This revelatory tour de force by an acclaimed and internationally bestselling science writer upends our understanding of survival of the fittest and invites us all to think and act more altruistically The future belongs to the altruists. We are born with the predispositions necessary to maintain ourselves in the world. But while we are familiar with the rationally justified pursuit of our own advantage, we are still uncertain about the impulses that lead us to seek our own happiness in the happiness of others... The willingness to do something for others, however, is an attitude that one can practice until it is as natural as riding a bicycle. In time the fear of being exploited fades, and with the courage to give grows the feeling of freedom. The journey begins with curiosity. By experimenting with generosity, we have nothing to lose and much to gain, for selflessness makes us happy and transforms the world.
"[A] mind-bending book [...] if there is a science to winning over readers, Klein has surely mastered it [...] The wealth of knowledge here is astounding."
- Publishers Weekly, starred review
"[O]ne of the book's key strengths [is] its breadth. From psychological experiments to anthropological studies and historical events like the Holocaust or 9/11, Klein seamlessly weaves his way through all to present compelling evidence for why humans have evolved to be selfless. Survival of the Nicest entertainingly informs its readers of how they are born to be altruistic [...]"
- UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center
"This wonderful book could be read as a scientific explanation for a moral imperative to be kind to others. But it is so much more! Stefan Klein, an enticing storyteller, marshals the evidence for the value of altruism not only to one's family but, much more interestingly, to one's self and one's tribe. Altruism is truly contagious!"
- Roald Hoffman, Nobel Laureate, poet, and Frank H. T. Rhodes Professor of Humane Letters Emeritus, Cornell University
"A scholarly tour de force about why generosity makes good sense, Survival of the Nicest is also compulsively readable. Klein argues convincingly that helping others is one of the best things we can do for ourselves."
- Elizabeth Svoboda, author of What Makes a Hero?: The Surprising Science of Selflessness
"A thought-provoking and comprehensive review of the research on altruism, Survival of the Nicest validates humanistic principles and has far-reaching implications for today s world especially for US politics and culture. An inspiration!"
- Rebecca Hale, president, American Humanist Association, and co-owner of EvolveFISH.com
"An important contribution to the field of altruism and altruistic behavior and to a better and nicer world. I highly recommend this book."
- Samuel P. Oliner, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, Humboldt State University, and founder and director, The Altruistic Personality and Prosocial Behavior Institute
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Stefan Klein is one of Europe's premier science writers, as well as himself a trained physicist. He is the author of numerous books, including the #1 international bestseller The Science of Happiness. His books have been translated into twenty-five languages, and he is the recipient of the prestigious Georg von Holtzbrink Prize for Scientific Journalism.