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Social Animal

David Brooks

19,371 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1907595449 / ISBN 13: 9781907595448
Published by Short Books, 2011
Condition: Good Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Social Animal

Publisher: Short Books

Publication Date: 2011

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: Good

About this title


How do we achieve success? Are some people more likely than others to end up in a good relationship? With a happy family life? A rewarding career?

Forget everything you thought you knew about happiness and fulfilment. Let David Brooks take you on a journey - an adventure in the unconscious. It will change the way you see yourself, and the world.

In the past 30 years we have learnt more about the human brain than in the previous 3000 - a scientific revolution has occurred. The unconscious mind, it turns out, is most of the mind - the place where the majority of the brain's work gets done, where our most important life decisions are made, where character is formed and the seeds of accomplishment grow.

In this illuminating and compelling book, David Brooks weaves a vast array of new research into the lives of two fictional characters, Harold and Erica, following them from infancy to old age. In so doing, he reveals a fundamental new understanding of human nature. He outlines a new definition of success, highlighting what economists call non-cognitive skills - those hidden qualities that can't be easily counted or measured, but which in real life lead to happiness and fulfilment.

The Social Animal is a moving and nuanced intellectual adventure. Impossible to put down, it is an essential book for our time - one that will have a broad social impact and change the way we see ourselves and the world.


The book everyone's talking about --The Guardian

A fascinating study of the unconscious mind and its impact on our lives... --The Economist

Brooks gets inside the head, explains how the brain works... it s like frieze-framing a novel and discussing the motivation of the characters. Fascinating... --The Evening Standard

At Westminster they should be listening hard. --The Times

A spirited and engaging book, true in its ambition and liveliness... it offers a sense of the very real limits of the assumptions that we westerners bring to life, and the possibility of radically better, more 'realistic' ways of living. --The Observer

A well-written and engaging tour d'horizon of much of the literature on brain development, male-female relationships and what factors cause people to live happy live... Readers will learn a great deal. --The Washington Times

David Brooks is one of the most prominent public intellectuals of our time, known for, among other things, his playful dissections of the lifestyles of the American elite. Here he is chasing bigger game. The Social Animal is about the modern life of our species. It explores attachment, parenting, schooling, love, family, culture, achievement, marriage, politics, morality, aging, death and much more... Brooks is a sharp, clear and often very funny writer. --The Washington Post

Sensational... The book is appealing in many ways, not the least of which is Brooks' ability to synthesize vast amounts of research and present it in a fashion that calls to mind the hilarious social satire of Tom Wolfe... it aims to change our understanding of how we function and conduct our lives. At the least, it will deepen your regard for the marvel that is the human brain. --The Philadelphia Inquirer

An uncommonly brilliant blend of sociology, intellect and allegory. --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Truly the best road map for living one's life that I have ever read... It should absolutely be on the required reading list of every MBA program... Trust me, this is a book of 'large ideas'. --Kansas City Business Journal

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

This is a spirited and engaging book, true in its ambition and liveliness. Brooks writes excellently. The Social Animal offers a sense of the very real limits of the assumptions that we westerners bring to life, and the possibility of radically better, more "realistic" ways of living. --Ben Rogers

The most stimulating book I read this year... The implications for social policy are dramatic --Brian Ashcroft, Book of the Year - Scotland on Sunday

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