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The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement by David Brooks Review

Title: The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement

Author: David Brooks

First published March 8, 2011

424 pages, Hardcover

ISBN: 9781400067602 (ISBN10: 140006760X)

Rating: 3.86


The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer is a gripping tale that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Matt, a young boy harvested in a lab, is raised in a world where he is seen as nothing more than a beast.

But when he discovers the truth about his origins, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery and survival. Set in a world of vampires, Frankenstein, and dragons’ hoards, this novel is sure to capture the imaginations of teenage fantasy fans.

Matt’s story is one of friendship, hope, and transcendence, making The House of the Scorpion a must-read for all.

About the Author

Meet David Brooks, a prominent political and cultural commentator. He currently writes for The New York Times and provides commentary on PBS NewsHour.

Throughout his career, he has contributed to various esteemed publications such as The Washington Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, Newsweek, The Atlantic Monthly, and National Public Radio.

Editoral Review

David Brooks book, The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement, published on March 8, 2011, is a thought-provoking exploration of human nature and the social forces that shape our lives. A celebrated journalist, commentator, and author of several books, including The Road to Character, Brooks introduces readers to a new kind of social science, which he calls neuro-sociology, to explain the factors that determine our success, happiness, and fulfillment in life.

Set against the backdrop of contemporary American society, the book follows two imaginary characters, Harold and Erica, from birth to adulthood, and examines the dynamics of their personal and social lives. The fictional narrative is interwoven with extensive research data, anecdotal evidence, and philosophical musings, making for a fresh and engaging reading experience.

Brooks central thesis is that humans are driven by a complex interplay of conscious and unconscious factors, such as emotion, intuition, and socialization, which ultimately shape our identity, behavior, and destiny. He argues that the traditional model of rational, self-seeking individuals is flawed and that we need a more holistic and empathic understanding of human nature to navigate the challenges of the twenty-first century.

The book is a rich source of inspiration and insight, offering readers a panoramic view of human evolution, culture, and morality. Brooks prose is lively, witty, and accessible, making even the most challenging concepts understandable to the layperson.

He peppers his narrative with poignant observations and witty aphorisms, leaving the reader with a sense of wonder and appreciation for the intricate workings of the human mind. One of the strengths of the book is its integration of diverse disciplines, such as psychology, biology, economics, and sociology, into a coherent and persuasive argument.

Brooks background in journalism and commentary serves him well here, as he blends factual accuracy with narrative flair, making the book both informative and entertaining. However, one potential limitation of the book is the heavy reliance on fictional characters, which may make some readers skeptical or disengaged.

Also, the book tends to neglect the role of external factors, such as politics, environment, and technology, in shaping our lives, which some readers may find limiting. Overall, The Social Animal is an impressive and timely book that tackles some of the most pressing questions of our times.

It appeals to a wide audience, from academics to the general public, and provides a fresh perspective on human nature and social behavior. Therefore, I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in self-improvement, personal growth, or social change.

On a scale of one to five stars, I would give this book a solid four and a half stars, based on its originality, readability, and value.