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What Makes a Hero: The Suprising Science of Selflessness | [Elizabeth Svoboda]

What Makes a Hero: The Suprising Science of Selflessness

Researchers are now applying the lens of science to study heroism for the first time. How do biology, upbringing, and outside influences intersect to produce altruistic and heroic behavior? And how can we encourage this behavior in corporations, classrooms, and individuals? Elizabeth Svoboda explains how our genes compel us to do good for others, how going through suffering is linked to altruism, and how acting heroic can greatly improve your mental health.
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Publisher's Summary

An entertaining investigation into the biology and psychology of why we sacrifice for other people. Researchers are now applying the lens of science to study heroism for the first time. How do biology, upbringing, and outside influences intersect to produce altruistic and heroic behavior? And how can we encourage this behavior in corporations, classrooms, and individuals? Using dozens of fascinating real-life examples, Elizabeth Svoboda explains how our genes compel us to do good for others, how going through suffering is linked to altruism, and how acting heroic can greatly improve your mental health.

She also reveals the concrete things we can do to encourage our most heroic selves to step forward. It’s a common misconception that heroes are heroic just because they’re innately predisposed to be that way. Svoboda shows why it’s not simply a matter of biological hardwiring and how anyone can be a hero if they're committed to developing their heroic potential.

©2013 Elizabeth Svoboda (P)2013 Gildan Media LLC

What the Critics Say

"Elizabeth Svoboda's engaging new audiobook explores what makes a hero - and reveals science behind the greatness and generosity possible to any human being." (Jill Neimark, co-author of Why Good Things Happen to Good People)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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    Douglas Auburn, WA, United States 12-06-13
    Douglas Auburn, WA, United States 12-06-13 Member Since 2008

    College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "With The Passing Of Nelson Mandela..."

    we are reminded of what the heroic life really means. Svoboda not only challenges us to find our inner "hero" but demonstrates how evolution has programmed us toward altruism. This book is a fine overview of the theory, but it should be read with other more thorough books on the neo-Darwinian look at selflessness like Robert Wright's The Social Animal and Steven Pinker's The Better Angels of Our Nature.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nina Williams 05-03-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    "hard to listen"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Have someone else read it


    Would you be willing to try another one of Rose Itzcovitz’s performances?

    Not in the near future, though long term I don't see why she couldn't improve.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm having a hard time getting through the book, because I keep getting distracted by the narration.
    The diction is largely good, though it falls through the cracks on a regular basis - this tells me the narrator is certainly capable of speaking clearly, but she collapses some words into an unintelligible mess when she'd rather just move on to the next sentence.

    What drives me crazy is the cadence. Picture a 4th grader reading a poem - there's a strong rhythm (so not a painfully even tone which can also be maddening), but the rhythm is fixed and not very responsive to the nuances of the text. So there is often unneeded emphasis on non-essential words, or plowing straight over what should be a break in the sentence or a crucial point. There's no reason this should happen. All it takes is a careful reading of the text *before* narrating it. Try to think about the main points the author is making in each paragraph, and then render it accordingly. Maybe that will mean shorter takes, but it will make it soooo much easier to listen to the final recording. Argghh!!!

    Anyway, maybe 2 stars is too harsh, but 3 would be too much. With a little more care, I think the narrator is easily capable of 4 or 5.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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