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  • meganrichard

Denworth Releases Newest Work

Contributed by Megan Richard

This book offers a look into how friendship works and why humans and animals need it to thrive. It tells the truth even if you don’t want to hear it in an easily digestible read.

Book Synopsis

The phenomenon of friendship is universal and elemental. Friends, after all, are the family we choose. But what makes these bonds not just pleasant but essential, and how do they affect our bodies and our minds?

In Friendship, science journalist Lydia Denworth takes us in search of friendship’s biological, psychological, and evolutionary foundations. She finds friendship to be as old as early life on the African savannas―when tribes of people grew large enough for individuals to seek fulfillment of their social needs outside their immediate families.

Denworth sees this urge to connect reflected in primates, too, taking us to a monkey sanctuary in Puerto Rico and a baboon colony in Kenya to examine social bonds that offer insight into our own. She meets scientists at the frontiers of brain and genetics research and discovers that friendship is reflected in our brain waves, our genomes, and our cardiovascular and immune systems; its opposite, loneliness, can kill. At long last, social connection is recognized as critical to wellness and longevity.

With insight and warmth, Denworth weaves past and present, field biology and neuroscience, to show how our bodies and minds are designed for friendship across life stages, the processes by which healthy social bonds are developed and maintained, and how friendship is changing in the age of social media. Blending compelling science, storytelling, and a grand evolutionary perspective, Denworth delineates the essential role that cooperation and companionship play in creating human (and nonhuman) societies.

Friendship illuminates the vital aspects of friendship, both visible and invisible, and offers a refreshingly optimistic vision of human nature. It is a clarion call for putting positive relationships at the center of our lives.


A fascinating look at the power of friendship. Lydia Denworth has a remarkable way of bringing together research and personal stories about friendship. She takes you on a journey of discovery that is enlightening, but it is also a reminder that friendship is about more than hanging out - it’s about survival. - Amazon Reviewer It takes quite a bit of talent to weave a well-researched topic into a narrative that is welcoming and heartwarming. "Friendship" is the best of both worlds: detailed scientific investigation joined with real world examples that combine to tell a compelling story. - Amazon Reviewer Ms. Denworth handles the subject matter with just the right balance of personal anecdotes and scientific research. Pick up a copy -- and one for a friend. - Amazon Reviewer

Denworth handles this complicated, primal, and deeply personal topic with great care and strikes just the right balance between being playful and informative. Her ability to cull information from fascinating and groundbreaking studies in neuroscience and primatology to support her central thesis--that friendship is much deeper and much more important than many, if not most, of us recognize--is impressive and makes for a compelling read. - Goodreads Reviewer

About the Author

Lydia Denworth is the author of Friendship, I Can Hear You Whisper, and Toxic Truth, and a contributing editor for Scientific American and blogger for Psychology Today. Her work is supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and she lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Source: Amazon and Goodreads


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