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The Righteous Mind Audiobook

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion

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Publisher's Summary

Why can’t our political leaders work together as threats loom and problems mount? Why do people so readily assume the worst about the motives of their fellow citizens?

In The Righteous Mind, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt explores the origins of our divisions and points the way forward to mutual understanding. His starting point is moral intuition - the nearly instantaneous perceptions we all have about other people and the things they do. These intuitions feel like self-evident truths, making us righteously certain that those who see things differently are wrong.

Haidt shows us how these intuitions differ across cultures, including the cultures of the political left and right. He blends his own research findings with those of anthropologists, historians, and other psychologists to draw a map of the moral domain, and he explains why conservatives can navigate that map more skillfully than can liberals. He then examines the origins of morality, overturning the view that evolution made us fundamentally selfish creatures.

But rather than arguing that we are innately altruistic, he makes a more subtle claim - that we are fundamentally groupish. It is our groupishness, he explains, that leads to our greatest joys, our religious divisions, and our political affiliations. In a stunning final chapter on ideology and civility, Haidt shows what each side is right about, and why we need the insights of liberals, conservatives, and libertarians to flourish as a nation.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2012 Jonathan Haidt (P)2012 Gildan Media LLC

What the Critics Say

"Haidt is looking for more than victory. He's looking for wisdom. That's what makes The Righteous Mind well worth reading…. a landmark contribution to humanity’s understanding of itself.” (The New York Times Book Review)

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  •  
    Steven Cary, NC 08-09-12
    Steven Cary, NC 08-09-12 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Exploring Emotion and Reason"
    Where does The Righteous Mind rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is a good audiobook.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Righteous Mind?

    I have enjoyed thinking about how some people are unable to grasp things not because they are stupid, but because they have already formed an idea about them.


    What does Jonathan Haidt bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The author is rare for being a good performer as well. Given the divisiveness the topic could engender in some, the open, thoughtful voice of the author lends an even tone that allows everyone to enjoy and learn.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    The importance of emotion to reason.


    28 of 36 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Floyd Clark 10-26-15
    Floyd Clark 10-26-15 Member Since 2015
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    "This should give you pause."

    I just finish this book and I have to admit it give me a great deal of pause As a liberal thinker, i've tried to fully understand the counterpoints to liberalism. And sometimes find myself wondering "why would anybody want to be a conservative?" Well, I seem to understand better now. Not that I'm going to abandon liberalism, but rather try to understand conservatism better.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TaxSage Atlanta 02-12-14
    TaxSage Atlanta 02-12-14 Member Since 2017
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    "Genius mumbled"

    The author chose to narrate his own material. His excitement for portions of the text constantly leaves him with mumbled, out of breath finishes to sentences. This is a remarkable problem in that it is so correctable. The author's material is brilliant, and he surely knows it so well that he doesn't notice the mumbled readings, but is there no editor to demand improved diction and retakes?

    15 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wayne Matthews, NC 07-20-15
    Wayne Matthews, NC 07-20-15 Member Since 2017

    I am a husband/dad/granddad who loves books. My reviews are my subjective opinions. My hope is they will help others make buying decisions.

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    "The most important book in decades!"

    I first read the dead tree version of Jonathan Haidt's The Righteous Mind when it was released in 2012. 9 months ago I purchased the audiobook and found when listened to in conjunction with the online materials as the narrator recommends it was as easy to understand and the original book. Late in 2013 another social psychologist, Joshua Greene, wrote the book Moral Tribes which he intended as an attempt to challenge some of the conclusions of Haidt's The Righteous Mind. The Righteous Mind is based on years of serious studies that are will documented and properly analyzed while Moral Tribes is a long, flailing, immature argument with \based almost entirely on Greene's personal political philosophy. Both books have high reader ratings on Audible and Amazon, but The Righteous Mind is clearly far superior to Moral Tribes.

    Both Haidt and Greene describe themselves as left of center politically and both are PhD social psychologist. Haidt's book is not primarily about political beliefs: it is about six categories of moral concepts that groups of people (tribes in Greene's language) hold. But the relative importance of the six categories of moral concepts do translate into political philosophy and Haidt's studies of group moral values do lead to discussions of political differences, so that is why Haidt's interviews and speeches are mostly about political differences.

    The Righteous Mind is based on numerous studies of human beliefs of morality. The studies are fascinating. It is a wonderful book apart from the political conclusions. The Righteous Mind is a hugely important book that can help us better understand ourselves and others. And it can help us to work together constructively despite our differences. I wish everyone would read this important book!

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Sullivan Bernardsville, NJ USA 12-06-16
    Richard Sullivan Bernardsville, NJ USA 12-06-16 Member Since 2014

    Rich S

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    "Title does not match the excellence of the content"
    If you could sum up The Righteous Mind in three words, what would they be?

    Mind-opening, excellent, enlightening


    What did you like best about this story?

    Writer obviously had different social and political views than I, but his ability to explain it from 3 distinct lenses - biological, social and experiential was tremendous. It is written before this election, but in a way it completely speaks to it. (Not sure facts are 100%) but 80% of Americans live in a county that was won or lost by you candidate by 70% or more. Why?


    Any additional comments?

    I would love to see a follow-up to this book where they do a deep dive into the why the blue counties are so blue and the red counties are so red and the drives for people to think what they think. I don't want to hear race...it is so much more than that. This book touches on a little on the different thought process/priorities from cities to more rural areas.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Libby B. Eastern U.S. 11-18-16
    Libby B. Eastern U.S. 11-18-16 Member Since 2017

    Glass blower and audiobook junkie. Books are my schoolroom and my entertainment!

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    "Necessary book for a divided people"

    I'm so glad I heard this book during the 2016 U.S. election season. We are a divided people, and if we're going to move forward we need to find our way back to an understanding of each other. If you want to try to understand people who think differently than you, buy this book. You'll probably come away knowing more about yourself too.

    Even if you don't agree with all his conclusions, the information in here's too important to skip over! I have heard some other evolutionary psychology books, so I wondered if this would just be redundant, but it wasn't. It really brings the evo psych knowledge to bear on political and social problems. Also the most convincing argument for group selection I've heard. But I think this would also make a great introduction if you've never heard any evolutionary psychology before. I intend to foist it on my unsuspecting husband next road trip.

    Jonathan Haidt (pronounced like 'height', btw, not 'hate') gets an extra star on the performance because he actually verbally describes photos, charts, and graphs (!) as well as making sure they are available online. He must be an audiobook listener himself.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    EP Waldorf, MD 11-17-16
    EP Waldorf, MD 11-17-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!"

    This book is moderately paced, thoroughly researched and unbiased (as much as humanly possible). Jonathan Haidt has made the world a little more peaceful. He has enlighten me, a Christian conservative, to the flaw--I must say sin--of judging all liberals as "Crazy Sinner".

    I believe "All truth is God's truth." Although, Haidt and I may still disagree that the Christian God is an actual entity rather than just a beneficial social construct, Haidt has earned my respect and gratitude for revealing to me that even for the Christian, the rider serves the elephant.

    I have and will recommend this book to everyone. However, I must admit, many of my fellow Christians will not take me up on the recommendation. They will unfortunately miss out on the divine truths within Haidt's secular work.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    byuview Gulf Coast 11-15-16
    byuview Gulf Coast 11-15-16 Member Since 2012
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    "helpful perspective on 2016 elwction and direction"

    Well presented wide ranging application of moral philosophy principles. Compelling listen for those seeking to better understand and respond to recent social trends and political outcomes.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sierra Bravo 02-13-16 Member Since 2002

    Semi retired small business person/ college professor/ investor.

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    "Last great chance to stop all of the Hate"

    This should be required reading before people are allowed to voice opinions in the political process. (Kidding since that would restrict free speech) Still such a requirement wold hopefully tone down the hate that has become standard fair in political circles. It was refreshing to be reminded that the other side is not evil, just different in their approach to what is morally right. Interesting to learn how our brains work in this department and how we can strive to be more thoughtful before our subconscious completely takes over. Fascinating reading into how we both innately feel and learn what is right and wrong.

    A very worthwhile read if you are one of the very few who actually want to understand why people who think differently from you think as they do. Lest you think I an too hopeful I have decided on the headlines of the book reviews in two different publications. The NY Times will headline "Research shows liberals care more about others than conservatives". The National Review will headline "Research shows liberals have an unbalanced moral foundation".

    Finally this book explains why an economic conservative, libertarian, recent Christ follower such as myself is so conflicted on what is moral.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Muhammad Najmie 09-18-15
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    "Understand the other side (liberal/conservative)"

    First, review of the book, then the audiobook.

    The book itself is a mind-opener. Mind-opener seems a mediocre word, but I don't know of any superlative. This book is a life-changer for me, my view of this world has totally changed. It is easy for anyone to say someone else is close-minded when they refuse to see things from one's perspective, but actually that person is equally close-minded. This book actually made me realize my close-mindedness and made me see how the other side of liberalism/conservatism (or left/right) thinks.

    On the audiobook, the narration is by the author himself. He did an excellent job. His tone is calm yet not too laid-back. He even describes his images/visuals/diagrams in the book, even blind people can read his book (including the visuals) through his narration.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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