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12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos Hardcover – January 23, 2018

4.7 out of 5 stars 42,051 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

#1 NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER 

“Jordan Peterson, has become one of the best-known Canadians of this generation. In the intellectual category, he’s easily the largest international phenomenon since Marshall McLuhan. . . . By combining knowledge of the past with a full-hearted optimism and a generous attitude toward his readers and listeners, Peterson generates an impressive level of intellectual firepower.” —Robert Fulford, National Post

“Like the best intellectual polymaths, Peterson invites his readers to embark on their own intellectual, spiritual and ideological journeys into the many topics and disciplines he touches on. It’s a counter-intuitive strategy for a population hooked on the instant gratification of ideological conformity and social media ‘likes,’ but if Peterson is right, you have nothing to lose but your own misery.” —Toronto Star

“In a different intellectual league. . . . Peterson can take the most difficult ideas and make them entertaining. This may be why his YouTube videos have had 35 million views. He is fast becoming the closest that academia has to a rock star.” —The Observer

“Grow up and man up is the message from this rock-star psychologist. . . . [A] hardline self-help manual of self-reliance, good behaviour, self-betterment and individualism that probably reflects his childhood in rural Canada in the 1960s. As with all self-help manuals, there’s always a kernel of truth. Formerly a Harvard professor, now at the University of Toronto, Peterson retains that whiff of cowboy philosophy—one essay is a homily on doing one thing every day to improve yourself. Another, on bringing up little children to behave, is excellent…. [Peterson] twirls ideas around like a magician.” —Melanie Reid, The Times

“You don’t have to agree with [Peterson’s politics] to like this book for, once you discard the self-help label, it becomes fascinating. Peterson is brilliant on many subjects. . . . So what we have here is a baggy, aggressive, in-your-face, get-real book that, ultimately, is an attempt to lead us back to what Peterson sees as the true, the beautiful and the good—i.e. God. In the highest possible sense of the term, I suppose it is a self-help book. . . . Either way, it’s a rocky read, but nobody ever said God was easy.” —Bryan Appleyard, The Times

“One of the most eclectic and stimulating public intellectuals at large today, fearless and impassioned.” —The Guardian

“Someone with not only humanity and humour, but serious depth and substance. . . . Peterson has a truly cosmopolitan and omnivorous intellect, but one that recognizes that things need grounding in a home if they are ever going to be meaningfully grasped. . . . As well as being funny, there is a burning sincerity to the man which only the most withered cynic could suspect.” —The Spectator

“Peterson has become a kind of secular prophet who, in an era of lobotomized conformism, thinks out of the box. . . . His message is overwhelmingly vital.” —Melanie Philips, The Times

About the Author

JORDAN B. PETERSON, raised and toughened in the frigid wastelands of Northern Alberta, has flown a hammer-head roll in a carbon-fiber stunt-plane, explored an Arizona meteorite crater with astronauts, and built a Kwagu'l ceremonial bighouse on the upper floor of his Toronto home after being invited into and named by that Canadian First Nation. He's taught mythology to lawyers, doctors and business people, consulted for the UN Secretary General, helped his clinical clients manage depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, and schizophrenia, served as an adviser to senior partners of major Canadian law firms, and lectured extensively in North America and Europe. With his students and colleagues at Harvard and the University of Toronto, Dr. Peterson has published over a hundred scientific papers, transforming the modern understanding of personality, while his book Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief revolutionized the psychology of religion. The author lives in Toronto, ON. www.jordanbpeterson.com

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Random House Canada; Later prt. edition (January 23, 2018)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 409 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0345816021
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0345816023
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.45 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.36 x 1.43 x 9.24 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 42,051 ratings

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
42,051 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on November 11, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars The most influential book I have read this year! From a liberal.
By Jason Lee on November 11, 2018
I will admit this right off the bat. I knew nothing of Jordan Peterson, or any of his ideology before reading this book. I must have existed in a vacuum, as I merely picked this book up as it was given as an "Amazon Recommends."

Curious about the title, I purchased on impulse.

I am very glad I did.

I am not Jordan Peterson's "supposed" target audience. (I used supposed because I don't think he actually claims to have one).

I am a liberal, Asian, left leaning moderate with a background in philosophy, theology and film studies. I support the women's right movement, equal pay, and I find the Republican party of today rather distasteful for the anti-science movement they espouse.

That being said, this book spoke to me. It is not an easy read. I had to re-read chapters slowly to fully condense my thoughts. I agree with the critical review that stated you have to be intellectually equipped to really get the most out of this. I had to utilize my background in philosophy and religion to go beyond the surface of what the author was trying to say. This is not a book you can listen to at 2x speed on Audible and hope to retain anything, imo. You need to digest this.

That being said...

Peterson's deft weaving of theology, mythology, and just overall cogent arguments and viewpoints made me really respect and open up my mind to things I never fully thought about. I find it laughable that a Harvard professor/psychologist has been embraced by the "alt-right" when even a moderately close reading of this text repudiates all that they stand for.

Peterson is direct. He has opinions. I don't always agree with them. But he is genuinely expressing himself, and the belief that we should all try to be better. We should all try to be more compassionate, and most of all, we all should try to understand our humanity a little more each and every there.

There's no division in this book; there's just deep anguish at the current state of humanity and its capacity for evil. There's some exasperation at the way things are currently constructed in society that is in many ways lost. And most of all, there's compassion and a belief that if we all got together in a room and truly talked, the world would be a better place.

I would shy away from the noise around Peterson in the headlines, on Youtube, and in how the idealogues use him (or even his own personal media narrative) to justify their twisted beliefs. Don't let the fact that the "Alt-Right" has co-opted this man to make him a mascot.

Just read the book independently and make your own judgments. You'll be glad you did.
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Reviewed in the United States on November 5, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on August 28, 2018
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Top reviews from other countries

A. Shuttleworth
1.0 out of 5 stars Rules for life or a commentary on Genesis?
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 27, 2018
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413 people found this helpful
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Dave1050
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting in places
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 23, 2018
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393 people found this helpful
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JEJ Winder
5.0 out of 5 stars One Giant Leap
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 7, 2018
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265 people found this helpful
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J. Alexander Rutherford
1.0 out of 5 stars Peterson promises hope but fails to deliver
Reviewed in Canada on October 10, 2018
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388 people found this helpful
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Adrian Bailey
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreadful waste of money
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 29, 2018
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221 people found this helpful
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