I'll save you the time: liberals like diversity and naturally respond less to threat-based spin and conservatives like uniformity and naturally respond more to threat-based spin. We already know that. The book basically broke that down. What I wanted was to understand how other people form their views to be able to have a conversation with them without thinking they are mindless fools. I didn't get that from this book. I listened to this book to get a better understanding of my neighbors, but after listening attentively, I still don't have the tools to understand them.
I have listened to a number of evolutionary psychology books including Kahneman's "Thinking Fast and Slow", so I wasn't anticipating many new concepts. I was expecting more of how those well known concepts apply to Political and Religious orientations.
I was however wrong. For me at least this book broke a lot of new ground by introducing the different dimensions of morality and the concept of 90% chimp and 10% bee. I was convinced by much of it and could apply the concepts from my own personal idiosyncrasies to geo-political history - hows that for breadth!
One thing that's important to me is how balanced a book is. Whilst I have my own political leanings, I really don't like heavy handedly one-sided books, especially regarding politics. I really felt that Haidt's book speaks to the whole political spectrum and encourages mutual understanding. If only we could get everyone to read it.
Excellent book - narrated perfectly by the author.
This is absolutely one of the most important books that I have read in the past 10 years. Reaching across the party isle and understanding one another is not only possible, it is probable, given the insights of this book.
Understand your neighbors
I expected a relatively easy-breezy book, and quickly discovered that was not the case. However, each chapter of the book followed a strict format with an introduction, conclusion, and summary of the main points that made it very audio-book friendly to account for those moments when you space out or the wife asks you a question or whatever and it breaks your attention for a bit.
The closing chapters are the best. In particular the founding philosophy of conservativism in which a distinction is drawn between philosophical conservativism and orthodoxy.
The book is really fascinating and I owned a hard copy already. The fact that it was performed by the author, I found really satisfying and unassuming. I will listen again at least once because it's dense and I desire to know the material well enough to disseminate. The graphs in the hard copy are useful, but I found some of the key ones online for sharing purposes, and they aren't indispensable. Great book.
Insight into how your own mind and morals really work, not just how we think they should work. Helps you gain insights into not only your own values, but those of the people around. Helps Democrats understand why Republicans do what they do and visa versa. Would recommend this book to all my friends, especially the ministers, the President of the United States, and the whole of the US Congress.
No! He swallows the end of his sentences so that I frequently could not hear or understand the asides or final words. His volume was uneven. The content seems interesting, interesting enough that I will buy it in print.
Irritation that I had wasted money on an incomprehensible reader.
Unfortunately for the most part authors should not read their own books. Reading is an art and talent that takes practice. A recording is different than a live performance, when a reader can respond to the audiences reaction and adjust their delivery.
One of the best books of the year.
Each sentence starts at normal volume, and then trails away, getting quieter and quieter. What's worse, the last word is often dropped altogether. If you think this gets annoying, then you're ___. See what I mean? It's really ___. Especially hard to hear in the car.
Haidt has a special gift in this book: he is on a very short list of people I know that can be open and honest in his assessment of data, including the application of his scientific findings to his worldview. Most scientists tend to seek confirmation of their worldview, and they tend to ignore ideas that don't match expectations. I applaud Haidt for having the intellectual honesty and personal integrity to follow the data where it leads him, rather than seeking to make a case to bolster his foregone conclusion. This is especially difficult in the social sciences, such that many (if not most) Americans would hesitate to apply the word "science" to these fields at all.
What's great about this book is that it seems to really have something for everyone, regardless of the perspective you hold entering. If you go into it with an open mind, you will learn something. That doesn't mean you need to agree with all of his conclusions; I certainly don't, and I think that there are a few places where I would come away with a different take on a given data set, or think to tweak the experiment to test an alternative hypothesis. This is all well within the course of regular scientific inquiry. But the data obtained are still fo great quality for what they can esteblish well within the framework they were conducted.
In terms of listening, it was a pleasure. He has a great pacing and delivery, and I found this book as compelling to listen to as any of my favorite fiction audiobooks. He keeps the listener engaged, and even had me laughing a few times.
I would recommend this book to anyone with even the vaguest sense of interest in politics or morality. Haidt does a great job of being upfront about his biases, presenting the material as best he can in unbiased fashion, and letting the rationale he creates speak for itself. And I might go so far as to say that a book like this would help an individual conservative and an individual liberal (as he defines these terms) better communicate with one another, provided both had read/listened to the book. This one provided incredible food for thought, and has played a great role in shaping my thinking about politics and morality since completing it.
Haidt is the more, if I may say, more "civil" (for the lack of a better phrase) kind of atheist who has done immense analysis on the reasons behind politics and religion. His nonpartisan style of analysis on both sides of the divide gives good perspectives as to why some people with (or without) certain beliefs behave in a certain way. It was an excellent book which I thought was very well structured and articulated. Haidt would make a good judge in my opinion - for his ability to hold opposing thoughts in one head