Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Social Animal

Mind. David Brooks’ latest book is titled The Social Animal. As with his earlier works, he explores what researchers have learned in a field and what that may mean for how we live with one another in society. The area of attention in this book is the mind, and the extent to which emotions, perceptions, intuitions and our unconscious direct our actions. Brooks concludes that we are social animals, and why we do what we do is the result of what’s happening in our brains on a level underneath the rational. He supports his premise with a potpourri of illustrations. The device he uses to explore the topic is the creation of two characters, Harold and Erica, and through their lives, he riffs on how reason takes second place in how they follow life’s pathways. Brooks’ writing is always entertaining and often witty. Whether one agrees with his premise or not does not distract from the pleasure of reading even this book whose structure seems less logical and rational than his others, perhaps another illustration of his premise.

Rating: Three-star (Recommended)
Click here to purchase The Social Animal from

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