Publication Date: 15/07/2021 ISBN: 9780241399132 Category:

The Power of Strangers

Joe Keohane

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Publication Date: 15/07/2021 ISBN: 9780241399132 Category:
Hardback

£16.99

Quantity:

Description

An exploration of why we don’t talk to strangers, and the wonderful things that would happen if we did.

‘In a thrilling, immersive journey across time and continents, Keohane upends everything we thought we knew about the people we don’t know’ Will Storr, author of The Science of Storytelling

When was the last time you spoke to a stranger?

In cities, we stand in silent buses and train carriages, ignoring each other.
Online, we retreat into silos and carefully curate who we interact with.
In our politics, we are increasingly consumed by a fear of people we’ve never met.

But what if strangers, long believed to be the cause of our problems, were actually the solution?

With the help of sociologists, psychologists, philosophers, political scientists and more, Joe Keohane sets out to investigate why we don’t talk to strangers, and what happens when we do. From enhancing empathy, happiness and cognitive development to easing loneliness and isolation, passing encounters can root us in the world, deepening our sense of belonging.

Warm, witty and profound, this book will make you reconsider how you see others, and in doing so show us how talking to strangers is not just a way to live, it’s a way to survive.

Publisher Review

'In a thrilling, immersive journey across time and continents, Keohane upends everything we thought we knew about the people we don't know' -- Will Storr, author of The Science of Storytelling Joe Keohane has changed my life. The very thought of talking to strangers has always given me mild nausea and stress sweats. But after reading this book, I've been converted. Joe has inspired me to push through the awkwardness and reap the benefits: A more open and curious mind, less loneliness and depression. This book is an important tool in rescuing our tribal, smartphone-obsessed world. If you see me on the street, please say hi so we can discuss it -- AJ Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically 'Rare is the book that delivers on the promise of a big answer to an even bigger question, but Joe Keohane's The Power of Strangers does just that. This lively, searching work makes the case that welcoming "others" isn't just the bedrock of civilization, it's the surest path to the best of what life has to offer' -- Ayad Akhtar, author of Homeland Elegies 'This is one of those remarkable books you may not realize you're going to love (or need) until you're well into it. Is it a work of psychology, philosophy, anthropology, history, cultural studies, self-help? All of the above! The Power of Strangers is deeply and gamely researched, lucidly and engagingly written (as if by a pal), informative, thought-provoking, playful, useful and possibly life-changing. What a great way to start the post-pandemic' -- Kurt Andersen, author of Evil Geniuses 'Reading this book is like taking a college course that becomes a cult favorite because the witty, enthusiastic professor makes the topic seem not only entertaining, but essential. Possibly life-changing ideas supported with extensive sociological research, lively storytelling, and contagious jollity' * Kirkus *

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