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The 50 Success Classics as well as the 50 Self-Help Classics and the 50 Psychology Classics are all worthwhile for the reader who wants a quality overview of the subjects. I personally found that Tom Butler-Bowden included a good balance of personal observations along with the core details and excerpts from the individual books covered without injecting an overt personal bias.
These books have increased my reading list, but with a clarity and focus to read the books that most interest me most. These books are not just a collection of excerpts from others' writings. They include background information on the authors and the times and circumstances surrounding the writings. These books are entertaining and informative by themselves; but I think anyone who truly has an interest in their subject matter will find them to be useful resources as well are shortcuts to a greater understanding of the subjects.
I highly recommend these books in both their printed and audio forms. The audio versions are read by professional narrators with engaging voices that add to the pleasure of the listening experience. I can't recommend these books enough for anyone interested in learning more of the human experience through the insight from some of the greatest minds to ever put pen to paper.
27 of 27 people found this review helpful
It is supposed to be "psychology for non-psychologists", which basically means it briefly covers the major writings and biographies of famous authors.
Cutting edge? Definitely not. But it's summarizing and terse. It's a starting point to actually read those works explored. If you want an in-depth study, you read the book by the author, not a summary.
Here's the list of authors and the works:
1 Alfred Adler Understanding Human Nature
2 Gavin de Becker The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals that Protect Us from Violence
3 Eric Berne Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships
4 Robert Bolton People Skills: How to Assert Yourself, Listen to Others, and Resolve Conflicts
5 Edward de Bono Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step
6 Nathaniel Branden The Psychology of Self-Esteem
7 Isabel Briggs Myers Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type
8 Louann Brizendine The Female Brain
9 David D. Burns Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy
10 Robert Cialdini Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
11 Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention
12 Albert Ellis & Robert A. Harper A Guide to Rational Living
13 Milton Erickson My Voice Will Go With You: The Teaching Tales of Milton H. Erickson
14 Erik Erikson Young Man Luther: A Study in Psychoanalysis and History
15 Hans Eysenck Dimensions of Personality
16 Susan Forward Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You
17 Viktor Frankl The Will to Meaning: Foundations and Applications of Logotherapy
18 Anna Freud The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defence
19 Sigmund Freud The Interpretation of Dreams
20 Howard Gardner Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences
21 Daniel Gilbert Stumbling on Happiness
22 Malcolm Gladwell Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
23 Daniel Goleman Working with Emotional Intelligence
24 John M. Gottman The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work
25 Harry Harlow The Nature of Love
26 Thomas A. Harris I’m OK—You’re OK
27 Eric Hoffer The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements
28 Karen Horney Our Inner Conflicts: A Constructive Theory of Neurosis
29 William James The Principles of Psychology
30 Carl Jung The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious
31 Alfred Kinsey Sexual Behavior in the Human Female
32 Melanie Klein Envy and Gratitude
33 R. D. Laing The Divided Self: A Study of Sanity and Madness
34 Abraham Maslow The Farther Reaches of Human Nature
35 Stanley Milgram Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View
36 Anne Moir & David Jessel Brainsex: The Real Difference Between Men and Women
37 Ivan Pavlov Conditioned Reflexes: An Investigation of the Physiological Activity of the Cerebral Cortex
38 Fritz Perls Gestalt Therapy: Excitement and Growth in the Human Personality
39 Jean Piaget The Language and Thought of the Child
40 Steven Pinker The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human
41 V. S. Ramachandran Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind
42 Carl Rogers On Becoming a Person: A Therapist’s View of Psychotherapy
43 Oliver Sacks The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat: And Other Clinical Tales
44 Barry Schwartz The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less
45 Martin Seligman Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfilment
46 Gail Sheehy Passages: Predictable Crises of Adult Life
47 B. F. Skinner Beyond Freedom and Dignity
48 Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, & Sheila Heen Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most
49 William Styron Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness
50 Robert E. Thayer The Origin of Everyday Moods: Managing Energy, Tension, and Stress
52 of 53 people found this review helpful
I love this book. The narration is fine, easy to listen to. The content is excellent. On the down side the introduction is really boreing and I almost gave up on the book. This would have been a great pity as, once you get into the 50 classics, it is really interesting.
Of course not all the books covered will interest everyone and some chapters I found dull, but the chapters are short and I found many books I will be seeking out for future listening or reading.
I would recomend this book to anyone who is interested in people but who has no real knowledge in this field. If you are a psychologist it is most likely not for you, but for the rest of us it is an eye opener.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
A cornucopia pick-and-mix of popular Psychology classics, each book title lasting between 10-20 minutes (12.5 hours total). Gestalt therapy, Behaviourism, Lateral Thinking, 'The Female Brain' and 'Games People Play' to the classics of Freud, Jung and Adler are all covered. It is read in an easy american voice & style, which feels appropriate.
Butler-Bowdon divides each 'Classic' up into:
quotes; synopsis; 'books in a similar vein'; chapter themes with commentary; final comments and biographic details.
If you are interested in psychology and the mind, and want a 'Cooks Tour' of the amazing breadth of ideas out there, I would really recommend this audiobook. It is a great jumping off point for further reading.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful
I always love listening to these top 50 books It is fantastic for summarising some of the best knowledge available. I often find myself applying what I've listened to in real life with great success