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With the same grace and breadth of learning she brought to her studies of the mind’s pathologies, Kay Redfield Jamison examines one of its most exalted states: exuberance. This “abounding, ebullient, effervescent emotion” manifests itself everywhere from child’s play to scientific breakthrough and is crucially important to learning, risk-taking, social cohesiveness, and survival itself.
Exuberance: The Passion For Life introduces us to such notably irrepressible types as Teddy Roosevelt, John Muir, and Richard Feynman, as well as Peter Pan, dancing porcupines, and Charles Schulz’s Snoopy. It explores whether exuberance can be inherited, parses its neurochemical grammar, and documents the methods people have used to stimulate it. The resulting book is an irresistible fusion of science and soul.
“[Jamison is] that rare writer who can offer a kind of unified field theory of science and art. . . . The origins and mystery of creativity have long been her holy grail, and she argues--with her usual wit, ingenuity and panache--that exuberance is one of its wellsprings.”
-- The Washington Post Book World