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About the book
  • Published: 22 October 2014
  • ISBN: 9781617230134
  • Imprint: Current
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $26.99

What Makes a Hero?: The Surprising Science of Selflessness


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Svoboda argues that it's a common misconception that heroes are innately destined to be that way. In fact, anyone can be a hero if they're committed to developing their heroic potential.

Recent breakthroughs in biology and neuroscience reveal that the human brain is primed for selflessness. But how do biology, upbringing, and outside influences intersect to produce altruistic and heroic behavior? And how can we encourage selflessness in corporations, classrooms, and individuals? 

Using dozens of fascinating real-life examples, science journalist Elizabeth Svoboda explains how our genes compel us to do good for others, how going through suffering is linked to altruism, and how acting generously can greatly improve our mental health.

Svoboda argues that it's a common misconception that heroes are innately destined to be that way. In fact, anyone can be a hero if they're committed to developing their heroic potential.

'A satisfying investigation of the mechanics of heroism.' Kirkus Reviews
'Elizabeth Svoboda's engaging new book explores what makes a hero - and reveals the science behind the greatness and generosity possible to any human being.'  Jill Neimark, coauthor of Why Good Things Happen to Good People
'Svoboda weaves research and personal stories to demonstrate the counterintuitive truth of her title: that heroic action can be learned; that heroic inclinations can be nurtured; and that 'heroes' can, in fact, be made.'  Mary C. Gentile, PhD, author of Giving Voice to Values: How to Speak Your Mind When You Know What's Right

  • Pub date: 22 October 2014
  • ISBN: 9781617230134
  • Imprint: Current
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $26.99

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