- Publisher: Random House,2011
- ASIN: B00E2ROBIO
- Package Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.6 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 510 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,597,463 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Social Animal by Brooks, David. (Random House,2011) [Hardcover] Hardcover
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This book is very much written in the style of a BBC documentary having to do with the human body, ala "Here we see Jane waking up in the morning and bumbling to her bathroom to take a shower; little does she know, but millions of cells and nerves have been awake and busy all while she's been asleep," then the camera focuses in on her arm or face where a graphic or animation of internal activity takes place, demonstrating action at a cellular level. This book does the same with a cast of four characters who fall in love, marry, have children and those children then grow up, all while the narrator of the book interprets these activities, choices, and traits as sociological decisions which can go one way or another or a myriad of different ways.
I loved this book and was riveted by its simple yet easily empathic writing style. It seemed like the best kind of reference book, one that you find yourself happily quoting often. Super ultra thumbs up!
As with Malcomb Gladwell's books, the author is not adding to the body of knowledge. Instead, he is presenting a survey of the best current thinking while also gently spinning that information into his worldview. Since I am an admitted David Brooks fan, the result for me is very satisfying.
Brooks makes a compelling case for deep, non-cognitive memory and its importance in how people and societies function. He also presents some positions that are politically incorrect such as pointing out research indicating that cultural differences do make a difference in human success or failure
"The Social Animal" does not attempt to cover every aspect of man's brain or his/her social interactions. It does present an informative and enlightening overview of how the human brain and human society work. And it does that in an entertaining way.
I really enjoyed this book and recommend it highly.