Abbey's Bookshop Logo
Go to my checkout basket
Login to Abbey's Bookshop
Register with Abbey's Bookshop
Gift Vouchers
Browse by Category

facebook
Google Book Preview
The War for Kindness: Building Empathy in a Fractured World
— —
Jamil Zaki
The War for Kindness: Building Empathy in a Fractured World by Jamil Zaki at Abbey's Bookshop,

The War for Kindness: Building Empathy in a Fractured World

Jamil Zaki


9781472139337

Little Brown


Psychology;
Popular science;
Popular psychology


Paperback

304 pages

$32.99
In stock
Ready to ship
order qty:  
Add this item to my basket

Empathy has been on people's mind a lot lately. Philosophers, evolutionary scientists and indeed former President Obama agree that an increase in empathy could advance us beyond the hatred, violence and polarization in which the world seems caught. Others disagree, arguing it is easiest to empathize with people who look, talk or think like us. As a result, empathy can inspire nepotism, racism and worse.

Having studied the neuroscience and psychology of empathy for over a decade, Jamil Zaki thinks both sides of this debate have a point. Empathy is sometimes an engine for moral progress, and other times for moral failure. But Zaki also thinks that both sides are wrong about how empathy works.

Both scientists and non-scientists commonly argue that empathy is something that happens to you, sort of like an emotional knee-jerk reflex. Second, they believe it happens more to some people than others. This lines people up along a spectrum, with deep empaths on one end and psychopaths on the other. What's more, wherever we are on that spectrum, we're stuck there.

In THE WAR FOR KINDNESS, Zaki lays out a very different view of how empathy works, one that breaks these two assumptions. Empathy is not a reflex; it's a choice. We choose empathy (or apathy) constantly: when we read a tragic novel, or cross the street to avoid a homeless person, or ask a distraught friend what's the matter. This view has crucial consequences: if empathy is less a trait (like height), and more a skill (like being good at word games), then we can improve at it. By choosing it more often, we can flex our capabilities and grow more empathic over time. We can also tune empathy, ramping it up in situations where it will help and turning it down when it might backfire.

Zaki takes us from the world of doctors who train medical students to empathise better to social workers who help each other survive empathising too much. From police trainers who help cadets avoid becoming violent cops to political advocates who ask white Americans to literally walk a (dusty) mile in Mexican immigrants' shoes. This book will give you a deepened understanding of how empathy works, how to control it and how to become the type of empathiser you want to be.

By:   Jamil Zaki
Imprint:   Little Brown
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 232mm,  Width: 152mm,  Spine: 26mm
Weight:   340g
ISBN:   9781472139337
ISBN 10:   147213933X
Pages:   304
Publication Date:   June 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

JAMIL ZAKI received his Ph.D. in psychology from Columbia University, and then conducted postdoctoral research at the Harvard University Center for Brain Sciences. He is now a Professor of Psychology at Stanford University and the Director of the Stanford Social Neuroscience Lab. His research focuses on the cognitive and neural bases of social behaviour, and in particular on how people understand each other's emotions (empathic accuracy), why they conform to each other (social influence), and why they choose to help each other (altruism). His work on empathy has been well received in the academic community. He has published over 50 articles, spoken at about 100 conferences around the world, and received awards from organizations including the National Science Foundation, the Association for Psychological Science, the Society for Neuroscience, the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, and Harvard and Stanford Universities. He is also passionate about applying this research, and has joined forces with many people outside academia to help advise and test empathy-building interventions. Jamil is an avid science communicator for years, devoting great energy to helping the public understand their power of empathy. He has written about how a choice view of empathy speaks to policing (for The New Yorker), parenting (for The Atlantic Monthly), philanthropy (for The New York Times) and medicine (for Nautilus Magazine). He has also written about empathy and pro-sociality for Scientific American and WIRED. His outreach efforts have broadened even further more recently, through The Lutz Experiment (forthcoming from Simon & Schuster), a collaborative book project with the comedian and writer John Lutz (SNL, 30 Rock, The Late Show with Seth Myers).


'In this landmark book, Jamil Zaki gives us a revolutionary perspective on empathy: Empathy can be developed, and, when it is, people, relationships, organisations and cultures are changed' - Carol Dweck, author of Mindset 'In this masterpiece, Jamil Zaki weaves together the very latest science with stories that will stay in your heart forever' - Angela Duckworth, author of Grit 'With alarming evidence of our society's rapidly diminishing empathy, Zaki draws on decades of clinical research, along with experiments conducted at his lab, to consider the forces that impact our modern condition... an urgent message' - Kirkus Reviews 'Zaki's heart-of-the-matter writing style relates complex emotion in clear, direct language. He walks his own fine line, between significant research findings and his personal emotional and empathic responses. His research and his book are worthy' - Booklist 'Jamil Zaki is one of the brightest lights in psychology, and in this gripping book he shows that kindness is not a sign of weakness but a source of strength' - Adam Grant, author of Give and Take and Originals 'Beautifully written and deeply felt, The War for Kindness is an outstanding scientific analysis of our species' best and last hope for survival - our unique ability to care about each other' - Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness 'Seamlessly stitching together his own experiences with fascinating stories and research from around the globe, Jamil lays out the irrefutable evidence for what we may already instinctively be sensing . . . that in these uncertain times, our ability to cultivate empathy for one another is not only possible, it's necessary. A must read for anyone willing to peek under the hood of the human heart' - Amanda Palmer

My Shopping Basket
Your cart does not contain any items.