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Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World Hardcover – April 21, 2020
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“I love both the message and the messenger of this brilliant book. Listen to what Vivek Murthy has to say about social connection—and then take his advice. It’s exactly what the doctor ordered.” -- Angela Duckworth, New York Times bestselling author of Grit
"Some books enlighten, but others stun. Together is a stunner. It made me rethink much of what I believe about physical health, public policy, and the human condition. By revealing America’s epidemic of loneliness—and then offering an array of remedies for the condition—Murthy has done a great service, and made Together the most important book you’ll read this year.” -- Daniel H. Pink, #1 New York Times bestselling author of When and Drive
“Profound, empathic, and ultra-savvy about the plight of disconnect and the power of human connection, this book is a balm and an inspiration. Together offers a convincing diagnosis of a public health epidemic of loneliness in our time, and is also a well-articulated etiology, prognosis, and treatment plan based on kindness and caring for each other.” -- Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of MBSR and author of Full Catastrophe Living and Meditation Is Not What You Think
“In Together, Vivek Murthy has put his finger on an important and under-recognized health hazard. By identifying loneliness as a key factor underpinning so many mental and physical illnesses, he opens the door to acceptance and offers much-needed solutions. We need Murthy’s book now more than ever.” -- David A. Kessler, MD, New York Times bestselling author of The End of Overeating, Capture, and Fast Carbs, Slow Carbs
“Sometimes the most obvious thing is the hardest to see. Thank goodness we have Dr. Vivek Murthy to light the way toward understanding loneliness and its dark corners. This book is a gift for us all.” -- Susan Cain, New York Times bestselling author of Quiet
“Vivek Murthy reminds us that our national conversation about medicine has been too narrowly focused on hospitals, doctors, and drugs—and not enough on the human connections that sustain us. Together stands with Atul Gawande’s classic Being Mortal.” -- Malcolm Gladwell, New York Times bestselling author of The Tipping Point, Outliers, and Talking to Strangers
“Together is an extraordinary and essential book for our time. With powerful stories and sobering truths, Dr. Murthy does a masterful job of showing how, even in the digital age, there’s no substitute for authentic human connection.” -- Ben Silbermann, Co-founder and CEO of Pinterest
About the Author
Dr. Vivek H. Murthy served as the 19th Surgeon General of the United States appointed by President Barack Obama. As the Vice Admiral of the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, he commanded a uniformed service of 6,600 public health officers globally. During his tenure, Dr. Murthy launched the TurnTheTide campaign, catalyzing a movement among health professionals to address the nation’s opioid crisis. He also issued the first Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, calling for expanded access to prevention and treatment and for recognizing addiction as a chronic illness, not a character flaw. An internal medicine physician and entrepreneur, Dr. Murthy has co-founded a number of organizations: VISIONS, an HIV/AIDS education program in India; Swasthya, a community health partnership in rural India training women as health providers and educators; software company TrialNetworks; and Doctors for America.
Dr. Murthy received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard and his M.D. and M.B.A. degrees from Yale. He completed his internal medicine residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and later joined Harvard Medical School as faculty in internal medicine. His research focused on vaccine development and later on the participation of women and minorities in clinical trials. Dr. Murthy resides in Washington, D.C. with his wife and two young children.
- Publisher : Harper Wave; 1st edition (April 21, 2020)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062913298
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062913296
- Item Weight : 1.12 pounds
- Dimensions : 6 x 1.13 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #16,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Murthy offers substantial support--both data-driven and anecdotally--for his assertions on the importance of community. Throughout the book he shares research on the health impact of isolation along with stories of people who struggled while alone or found ways to build their communities. Many of these stories are longer and more detailed than necessary, making the book seem less scientific than it is (I had to review the notes section to realize how much research Murthy gathered).
What frustrated me was the lack of discussion or explanation for his four take-aways: spend time with those you love, focus on each other, embrace solitude, and help and be helped. For any book like this I look for the practical take-aways, the ideas about what I or others can do differently to improve the area for myself and others. When I saw these points in the author's note I assumed he would explain them in more detail. Bizarrely, they're never mentioned again. It appears that Murthy wrote the entire manuscript and as it was going to print decided to add this note regard Covid-19 and steps to address loneliness. Without the author's note, there are no take-aways from the book; with it, there are vague ideas without research support or specifics. Perhaps for a second edition Murthy can show how he arrived at these four strategies and how we can put them to work for us.
So glad I did! Its timeliness is crazily prescient, especially during the coronavirus crisis when so many people are cooped up at home feeling disconnected from the rest of the world. Dr Murthy even has the generosity of spirit to add a last-minute "Author's Note" to the book literally minutes before its release, with 4 recommendations addressing the social strains we're experiencing:
1) Spend time each day with those you love -- at least 15 minutes.
2) Focus on each other and give one another undivided attention. No multitasking. Especially on Zoom.
3) Embrace solitude. Connecting with yourself is a prerequisite for connecting with others.
4) Help and be helped. Give and receive service to strengthen our social bonds.
This is a book that not only aspires to the best version of ourselves -- stronger, healthier, more connected, and more generous -- but also catalyzes the process of healing the rifts growing in our societies. Get a copy for yourself, and another one for every friend you'd like to connect with more meaningfully.
-- Ali Binazir, M.D., M.Phil., Happiness Engineer and author of The Tao of Dating: The Smart Woman's Guide to Being Absolutely Irresistible , the highest-rated dating book on Amazon, and Should I Go to Medical School?: An Irreverent Guide to the Pros and Cons of a Career in Medicine
I’m so grateful that this book was written and read by the author. It was soothing to me that he was able to share multiple stories of what people have gone through and how they were able to overcome their tough times.
I know this book will save many lives, especially during this time in history. If you are feeling down and life seems less perfect than it once was, I would highly recommend reading this. It may just change your life.
We are here to help one another. We are here to listen to one another. We are here to make the world a better place for our kids, who we ultimately will leave this world to carry the torch.
I am fortunate to have met Dr. Vivek Murthy multiple times and his genuine concern and heartfelt message resonates on every page.
This book is exactly what we all need. What we all need right now. A deep bow to a colleague that shares an oath that we all take as physicians to ease suffering and bring peace.
I strongly recommend this book for EVERYONE! We can all learn and benefit from Dr. Murthy's hard work and research into the healing power of human connection.