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The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion

Book rating: 04 Paperback

By (author) Jonathan Haidt

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  • Publisher: Random House Inc
  • Format: Paperback | 500 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 201mm x 28mm | 227g
  • Publication date: 1 August 2013
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0307455777
  • ISBN 13: 9780307455772
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations, figures
  • Sales rank: 14,082

Product description

Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion.

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Author information

Jonathan Haidt is the Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University's Stern School of Business. He obtained his Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992, and then taught at the University of Virginia for 16 years. He is the author of "The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, " and the co-editor of "Flourishing: Positive Psychology and the Life Well-Lived." He lives in New York City.

Customer reviews

By Chrissy 03 Nov 2014 4

Did I enjoy this book: I picked this book because I’m deeply disturbed by the rancor in American politics. I hoped this book could help me find a response when faced with someone seething with anger because “the other guy” is ruining our country, and I enjoyed it.

I’ve been saying for years that people see, hear, and believe exactly what they want to see, hear, and believe, but I’m not an expert. So I decided to read what the expert says. He pretty much agrees. It just takes him longer to say it.
One of my favorite quotes is about confirmation bias. He defines it as, “The tendency to seek out and interpret new evidence in ways that confirm what you already think.”

That explains why highly partisan Americans watch only a single cable news channel – the one that tells them they are correct in their views and the other guy’s a blubbering moron hell-bent on destroying the country.

The reason I went with just four out of five stars is because it takes Haidt forever to make a simple point. He embellishes his book with analogies, research, history lessons, etc. I understand he needs to support his position with documentation. but for me, it went on too long.

Would I recommend it: Yes. I want to buy a copy for some of my more partisan friends and family members. Unfortunately, if what he says in this book is correct, they’ll just disregard it and say I’m too liberal or too conservative – depending on where they are on the political spectrum. Either way, I still have to try.

As reviewed by Belinda at Every Free Chance Books.

Review quote

Praise for Jonathan Haidt's "The Righteous Mind " "A landmark contribution to humanity's understanding of itself. . . . Haidt is looking for more than victory. He's looking for wisdom. That's what makes "The Righteous Mind" well worth reading." --"The New York Times Book Review" "An eye-opening and deceptively ambitious best seller . . . undoubtedly one of the most talked-about books of the year." --"The Wall Street Journal" "Splendidly written, sophisticated and stimulating. It may well change how you think and talk about politics, religion and human nature." --"NPR" "Ingenious prose. . . . Beautifully written, Haidt's book shines a new and creative light on moral psychology and presents a provocative message." --"Science" "A remarkable and original synthesis of social psychology, political analysis, and moral reasoning." --Edward O. Wilson, University Research Professor Emeritus, Harvard University "Highly readable, highly insightful. . . . The principal posture in which one envisions him is that of a scrappy, voluble, discerning patriot standing between the warring factions in American politics urging each to see the other's viewpoint, to stop demonizing, bashing, clobbering. . . . Haidt's real contribution, in my judgment, is inviting us all to sit at the table." --"Washington Times" "Excellent. . . . An impressive book that should be read by anyone who has the slightest interest in how political opinions are reached." --"The Daily Beast" "Haidt's work feels particularly relevant now. . . . Haidt's perspective can help us better understand our own political and religious leanings." "--San Francisco Chronicle" "Jonathan Haidt is one of smartest and most creative psychologists alive, and his newest book, "The Righteous Mind" is a tour de force--a brave, brilliant and eloquent exploration of the most important issues of our time. It will challenge the way you think about liberals and conservatives, atheism and religion, good and evil. This is the book that everyone is going to be talking about." --Paul Bloom, Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of Psychology, Yale University "Haidt's research has revolutionized the field of moral psychology. This elegantly written book has far-reaching implications for anyone interested in anthropology, politics, religion, or the many controversies that divide modern societies. If you want to know why you hold your moral beliefs and why many people disagree with you, read this book.." --Simon Baron-Cohen, Cambridge University, Author of "Zero Degrees of Empathy "and" The Science of Evil" "A much-needed voice of moral sanity." --"Booklist" "[Haidt's] framework for the different moral universes of liberals and conservatives struck me as a brilliant breakthrough . . . "The Righteous Mind "provides an invaluable road map." --Miller-McCune.com "A well-informed tour of contemporary moral psychology...A cogent rendering of a moral universe of fertile complexity and latent flexibility." --"Kirkus Reviews" "Haidt's a good thing." --"The Atlantic" "Jonathan Haidt's absorbing "The Righteous Mind" should come with a warning label: 'contents highly addictive.' Written in a breezy and accessible style but informed by an impressively wide range of cutting-edge research in the social sciences, evolutionary biology and psychology, "The Righteous Mind "is about as interesting a book as you'll pick up this year." --"The Globe and Mail" "What makes ["The Righteous Mind"] so compelling is the fluid combination of erudition and entertainment, and the author's obvious pleasure in challenging conventional wisdom. . . . [Haidt's] core point is simple and well-made: our morality, much of it wired into brains from birth, at the same time binds us together and blinds us to different configurations of morality." --"The Guardian "(London) "An important and timely book. . . . His ideas are controversial but they make you think." --Bill Moyers, Moyers & Company ""The Righteous Mind" refutes the 'New Atheists' and shows that religion is a central part of our moral heritage. Haidt's brilliant synthesis shows that Christians have nothing to fear and much to gain from the evolutionary paradigm." --Michael Dowd, author of "Thank God for Evolution" " "The Righteous Mind" is an intellectual tour de force that brings Darwinian theorizing to the practical realm of everyday politics. The book is beautifully written, and it is truly unusual to encounter a book that makes a major theoretical contribution yet encourages one to turn its pages enthusiastically." --Christopher Boehm, Professor of Anthropology, University of Southern California, author of "Moral Origins" "As a fellow who listens to heated political debate daily, I was fascinated, enlightened, and even amused by Haidt's brilliant insights. This penetrating yet accessible book will help readers understand the righteous minds that inhabit politics." --Larry Sabato, University of Virginia, author of "A More Perfect Constitution" "A profound discussion of the diverse psychological roots of morality and their role in producing political conflicts. It's not too much to hope that the book will help to reduce those conflicts." --Richard E. Nisbett, University of Michigan, Author of "The Geography of Thought"

Table of contents

Introduction  Part I Intuitions Come First, Strategic Reasoning Second 1 Where Does Morality Come From? 2 The Intuitive Dog and Its Rational Tail 3 Elephants Rule 4 Vote for Me (Here’s Why) Part II There’s More to Morality than Harm and Fairness 5 Beyond WEIRD Morality 6 Taste Buds of the Righteous Mind 7 The Moral Foundations of Politics 8 The Conservative Advantage Part III Morality Binds and Blinds 9 Why Are We So Groupish? 10 The Hive Switch 11 Religion Is a Team Sport 12 Can’t We All Disagree More Constructively? Conclusion Acknowledgments Notes References Index