therapist by Dr. Daniel Siegel

14. Transcendence: Healing and Transformation Through Transcendental Meditation by Norman Rosenthal

15. The South Beach Wake-Up Call Dr. Arthur Agatston

16. Free Yourself from Anxiety: A Mind-Body Prescription by Erin Olivio

17. The Secret of Love by Deepak Chopra

18. The 17 Day Diet Essentials by Dr. Mike Moreno

19. The Power of Your Spirit: A Guide to Joyful Living by Sonia Choquette

20. ScreamFree Marriage by Hal Edward & Jenny Runkel

Business Audio Book Gifts:

1. The 3rd Alternative: Solving Life's Most Difficult Problems by Stephen R. Covey

2. EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches by Dave Ramsey

3. The 5 Levels of Leadership by John C. Maxwell

4. Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World by Michael Lewis

5. The Steve Jobs Way: iLeadership for a New Generation by Jay Elliot & William L. Simon

6. Midas Touch: Why Some Entrepreneurs Get Rich - and Why Most Don't by Donald Trump & Robert T. Kiyosaki

7. StandOut: The Groundbreaking New Strengths Assessment from the Leader of the Strengths Revolution by Marcus Buckingham

8. The Price of Civilization by Jeffrey Sachs

9. The Money Class by Suze Orman

10. The Investment Answer by Daniel C. Goldie & Gordon S. Murray

Religion & Spirituality Audio Book Gifts:

1. Every Day a Friday by Joel Osteen

2. How to Be Compassionate by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

3. Radical Together by David Platt

4. Living Beyond Your Feelings by Joyce Meyer

5. NIV Audio Bible, Pure Voice Narrated by George W. Sarris

6. Natural Awareness by Pema Chodron

7. Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well by Billy Graham

8. 2012: Prophecies and Possibilities by Mike Dooley

9. Thinking. Loving. Doing. by John Piper

10. The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar by Zig Ziglar & Ike Reighard

Best of Biographies, A&E, and Literature

Have someone on your list who enjoys listening to literature or learning about the life of a renowned individual. We've made our selections for the Best of Biographies, A&E, and Literature on Audio Book in 2011.

Biographies as Audio Book Gifts:

1. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

2. Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope by Gabrielle Giffords & Mark Kelly

3. Bossypants by Tina Fey

4. Blue Nights by Joan Didion

5. The Best Advice I Ever Got by Katie Couric

Arts & Entertainment Audio Book Gifts:

1. The History of Western Art by Peter Whitfield

2. Seriously...I'm Kidding by Ellen Degeneres

3. Drama: An Actor's Education by John Lithgow

4. Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend by Susan Orlean

5. Happy Accidents by Jane Lynch

Literature Audio Book Gifts:

1. The Grapes of Wrath (Unabridged) by John Steinbeck

And about 10 other John Steinbeck books were released on audio this year by Penguin Audiobooks:

John Steinbeck Audio Books

2. A River Runs Through It by Norman MacLean

3. She Walks in Beauty: A Woman's Journey Through Poems Selected & Introduced by Caroline Kennedy

4. The Iliad by Homer, translated by Stephen Mitchell

5. Faust by Johann Wolfgang Goethe (Full Cast Dramatization)

Best of History, Politics, & Science

If one of your special loved ones loves nonfiction we've got some the best history, politics, & science audio books released in the past year. Browse this selection of the Best of History, Politics, & Science Audio Books of 2011.

History Audio Book Gifts:

1. Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever by Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard

2. Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius by Sylvia Nasar

3. 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created by Charles C. Mann

4. The Patriot's History Reader: Essential Documents for Every American by Larry Schweikart, Dave Dougherty, & Michael Allen

5. Civilization: The West and the Rest by Niall Ferguson

Politics Audio Book Gifts:

1. Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy by Bill Clinton

2. A Nation Like No Other: Why American Exceptionalism Matters by Newt Gingrich

3. That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back by Thomas L. Friedman & Michael Mandelbaum

4. Here Comes Trouble by Michael Moore

5. Liberty Defined by Ron Paul

6. The Original Argument: The Federalists' Case for the Constitution by Glenn Beck & Pat Gray

7. Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens by Christopher Hitchens

8. Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025? by Pat Buchanan

9. Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America by Ann Coulter

10. In My Time by Dick Cheney

Science Audio Book Gifts:

1. War of the Worldviews: Science vs. Spirituality by Deepak Chopra & Leonard Mlodinow

2. How the Mind Works by Steven Pinker

3. The Hidden Reality by Brian Greene

4. The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick

5. The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True by Richard Dawkins

Free Shipping Coupon

From now until Christmas, LearnOutLoud.com is offering free standard shipping and free ground shipping on all orders over $25! To take advantage of our Free USPS Media Mail Standard Shipping & Free UPS Ground Shipping between now and Christmas, simply enter in this coupon code:


On the bottom of the payment page of checkout below where you enter your credit card information click "Apply a LearnOutLoud.com Gift Certificate or Coupon" and enter in this coupon code. Note: this coupon only works with credit cards and not Paypal. This coupon is valid through Christmas Day, December 25th, 2011.

Browse over 12,000 titles to buy on CD and download in our audio book sale section:

LearnOutLoud Audio Book Sale Section

We thought it best to feature our shipping options in this newsletter. We currently offer four different shipping methods for shipping audio books:

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Order by 12/12 to Receive by 12/23

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Additionally you can ship orders as gifts complete with gift wrapping and a gift message.

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LearnOutLoud.com Shipping Policy


December 5, 2011

Top Authors at Google Talks

authorsatgoogleblogfeature.jpgThe Authors@Google program features authors of recently published books who visit Google's Mountain View headquarters or other Google offices and give a talk about their book along with fielding questions from Google employees. We've recently added over 100 of the best Authors@Google talks to our site, along with adding Google Tech Talks and other talks delivered at Google such as their Health@Google series, Women@Google series, and their Personal Growth Series. All these talks are available to stream on YouTube. And if you've got a smart phone, they're great to cue up on YouTube in the car to listen to while you're driving. We now have over 250 Google Talks and you can browse through them all right here:

Browse Over 250 Google Talks

Their author talks cover a wide variety of books, but the focus tends to be more on business, technology, leadership, and other topics that pertain to Google employees. We've compiled this list of Google talks for which we also offer the book being discussed on audio download. So if you enjoy one of these talks, you might want to download the audio book to get the full knowledge of the book the author is talking about. Watch some author talks from the Authors@Google program:

Chris Anderson on Free

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book for FREE!: Free: The Future of a Radical Price)

Christopher Hitchens on God Is Not Great

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything)

Dave Logan on Tribal Leadership

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book for FREE!: Tribal Leadership)

Don Tapscott on Wikinomics

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything)

Dr. John Ratey on Spark

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain)

Dr. Mark Hyman on The UltraMind Solution

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: The UltraMind Solution)

Fred Kofman on Conscious Business

(If you like this talk, you can get the Sounds True course on the book: Conscious Business)

Ian Ayres on Super Crunchers

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: Super Crunchers: Why Thinking-by-Numbers Is the New Way to Be Smart)

J. Craig Venter on A Life Decoded

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: A Life Decoded: My Genome - My Life)

Jon Meacham on American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: American Lion)

Lama Surya Das on Buddha Is as Buddha Does

(If you like this talk, you can get the Sounds True course on the book: Buddha Is As Buddha Does)

Lauren Weber on In Cheap We Trust

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: In Cheap We Trust: The Story of a Misunderstood American Virtue)

Leading at Google: Andrew Bernstein on The Myth of Stress

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: The Myth of Stress)

Leading at Google: Jim Kouzes on The Leadership Challenge

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: The Leadership Challenge)

Leading at Google: Michael Carroll on The Mindful Leader

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: The Mindful Leader: Ten Principles for Bringing Out the Best in Ourselves and Others)

Louann Brizendine on The Female Brain

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: The Female Brain)

Michael Lewis on The Blind Side

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: The Blind Side)

Noah Goldstein on Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive)

Richard Brookhiser on George Washington on Leadership

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: George Washington on Leadership)

Richard Thaler on Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness)

Rob Walker on Buying In

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are)

Steve Wozniak on iWoz

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: iWoz: How I Invented the Personal Computer and Had Fun Along the Way)

Tim Ferriss on The 4-Hour Body

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: The 4-Hour Body)

Tina Fey on Bossypants

(If you like this talk, you can get the audio book: Bossypants)

And there are many more great Google Talks to choose from:

Browse Over 250 Google Talks