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LOST CONNECTIONS

UNCOVERING THE REAL CAUSES OF DEPRESSION – AND THE UNEXPECTED SOLUTIONS

In a sure-to-be-controversial book, Hari delivers a weighty, well-supported, persuasive argument against treating depression...

Mining the root causes of depression and anxiety.

Acclaimed British journalist Hari researched and wrote his bestselling debut, Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs (2015), while pushing aside work on a subject that was much too personal to accept and scrutinize at the time. This book, the culmination of a 40,000-mile odyssey and hundreds of hours of interviews with social scientists and depression sufferers (including those who’ve recovered), presents a theory that directly challenges long-held beliefs about depression’s causes and cures. The subject matter is exquisitely personal for the author, since he’d battled chronic melancholy since his teenage years and was prescribed the “chemical armor” of antidepressants well into his young adulthood. Though his dosage increased as the symptoms periodically resurfaced, he continued promoting his condition as a brain-induced malady with its time-tested cure being a strict regimen of pharmaceutical chemicals. Taking a different approach from the one he’d been following for most of his life, Hari introduces a new direction in the debate over the origins of depression, which he developed after deciding to cease all medication and become “chemically naked” at age 31. The author challenges classically held theories about depression and its remedies in chapters brought to life with interviews, personal observations, and field-professional summations. Perhaps most convincing is the author’s thorough explanation of what he believes are the proven causes of depression and anxiety, which include disconnection from work, society, values, nature, and a secure future. These factors, humanized with anecdotes, personal history, and social science, directly contradict the chemical-imbalance hypothesis hard-wired into the contemporary medical community. Hari also chronicles his experiences with reconnective solutions, journeys that took him from a Berlin housing project to an Amish village to rediscover what he deems as the immense (natural) antidepressive benefits of meaningful work, social interaction, and selflessness.

In a sure-to-be-controversial book, Hari delivers a weighty, well-supported, persuasive argument against treating depression pharmaceutically.

Pub Date: Jan. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-63286-830-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Oct. 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2017

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NIGHT

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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INTO THE WILD

A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor...

The excruciating story of a young man on a quest for knowledge and experience, a search that eventually cooked his goose, told with the flair of a seasoned investigative reporter by Outside magazine contributing editor Krakauer (Eiger Dreams, 1990). 

Chris McCandless loved the road, the unadorned life, the Tolstoyan call to asceticism. After graduating college, he took off on another of his long destinationless journeys, this time cutting all contact with his family and changing his name to Alex Supertramp. He was a gent of strong opinions, and he shared them with those he met: "You must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life''; "be nomadic.'' Ultimately, in 1992, his terms got him into mortal trouble when he ran up against something—the Alaskan wild—that didn't give a hoot about Supertramp's worldview; his decomposed corpse was found 16 weeks after he entered the bush. Many people felt McCandless was just a hubris-laden jerk with a death wish (he had discarded his map before going into the wild and brought no food but a bag of rice). Krakauer thought not. Admitting an interest that bordered on obsession, he dug deep into McCandless's life. He found a willful, reckless, moody boyhood; an ugly little secret that sundered the relationship between father and son; a moral absolutism that agitated the young man's soul and drove him to extremes; but he was no more a nutcase than other pilgrims. Writing in supple, electric prose, Krakauer tries to make sense of McCandless (while scrupulously avoiding off-the-rack psychoanalysis): his risky behavior and the rites associated with it, his asceticism, his love of wide open spaces, the flights of his soul.

A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor will it to readers of Krakauer's narrative. (4 maps) (First printing of 35,000; author tour)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-679-42850-X

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Villard

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1995

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