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Monday, December 16, 2013 - 2013 Book Review: "The Social Animal" by David Brooks
Before picking up "The Social Animal," I heard nothing but rave reviews from friends and colleagues. I even went as far as applying for a library card for the purpose of checking out this book. Within the first couple pages, it was clear these high expectations would be met.

"The Social Animal" explains why humans are, above all, social creatures. More specifically, humans exhibit certain behavior due to genealogical, sociological, psychological and anthropological reasons. Brooks displays these scientific findings through the dramatic story of two individuals, Erica and Harold, and how their unconscious minds change the ways in which they interact with others.

"The unconscious is impulsive, emotional, sensitive, and unpredictable. It has its shortcomings. It needs supervision. But it can be brilliant. It's capable of processing blizzards of data and making daring creative leaps. Most of all, it is also wonderfully gregarious. Your unconscious, that inner extrovert, wants you to reach outward and connect . . . Your unconscious wants to entangle you in the thick web of relations that are the essence of human flourishing. It longs and pushes for love . . . Of all the blessings that come with being alive, it is the most awesome gift."

"The Social Animal" describes social phenomena in a very familiar way. Brooks explains the unconscious thoughts on topics from why people post pictures on Facebook to larger concepts, such as how the unconscious mind views personal and business relationships.

I highly recommend this book to all readers, as it describes basic human instincts and interactions that pertain to society as a whole. However, business professionals and entrepreneurs may take special interest in it, as it provides insight into working with potential clients, customers, partners, investors and the general public.