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Strangers

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Hardback
Published: July 2020
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Author: Joe Keohane
Category: /
BIC Subject: Popular science
Published By: Penguin
 
Published: 02-Jul-2020
Format: Hardback, 288 pages, 0x0mm
ISBN: 9780241399132
Stock Code: 1399132
Product Description
 
Why don't we talk to strangers?
Has it always been this way?
And what benefits come when we do talk to strangers?

For the Greeks, proper treatment of strangers was a primary virtue, xenos; and throughout the history of civilisation, the treatment of strangers has impacted the fate of whole cultures. But today we may still be surprised when someone we don't know is neither fool nor murderer.

In Strangers, Joe Keohane speaks to experts (historians, scientists, philosophers) and those who may be supremely skilled at talking to strangers (doctors, politicians, mental-health professionals) to uncover the surprising social and psychological benefits that come from mastering this social taboo. Research on commuters who were asked to talk to strangers on public transport, for example, showed that it is not only more pleasant than we think, but on the whole, welcomed too.

This deeply-researched and accessible unified theory of the life of humans will make you reconsider how you perceive and approach strangers- even passing interactions can enhance empathy and happiness, and ease the isolation that is increasing today. Paradoxically, strangers can help us become more fully ourselves.Why don't we talk to strangers?
Has it always been this way?
And what benefits come when we do talk to strangers?

For the Greeks, proper treatment of strangers was a primary virtue, xenos; and throughout the history of civilisation, the treatment of strangers has impacted the fate of whole cultures. But today we may still be surprised when someone we don't know is neither fool nor murderer.

In Strangers, Joe Keohane speaks to experts (historians, scientists, philosophers) and those who may be supremely skilled at talking to strangers (doctors, politicians, mental-health professionals) to uncover the surprising social and psychological benefits that come from mastering this social taboo. Research on commuters who were asked to talk to strangers on public transport, for example, showed that it is not only more pleasant than we think, but on the whole, welcomed too.

This deeply-researched and accessible unified theory of the life of humans will make you reconsider how you perceive and approach strangers- even passing interactions can enhance empathy and happiness, and ease the isolation that is increasing today. Paradoxically, strangers can help us become more fully ourselves.
Joe Keohane first saw interaction with strangers as the son of a funeral director. He has since practised talking with strangers as a journalist who has written and edited many types of stories for publications including Esquire, New York magazine, Wired, the Boston Globe and New Republic. He has also been the executive editor of Entrepreneur magazine. This is his first trade book.