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Vital Lies, Simple Truths Unknown Binding – 1985


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  • Unknown Binding
  • ASIN: B001AMLW9K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

More About the Author

Daniel Goleman, PhD, covers the behavioural and brain sciences for the New York Times and his articles appear throughout the world in syndication. His latest book, Destructive Emotions: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama, was published in January 2003. He has taught at Harvard (where he received his PhD) and was formerly senior editor at Psychology Today. His previous books include Vital Lies, Simple Truths; The Meditative Mind; and as co-author, The Creative Spirit. He was also a contributor to the business reference work, Business: The Ultimate Resource.

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David Livingstone, the Scottish missionary of "Dr. Livingstone, I presume" fame, was once attacked by a lion. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Augustine on 10 Aug 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As I started this book,which is really divided into two main parts - self and collective deceptions - I was most excited about its psychological delving into illusion, and how self-deception takes a hold of our personal lives. In fact, another reviewer here gave the book a lower star rating, which I took issue with, and was wired up to prove wrong. But, then as the book unfolded, especially as it switched from the psychological to the sociological, I felt the same, that the material was nothing I would not have encountered through other media outlets, especially in the age we are living today - almost 25 years after the book was first written - which is far more informationally savy, and heavily laden in consipiracy and cynicism. However, where this book really excels, is in the first half, in its revisiting of the roots of Psychoanalysis. Freud is not as fashionable as Jung today I would argue, but I became fascinated by Goleman's retake on Freuds early theories of the mind from the perspective of his thesis. I also feel it is far harder to be honest with your own self-deceptions - which cost more personally and financially too in terms of psychoanalysis - than to look at sociological group comfort zones, however interesting nonetheless!! This is where the book excels. Thanks Dan.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 31 Aug 2001
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed the easy reading pace of this book. Mind expanding, entertaining, and sometimes shocking. Although there may be no new ideas presented for those familiar to the subject, everyone else can gain some stunning insight into thier own and other people's behavior. Personally I think this is one of the best books I've ever read, not just because of the subject content, but becuase it's written so that anyone can pick it up.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 Dec 2003
Format: Paperback
Despite the depth of the subjects it deals with, this book is surprisingly easy to read.It speaks about fear, the individual psyche, the collective psyche and the social organization of reality...all in one volume. Goleman doesn't turn a blind eye to other influential authors in this field, including Freud. In fact, to my delight he used the theory of the human brain proposed by Freud in The Interpretation of Dreams and his theory of the unconsciousness to explain why we lie to ourselves, and why we have to agree to ignore parts of the truth unknowingly to be part of a group. And all this for a sense of security. He explains both the pros and cons of these processes, that also play an important role in family life. Very insightful...my only regret is he doesn't go into the problem of how he combines a spiritual practice which stresses the need for honesty as a basis for transformation with the social need for vital lies.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Feb 2001
Format: Paperback
This book seems to be a competent reworking of ground which has been broadly familiar since the 1960s. The author makes persuasively the case that, both individually and in groups, we are prone to blind spots as part of our psychological defence mechanisms. He draws intelligently on modern research and the book offers a number of amusing and memorable anecdotes to back its central contention. Goleman writes well and lucidly; the book is easy going. But it does not appear to me to contain anything of significance which is new. In short, a useful introduction to those new to the subject of blind spots and their dangers, but no more than that.
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