The Professor in the Cage by Jonathan Gottschall audiobook

The Professor in the Cage: Why Men Fight and Why We Like to Watch

By Jonathan Gottschall
Read by Quincy Dunn-Baker

Recorded Books, LLC 9781594205637
7.75 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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    ISBN: 9781490661964

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An English professor begins training in the sport of mixed martial arts and explores the science and history behind the violence of men. When a mixed martial arts (MMA) gym moves in across the street from his office, Jonathan Gottschall sees a challenge—and an opportunity. Pushing forty, out of shape, and disenchanted with his job as an adjunct English professor, part of him yearns to cross the street and join up. The other part is terrified. Gottschall eventually works up his nerve and starts training for a real cage fight. He’s fighting not only as a personal test but also to answer questions that have intrigued him for years: Why do men fight? And why do so many seemingly decent people like to watch? In The Professor in the Cage, Gottschall’s unlikely journey from the college classroom to the fighting cage drives an important new investigation into the science and history of violence. Mixed martial arts is a full-contact hybrid sport in which fighters punch, choke, and kick each other into submission. MMA requires intense strength, endurance, and skill; the fights are bloody, brutal, and dangerous. Yet throughout the last decade, cage fighting has evolved from a small-time fringe spectacle banned in many states to the fastest-growing spectator sport in America. But the surging popularity of MMA, far from being new, is just one more example of our species’ insatiable interest, not just in violence but in the rituals that keep violence contained. From duels to football to the roughhousing of children, humans are masters of what Gottschall calls the monkey dance: a dizzying variety of rule-bound contests that establish hierarchies while minimizing risk and social disorder. In short, Gottschall entered the cage to learn about the violence in men, but learned instead how men keep violence in check. Gottschall endures extremes of pain, occasional humiliation, and the incredulity of his wife to take us into the heart of fighting culture—culminating, after almost two years of grueling training, in his own cage fight. Gottschall’s unsparing personal journey crystallizes in his epiphany, and ours, that taming male violence through ritualized combat has been a hidden key to the success of the human race. Without the restraining codes of the monkey dance, the world would be a much more chaotic and dangerous place.

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Summary

Summary

A 2015 Amazon Best Books of the Year Selection for Sports & Outdoors

An English professor begins training in the sport of mixed martial arts and explores the science and history behind the violence of men.

When a mixed martial arts (MMA) gym moves in across the street from his office, Jonathan Gottschall sees a challenge—and an opportunity. Pushing forty, out of shape, and disenchanted with his job as an adjunct English professor, part of him yearns to cross the street and join up. The other part is terrified. Gottschall eventually works up his nerve and starts training for a real cage fight. He’s fighting not only as a personal test but also to answer questions that have intrigued him for years: Why do men fight? And why do so many seemingly decent people like to watch?

In The Professor in the Cage, Gottschall’s unlikely journey from the college classroom to the fighting cage drives an important new investigation into the science and history of violence. Mixed martial arts is a full-contact hybrid sport in which fighters punch, choke, and kick each other into submission. MMA requires intense strength, endurance, and skill; the fights are bloody, brutal, and dangerous. Yet throughout the last decade, cage fighting has evolved from a small-time fringe spectacle banned in many states to the fastest-growing spectator sport in America.

But the surging popularity of MMA, far from being new, is just one more example of our species’ insatiable interest, not just in violence but in the rituals that keep violence contained. From duels to football to the roughhousing of children, humans are masters of what Gottschall calls the monkey dance: a dizzying variety of rule-bound contests that establish hierarchies while minimizing risk and social disorder. In short, Gottschall entered the cage to learn about the violence in men, but learned instead how men keep violence in check.

Gottschall endures extremes of pain, occasional humiliation, and the incredulity of his wife to take us into the heart of fighting culture—culminating, after almost two years of grueling training, in his own cage fight. Gottschall’s unsparing personal journey crystallizes in his epiphany, and ours, that taming male violence through ritualized combat has been a hidden key to the success of the human race. Without the restraining codes of the monkey dance, the world would be a much more chaotic and dangerous place.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

A wonderfully honest, entertaining, and insightful book about violence, manhood, courage, and the wisdom that can be gleaned from getting punched in the face.” Sam Harris, New York Times bestselling author
“When Gottschall finally enters a cage in Johnstown, Pennsyslvania, exhilaration, pain and confusion spatter all over the mat. I won’t give away the outcome, except to say that the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat both make cameos.” Washington Post
“With humor, literary allusions, and a casual, unprepossessing style, Gottschall explores such related subjects as duels, bullying, English football, men’s ‘love-hate’ relationship to war, and violent entertainment from gladiator games to MMA.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A fascinating listen. The book is amply enhanced by Quincy Dunn-Baker’s narration. His strong, deep voice captures the personal, professional, and philosophical challenges that Gottschall considers as he recounts his physical training and research. Dunn-Baker provides a great voice for Gottschall.” AudioFile
“With scientific acumen and literary panache, Gottschall immerses himself, and us, in an ancient part of the male psyche. Among the many treats in this book are the history of recreational fighting, a limpid explanation of sexual selection, and a sympathetic portrayal of working-class men that’s worthy of a great novelist.” Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University; and author of How the Mind Works

Reviews

Reviews

by Erik Y 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

Shared experiences

Why do men act the way they do and what does it mean to loose masculinity? This book covers the issues of being a 'man' and finding oneself through the "monkey dance." I had many shared experiences as the author, working a desk job, and in my forty's, decided to take up MMA training. Much of the feelings expressed in Jonathan Gottschall's book mirrored the feeling that I have. Great listen for men finding themselves or for women to understand why men are the way they are.

Author

Author Bio: Jonathan Gottschall

Author Bio: Jonathan Gottschall

Jonathan Gottschall is a distinguished research fellow in the English department at Washington & Jefferson College. His research has been covered in the New York Times Magazine, the New York Times, Scientific American, the New Yorker, the Atlantic, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and on NPR. His book The Storytelling Animal was a New York Times Editor’s Choice selection and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Nonfiction/Social Science
Runtime: 7.75
Audience: Adult
Language: English