Audiobook: Short Nonfiction Collection, Vol. 070

Short Nonfiction Collection, Vol. 070 cover

Short Nonfiction Collection, Vol. 070

1 - An Accursed Race


Audiobooks Genres



Twenty short nonfiction works selected by the readers. “Shall we ever be able to visit the moon?” queries journalist Charles Nevers Holmes in 1920. Holmes was hopeful. Technology had come a long way since 1862, when balloonist James Glaisher made a daring ascent to 37,000 feet above the earth and passed out for lack of oxygen [Travels in the Air]. Glaisher had to best-guess the altitude to which his balloon had climbed while he was unconscious. Technology requires a rational system of accurate measurement [A Metric America]. Societies, however, are not rational. Some past eras were filled with horror [The Blues and Greens of Justinian; An Accursed Race]; others with heroism [Not to be Forgotten]. Some men view the public weal through stoic's eyes [Of Seneca's Writings] and some in a more hopeful frame of mind [Theodore Roosevelt on Applying the 9th Commandment]. Days of public observance tell a nation's concerns [Veteran's Day; 5th of November Act 1605]. Myths and legends speak to the importance of loyalty [King Arthur's Table] and to our trust that truth will win out [Merlin the Magician]. Sometimes a humorist like Mark Twain can make us laugh at ourselves [Poets as Policemen]. At other times grief overwhelms us [The Burning of Peshtigo, Wisconsin]. The single woman or man, wondering their place in this complexity, can make a difference: a woman stops to think about the food she buys for her family [How Much Shall We Spend for Food]; another woman sparks a bit of self-assertive feminism in a friend [The New Stove]. And, ever and again, in our search for meaning, we turn to artists [A Talk with Mr. Oscar Wilde; Oscar Wilde and the Aesthetic Movement; Post Impressionism in the Prose of Gertrude Stein]. - Summary by Sue Anderson

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