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I Feel You: The Surprising Power of Extreme Empathy
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HMH Books 2018
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Description

A cogent, gorgeous examination of empathy, illuminating the myths, the science, and the power behind this transformative emotion

Empathy has become a gaping fault line in American culture. Pioneering programs aim to infuse our legal and educational systems with more empathic thinking, even as pundits argue over whether we should bother empathizing with our political opposites at all. Meanwhile, we are inundated with the buzzily termed "empathic marketing"—which may very well be a contradiction in terms. In I Feel You, Cris Beam carves through the noise with a revelatory exploration of how we perform empathy, how it is learned, what it can do—indeed, what empathy is in the first place. She takes us to the labs where the neural networks of compassion are being mapped, and the classrooms where children are being trained to see others' views. Beam visits courtrooms and prisons, asking how empathy might transform our justice system. She travels to places wracked by oppression and genocide, where reconciliation seems impossible, to report on efforts to heal society's deepest wounds through human connection. And finally, she turns to how we, as individuals, can foster compassion for ourselves. Brimming with the sensitive and nuanced storytelling that has made Beam one of our most respected journalists, I Feel You is an eye-opening affirmation of empathy's potential.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
03/20/2018
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780544558175
ASIN:
B073XY62ZV
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APA Citation (style guide)

Cris Beam. (2018). I Feel You: The Surprising Power of Extreme Empathy. HMH Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Cris Beam. 2018. I Feel You: The Surprising Power of Extreme Empathy. HMH Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Cris Beam, I Feel You: The Surprising Power of Extreme Empathy. HMH Books, 2018.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Cris Beam. I Feel You: The Surprising Power of Extreme Empathy. HMH Books, 2018. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Jun 12, 2018 17:15:49
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        CRIS BEAM is the author of several award-winning books, including To the End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care and Transparent: Love, Family, and Living the T with Transgender Teenagers. She teaches creative writing at Columbia, NYU, and Bayview Women's Correctional Facility.

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shortDescription

A cogent, gorgeous examination of empathy, illuminating the myths, the science, and the power behind this transformative emotion

Empathy has become a gaping fault line in American culture. Pioneering programs aim to infuse our legal and educational systems with more empathic thinking, even as pundits argue over whether we should bother empathizing with our political opposites at all. Meanwhile, we are inundated with the buzzily termed "empathic marketing"—which may very well be a contradiction in terms.
In I Feel You, Cris Beam carves through the noise with a revelatory exploration of how we perform empathy, how it is learned, what it can do—indeed, what empathy is in the first place. She takes us to the labs where the neural networks of compassion are being mapped, and the classrooms where children are being trained to see others' views. Beam visits courtrooms and prisons, asking how empathy might transform our justice...

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title
I Feel You
fullDescription

A cogent, gorgeous examination of empathy, illuminating the myths, the science, and the power behind this transformative emotion

Empathy has become a gaping fault line in American culture. Pioneering programs aim to infuse our legal and educational systems with more empathic thinking, even as pundits argue over whether we should bother empathizing with our political opposites at all. Meanwhile, we are inundated with the buzzily termed "empathic marketing"—which may very well be a contradiction in terms.
In I Feel You, Cris Beam carves through the noise with a revelatory exploration of how we perform empathy, how it is learned, what it can do—indeed, what empathy is in the first place. She takes us to the labs where the neural networks of compassion are being mapped, and the classrooms where children are being trained to see others' views. Beam visits courtrooms and prisons, asking how empathy might transform our justice system. She travels to places wracked by oppression and genocide, where reconciliation seems impossible, to report on efforts to heal society's deepest wounds through human connection. And finally, she turns to how we, as individuals, can foster compassion for ourselves.
Brimming with the sensitive and nuanced storytelling that has made Beam one of our most respected journalists, I Feel You is an eye-opening affirmation of empathy's potential.

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      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        February 1, 2018
        Using empathy to achieve a kinder, gentler society.After enduring the crushing deterioration of a 10-year relationship, journalist and educator Beam (To the End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care, 2013, etc.) offers an intelligent three-part exploration of empathy's cultural impact. An opening section devoted to understanding and utilizing empathy charts the groundbreaking neuroscientific studies of "mirror neurons" in the brain's sensory processing regions. The author then addresses the mixed results regarding schools that implement the teaching of empathy to both children and adults, largely due to the lack of agreement about what the sensation actually is. Beam effectively uses both personal anecdotes and a wide variety of interviews with people who have gained insight and growth from embracing empathy in addition to those who have become emotionally damaged due to a lack of empathy. She also touches on artistic empathy through the fascinating real-life story of a woman who works intimately with synthetic human replica dolls, work that "explores what's possible in the hidden, cut-off spaces, what's possible in the closet." Some people divert and monetize the form and function of empathy to their benefit, as is the case with what businesses call "empathetic marketing." As creatively explained by Beam, corporations use the term to temper the exploitative ploy of courting online users of social media sites with direct marketing advertisement. The author puts her unique spin on the mindful ideology behind forgiveness, self-empathy, and self-compassion, around which "a whole industry is now cranking," and she spends time exploring the South African research about absolving genocide. Beam's final commentary cohesively dovetails with her book's narrative points on her subject and acknowledges empathy, once learned, as having the potential to be "highly moral and deeply liberating."A fascinating and well-rounded view of how empathy functions in society and why some cultivate it as a skill while others consider it a good moral value.

        COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        March 1, 2018

        Beam (creative writing, New York Univ.; To the End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care and Transparent) discusses empathy in depth in this latest offering. The author first defines the concept and then goes on to discuss its role in marketing today. She presents possible biological origins of putting oneself in another's shoes by documenting past lab experiments on monkeys and human CT scans and discusses psychological experiments that reveal how compassionate people tend to be in different situations. She also writes about visiting classes in which new methods are being used to teach the quality to children. In addition, she writes about empathy in the justice system and prisons, and explains how an increased amount of this attribute can help people reform. Finally, Truth and Reconciliation Commissions are introduced. These groups are trying to use feeling for one another to heal victims of oppression, specifically Native Americans in Maine, and family members of victims of apartheid in South Africa. VERDICT A lively and well-researched look at how humans experience empathy, and why we should all have more of it.--Terry Lamperski, Carnegie Lib. of Pittsburgh, PA

        Copyright 2018 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from February 1, 2018
        It would be a mistake to assume there's nothing left to illuminate regarding the much-discussed topic of empathy, the defining phrase of the current American generation, according to Beam (To the End of June, 2013). Her exceptional intelligence, equally evident in her thinking and her writing, shines light on empathy from extraordinary angles. Unafraid to interrogate herself, Beam adopts both skeptical and supporting stances as she dives deep into empathy's historical roots and current iterations. In the Justice section of the book, Beam attends Human Trafficking Intervention Court, founded with the goal of shifting the lensfrom criminal to victimthrough which repeat offenders charged with prostitution are seen. Tens of thousands of American children are trafficked, and sending them to jail helps no one. Empathy is the worthy trigger for the shift. However, empathy fails when the helper's goal supersedes the actual person receiving empathy. Some who prostitute are not trafficked and do not want help leaving the trade. Empathy employed unwisely can resemble oppression. Beam opens with a section on understanding and closes with a challenging section on forgiveness. Her clear goal is to empower readers with the knowledge to enact the complicated and varied forms of empathy necessary to navigate modern times.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2018, American Library Association.)

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