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Publisher's Summary

We have learned much about depression, but what about its opposite? Why hasn't the human emotion that lifts us, inspires us, drives us on, and makes life worth living been discussed and celebrated? In this outstanding book, best-selling author Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison explores exuberance in all its unrestrained, joyful energy, and shows how its unique vitality is essential to our existence. Jamison points to the contagiousness of laughter, excitement, and positive feelings, and how it plays a role in choosing a mate, in the giddiness of new love, music, and religious ecstasy. She also discusses our dangerous desire to simulate exuberance by using drugs or alcohol. Most of all, Jamison points to some of our most famous artists and scientists to show how they all share an exuberance for life that inspires their discoveries, drives, and the force to persevere even when it seems the odds are against them.
©2004 Kay Redfield Jamison (P)2004 Books on Tape
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Critic Reviews

"She [Jamison] is that rare writer who can offer a kind of unified theory of science and art." (Washington Post)
", trenchant and entertaining." (San Francisco Chronicle)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Dennis on 12-04-04

Overwrought by Exuberance

How could a book with this title be so unexuberant? It read like a 1950's television version of National Geographic. The book lacked focus starting off with the interesting relationship between Teddy Roosevelt and Jonathan Muir then went into the animal knigdom. The author went on, ad nauseum, about how playful animals are and I just could not listen any further.I heard an interview with Ms. Jamison on National Public Radio which was far more interesting than her book.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Marianna on 11-15-04

All it promises and more

I first listened to the book then had to get a hard copy. There were so many gems that I wanted to read them over and over. I suppose some people could hear this and walk away without feeling exuberant but I couldn't. I don't "do" caffeine anymore but I found this book made me more alert, passionate, and creative than any double espresso or other stimulant could ever hope to do. There are wonderful gems throughout the book, an excellent synthesis of research and traditional knowledge, a weaving of art, science, literature, history, and psychology. The third chapter on play was particularly inspirational for me as it inspired the overall concept for a participatory family gallery at a major art museum that I am developing. This is a book I will consult and re-read for years to come.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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