“The democracy of the future will sicken of a chronic and mortal boredom,” was Aldous Huxley’s prophecy for the United States in 1923. You won’t be bored listening to these 20 recordings, selected by their readers, with topics ranging from Leacock’s humorous Manual of Education to Unamuno’s Tragic Sense of Life. There’s an artist’s diary (Thomas Cole); an after-dinner speech (Mark Twain); reflections on Beauty by John Burroughs; Willa Cather and Christopher Morley on writing; and Leibniz on the Origin of Things. Political topics include the Power of Third Parties; the House of Commons; the 1904 South Dakota Land Lottery; and an NAACP anti-lynching poster. The 1918 Influenza Epidemic mirrors today’s Covid quarantine and mask requirements; while virtual adventure beckons in Königstein Fortress; an Equatorial Chinese Wedding; Nellie Bly; and An Humane Skeleton of Extraordinary Size. Finally, acts of heroism are celebrated in A Pioneer Girl and in Poland’s Tadeusz Kościuszko.
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