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Publisher's Summary

A sweeping exploration of the ways in which emotions shaped the course of human history, and how our experience and understanding of emotions have evolved along with us.

We humans like to think of ourselves as rational creatures, who, as a species, have relied on calculation and intellect to survive. But many of the most important moments in our history had little to do with cold, hard facts and a lot to do with feelings. Events ranging from the origins of philosophy to the birth of the world’s major religions, the fall of Rome, the Scientific Revolution, and some of the bloodiest wars that humanity has ever experienced can’t be properly understood without understanding emotions.

 In A Human History of Emotion, Richard Firth-Godbehere takes listeners on a fascinating and wide ranging tour of the central and often under-appreciated role emotions have played in human societies around the world and throughout history — from Ancient Greece to Gambia, Japan, the Ottoman Empire, the United States, and beyond.

Drawing on psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, art, and religious history, A Human History of Emotion vividly illustrates how our understanding and experience of emotions has changed over time, and how our beliefs about feelings — and our feelings themselves — profoundly shaped us and the world we inhabit.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2021 Richard Firth-Godbehere (P)2021 Little, Brown & Company

Critic Reviews

"An educative foray...Insightful…Plenty of scholars seem to have read everything on their chosen subjects, but it’s rare to find one who can convert this massive database into lucid, captivating prose. Paul Johnson and Yuval Noah Harari do it; Firth-Godbehere is another." (Kirkus, starred review)

"A fascinating look at the profound ways in which the harnessing of human emotions has shaped world-wide history and culture. Eye-opening and thought-provoking!” (Gina Rippon, author of The Gendered Brain)

“A well-written, fact-filled global tour. Readers interested in a history of emotional responses will find this a good place to start.” (Publishers Weekly)

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History without emotion is no history at all

Firth Godbehere writes an accessible history of how emotion has shaped historical events around the world. I found it both informative and entertaining. I love that the author is the narrator.

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Amazing.

Dr. Godbehere has a writing (and speaking) style that engages you immediately. Once hooked, you’re on an adventure through history with emotions as your guiding light.

I was impressed with how differently I see our current views of emotion after hearing the topics presented in this book the way they were presented.

I recommend this book to everyone.