The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character and Achievement

Brooks, David. The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character and Achievement. New York: Random House, 2011.

The Social Animal is a comprehensive exploration of individual development. Renowned NY Times writer David Brooks explores the relationship between the conscious and unconscious mind couched in the fictional narrative of the lives of Harold and Erica. Brooks delves into the impacts that families, communities, and relationships have on personal development and success. Discussions cover the full aspect of a person’s life: the attractions that draw people together and how they respond to parenthood; the impacts and lessons of school, sports, and studies; career ambitions, successes, and failures; adult relationships, self-discovery, aging, and preparation for death. The narrative is interspersed with overviews of a variety of scientific studies that provide a firm foundation for the conclusions that Brooks reaches about the limitations of technical knowledge and the importance of connections with others.

Through these academic highlights, this book provides an informal introduction to diverse topics such as depth psychology, sociology, and anthropology. As such, The Social Animal is highly recommended to those interested in self-understanding. Parents and others who work with young children will also benefit from a revised understanding of the nature versus nurture debate and the fallacy of logic and reason as sole wisdom sources.

© Copyright June 2017 by Yvonne R. Roberts

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