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Taking Responsibility [Paperback]

Nathaniel Branden
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 10.63 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

21 April 1997
The bestselling author of The Psychology of Self-Esteem presents an illuminating guide to self-realization through self-reliance and a vision of a society transformed by a new ethical individualism.

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Taking Responsibility + How to Raise Your Self-esteem + Six Pillars of Self Esteem
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Product details

  • Paperback: 258 pages
  • Publisher: Fireside; 1st Fireside Ed edition (21 April 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684832488
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684832487
  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 13.9 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 75,161 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The most exciting event I can remember from the tenth year of my life was getting my first pair of serious long pants. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Branden's writing is ever more concise, practical and powerful. He continues to challenge the prevailing norms and beliefs. He argues persuasively that the United States is promoting dependency and irresponsibility through its social policies.
He outlines the dangers and consequences of the "victim" mentality and explains why certain popular American beliefs are hurting the very people they are supposed to help.
Branden explains how responsible Americans are being forced by the US government to enable the irresponsibility of others.
Branden presents a well-organized model of personal responsibility which is unmatched by anything I have previously seen. In the book he offers practical exercises which can be used by all of us.
There is one point with which I strongly disagree with Branden, however. In his discussion of choices and consequences he uses one example of a parent giving a child a "choice" which really isn't much of a choice at all. The example is something like this "You can either sit quietly at the dinner table, or go to your room without eating. It is your choice. You decide."
To me this is an example of the use of power and punishment, not an example of natural consequences. Neither is it an example of emotional honesty or emotional intelligence by the parent. And finally, it is not even an example of using reason to explain cause and effect, something which Branden himself has strongly advocated throughout his writing career.
My only other somewhat negative comment is that Branden comes across at times as a tad judgmental, bitter and lecturing, which I attribute to the strength of his feelings and his conviction to his beliefs, and thus take with a grain of salt.
Overall, I strongly recommend this book to all teenagers, parents, teachers, professors, politicians, human service workers and policy makers.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not as great as Six Pillars, but still an important work 15 Aug 2001
By D. R. Greenfield - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The word "responsibility" carries an unfortunate moralistic implication, which Branden takes pains to dispel repeatedly throughout this book. Nevertheless, a light reading of this important work may create a false impression in the reader that Branden's term "Self-Responsibility" does in fact mean a moralistic responsibility. This is the major problem that haunts this work.
Even with this flaw, this is one of Branden's more important books. It is brilliant and profound. It is a book to read and re-read at regular intervals throughout one's life. Two of the most important chapters are "Self Reliance and Social Metaphysics" and "Self-Responsibility and Romantic Love". Both of these themes appeared in his earlier "The Psychology of Self-Esteem". In particular the concept of social metaphysics is one of the most vital to understand in attempting to gain true psychological freedom and intellectual sovereignty. In my own case, had I just taken the time to understand how social metaphysics was impacting my decision to seek a divorce, I might been able to save my marriage.
The Introduction to this book is by itself almost worth the price of the entire book. It contains indispensible advice for finding true happiness in life. It also shows Brandon's essential modesty, as he credits his wife for these important insights.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your Life. Your Choice. 25 Nov 2001
By Marcos Polanco - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In this brilliant tome, Nathaniel Branden makes a definitive statement on leading the joyful life of personal responsibility and reality-orientation...and the alternative where individuals "unconsciously" ignore the fruits of their own actions. Branden uproots this rejection of responsibility from every corner where it hides, from your choice of values to your choice of companions. He applies this vision of responsibility to romantic love (where using others for your fulfillment often becomes sport), organizations (where avoiding blame becomes the goal), and government (where entitlements have replaced rights). Branden also includes do-it-yourself exercises (I can attest to their effectiveness) to help readers explore their own deep-rooted attitudes towards their own role in the world. An essential read that communicates the true demands of the free and sovereign life.
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerfully true; lucid, direct & politcally "incorrect." 21 Feb 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Branden's writing is ever more concise, practical and powerful. He continues to challenge the prevailing norms and beliefs. He argues persuasively that the United States is promoting dependency and irresponsibility through its social policies.
He outlines the dangers and consequences of the "victim" mentality and explains why certain popular American beliefs are hurting the very people they are supposed to help.
Branden explains how responsible Americans are being forced by the US government to enable the irresponsibility of others.
Branden presents a well-organized model of personal responsibility which is unmatched by anything I have previously seen. In the book he offers practical exercises which can be used by all of us.
There is one point with which I strongly disagree with Branden, however. In his discussion of choices and consequences he uses one example of a parent giving a child a "choice" which really isn't much of a choice at all. The example is something like this "You can either sit quietly at the dinner table, or go to your room without eating. It is your choice. You decide."
To me this is an example of the use of power and punishment, not an example of natural consequences. Neither is it an example of emotional honesty or emotional intelligence by the parent. And finally, it is not even an example of using reason to explain cause and effect, something which Branden himself has strongly advocated throughout his writing career.
My only other somewhat negative comment is that Branden comes across at times as a tad judgmental, bitter and lecturing, which I attribute to the strength of his feelings and his conviction to his beliefs, and thus take with a grain of salt.
Overall, I strongly recommend this book to all teenagers, parents, teachers, professors, politicians, human service workers and policy makers.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear, honest and direct 28 July 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is both a guidebook for truly "growing up" and a treatise on some of the problems that society is facing and why they are problems. This book isn't soft & cuddly--it gets right to it but in a way that makes the changes seem possible while at the same time giving you a clear view into why some behaviors are a problem and what types of behaviors are better choices, as well as a plan to improve and explanations of why people have certain types of problems. If you think you're ready to tackle some of the parts of your life that need work head-on, this book is awesome. If you are still not willing to own your issues and want to avoid directly confronting the consequences of your behaviors, you won't like this book.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A satisfactory self-help book...in a touchy area 18 Mar 2004
By Stephen Armstrong - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
All of us have tried something and failed. The question then is, "How did this happen?" The answers are sometimes complex, but one central feature under each person's control is whether he or she can claim some amount of responsibility for their thinking, feeling, and behaving.
Self-responsibility and accountability are the heart of Branden's self-help book, especially the notion that each person is accountable for choices, decisions, actions, beliefs, values, management of time, choice of companions, and one's own happiness. At some level, this self-help book is a refreshing reality-based tonic.
Branden also talks about self-responsibility in organizations, which I found helpful. Less helpful, however, is his condemnation of welfare, because he does not take into account the lack of responsibility in the people who made the welfare system so "good." Also, he does not take into account the realistic difficulties that people in poverty have, nor the success stories of families who have emerged from poverty. In this sense, he presages O'Reilly. He would have been more consistent by talking about the destruction of responsibility by drugs and alcohol.
This is a short read. I hope you enjoy it.
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