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50 Psychology Classics: Who We Are, How We Think, What We Do: Insight and Inspiration from 50 Key Books

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  4,138 ratings  ·  267 reviews

With 50 Psychology Classics: Who We Are, How We Think, What We Do-Insight and Inspiration, Tom Butler-Bowdon introduces readers to the great works that explore the very essence of what makes us who we are. Spanning fifty books and hundreds of ideas, 50 Psychology Classics examines some of the most intriguing questions regarding cognitive development and behavioral motivati

Paperback, 312 pages
Published November 16th 2006 by Nicholas Brealey
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Average rating 4.02  · 
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 ·  4,138 ratings  ·  267 reviews

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Start your review of 50 Psychology Classics: Who We Are, How We Think, What We Do: Insight and Inspiration from 50 Key Books
Feb 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology, reference
I feel that I’ve missed out on a large part of my education and am only coming to terms now with the breadth of my ignorance in many fields. One of those is Psychology, which up until recently I had mostly disregarded as being philosophy for those not really smart enough to do philosophy.

But I’ve found myself becoming increasingly fascinated by the consistent and logically surprising errors we humans are all too prone to. It seems there is more to psychology than either wanting to have sex with
Amir Tesla
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: psychology
This book as the title implies, briefly surveys 50 psychology classics. Is the abstractions good enough to provide you with the big picture? I don't think so.

I couldn't figure out what the purpose of this book was, yet I managed to add several titles for further readings.

Amongst these 50 titles I already have consumed 8 of them and the presentations provided in the book by no means were crafted in a worthy manner.

So, I would not recommend this book since it neither provides you with any coher
Tim Pendry
Sep 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology, five-star
This book is an easy introduction to the current state of popular psychology (or rather to the arrival of serious psychological research into mainstream culture).

It is particularly valuable for anyone whose education in these matters ended before the massive flow of insights since the early 1980s on sexual difference, techniques of persuasion, emotional intelligence and the actual rather than theoretical workings of the unconscious.

A quiet revolution has taken place since the Generation of '68
Matthew Johnson
Feb 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
In an effort to become the supreme expert on everything important within my friend cycle I have been reading smart not hard.

To cover the natural sciences I simply read "A short history of nearly everything"; for history a read "The story of man", "The Mental Floss History of the World" and "Fifty Things You Need to Know about World History"; I covered genetics and biology in one with Richard Dawkins "The selfish gene"; Philosophy was more difficult and I might have made the wrong move with "The
Borbala Hidegh
Dec 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The book offers an interesting snapshot on psychology and the self. It's a good starting point to find out basic information about several great minds and ideas, and each subject can be followed up by reading the books related to certain chapters. I specifically liked the parts relating to authentic happiness, the brain and its phantoms, genuineness and non-possessive love, feelings as mirrors of our thoughts, thinking patterns, communicational situations, the differences between the wiring of m ...more
Darian Onaciu
Oct 29, 2017 rated it liked it
A good introduction to some of the most prominent figures in Psychology, with a summary of the most important ideas, similar books and a short bio on each of the 50 personalities.

Read this if you want a brief intro and lots of recommendations for future lectures.
Jan 28, 2012 rated it liked it
I've got to give Tom Butler-Bowdon credit. At first I was quite skeptical of his work, as he doesn't really add a lot of value in his writing - he's really just summarizing the works of other writers.

However, after reading 50 Prosperity Classics: Attract It, Create It, Manage It, Share It and 50 Success Classics: Winning Wisdom for Life and Work from 50 Landmark Books, I've got to give Butler-Bowdon credit for mastering such a large body of knowledge.

He focuses on the clear, the practical, the "
Sotiris Makrygiannis
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-book, internet
I believe that this is a good book for everyone. Is basically a summary of all publications in Psychology and major books, Psychologists of the last century. The trio of Andler, Froyd, Frank are must read as books of their own, however, the EQ, IQ, Ego, Confidence building are also topics that one should cover, if not extensively at least on high-level concepts. Ayn Rand has such big influence in the USA that is another must as for the Kinsey, I saw the movie so its OK. This is a good summary an ...more
Melissa Greene
Jan 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! The summaries are beefy and left me wanting more from each classic. My reading list has expanded yet again, after reading this. It was also really nice to get a refresher on some of the classics I've already read. You can never get enough of those. I'll be moving on to this author's 60 Spiritual Classics next. Woo hoo! ...more
Hannah Coulstock
May 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
A fascinating dip into the world of psychology that showed me how much more there is to the subject than I initially thought. Butler-Bowden did a fantastic job of exploring a wide variety of psychological works in just enough detail to teach me something while keeping me interested. Really well done.
Jul 10, 2020 marked it as to-be-continued
-I am less than half way though this book and i am already totally excited about it. It represents 50 psychological fields illustrated from specialised books in each feild.

-I am starting to wonder, as Freud did believe that psychological issues root from repressed sexual feelings, and similarly Alfred Alder came up with the term "inferiorty complex", stating that your sense of inadequecy makes you desire to overachieve, and that the feeling of inferiorty and insecuirty determines the goals of h
Jul 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
50 Psychology Classics: Who We Are, How We Think, What We Do; Insight and Inspiration from 50 Key Books
Tom Butler-Bowdon
Nicholas Brealey Publishing

In the Introduction, Butler-Bowdon provides an overview on the development of modern psychology as a field of study, once “early titans” (e.g. Williams James, Sigmund Freud, Jung, and Adler) had written books that the general public could understand. Within the Introduction, he also suggests seven themes that offer different perspectives on “who we
Esther DuBois
Apr 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: purchased-books
This was an interesting book to read especially since it's a book that reviews other books. I think I added 30+ books to my to-read list and im okay with that I love reading. Anyway I would have rated this book higher but the author just pissed me off on a section in which he was describing the biological differences between men and women and because of those physical differences we then cannot be equal on femminists standards...I don't think he quite understands that the equality we seek isn't ...more
Sep 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book serves a great introduction to the field of psychology, offering general brief information about 50 classic psychology books. I'd highly recommend it for anyone who wants to get into the field of psychology, but doesn't know quite where to start. This book has opened many doors for me, as i am now reading on further into books by people such as c.g jung, d. goleman, d. burns, ect. This book will open many doors for anyone interested the in growing field of psychology. ...more
Essentially an elaborate Table of Contents—or outline—to help in determining which primary sources to read. It also introduced me to some names I’d previously bypassed, which was a plus.
May 19, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good for starter, It gives you an Eagle's view to a lot of psychology writers. Since I am already into the topic, I find some information, not required, since this book was made to find what you are interested regarding psychology. ...more
Moh. Nasiri
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
50 Psychology Classics-Who We Are
It is a nice collection of 50 famous psychologists views recommended for psychology and philosophy fans.
Sep 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 01, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Very long audio book...

This was the science-literary equivalent of a "NOW! This is what I call Psychology!" album, playing all of the "hits" from the past 175ish years.

I did not get the impression that the author/editor themselves knew much about psychology and hadn't worked in the field, but was just reporting their research on others' research. Seeing that the author has also produced similar books but pertaining to philosophy, religion, economics, and so forth, I suppose that makes sense. And
Rana Tarek
Feb 17, 2020 rated it liked it
A brief or much more of a Summary for multiple Psychology topics .. you won’t find anything into details.
A bit of a good start to know which topics you’ll be interested in psychology
Dec 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In fact, I started to read the book from 2013 until now 2016, which is really too long. The book offers a great deal of information in a short way, so I would go to find more information. If you are a big fan of psychology, then you will read it and try to find more information about the books online, just like what I did. So I stopped on chapter 16, then I decided to move on another book. I really recommend the book. I'm not specialist, but I study it with deep understanding, and I found it a g ...more
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you’re interested in Psychology, this covers almost all of the founding fathers and major advances in psychological thought.

The author does his best to summarize the main ideas of each author and their most well known works and often will add other achievements at the end. He also does a short bio of the authors at the end of each chapter.

I thought that the complicated psychological ideas were explained in a way that just about anyone could understand while keeping enough quotations to get t
Olga Inozemtseva
Aug 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great guide for further exploring the field of psychology. Covers a wide range of works chronologically and topic-wise. I just found it fun to read a book about books and am now looking forward to pick up some of the ones I got really interested in. I realized that my interest is in more contemporary works/theories, although many of them are based on the founding theories that were established decades before. I would recommend this book to someone who is interested in psychology but doesn't know ...more
Andreea Obreja
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Basically a collection of summaries of some of the most important figures and writings in psychology. Pretty good but... A bit of a double-edged sword: it's a way to start because you get an idea about what to read but at the same time it seemed to me like you should already have some level of insight into psychology to understand it. I had already read some of the books described and it was great to be reminded of them, as well as got new books for my to-read list. ...more
Jan 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is an intriguing collection of findings, well written, with complementary quotes and psychologist bios. Chapters are short, and you can skip around depending on your interests. It also presents recent contributions from Blink, The Female Brain and The Paradox of Choice.
Rahul  Adusumilli
Oct 07, 2013 rated it liked it
A handy catalogue of some of the more popular psychology books. However, I don't understand this need to be instrumental. Why does everything have to be so life-changing? Why can't it just be an exploration of how it is? Why this need to blur the lines between psychology and the self-help genre? ...more
Raphael Lysander
Jan 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
excellent list to make it a reading-list for everyone
Jurij Fedorov
Sep 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
2,5 stars. Just meeh. Not bad, but nothing you need to read either I think.


I listened to the audiobook. It's a compact intro to overall psychology ideas presented via popular books. It's probably not a bad book to read for people starting out in psychology and needing just a ton of info fast to pass exams.

Consider it a handbook you can look up in. It's not a fun read overall but it may be a useful book to have if you need to look up a psychology book. But then so is Wikipedia and several site
Emily Rosewater
Jul 24, 2020 rated it did not like it
I started reading it only because it was a gift by my father (he didn't know what could i want - and i've said that books are good choice), and now after 'thumbing' around it for two month i can repeat words i've never said in March when i've got it: don't you (a reader of this piece of 'review') dare to waste money on this kind of 'literature', moreover don't ever try to write (or compilate) this kind of book for the sake of "fundraising" (means don't waste your precious time).
Anyway, there wer
Jodie Angold
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I feel like this book should cost a lot of money because it contains SO MUCH!

If you're even slightly interested in psychology then buy this book (I actually found it in the 2 for £5 offer at Fopp). It does what it says on the tin, and it can be used to dip into for reference (I particularly like the similar topic suggestions with each chapter) or read cover to cover, which I did.

In doing so, I've bookmarked about 20 of the featured books that I'd like to read more on, or acquire the book itself,
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