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The Social Animal Audiobook

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

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Publisher's Summary

With unequaled insight and brio, David Brooks, the New York Times columnist and best-selling author of Bobos in Paradise, has long explored and explained the way we live. Now, with the intellectual curiosity and emotional wisdom that make his columns among the most read in the nation, 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. It is told through the lives of one composite American couple, Harold and Erica - how they grow, push forward, are pulled back, fail, and succeed. Distilling a vast array of information into these two vividly realized characters, Brooks illustrates a fundamental new understanding of human nature. A scientific revolution has occurred - we have learned more about the human brain in the last 30 years than we had in the previous 3,000.

The unconscious mind, it turns out, is most of the mind - not a dark, vestigial place but a creative and enchanted one, where most of the brain's work gets done. This is the realm of emotions, intuitions, biases, longings, genetic predispositions, personality traits, and social norms: the realm where character is formed and where our most important life decisions are made. The natural habitat of The Social Animal.

Drawing on a wealth of current research from numerous disciplines, Brooks takes Harold and Erica from infancy to school; from the "odyssey years" that have come to define young adulthood to the high walls of poverty; from the nature of attachment, love, and commitment, to the nature of effective leadership. He reveals the deeply social aspect of our very minds and exposes the bias in modern culture that overemphasizes rationalism, individualism, and IQ. Along the way, he demolishes conventional definitions of success while looking toward a culture based on trust and humility.

©2011 David Brooks (P)2011 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"An uncommonly brilliant blend of sociology, intellect and allegory." (Kirkus)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (1121 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Michelle 09-16-16
    Michelle 09-16-16 Member Since 2015
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    "A must read!"

    This is a book that forces you to search your soul for your meaning in life. Based on well researched scientific studies David Brooks opens your eyes to the complexities of ourselves.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda 08-23-16
    Linda 08-23-16 Member Since 2015
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    "A magnificent read"

    Life truths written in a way i enjoyed tremendously - as if it was written for me. A deeper meaning of life well explained.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    l 05-29-16
    l 05-29-16 Member Since 2016
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    "The Emergence of Souls. "

    The storyline was well developed and usually successful. I truly appreciated the efforts and skills of the author and narrator. I strongly recommend this read for anyone who enjoys reality with a twist of research.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    inbar 09-21-15
    inbar 09-21-15 Member Since 2015

    words lover

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    "Worth the wait"

    I've been looking for this book for a few years and once i bought it, I decided to listen to it rather than to read it.
    It turned out to be a wonderful experience for my first book.
    Arthur read it very well and convincing. This was a blast, and the book, both due to the narrator and the story, are an absolute must.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Jezini Netto NEW YORK, NY, US 07-20-15
    Daniel Jezini Netto NEW YORK, NY, US 07-20-15 Member Since 2010
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    "Fantastic. Just love it!"

    I really liked it. One of the few books I lamented when it finished. I wanted to go on and on.

    Very good insights and a storyline that helps understand the concepts presented. I even bought a hardcopy version to present my father!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mom 05-19-15
    Mom 05-19-15
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    "Worth the read"

    The story line kept my interest and the book was highly informative.
    I'm writing the rest because the text field requires 22 characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ricky martinez 05-15-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Life is about family!"

    "The Social Animal" inspired a state of selfs awareness and an internal drive to improve my family relationships! -Ricky O.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    eric olszewski 05-07-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Incredible"

    This book covers a lot of ground on the psyches of two very different individuals. Using their lives as a way fit the reader to learn lessons about his and the world in general, this really helped put a lot into perspective.

    The end is also incredibly moving and kind of hard to swallow - although you know what's coming. I recommend it to anyone wanting to learn more about human nature or themselves.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan Alfonso 04-27-15
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    "Amazing!"

    Awesome from begging to end. The perfect combination of a life story and the meaning of all things that surround it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    audiojunky 03-30-15
    audiojunky 03-30-15 Listener Since 2009
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    "Loveless, joyless, uninspired"

    I really wanted to love this book. Over the years I've worked hard to study all aspects of human behavior in hopes of creating a fulfilling life. This book promised to weave all of the individual aspects of human behavior research into one graspable narrative. However, the fictional lives portrayed were loveless, joyless, career driven and frankly tortured and bleak. I definitely admire Brooks for the effort, but I'm not really sure who this book is for or what message he wanted to get across. Those interested in hard research will be underwhelmed while those looking for life guidance will be left without any solid take away points.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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