Author: Jonathan Haidt –
Publisher: Ascent Audio –
Genre: Psychology, Sociology –
Overall rating: 5/5 –
Writing: 5/5 –
Duration: 11:01 (medium) –
Narrator: Jonathan Haidt –
Narrator/performance: 5/5 –
Impressions: n/a –
Performance errors: 0/5 –
Complexity/reading level: 3/5 –
I listened to the audiobook titled “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion”, published in 2012, a while back but still remember it as an example of an excellent production.
First of all, it should be noted that not all audiobooks read by the books’ authors are easy to follow. Some are too engaged or too poorly read for a reader to finish. This one, however, is read with genuine honesty and dedication. I could not help feeling that the Author is truly passionate about his subject and the work of his life. For that reason alone, this audiobook has an inspiring and uplifting effect.
Another reason for my favorable assessment was the greater motivation which appears to permeate the work. The Author seems to wish to make the world a better place by translating differing human motivations and morality across the divide: between right and left, conservatism and progressivism, the old traditional constraint and the new egalitarian blend. His attempt to reconcile both sides by explaining the bigger picture is convincing – at least as along as one is reading the book – as it is not an argument based on wishful thinking. The point of that argument is rather a result of many years of studious academic research.
At the time of reading, the book also gave me hope in terms of my own academic endeavors. The Author describes his academic journey, including his doubts and troubles, as well as the opportunities and strokes of luck. It is not easy to put one’s findings into a text anyone will care about. One cannot count on feeling sure that the findings are even worth sharing. No one knows if the direction one is pursuing can lead to results of any value. It is a big gamble while the effort is great and often unrewarded. Such books as “The Righteous Mind” may help an academic to rekindle inspiration and motivation, and to find joy in the simple process of researching, even if the results often seem far off and uncertain.
The cover is nice but I would make different choices. The Author’s name is not very catchy. It is difficult to remember the long title and the name combined. Given that the cover contains nothing to hook one’s memory, the book is rather difficult to go back to after a couple of months. I would make sure the cover is less witty but more remarkable in any future editions.