#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
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.
New York Times columnist Brooks (Bobos in Paradise) raids Malcolm Gladwell's pop psychology turf in a wobbly treatise on brain science, human nature, and public policy. Essentially a satirical novel interleaved with disquisitions on mirror neurons and behavioral economics, the narrative chronicles the life cycle of a fictional couple Harold, a historian working at a think tank, and Erica, a Chinese-Chicana cable-TV executive as a case study of the nonrational roots of social behaviors, from mating and shopping to voting. Their story lets Brooks mock the affluent and trendy while advancing soft neoconservative themes: that genetically ingrained emotions and biases trump reason; that social problems require cultural remedies (charter schools, not welfare payments); that the class divide is about intelligence, deportment, and taste, not money or power. Brooks is an engaging guide to the "cognitive revolution" in psychology, but what he shows us amounts mainly to restating platitudes. (Women like men with money, we learn, while men like women with breasts.) His attempt to inflate recent research on neural mechanisms into a grand worldview yields little except buzz concepts "society is a layering of networks" no more persuasive than the rationalist dogmas he derides.
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This will taunt And Joy
This will so put your social hoarding and acumen to the test. Possibly at any level. It’s empowered me on the biggest part of media confidence and sociology. Bringing in creative talks, idea generation about values vs what’s being used by someone else’s class. It’s always a go too bible for a apple fan or someone always typing and sharing and listing new things on social media and their mobile Phones.
This is somewhere a challenging read since from the time of purchase was self driven by a need to understand how to socialize as an introvert. Using social media and messaging and internet communications. David Brooks Social Animal taunts you and puts you out there in a pretty good pedestal and says it’s okay to be socially challenging and annoying at some other points. Celebrity and creative people alike would also benefit from this book. Especially when seeking to gain more traction in understanding how people socialize and sustain social momentum.
Now I have to reread it as self-assigned homework. Maybe one page a day, read slowly?
One of the best books I've ever read
I never wanted to finish it