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The Social Animal: How We Become the People We are, Why We Do the Things We Do

The Social Animal: How We Become the People We are, Why We Do the Things We Do

Paperback

By (author) David Brooks

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  • Publisher: Short Books Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 430 pages
  • Dimensions: 154mm x 230mm x 34mm | 599g
  • Publication date: 5 May 2011
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1907595449
  • ISBN 13: 9781907595448
  • Sales rank: 26,071

Product description

With unequaled insight and brio, New York Times columnist David Brooks has long explored and explained the way we live. Now Brooks turns to the building blocks of human flourishing in a multilayered, profoundly illuminating work grounded in everyday life. This is the story of how success happens, told through the lives of one composite American couple, Harold and Erica. Drawing on a wealth of current research from numerous disciplines, Brooks takes Harold and Erica from infancy to old age, illustrating a fundamental new understanding of human nature along the way: The unconscious mind, it turns out, is not a dark, vestigial place, but a creative one, where most of the brain's work gets done. This is the realm where character is formed and where our most important life decisions are made-the natural habitat of The Social Animal. Brooks reveals the deeply social aspect of our minds and exposes the bias in modern culture that overemphasizes rationalism, individualism, and IQ. He demolishes conventional definitions of success and looks toward a culture based on trust and humility. The Social Animal is a moving intellectual adventure, a story of achievement and a defense of progress. It is an essential book for our time-one that will have broad social impact and will change the way we see ourselves and the world.

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Author information

David Brooks has millions of readers worldwide from his New York Times column. His influence has only grown since the publication of his book Bobos In Paradise. In a recent profile, New York magazine called him "the essential columnist of our time". He lives with his family in Washington DC.

Review quote

**NEW YORK TIMES NO.1 BESTSELLER** 'Mr. Brooks is at his best as a social observer... his talent for capturing the way we live now is truly impressive. Brooks surveys a stunning amount of research and cleverly connects it to everyday experience - several passages made me think that Brooks had been glancing through my own windows.' Wall Street Journal 'Brooks's layman's tour through the science-sparked revolution in consciousness is an enjoyably thought-provoking adventure.' Boston Globe 'A fascinating study of the unconscious mind and its impact on our lives'The Economist 'An uncommonly brilliant blend of sociology, intellect and allegory' Kirkus Reviews 'David Brooks has a very different background to most psychology and popular science writers. In the United States he is a revered and reviled political commentator whose twice-weekly op-ed columns for the New York Times are so influential that, as this deadline nears, he will often receive a call from the White House to find out if they should be worried.' The Observer