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The Social Animal

The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement

By , (Narrator)

Audio Download published by Random House Digital (Random House Digital)

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#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.

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#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.

Product Details
Audio Download
Published: July 15, 2012
Publisher: Random House Digital
Imprint: Random House Digital
ISBN: 9780307739018
Other books byDavid Brooks
  • Bobos in Paradise

    Bobos in Paradise
    The New Upper Class and How They Got There
    Do you believe that spending $15,000 on a media center is vulgar, but that spending $15,000 on a slate shower stall is a sign that you are at one with the Zenlike rhythms of nature? Do you work for one of those visionary software companies where people come to work wearing hiking boots and glacier glasses, as if a wall of ice were about to come sliding through the parking lot? If so, you might be a Bobo. In his bestselling work of "comic sociology," David Brooks coins a new word, Bobo, to describe today's upper class -- those who have wed the bourgeois world of capitalist enterprise to the hippie values of the bohemian counterculture. Their hybrid lifestyle is the atmosphere we breathe, and in this witty and serious look at the cultural consequences of the information age, Brooks has defined a new generation.

    The Conversation

    The Conversation
    Brimming with mystery, confessions, food, and philosophy, this novel tells the tale of two strangers who meet in a restaurant in the Italian city of Trieste. Stephen, an Australian engineer living in Paris, and Irena, an Italian translator, share a meal and exchange stories in an atmosphere of geniality and refinement. As the story gradually unfolds in conversation, the two reflect upon culture, language, history, art, love and desire, and share all of the thoughts and sensations that strike an Australian in Europe. Filled with whimsy and the romantic exotica of an Italian setting, this mysterious plot makes for a wonderfully entertaining read that effortlessly balances substance with style.

    The Seven Strategies of Master Presenters

    The Seven Strategies of Master Presenters
    Help for anyone who wants to develop their presentation and public-speaking skills.

    On Paradise Drive

    On Paradise Drive
    How We Live Now (And Always Have) in the Future...
    Take a look at Americans in their natural habitat: guys shopping for barbecue grills, doing that special walk men do when in the presence of lumber; superefficient soccer Ubermoms who chair school auctions, organize PTAs, and weigh less than their kids; and suburban chain restaurants, which if they merged would be called Chili's Olive Garden Hard Rock Outback Cantina. Are we as shallow as we look? Many around the world see us as the great bimbos. Sure, Americans work hard and are energetic, but that is because we are money-hungry and don't know how to relax. But if you probe deeper, you find that we behave the way we do because we live under the spell of paradise. We are the inheritors of a sense of limitless possibilities, raised to think in the future tense and to strive toward the happiness we naturally accept. On Paradise Drive, at once serious and comic, describes this distinct American future-mindedness that shapes our personalities and underlies our beliefs.

Favorite QuotesFROM THIS BOOK
  • This is the happiest story you've ever read. It's about two people who led wonderfully fulfilling lives. (Introduction)

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  • This is the happiest story you've ever read. (Introduction)

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  • After the boom and bust, after the go-go frenzy and the Wall Street meltdown, the Composure Class rose once again to the fore. (Chapter 1)

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  • After the boom and bust, after the go-go frenzy and the Wall Street meltdown, the Composure Class rose once again to the fore.

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  • Harold had achieved an important thing in his life. He had constructed a viewpoint. Other people see life primarily as a chess match played by reasoning machines. Harold saw life as a...

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  • Harold saw life as a neverending interpenetration of souls.

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