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Heroes: What They Do and Why We Need Them Hardcover – October 29, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0199739745 ISBN-10: 0199739749 Edition: 1st

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Heroes: What They Do and Why We Need Them + What Makes a Hero?: The Surprising Science of Selflessness
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (October 29, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199739749
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199739745
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1 x 6.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,223,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"An important contribution to the literature on schemas, social cognition, and
self-identity." -PsycCRITIQUES

About the Author

Scott T. Allison is Professor of Psychology at the University of Richmond.

George R. Goethals holds the E. Claiborne Robins Distinguished Professorship in Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond.

More About the Author

Scott Allison has authored numerous books, including 'Heroes' and 'Heroic Leadership'. He is Professor of Psychology at the University of Richmond where he has published extensively on heroism and leadership. His other books include Reel Heroes, Conceptions of Leadership, Frontiers in Spiritual Leadership, and the Handbook of Heroism. His work has appeared in USA Today, National Public Radio, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Slate Magazine, MSNBC, CBS, Psychology Today, and the Christian Science Monitor. He has received Richmond's Distinguished Educator Award and the Virginia Council of Higher Education's Outstanding Faculty Award.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jesse Schultz on August 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Heroes: What They Do & Why We Need Them is, to use an overly clichéd phrase, a thought provoking essay on the nature of heroism. More than once I found myself putting the book down and mulling over the points Allison and Goethals were making. Encompassing everything from myths to contemporary fictional heroes the book delves into what makes a hero and more importantly how society at large views them and states the traits often associated with them. The books is easily accessible due to the examples of contemporary heroes but the subject is never dumbed-down. I recommend that you not only read this book but discuss it as well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By RJDiogenes on October 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book had me hooked at the introduction, in which the authors choose to highlight Rick, my namesake from Casablanca, as their quintessential hero. This is my favorite movie for many reasons, but primarily because Rick's climactic act of selflessness is one of the most inspiring examples of cinematic heroism.

Beyond that, Heroes is a book that inspires in its own right. Throughout its chapters we are shown many heroes and types of heroes (some we may not agree with, but the authors do not shy away from controversy, nor are they parochial in their examples) and given thoughtful insights into the circumstances and psychology, enduring and ephemeral, that define them. Ultimately, we see that heroism is both grand and personal, and that the potential to be superhuman is in all of us.

In this current age, where so much of our culture is mired in darkness and the focus is on celebrities and characters that are corrupt and contemptible, this book is a breath of fresh air. Read it, give it as a gift, spread it around. The authors also have a blog where they regularly feature profiles of courage from around the world, as well as from history and literature; it can be found at the University of Richmond website under the same name as the book.
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