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Taking Responsibility: Self-Reliance and the Accountable Life Paperback – April 21, 1997


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Taking Responsibility: Self-Reliance and the Accountable Life + The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem:  The Definitive Work on Self-Esteem by the Leading Pioneer in the Field + Honoring the Self: Self-Esteem and Personal Tranformation
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone (April 21, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684832488
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684832487
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #242,984 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The quality alone of this self-help book justifies Branden's (The Psychology of Self-Esteem, LJ 2/1/70; The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem, LJ 2/1/94) status as an expert on the subject of self-esteem. Here he further examines the role that self-esteem plays in how one accepts responsibility for one's actions. Clearly and concisely, Branden gives good examples of specific areas of concern, such as parental problems or problems with work. Sound advice is dispensed in both psychological and sociological terms. Most readers looking for a good self-help volume will find this one useful. Recommended for public libraries and subject collections.
Priscilla Davis Dann, Cuyahoga Cty. P.L., Ohio
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Nathaniel Branden, Ph.D. is a lecturer, a practicing psychotherapist, and the author of twenty books on the psychology of self-esteem, romantic love, and the life and thought of Objectivist philosopher Ayn Rand. His work has been translated into eighteen languages and has sold more than 4 million copies, and includes such titles as Taking Responsibility, The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem, and My Years with Ayn Rand. Branden's name has become synonymous with the psychology of self-esteem, a field he pioneered more than thirty years ago.

Customer Reviews

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I would highly recomend this to anyone!
Violeta Rosa
It is a book to read and re-read at regular intervals throughout one's life.
D. R. Greenfield
Excellent book on an extremely important topic.
Ben

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By D. R. Greenfield on August 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
The word "responsibility" carries an unfortunate moralistic implication, which Branden takes pains to dispel repeatedly throughout this book. Nevertheless, a light reading of this important work may create a false impression in the reader that Branden's term "Self-Responsibility" does in fact mean a moralistic responsibility. This is the major problem that haunts this work.
Even with this flaw, this is one of Branden's more important books. It is brilliant and profound. It is a book to read and re-read at regular intervals throughout one's life. Two of the most important chapters are "Self Reliance and Social Metaphysics" and "Self-Responsibility and Romantic Love". Both of these themes appeared in his earlier "The Psychology of Self-Esteem". In particular the concept of social metaphysics is one of the most vital to understand in attempting to gain true psychological freedom and intellectual sovereignty. In my own case, had I just taken the time to understand how social metaphysics was impacting my decision to seek a divorce, I might been able to save my marriage.
The Introduction to this book is by itself almost worth the price of the entire book. It contains indispensible advice for finding true happiness in life. It also shows Brandon's essential modesty, as he credits his wife for these important insights.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Marcos Polanco on November 25, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this brilliant tome, Nathaniel Branden makes a definitive statement on leading the joyful life of personal responsibility and reality-orientation...and the alternative where individuals "unconsciously" ignore the fruits of their own actions. Branden uproots this rejection of responsibility from every corner where it hides, from your choice of values to your choice of companions. He applies this vision of responsibility to romantic love (where using others for your fulfillment often becomes sport), organizations (where avoiding blame becomes the goal), and government (where entitlements have replaced rights). Branden also includes do-it-yourself exercises (I can attest to their effectiveness) to help readers explore their own deep-rooted attitudes towards their own role in the world. An essential read that communicates the true demands of the free and sovereign life.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
Branden's writing is ever more concise, practical and powerful. He continues to challenge the prevailing norms and beliefs. He argues persuasively that the United States is promoting dependency and irresponsibility through its social policies.
He outlines the dangers and consequences of the "victim" mentality and explains why certain popular American beliefs are hurting the very people they are supposed to help.
Branden explains how responsible Americans are being forced by the US government to enable the irresponsibility of others.
Branden presents a well-organized model of personal responsibility which is unmatched by anything I have previously seen. In the book he offers practical exercises which can be used by all of us.
There is one point with which I strongly disagree with Branden, however. In his discussion of choices and consequences he uses one example of a parent giving a child a "choice" which really isn't much of a choice at all. The example is something like this "You can either sit quietly at the dinner table, or go to your room without eating. It is your choice. You decide."
To me this is an example of the use of power and punishment, not an example of natural consequences. Neither is it an example of emotional honesty or emotional intelligence by the parent. And finally, it is not even an example of using reason to explain cause and effect, something which Branden himself has strongly advocated throughout his writing career.
My only other somewhat negative comment is that Branden comes across at times as a tad judgmental, bitter and lecturing, which I attribute to the strength of his feelings and his conviction to his beliefs, and thus take with a grain of salt.
Overall, I strongly recommend this book to all teenagers, parents, teachers, professors, politicians, human service workers and policy makers.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is both a guidebook for truly "growing up" and a treatise on some of the problems that society is facing and why they are problems. This book isn't soft & cuddly--it gets right to it but in a way that makes the changes seem possible while at the same time giving you a clear view into why some behaviors are a problem and what types of behaviors are better choices, as well as a plan to improve and explanations of why people have certain types of problems. If you think you're ready to tackle some of the parts of your life that need work head-on, this book is awesome. If you are still not willing to own your issues and want to avoid directly confronting the consequences of your behaviors, you won't like this book.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Armstrong on March 18, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
All of us have tried something and failed. The question then is, "How did this happen?" The answers are sometimes complex, but one central feature under each person's control is whether he or she can claim some amount of responsibility for their thinking, feeling, and behaving.
Self-responsibility and accountability are the heart of Branden's self-help book, especially the notion that each person is accountable for choices, decisions, actions, beliefs, values, management of time, choice of companions, and one's own happiness. At some level, this self-help book is a refreshing reality-based tonic.
Branden also talks about self-responsibility in organizations, which I found helpful. Less helpful, however, is his condemnation of welfare, because he does not take into account the lack of responsibility in the people who made the welfare system so "good." Also, he does not take into account the realistic difficulties that people in poverty have, nor the success stories of families who have emerged from poverty. In this sense, he presages O'Reilly. He would have been more consistent by talking about the destruction of responsibility by drugs and alcohol.
This is a short read. I hope you enjoy it.
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