Friendship
An engaging and deeply reported investigation of friendship: its evolution, purpose, and centrality in human and nonhuman lives alike.The bonds of friendship are universal and elemental. In Friendship, journalist Lydia Denworth visits the front lines of the science of friendship in search of its biological, psychological, and evolutionary foundations. Finding it to be as old as life on the African savannas, she also discovers that friendship is reflected in our brain waves, detectable in our genomes, and capable of strengthening our cardiovascular and immune systems. Its opposite, loneliness, can kill. As a result, social connection is finally being recognized as critical to our physical and emotional well-being.With warmth and compassion, Denworth weaves together past and present, field biology and cutting-edge neuroscience, to show how our bodies and minds are designed to make friends, the process by which social bonds develop, and how a drive for friendship underpins human (and nonhuman) society. With its refreshingly optimistic vision of the evolution of human nature, this book puts friendship at the center of our lives.

Friendship Details

TitleFriendship
Author
ReleaseJan 28th, 2020
PublisherW. W. Norton Company
ISBN-139780393651546
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Psychology, Science, Leadership, Self Help

Friendship Review

  • Lydia Denworth
    January 1, 1970
    I not only read this, I wrote it! So I am understandably biased. But upon re-reading it in preparation for publication, I've realized something important. People ask about books you read that change your life. I can say that reporting this book changed my life. It gave me permission to hang out with my friends more. I hope it will do the same for everyone else who reads it.
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  • MBJ
    January 1, 1970
    I got an early copy of the book and I already feel like it has had an impact on me. It is a great kick off book for 2020. Instead of skipping wine in January for my health, I'm having more wine and seeing friends which is far more important and fun. It is a great read filled with both great science and personal anecdotes on the importance of investing in our most basic relationships. It makes a compelling argument for doubling down on good friends. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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  • Leah MacFarlane
    January 1, 1970
    I absolutely loved this fascinating book on the science of friendship. The author presents an amazing amount of information in the most readable, compelling way. It is remarkable to find out how friendship has influenced and been influenced by human evolution, and the actual biological power of the friendship bond. Denworth creates wonderful images of her global travels to meet and see in person the network of scientists who are working on this ground-breaking area. They are all so memorably I absolutely loved this fascinating book on the science of friendship. The author presents an amazing amount of information in the most readable, compelling way. It is remarkable to find out how friendship has influenced and been influenced by human evolution, and the actual biological power of the friendship bond. Denworth creates wonderful images of her global travels to meet and see in person the network of scientists who are working on this ground-breaking area. They are all so memorably drawn that what could be an overwhelming amount of information is easily absorbed and remembered. Finding out that friendships have an important role to play in the biological advantages affecting evolution was totally intriguing. I highly recommend. A perfect gift for friends on Valentine's Day!
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  • Moira Bailey
    January 1, 1970
    Lydia Denworth’s Friendship translates cutting-edge science in telling a compelling story that details and underscores how close connections are not only necessary - they will extend, and potentially save, our lives. She reveals and revels in a topic that is universally important and endlessly interesting.
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    Lydia Denworth's comprehensive look at the evolution and necessity of friendship is highly informative and engaging. I don't think I've ever devoured a nonfiction book quite this quickly, and that was all due to Denworth's writing style--she ably breaks down even complicated scientific terms and ideas so anyone can understand them by illustrating unfamiliar concepts with stories and analogies from her own life.Learning more about what scientists are currently discovering about the importance of Lydia Denworth's comprehensive look at the evolution and necessity of friendship is highly informative and engaging. I don't think I've ever devoured a nonfiction book quite this quickly, and that was all due to Denworth's writing style--she ably breaks down even complicated scientific terms and ideas so anyone can understand them by illustrating unfamiliar concepts with stories and analogies from her own life.Learning more about what scientists are currently discovering about the importance of friendship would have been compelling enough (spoiler alert: friendship is highly important to our health and well-being at all points of our lives) but she also takes us through the all the primate studies that have been conducted through the past several decades. Interestingly, primate research teaches us that friendship is much older than humans are, suggesting that it is not just a nice thing to have; it's a biological imperative. Denworth wraps up with an exhortation for us to pay attention to and cultivate our relationships even if we feel we're too busy for friends because just like neglecting our health, the ramifications of neglecting our friends could lead to loneliness in later life, and that loneliness has been proven to be just as deadly as any of our current health crises. Everyone should read this book and then go hug their friends and family members.
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  • Steph Holmes
    January 1, 1970
    I was fortunate to have read an early release of Lydia Denworth’s book—Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond. It is beautifully written and seamlessly weaves cutting edge science with the essential role of friendship. I was completely engaged by the clear explanations of the work of the scientists who have studied multiple species—from rhesus monkeys to zebra fish—to explain our interactions with certain people and what we expect and, more I was fortunate to have read an early release of Lydia Denworth’s book—Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond. It is beautifully written and seamlessly weaves cutting edge science with the essential role of friendship. I was completely engaged by the clear explanations of the work of the scientists who have studied multiple species—from rhesus monkeys to zebra fish—to explain our interactions with certain people and what we expect and, more importantly, what we receive from those with whom we bond. I am certainly not the only one who understands how important and timely this book is. It was just selected by the Next Big Idea Club (Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Adam Grant, and Daniel Pink) as one of the six must-read nonfiction Books of Winter 2020! For years now I have been inundated with the all the reasons why meditation improves my health. I am not knocking meditation, but as Ms. Denworth so eloquently illustrates, through clear and fascinating explanations of the neuroscience as well as personal observation, friendship is the foundation of a healthy life, well lived. After reading this book, I hugged all my friends (perhaps they were a bit bemused) and then I wanted to make new friends. My reasons were perhaps self-interested but like the monkeys and fish I knew it was essential to my well-being. I am a committed but poor meditator but, because of this book, I now know what it means to be a good friend and to have good friends. You would be well served to understand that too.
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  • Charles Nguyen
    January 1, 1970
    I love this book as it talks about the science of friendship. Mix in a bit of monkey science with attachment, friendship in school, the deepness of connections, heredity or genetic expression, and rounding it off with the impact on our lives... woo! Much of this science is current and up-to-date. It's been a while since I've read something that triggered about 20 more books into my "to-read" list. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to think about what makes friends tick. Friendship must be I love this book as it talks about the science of friendship. Mix in a bit of monkey science with attachment, friendship in school, the deepness of connections, heredity or genetic expression, and rounding it off with the impact on our lives... woo! Much of this science is current and up-to-date. It's been a while since I've read something that triggered about 20 more books into my "to-read" list. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to think about what makes friends tick. Friendship must be one of the topics of the year as there are a couple more that I see.
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  • 旭 楊
    January 1, 1970
    Being isolated at home during the coronavirus break, this book is a really important reminder for me about friendship. My stupid idea was that friendship was a sign of weakness.. to find consolation among people means I'm not strong enough to be on my own. Maybe I'm just finding myself excuses for my social awkwardness. Anyway, connecting with people is important. And it's an effective way to gain self-worth. This book is too lengthy for me though. I'm not really drawn in by the stories about Being isolated at home during the coronavirus break, this book is a really important reminder for me about friendship. My stupid idea was that friendship was a sign of weakness.. to find consolation among people means I'm not strong enough to be on my own. Maybe I'm just finding myself excuses for my social awkwardness. Anyway, connecting with people is important. And it's an effective way to gain self-worth. This book is too lengthy for me though. I'm not really drawn in by the stories about experiments and the scientists. That's why I finished this book in about 2 hours.
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  • Melissa Rochelle
    January 1, 1970
    Key takeaways: friendship is good for your brain, loneliness is bad for your health, quality over quantity, and you'll live longer if you surround yourself with good friends and loving family.I'd say more, but I really need to go chat with my friends. ;-)
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  • Roxanne
    January 1, 1970
    This is a Goodreads win review. This book is about the Evolution and power of Friendship. It was okay but very scientific.
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