- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: The Experiment; Reprint edition (October 21, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1615192204
- ISBN-13: 978-1615192205
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 34 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,398,995 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Survival of the Nicest: How Altruism Made Us Human and Why It Pays to Get Along Reprint Edition
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“[A] mind-bending book . . . if there is a science to winning over readers, Klein has surely mastered it. . . . The wealth of knowledge here is astounding.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Klein offers a slew of evidence. . . [and] documents his claims thoroughly.”—Science News
“[O]ne of the book’s key strengths [is] its breadth. From psychological experiments to anthropological studies and historical events like the Holocaust or 9/11, Klein seamlessly weaves his way through all to present compelling evidence for why humans have evolved to be selfless. Survival of the Nicest entertainingly informs its readers of how they are born to be altruistic . . .”
—UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center
“This wonderful book could be read as a scientific explanation for a moral imperative to be kind to others. But it is so much more! Stefan Klein, an enticing storyteller, marshals the evidence for the value of altruism—not only to one’s family but, much more interestingly, to one’s self and one’s tribe. Altruism is truly contagious!”
—Roald Hoffman, Nobel Laureate, poet, and Frank H. T. Rhodes Professor of Humane Letters Emeritus, Cornell University
“A scholarly tour de force about why generosity makes good sense, Survival of the Nicest is also compulsively readable. Klein argues convincingly that helping others is one of the best things we can do for ourselves.”
—Elizabeth Svoboda, author of What Makes a Hero?: The Surprising Science of Selflessness
“A thought-provoking and comprehensive review of the research on altruism, Survival of the Nicest validates humanistic principles and has far-reaching implications for today’s world—especially for US politics and culture. An inspiration!”
—Rebecca Hale, president, American Humanist Association, and co-owner of EvolveFISH.com
“An important contribution to the field of altruism and altruistic behavior and to a better and nicer world. I highly recommend this book.”
—Samuel P. Oliner, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Humboldt State University, and founder and director, The Altruistic Personality and Prosocial Behavior Institute
“In Survival of the Nicest, Stefan Klein poses three questions central to social science and ethics: (1) How is unselfishness possible? (2) What moves us to help others? And (3) why are some people more helpful than others? His wide-ranging answers to these questions suggest that altruism is born into us and that selflessness actually both makes us happy and will transform the world.”
—Kristen Renwick Monroe, Chancellor’s Professor, University of California, Irvine, and author of The Heart of Altruism
“This eloquent and persuasive book shows why in life, like in the movies, the nice guy always wins.”
—Stephen Cave, author of Immortality
“Thoroughly readable...fabulously informative...Survival of the Nicest makes you want to be good and to feel good about it.”—Sunday Times
“A glowing argument for post-Darwinian co-operation.”—Evening Standard
About the Author
Stefan Klein, PhD, recipient of the prestigious Georg von Holtzbrink Prize for Scientific Journalism, is one of Europe’s premier science writers, as well as a trained physicist himself. His many books include the #1 international bestseller The Science of Happiness and have been translated into 25 languages. Ross Benjamin is a translator and a writer. He has received the prestigious Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize as well as a National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship.
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You love what you need? And society is getting kneaded together by technology. Purr-fection is a long way away-but progress is undeniable.
This is a relatively easy read where the concepts are clearly communicated. But as optimistic as his position is, I can't say I buy into it. Nor would I want to. The world is filled with all types and some thrive competitively and other cooperatively. as in cooking, there is room for the bitter and the sweet, the salty and the sour. Self sufficiency, achievement and price are not necessarily bad words. The warrior is as valuable as the pacifist. Countless attempts at constructing utopian societies have failed. Societies are comprised of individuals with differing talents, abilities and proclivities. Successful ones do not fear individuality but encourage it. Group think is no guarantee of kindness.
Overall this is not a bad book. It meanders a bit and gets a bit political for my tastes as it progresses. But if you are interested in social biology, this is not a bad entry.
I think the author comes through as being genuinely sincere. He highlights deception as a uniquely human characteristic. Despite the many elements of our negative nature, he observes that those who have risen to the top only to be tested by those whom he offended on the way up are vulnerable. He establishes a strong argument for success by examining how we build relationships and how those relationships build trust, which is the key to human development. Thus, altruism is the real key to success.
Klein does make powerful arguments for what he believes is our true nature. He has a tendency to meander within certain topics. As a whole the read is definitive and worthwhile. He plunges his arguments into the ocean of available information with energy. In this way, he compiles an entertaining read that you can walk away from feeling elevated.