I had to set the book down several times to absorb what I was reading properly. Even so, I read this book cover to cover in less than one day- it was...moreI had to set the book down several times to absorb what I was reading properly. Even so, I read this book cover to cover in less than one day- it was engrossing and immediate. It was incredibly brave for these veterans to write so vividly about their experiences and difficulties in the long years after deployment. This is not something that can be read properly without a great deal of heartache- for the men who wrote their stories, for the stories that will go unwritten, and for the men and women everywhere who suffer the lasting effects of trauma and combat. For those of us who love and care about people who have experienced these things- reading about such indescribable things is an imperfect way to learn how to bridge the gap between us, but we have to try. This book is one of the most emotionally difficult books I've read in a long time, but it is valuable resource for those who want to better understand the changes in a loved one since return from deployment or for a veteran who needs to understand they are not going crazy- that the anger, sadness, fear, concentration issues, mood swings, rage, despair, and insomnia is a completely natural reaction to the insanity that is combat. Crazy would be NOT being affected. You are't the first, the last, or the only one going through it, and these stories of veterans who have "seen the elephant" and then gone on to live productive, happy lives serve as examples of what is possible with a lot of work, love, and time. (less)
Definitely going to go on my "to read twice" list. Excellent book with in-depth examinations of life through many different lenses. Haidt manages to c...moreDefinitely going to go on my "to read twice" list. Excellent book with in-depth examinations of life through many different lenses. Haidt manages to combine psychology, philosophy, religion, and rationalism to examine the oldest questions regarding the hows and whys of human existence in a coherent manner; all while avoiding the oversimplification common to "self-helpy" books. I often read a chapter or a couple of pages and set the book down while I digested the idea discussed. This is a great book for those who want to explore meaningful questions about human existence and what happiness is and can be. (less)
Read the "It's Not You, It's the Dishes" edition of this book. Usually I eschew self-helpy relationship books as I despise with a great and searing pa...moreRead the "It's Not You, It's the Dishes" edition of this book. Usually I eschew self-helpy relationship books as I despise with a great and searing passion the whole notion of Mars vs Venus BS. (I view evolutionary psychology with a great deal of skepticism peppered with contempt for the MASSIVELY overreaching theories that seem to keep spinning out of that field.) THIS book however does not presume that your chromosomal distribution dictates anything other the occasional need for Midol or a jock strap. What it does do is assume that 1) You are in a relationship with a generally well-adjusted person who wants to work with you to create the best possible relationship for you both(do not use this book to make relationships with crazy dead-beat losers of either gender work. You will not change them.) 2) That you subscribe to the Rolling Stones theory of relationships- you can't always get what you want, but you can get what you need and 3) you and your partner are generally rational (big assumption sometimes). It's a great book, full of fabulous advice and should be issued to anyone in a committed, long-term relationship. Because it is based on the interaction of two individuals who are trying to achieve the best possible relationship given the possibilities, gender isn't as important so would apply pretty well to same-sex relationships as well.
The ONLY bone I have to pick with it relates to a non-essential example of the theory of moral hazard and their choice of health care and health insurance as an illustration. Poor example and just wrong, but not relevant to the point of that chapter.
I might actually give it a second read (which I NEVER do) just to be sure I haven't missed anything the first time around. Highly recommended for anyone who is seeking to improve their ability to be the best partner possible and to find a happy equilibrium with someone they love. (less)
An exceptional book, all the more so for being written in 1956 and holding relevancy quite well. While some aspects show their age (Fromm's framing of...moreAn exceptional book, all the more so for being written in 1956 and holding relevancy quite well. While some aspects show their age (Fromm's framing of parental love using mother/father dichotomy, albeit he does submit the caveat that they should not be interpreted as gender norms- I think it is exceedingly difficult to not read it as such.) Also his attitude towards homosexuality (not hostile, but only briefly touched on and referred to as unsatisfying/unnatural) are disappointing given his deep insight throughout the rest of the book into the various manifestations of love. (It appears he misinterprets Aristophanes's speech from Plato's Symposium on the matter of homosexuality- Aristophanes very clearly states that homosexuality is as natural as heterosexuality.)
Anyone looking to this book for standard relationship advice will be disappointed. Here you learn what real love is, how one can become capable of real love, and love in many forms (love of God, love of self, parental love, romantic love, etc.) You learn that love is an art form- much like painting, sculpture, or music, which requires dedication, patience, concentration, and most of all- practice. He outlines the difficulty of achieving the ability to "really love" in the capitalist/consumerist age and handily dispatches with popular myths of what modern love is. I highly recommend this book for anyone who feels their definition of love is lacking or would like to improve their capacity to love. (less)
A must-have for little girls' bedtime reading. Wonderful! Extra points if you can get your 2 year old to identify the archaeopteryx and the plecostomu...moreA must-have for little girls' bedtime reading. Wonderful! Extra points if you can get your 2 year old to identify the archaeopteryx and the plecostomus correctly. Or you can be like me and learn two new words from a TWO YEAR OLD. (less)
Truly one of the best books I've ever read on the civil rights movement and fight for economic opportunity and how the two are, at the core, inseparab...moreTruly one of the best books I've ever read on the civil rights movement and fight for economic opportunity and how the two are, at the core, inseparable. As the title says, freedom is not enough. People must have the opportunity to earn a living and to provide for their families. Without this, the promise of freedom rings hollow.
I don't think it would be an exaggeration to say that it is nearly impossible for those of us who were not deeply involved in the 50s & 60s movements or are not Ph.D.s in American history to really understand how important Title XII was to minority men and all women. This book is a first step toward understanding and appreciating how we now stand on the shoulders of the people who fought for our rights. (less)