• Groupthink

  • A Study in Self Delusion
  • By: Christopher Booker
  • Narrated by: Ric Jerrom
  • Length: 10 hrs and 24 mins
  • 3.9 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In Groupthink, his final book, the late, eminent journalist and best-selling author Christopher Booker seeks to identify the hidden key to understanding much that is disturbing about the world today.

With reference to the ideas of a Yale professor who first identified the theory and to the writings of George Orwell from whose ‘newspeak’ the word was adapted, Booker sheds new light on the remarkable – and worrying – effects of ‘groupthink’ and its influence on our society. 

Booker defines the three rules of groupthink: the adoption of a common view or belief not based on objective reality; the establishment of a consensus of right-minded people, an ‘in group’; and the need to treat the views of anyone who questions the belief as wholly unacceptable. He shows how various interest groups, journalists and even governments in the 21st century have subscribed to this way of thinking, with deeply disturbing results. 

As Booker shows, such behaviour has led to a culture of fear, heralded by countless examples throughout history, from Revolutionary Russia to Napoleonic France and Hitler’s Germany. In the present moment it has caused countless errors in judgment and the division of society into highly polarised, oppositional factions. From the behaviour of the controversial Rhodes Must Fall movement to the sacking of James Damore of Google, society’s attitudes towards gender equality, the Iraq war and the ‘European Dream’, careers and lives have been lost as those in the ‘in-group’ police society with their new form of puritanism. 

As Booker argues, only by examining its underlying causes can we understand the sinister power of groupthink which permeates all aspects of our lives.

©2018 Christopher Booker (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about Groupthink

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Read the One Star Reviews for Groupthink

This book would be difficult, but very enlightening for those who view political correctness, climate change, feminism, transphilia or victim sanctity as sacred cows. For them, I'd recommend the original Janis book "Groupthink" from Yale publishing which will conform to your mental model of the world.

One half of the contempt and 2D out group derogation (oppressor bigot, science denier, transphobe, racist!) that is a key feature of our times is evident in the 1 star reviews. That contempt and dehumanization of the other is literally what this book is about. I would very much like to write a corollary book or essay for those people explaining the phenomena. It would be met with 1 star reviews and derogation of it's own. (globalist, soy boy, SJW!, Satanist, TDS, pedophile, etc.)

The concept of Groupthink is a critical concept for us to understand and this book is a classic but some will know automatically to reject it based on their ingroup affiliation with the 1 star reviews. Unfortunately, this may be the people who need it most.

I can't recommend this book enough to both sides, realizing it'll be impossible subject matter for a small minority who do not wish for this kind of scrutiny of their sacred values.

1 person found this helpful

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Devolves into right-wing belly-aching.

The preface and the introduction started off well giving cogent definitions of groupthink. However, the chapters center around liberal phenomena and railing against them. For instance, an example of groupthink would be the rapid advances in gay rights, and then two specific, detailed examples of how after the right to gay adoption was won, gay parents were guilt of child abuse or murder. So it's the type of disingenuous, politicized arguments for conservatism rather than a focus on analysis of groupthink in a more constructive way. If you are socially conservative or far right, this might appeal to you. But after the very beginning it's not particularly useful for the concept of groupthink--it's really more of a right-wing rant, unfortunately.

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Not what I expected

I was expecting a balanced discussion (study) of how group think permeates society. While I liked the examples I felt they were eventually biased towards Booker’s own opinion dissolving the study idea. Perhaps it was the narrator who certainly applied ample tone, inflection and pitch to make various points.

I liked the examples but felt something was missing. It wasn’t what it was expecting

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Facile journalistic fatuity

Yet another highly opinionated journalist in way over his in each of the areas he addresses. Superficial groupthink analyses applied with idiological biases.

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Disappointed

An extremely biased book, it would be an excellent example for several if not all informal fallacies.

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Right Wing Propaganda

This book is a hypocritical piece of garbage. Tries to spin group think ideas to push its own hateful agenda.

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  • Tommy
  • 04-23-20

Interesting and Insightful

Booker's incomplete final book is sadly not on a par with his best works owing to the terminal illness he suffered while painstakingly writing it, but 'Groupthiink' remains a useful introduction to one of Britain's finest and most insightful commentators of recent decades.

In its own right it serves as an interesting critique of modern political correctness and bien pensant sacred cows.

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  • Mr S
  • 05-20-20

Groupthink: the new Politically correct puritans

I voted for an independent UK.
Am in fear of political Islam.
Am witnessing the de nationalisation of the West by globalists.
This book explains how the masses can be controlled and cajoled.

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  • Miss K. Summers
  • 03-27-20

homophobic and transphobic. climate change denial

This book is very much based on bias of the author. it not a study on group think but more a study on one person trying to bend science and phycology to fit the authors native. it pretends to be a study on group think while not remaining nuterial on subjects. it a attack on left written by a dye in wool British right wing Tory from Eastbourne. nothing is balanced or thought out but mearly a thinly disguised long form right wing daily Telegraph article written by a person who used write for the right wing newspaper. the man so out of touch using the most extreme examples to strawman his case why if your not white British Christian male then your a victim of group think. total policial agenda no sense...

3 people found this helpful

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  • Julia Taylor
  • 12-27-21

Just brilliant

I knew nothing about this subject before I read this book..
Now, I completely understand it and what is going on around me.
Brilliant! Just brilliant!

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  • Andrew T. Dowling
  • 04-09-21

Old man moans

An old man strings together a range of right wing prejudices. As insightful as someone standing in a pub moaning about today's world.

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  • MR
  • 12-14-20

Poor by Booker standards

Really lacked any insight into the reasons for political correctness. Just a rehash of his old telegraph articles (e.g. global warming, the EU).

Real shame as this was Booker's final book and was rather moved he didn't finish it. Was annoyed with the conclusion (written by Dr. North) regarding the disagreement with Delingpole over Brexit. Although I like both journalists (and agree with Booker in this instance) I don't believe it should of included in the book.

Recommended his other books.

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  • Mena
  • 05-04-20

Okey boomer

This book presents itself as a thoughtful and balanced critique but ultimately ends up being an assortment of very bias views.

The book started with a few points that made me think wow this author is giving major boomer vibes and then I had to stop and return the book when they started to suggest that hate crimes don't exist.

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  • Michael Patterson
  • 08-02-21

Fine if you are a conservative

Booker’s critique of the Left is justified to a point, but he does not focus on just the Left’s follies. Instead he condemns all. He does take the same lens to the right.

His critiques of global warming etc will be deeply attractive to like-minded conservatives. In what might be thought paradoxical, Booker becomes the north pole of a peculiar form of groupthink - rendering the tone of this book rather silly.

There are times when Booker acknowledges groupthink manifests on the right and the left. But these times are brief, and he seems to assert the protected nature of the right’s groupthink as morally and intellectually superior. But the case is weak and unbalanced.

I was thankful I endured all but the last 2 hours, because as a leftist, I should face criticism - and some of it was absolutely justified. But Booker was manifestly unwilling to apply self-criticism to his own position. That failing renders the exercise of being aware of groupthink and its dangers pointless - if all it becomes is an exercise in conceit.

But like-minded readers will lap up this conceit, without critical awareness of their own engagement in groupthink.