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Exuberance: The Passion for Life | [Kay Redfield Jamison]

Exuberance: The Passion for Life

We have learned much about depression, but what about its opposite? Why hasn't the human emotion that lifts us, inspires us, drives us on, and makes life worth living been discussed and celebrated? In this outstanding book, best-selling author Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison explores exuberance in all its unrestrained, joyful energy, and shows how its unique vitality is essential to our existence.
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Publisher's Summary

We have learned much about depression, but what about its opposite? Why hasn't the human emotion that lifts us, inspires us, drives us on, and makes life worth living been discussed and celebrated? In this outstanding book, best-selling author Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison explores exuberance in all its unrestrained, joyful energy, and shows how its unique vitality is essential to our existence.

Jamison points to the contagiousness of laughter, excitement, and positive feelings, and how it plays a role in choosing a mate, in the giddiness of new love, music, and religious ecstasy. She also discusses our dangerous desire to simulate exuberance by using drugs or alcohol. Most of all, Jamison points to some of our most famous artists and scientists to show how they all share an exuberance for life that inspires their discoveries, drives, and the force to persevere even when it seems the odds are against them.

©2004 Kay Redfield Jamison; (P)2004 Books on Tape

What the Critics Say

"She [Jamison] is that rare writer who can offer a kind of unified theory of science and art." (Washington Post)
"Fascinating...rich, trenchant and entertaining." (San Francisco Chronicle)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Dennis Washington, DC, United States 12-04-04
    Dennis Washington, DC, United States 12-04-04 Member Since 2002

    Tell us about yourself! I am a former high school history teacher and now, a semi-retired physician assistant.

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    "Overwrought by Exuberance"

    How could a book with this title be so unexuberant? It read like a 1950's television version of National Geographic. The book lacked focus starting off with the interesting relationship between Teddy Roosevelt and Jonathan Muir then went into the animal knigdom. The author went on, ad nauseum, about how playful animals are and I just could not listen any further.I heard an interview with Ms. Jamison on National Public Radio which was far more interesting than her book.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marianna Washington, DC, USA 11-15-04
    Marianna Washington, DC, USA 11-15-04
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    "All it promises and more"

    I first listened to the book then had to get a hard copy. There were so many gems that I wanted to read them over and over. I suppose some people could hear this and walk away without feeling exuberant but I couldn't. I don't "do" caffeine anymore but I found this book made me more alert, passionate, and creative than any double espresso or other stimulant could ever hope to do. There are wonderful gems throughout the book, an excellent synthesis of research and traditional knowledge, a weaving of art, science, literature, history, and psychology. The third chapter on play was particularly inspirational for me as it inspired the overall concept for a participatory family gallery at a major art museum that I am developing. This is a book I will consult and re-read for years to come.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna Marie Oakville, Ontario, Canada 05-03-09
    Anna Marie Oakville, Ontario, Canada 05-03-09
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    "terrible terrible book"

    I read the reviews before buying this book and I saw two wonderful ones and two very negative ones, but I had read her previous novel "unquieted mind" and really liked it, so I thought maybe she's only for some people and not others ... but this book was utterly boring. i didn't get much past chapter one ... there was a lot of history and repetitiveness about fighting to preserve natural land and nature being exuberant. not about psychology very much at all. the teaser they give you is NOT a representation of the book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Sjogren Los Angeles, Calif. 09-07-08
    Steve Sjogren Los Angeles, Calif. 09-07-08

    Author-Serving Coach - Kindness Instigator - Pastor

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    "Oh yes oh yes"

    Kay Jamison is one of my favorite writers for many reasons - she opens her heart and shares deeply from the well of her experiences... but doesn't stop there. As a professional in the field of research she is able to draw upon amazing stories and insight at her disposal.
    Whether you are a Jamison veteran or not this is a highly worthwhile listen. Whether this book describes you or one you know, realize the notion of exuberance captures well many in history - recently and alive today.
    If you value keep abreast of what is what and where the culture is headed this is a periscope read to keep you in tune with insight into the lives of many many who have been mainstreamed but who are outstandingly insightful people who have a mind to stand out - regardless of how they have been camoflaged into the culture.
    A worthwhile listen and relisten.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Gainesville, GA, USA 10-13-04
    James Gainesville, GA, USA 10-13-04
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    "Dull mind numbing"

    Waste of book could have gotten some thing that I could listen to.
    If you want to listen to a lot of stories about people she has met then get this book. If not stay very very far away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Had to stop it after 2 hours. Was putting me to sleep driveing down the road.

    5 of 15 people found this review helpful
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