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Publisher's Summary

From author and psychologist B. F. Skinner, regarded by many as the most important and influential psychologist since Freud, comes Walden Two. This fictional outline of a modern utopia has been a center of controversy ever since its publication in 1948. Set in the United States, it depicts a society in which human problems are solved by a scientific technology of human conduct. The novel describes an experimental community called "Walden Two", whose members are happy, productive, and creative; their happiness derives from non-nuclear family life; amazingly limited work hours; communal child-raising; free affection; the creation of art, music, and literature; opportunity for games of chess and tennis; and ample rest, food, and sleep. It's a utopia inspired by the experience described in Henry David Thoreau's Walden, but with company. Fans of philosophical writers like Ayn Rand or Karl Marx and imagined utopia's like Aldous Huxley's Island will enjoy broadening their minds with the challenging ideas described by Skinner in this classic novel.

©1948 B.F. Skinner (P)2016 Audiobooks.com Publishing

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

Thought provoking and STILL relevant

Would love to have more of B.F. Skinner's work on Audible. In many ways this content was ahead of its time. Perhaps that's because true science is timeless!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A must

A must for all Behavior Analysts! This is a quintessential story for all of us who want to understand just how Skinner saw the world.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Great utopia book!

it's a very accessible story about what could be possible if Behavioral science were fully employed in a society, and gives an interesting perspective on the world view of BF Skinner.

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Enjoyable 9 hours of listening

Very calming to listen to during days of thunderstorms in our area. The book was listened to by my animals and myself and kept a calm setting throughout the evenings.

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As relevant today as when it was first published

I’m a fan of dystopian literature and a Psychologist, and Skinner was once my department’s head. Always wanted to read this, but never got around to it. Skinner presents here a well articulated/reasoned argument for communal living based on applied behavioral science. This book stands the test of time, despite some of its “quaint” historical references.

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A curious and stimulating read well worth the time

I bought the book with curiosity about the author's view of an alternative society. I was especially satisfied to hear his take on the topics of behavioral engineering, the structure of today's society with its benefits and drawbacks, and the apparent debate between the view point of a modern philosopher and the one of a modern scientist. I felt shivers during the heated discussion about history, heroes and personal benefit.

On the performance of the narrator I have slight remarks - it was rather strange hearing a male voice narrating the female characters as well. I would prefer listening to two narrators - male and female - to bring more authenticity to the characters. Other than that, it was an excellent performance.

The story and character development were not really the central idea of the book. It was rather difficult appealing to any of the characters, but having listened to the whole book, I would assume this was one of the author's goals.

I would advise future listeners to first acquire a basic understanding of the methods of science before listening to the book. It holds nothing sacred and questions core societal structures like family, religion and government. Many ideas may be difficult to grasp if the listener is not used to questioning everything.

To finalize, I felt great satisfaction with the content of the book. I will surely return to many key topics. The author took great care to describe in depth both opposing perspectives. Well worth my time and money.

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A Novel of Ideas

Alas, the ideas get in the way of the story. As a blueprint on how to build a Utopian society, I suppose this works. (At least theoretically. If you actually tried to do this, I'm pretty sure legal issues would arise.) But this is fiction and story should take precedence over everything. The plot, in a nutshell, is a group of skeptics visit Walden Two and engage in a dialogue with its founder over its value, effectiveness, and sustainability. I didn't expect a beach read, but I expected characters I could get behind, a pursuit that's engaging and difficult, and suspense on whether it would be achieved.

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awesome

highly recommended for anyone interested in behavioral therapy and really therapy or life in general.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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insufferable

The book relies heavily on long monologues from a self-important blowhard. I got a third of the way through and had to pull the escape hatch.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful