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30 Days to Better Thinking and Better Living Through Critical Thinking: A Guide for Improving Every Aspect of Your Life, Revised and Expanded Kindle Edition

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Length: 240 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

Between the World and Me
2015 National Book Awards - Nonfiction Winner
Get your copy of this year's National Book Award winner for nonfiction, "Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Hardcover | Kindle book | See more winners

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

“In this book, Linda Elder and Richard Paul provide nothing less than a psychological GPS system for mental clarity. If you’ve ever dreamt about being more effective, more balanced, and more content with life, follow this step-by-step program. It’s amazing!”
—Dr. Joe Luciani, Bestselling Author of Self-Coaching: The Powerful Program to Beat Anxiety and Depression

“…the all important skill of learning how to think is still a lost art. This makes the work of Linda Elder and Richard Paul vital to the progress of our democratic society. Buy this book, change your life, and in the process make the world a safer and saner place to live.”
—Dr. Michael Shermer, Publisher of Skeptic magazine; Author of Why People Believe Weird Things

“Critical thinking, the skill so ably taught in this book, is the solution to much of our emotional pain. Our minds are literally creating our lives. And often our minds sabotage us with faulty, distorted thinking. The result: bad choices and emotional disorders. If you want to change your life, it starts with changing how you think; this book will give you the tools.”
—Dr. Matthew McKay, Author of Mind and Emotions

“One of the qualities that sets us apart from thinking creatures of other species is our ability—if we choose to use it—to ‘think about our thinking.’ In this substantial, clear, and easy-to-read book …readers are offered stimulating descriptions, definitions, principles, and suggestions for understanding and using thinking in effective ways to experience a better quality of life.”
—Dr. Debbie Joffe Ellis, Psychologist; Coauthor of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

“30 Days to Better Thinking and Better Living Through Critical Thinking is a manifesto for approaching life and relationships assertively, for thinking clearly and fairly, and for uncovering your own biases and vulnerabilities to the persuasive tactics of others—a hands-on approach to helping anyone who wants to see the world around them more fairly and clearly.”
—Dr. Karen E. Dill, Author of How Fantasy Becomes Reality

“This small, easily readable book contains wisdom hard won during the two authors’ dedicated and decades-long efforts to develop and communicate their conception of critical thinking, a conception that has rightly been very influential.”
—Dr. Frank Fair, Sam Houston State University, Managing Editor of INQUIRY: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines

“There is much to gain from reading books written by Linda Elder and Richard Paul. This book carries on their tradition of elevating our thinking into the stratosphere while keeping our feet planted firmly on practical ground.”
—Dr. Don Ambrose, Editor, The Roeper Review

“A comprehensive and effective blueprint for getting one’s thoughts on straight through the application of a proven intellectual concept to the practicalities of daily living. A critical thinking classic.”
—George Hanford, President Emeritus, The College Board

Critical thinking can transform your thinking and improve every part of your life! Now, in just 30 days, you can begin to master specific, easy-to-learn techniques that will help you cut through lies, gain insight, and make smarter choices in every area of your life—from work and money to your most intimate relationships.

World-renowned critical thinking experts Linda Elder and Richard Paul show you how to overcome poor thinking habits caused by self-deception or out-of-control emotions...clarify what you really want...recognize what you don’t know...ask better questions...resist manipulation...and critically evaluate what you’re told by advertisers, politicians, your colleagues, or even your family.

Each day, you’ll focus on a specific critical thinking concept. You will learn practical strategies for bringing powerful ideas into the fabric of your life, into your daily routines. Day by day, you’ll chart your progress—as you move deliberately toward sharper focus, deeper insight, and a more reasonable way of living.

Learn how to think clearly
Learn to think for yourself (using disciplined thought)
Don’t let the media brainwash you—and don’t let anyone else do it either
Overcome ignorance and hypocrisy
Stop being submissive or domineering toward others
Look underneath words to unspoken realities
Permeate your thinking with relevance, reason, integrity, fairness, and mercy
Recognize when questions are calling for facts, preferences, or judgments
Take control of your emotional life
Get past worrying, conformism, and blame
Keep improving your thinking—for the rest of your life!

About the Author

Dr. Linda Elder is an educational psychologist, executive director of the Center for Critical Thinking, and president of the Foundation for Critical Thinking. She is highly published and has a special interest in the relationship between cognition and effect, or thought and emotion. She has developed an original theory of the stages of critical-thinking development. She is a major keynote presenter at the International Conference on Critical Thinking, is highly sought after as a speaker, and is a recognized leader in critical thinking.

Dr. Richard Paul is founder of the Foundation for Critical Thinking and director of Research and Professional Development at the Center for Critical Thinking. He is an internationally recognized authority on critical thinking, with nine books and more than 200 articles on the subject. His views on critical thinking have been canvassed in The New York Times, Education Week, The Chronicle of Higher Education, American Teacher, Reader’s Digest, Educational Leadership, Newsweek, and U.S. News and World Report.

The works of Linda Elder and Richard Paul have been translated into Spanish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Chinese, Turkish, Greek, Thai, and Korean. The growing demand for translations into increasing numbers of languages testifies to the emerging international recognition of the importance of critical thinking in human life. It is a testament to the contributions of Paul and Elder to the growing field of critical thinking studies.

The Foundation for Critical Thinking seeks to promote essential change in society through the cultivation of fairminded critical thinking, thinking predisposed toward intellectual empathy, intellectual humility, intellectual perseverance, intellectual integrity, and intellectual responsibility. In a world of accelerating change, intensifying complexity, and increasing interdependence, critical thinking is now a requirement for economic and social survival. Contact the Foundation for Critical Thinking at

Product Details

  • File Size: 3772 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: FT Press; 1 edition (September 21, 2012)
  • Publication Date: September 21, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009G10CLQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #522,180 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Veil_Lord VINE VOICE on November 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The topic is a really great idea. There is an astounding lack of critical thinking in the world today. You can see it in the political polarization where people choose their own "facts" to believe. I know a certain friend who is quite intelligent and successful who tied himself in such a convoluted knot to "prove" that [insert political group] actually secretly conspires against [insert other group] that he actually ended up seriously trying to make the argument that his mood directly controlled his bank account balance. I'm not kidding you nor exaggerating at all; this dude has a job, pays his bills, balances his checkbook, and he backed himself into a corner feeling the need to defend a completely ridiculous argument to keep his world-view intact. He couldn't consider that maybe he'd been mistaken and was completely unable to see how silly he was being. Two weeks later when I kidded him about it he got serious and maintained I'd not adequately proved him wrong....Okay.

The first part of the book is great. It lays out how critical thinking is useful and has a series of charts and tables that are quite good for visualizing concepts. Ironically given my friend's argument it has one splitting out emotions, which when I mentioned to my friend now makes him think the authors are "one of them"...Wow. Anyway, this is the longest single bit of the book and so if you think you'll be just jumping into day one you have a lot of prep work to get through; it's maybe 40 pages long. The days themselves are only a few pages or so each. They're meant more to think about a concept than to be a whole lot of reading. I also liked the part about going back over it and spending a week on each topic the second time around.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Book Fanatic TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 25, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
First of all the content in this book is excellent. There are so many critical thinking concepts and practices described in this book that I give it an easy 5 stars on content. This is good stuff. However, I didn't think the 30-day format worked. To their credit the authors tried to give an overall structure to the material in the 40 page introduction. And that material is excellent and well organized, I just wish that was the format of the whole book. The authors reference another book of theirs in this one that apparently goes deeper into the concepts. The writing wasn't exactly compelling either. However to be perfectly clear this is a good book. It is worth it for the material alone regardless of its organization.

This book has Amazon's "Search Inside" feature which allows you to preview its contents. I urge you to take advantage of that feature.

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45 of 61 people found the following review helpful By D. Wortham VINE VOICE on November 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
If you've ever wondered how our schools and universities could churn out surprisingly shallow thinking young adults then look no further than this book. It gives you a glimpse into what passes for intelligent insight for collegiate level discourse. Read the back of the book for an astounding list of fellow shallow thinking rubes that either did a blurb review as a professional courtesy (cross your fingers that this is the majority case) or are further examples of how ingrained bad thinking has become within circles that consider themselves intelligent.

The book plunges right into sloppy sophomoric navel gazing with this gem from page 7: "We often ignore important problems that we could, with determination and good thinking, solve - problems such as world hunger, poverty and homelessness." Whew!! Reading through the rest of the book you find that these lofty goals are not going to be considered from a position of how to do this for the world but rather to the world. Petty dictators rejoice because your reign of tyranny is not at risk if you pay lip service to poverty, homelessness and hunger. Think about what these two are claiming is possible with 'determination and good thinking'. You don't have to think very long or hard to know that what they propose is only possible with force and impossible without it no matter how determined or how 'good' the thinking. Ah, you say, so be it! Use force to compel these things for the good of mankind! Well. That has been tried and millions have died in the pursuit of this utopian dream. As you read on you will not be deceived into thinking that the authors think liberty is a viable avenue for those three bullet points. Consider too who will define acceptable levels of homelessness, poverty and hunger.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. MacPhail TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 1, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A 2-hour skim of this book could easily jump-start or re-energize your critical thinking skills. Anyone teenage or older could benefit immensely from this book.

It's not a masterpiece, but most of the book is written in a clear, simple style that people of any age or background could grasp. (See Excerpts below.)

There could be much better books on this topic. Not sure. (See Alternatives below.)


* Vital topic
* Clear, simple writing (mostly)


- Some left-of-center principles are woven in. They do not belong in this book. Critical Thinking experts should know better.
- Sometimes too theoretical (diagrams, especially)
- Sometimes not enough good examples.

- - - Alternatives - - -

Worth considering (I have not read them)...

- Think Well & Prosper: A Critical Thinking Guide
- Asking the Right Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking, 9th Edition

- - - Excerpts - - -

"The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your thinking"

"Our own thinking usually seems clear to us, even when it is not"

"Thinking gets us into trouble because we often...
{list of pitfalls}"

"Discover Your Ignorance.... When you actively focus on uncovering your ignorance, you realize you are often wrong."

"Thinking is driven by questions. Superficial questions lead to superficial thinking. Deep questions lead to deep thinking. Creative questions lead to creative thinking.
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