- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks; Reprint edition (January 3, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780812979374
- ISBN-13: 978-0812979374
- ASIN: 0812979370
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 510 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement Paperback – January 3, 2012
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“Provocative and fascinating . . . seeks to do nothing less than revolutionize our notions about how we function and conduct our lives.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
“[A] fascinating study of the unconscious mind and its impact on our lives . . . Brooks has done well to draw such vivid attention to the wide implications of the accumulated research on the mind and the triggers of human behaviour.”—The Economist
“Multifaceted, compulsively readable . . . Brooks’s considerable achievement comes in his ability to elevate the unseen aspects of private experience into a vigorous and challenging conversation about what we all share.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Brooks surveys a stunning amount of research and cleverly connects it to everyday experience. . . . As in [Bobos in Paradise] he shows genius in sketching archetypes and coining phrases.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Authoritative, impressively learned, and vast in scope.”—Newsweek
“An enjoyably thought-provoking adventure.”—The Boston Globe
“An uncommonly brilliant blend of sociology, intellect and allegory.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred revew)
About the Author
David Brooks writes an op-ed column for The New York Times. Previously, he has been a senior editor at The Weekly Standard, a contributing editor at Newsweek and The Atlantic Monthly, and an op-ed editor at The Wall Street Journal. He is currently a commentator on PBS NewsHour and contributes regularly to Meet the Press and NPR’s All Things Considered. He is the author of Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There and On Paradise Drive: How We Live Now (And Always Have) in the Future Tense. His articles have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Forbes, The Washington Post, The Times Literary Supplement, Commentary, The Public Interest, and many other magazines. David Brooks lives in Maryland.
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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!
To sum up, I agree with some of his conclusions and disagree with some. The book could have said as much in fewer pages. His method of telling the story gets old and really becomes irritating after a while. As the book drags on, he makes more unsupported statements of opinion and more broad generalizations. A bit disappointing.