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The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement Paperback – Jan 3 2012
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“Provocative and fascinating . . . seeks to do nothing less than revolutionize our notions about how we function and conduct our lives.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
“[A] fascinating study of the unconscious mind and its impact on our lives . . . Brooks has done well to draw such vivid attention to the wide implications of the accumulated research on the mind and the triggers of human behaviour.”—The Economist
“Multifaceted, compulsively readable . . . Brooks’s considerable achievement comes in his ability to elevate the unseen aspects of private experience into a vigorous and challenging conversation about what we all share.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Brooks surveys a stunning amount of research and cleverly connects it to everyday experience. . . . As in [Bobos in Paradise] he shows genius in sketching archetypes and coining phrases.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Authoritative, impressively learned, and vast in scope.”—Newsweek
“An enjoyably thought-provoking adventure.”—The Boston Globe
“An uncommonly brilliant blend of sociology, intellect and allegory.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred revew)
About the Author
David Brooks writes an op-ed column for The New York Times. Previously, he has been a senior editor at The Weekly Standard, a contributing editor at Newsweek and The Atlantic Monthly, and an op-ed editor at The Wall Street Journal. He is currently a commentator on PBS NewsHour and contributes regularly to Meet the Press and NPR’s All Things Considered. He is the author of Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There and On Paradise Drive: How We Live Now (And Always Have) in the Future Tense. His articles have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Forbes, The Washington Post, The Times Literary Supplement, Commentary, The Public Interest, and many other magazines. David Brooks lives in Maryland.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
David Brooks' thesis is that our interactions with others, beginning with our parents, shape us in many ways that we fail to notice . . . even while the powerful influences occur. The book briefly cites many dozens of studies to help establish that point.
A straight recitation of the studies, arranged by topic, would make for pretty dull reading. To offset that problem, Mr. Brooks creates two fictional lives to make the information less abstract and more interesting. Harold comes from a socially enriched family background while his wife, Erica, experiences less family support as a child.
In the parts of the book where the fictional story balances the scientific studies, this storytelling method works pretty well. Toward the end of the book, the fiction is overwhelmed by the science and you may feel as if you are getting more information than you wanted in some cases.
If you regularly read about scientific studies in these fields, this book may seem very superficial to you. If you read very little on these topics, you'll probably welcome the way that Mr. Brooks has made a lot of information more readily available to you in easy-to-absorb form.
Here are the chapter topics and the fictional contexts:
1. Decision Making (how Harold's parents fell in love)
2. The Map Meld (how married couples put their lives together)
3. Mindsight (interaction of baby Harold with his parents)
4. Mapmaking (young Harold's mind and perceptions expand)
5. Attachment (young Harold's emotional connection to his parents)
6.Read more ›
argument for what currently ails the western world. Beyond application, however, this book simply provokes thought about how we make decisions; our hidden biases, so-called free choices, and social interaction. I heartily recommend this book.
Most recent customer reviews
Thought-provoking and informative. Brooks has a superb style. He gives the reader a sense of where we've come from as a society and where we may be going.Published on Feb. 24 2013 by Rafe
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