Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength

Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney. Penguin Press, $27.95 (304p) ISBN 978-1-59420-307-7
Willpower, or self-control, is one of the keys to success, says Baumeister (director of Florida State University's social psychology program) and New York Times science writer Tierney. They review the latest research to report key findings on willpower: for instance, each of us has a finite supply of it and deplete it whenever we draw on it, whether at work or at home, but it can be developed and strengthened. Further, decision making in particular saps that supply, but it's possible to do willpower exercises to gain self-control over all sorts of bad behavior, from overeating to physical violence; willpower exercises have been shown to work with domestic abusers, for example. At several points throughout the book, and in a concluding chapter, the authors offer practical advice for increasing willpower, not much of which is new (for instance, setting realistic goals in dieting), but all of which bears repeating. Baumeister and Tierney have produced a very fine work—clear and succinct, based on solid research, and with good anecdotal material about magician/performance artist David Blaine, singer Eric Clapton, and writers Anthony Trollope and Raymond Chandler, among others. This should prove helpful for those who are trying to make and keep resolutions. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 06/13/2011
Release date: 09/01/2011
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Paperback - 384 pages - 978-89-6263-063-3
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-101-54089-3
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Compact Disc - 978-1-4423-4566-9
Hardcover - 291 pages - 978-1-84614-350-2
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Paperback - 291 pages - 978-0-14-312223-4
Paperback - 291 pages - 978-0-14-104948-9
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