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Publisher's Summary

Your colleague's husband's sister can make you fat, even if you don't know her. A happy neighbor has more impact on your happiness than a happy spouse. These startling revelations of how much we truly influence one another are revealed in the studies of Drs. Christakis and Fowler, which have repeatedly made front-page news nationwide.

In Connected, the authors explain why emotions are contagious, how health behaviors spread, why the rich get richer, even how we find and choose our partners. Intriguing and entertaining, Connected overturns the notion of the individual and provides a revolutionary paradigm - that social networks influence our ideas, emotions, health, relationships, behavior, politics, and much more. It will change the way we think about every aspect of our lives.

©2009 Nicholas A. Christakis (P)2009 Simon & Schuster

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Very entertaining for a long car ride.

This book was a good discussion about how other people (your network) can affect you, and vice versa. There were many real world examples and discussions of studies presented in a way that was very easy for a lay person to understand.

I enjoyed the main author's narration. It sounded more conversational because he knew what he was reading. Sometimes a third-party narrator sounds too robotic.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

An Introduction to Social Contagion

Bottom line: You won't find many more accessible books on the subject. In lieu of the wonderful information it contains, it is worth it to forgive the books imperfections.

The central theme of this book is based on the idea of social contagion (the spreading of ideas, emotions, behaviors and resources through networks of humans) and that the sum of a system's parts are more than its whole.

The author explores these ideas through a some what disorganized but none the less intriguing collection of studies and examples. The book is very accessible and though the narration gets old at times the writing style is very easy to follow considering the difficult subject matter.

I listened to the book in small pieces over a year. I understand why some folks judge the work as lacking as a whole. Ironically, the sum of its parts are less than its whole in that they don't form a compelling narrative. But for those who are interested in the connected subject areas around sociology, the book is a gold mine of must read examples.

If you're mildly science literate and find any of the following subjects of interest: big data, social justice, economics, marketing, sociology, psychology, statistics, demographics or graph theory then ignore the lackluster reviews and just get it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Expected More

Would have been much better if the author had not read his own book. Author read books seldom work (unless you are Malcolm Gladwell) - reading for audio is as much of an art as writing the book. The book? I recommend Connected even though it is not a great book. The essential truth of the power of networks, and the science done by the authors to tease out their salience, are both sound and ground-breaking. Methodologically strong and epistemologically important. We need to think about our worlds from the perspective of networks. Connected proves that not every good academic can write a popular book based on their work. Can't blame them for trying. Advice...buy in paper....skim through...and share the ideas.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Becoming more important every day...

In this era of rapidly evolving and even more consequential networks, this book would benefit from frequently updated editions. The 2016 election cycle could provide at least another full chapter!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Grant
  • NANTUCKET, MA, United States
  • 07-09-11

Logic defying

The personal network effects described in this book are fascinating and compelling. Yet they defy logic and intuition. How can my weight gain have an impact on someone I don't even know, but who is a friend of a friend? The ramifications are wide-reaching, especially given how literally connected the world today is. I will likely listen to this book again in order to figure out how I can use its ideas and findings in my work as an advertising writer and strategist.