- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd (April 30, 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141988517
- ISBN-13: 978-0141988511
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 358 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos Paperback – 30 April 2019
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Peterson has become a kind of secular prophet who, in an era of lobotomised conformism, thinks out of the box ... His message is overwhelmingly vital -- Melanie Philips * The Times * 12 Rules for Life hits home - from identifying the deeply engrained hierarchical ladder that motivates our decision making to asking indispensable and sometimes politically unpopular questions about your life and suggesting ways to better it -- Howard Bloom, author of 'The Lucifer Principle' Jordan Peterson is a Canadian psychologist whose seemingly overnight ascent to cultural rockstar comes after years of deep scholarship in many disciplines * Psychology Today * A rock-star academic, a cool, cowboy-boot-wearing public thinker who directs tough love at overprotected youth ... Peterson twirls ideas around like a magician -- Melanie Reid * The Times * Someone with not only humanity and humour, but serious depth and substance ... Peterson has a truly cosmopolitan and omnivorous intellect... There is a burning sincerity to the man * Spectator * The most important and influential Canadian thinker since Marshall McLuhan. His bold synthesis of psychology, anthropology, science, politics and comparative religion is forming a genuinely humanistic university of the future -- Camille Paglia Like the best intellectual polymaths, Peterson invites his readers to embark on their own intellectual, spiritual and ideological journeys... You have nothing to lose but your own misery * Toronto Star * A wonderful psychologist -- Malcolm Gladwell The most sought-after psychologist in the world * Psychology Today * Profound, charismatic and serious... One of the most important thinkers to emerge on the world stage for many years -- Tim Lott * Spectator * One of the most eclectic and stimulating public intellectuals at large today, fearless and impassioned -- Matthew d'Ancona * Guardian * Fascinating ... Peterson is brilliant on many subjects -- Bryan Appleyard * Sunday Times * It is that rare thing: self-help that might actually be helpful * New Statesman * Anyone who is in a position of leadership would find it very insightful ... Jordan Peterson is a profound writer -- Gina Miller Charismatic and exceptionally articulate.... Peterson is a new kind of public intellectual, using YouTube to spread ideas infinitely wider than predecessors such as Bertrand Russell or Isaiah Berlin -- Amol Rajan * New Statesman * In a different intellectual league... Peterson can take the most difficult ideas and make them entertaining. This may be why his YouTube videos have had 35m views. He is fast becoming the closest that academia has to a rock star * Observer * Everyone must read 12 Rules For Life... The most enlightening book I have read in ages. Google him if you like, if it makes you feel better. It will, by the way. But get the book, that is the most important thing. And then read it. And then pass it on to a friend -- Chris Evans The most influential public intellectual in the Western world right now * New York Times * Genuinely extraordinary... Unmatched by any other modern thinker ... A prophet for our times -- Dominic Sandbrook * Daily Mail *
About the Author
Jordan B. Peterson is a Professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. Raised in the frigid wastelands of Northern Alberta, he has flown a hammer-head roll in a carbon-fiber stunt-plane, and built a Kwagu'l ceremonial bighouse on the upper floor of his Toronto home after being invited into and named by that Canadian First Nation. He's taught mythology to lawyers, doctors and business people, consulted for the UN Secretary General, helped his clinical clients manage depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety, and lectured extensively in North America and Europe. With his students and colleagues, Dr. Peterson has published over a hundred scientific papers, and his book Maps of Meaning revolutionized the psychology of religion. Formerly a professor at Harvard University, he was nominated for its prestigious Levenson Teaching Prize.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Curious about the title, I purchased on impulse.
I am very glad I did.
I am not Jordan Peterson's "supposed" target audience. (I used supposed because I don't think he actually claims to have one).
I am a liberal, Asian, left leaning moderate with a background in philosophy, theology and film studies. I support the women's right movement, equal pay, and I find the Republican party of today rather distasteful for the anti-science movement they espouse.
That being said, this book spoke to me. It is not an easy read. I had to re-read chapters slowly to fully condense my thoughts. I agree with the critical review that stated you have to be intellectually equipped to really get the most out of this. I had to utilize my background in philosophy and religion to go beyond the surface of what the author was trying to say. This is not a book you can listen to at 2x speed on Audible and hope to retain anything, imo. You need to digest this.
That being said...
Peterson's deft weaving of theology, mythology, and just overall cogent arguments and viewpoints made me really respect and open up my mind to things I never fully thought about. I find it laughable that a Harvard professor/psychologist has been embraced by the "alt-right" when even a moderately close reading of this text repudiates all that they stand for.
Peterson is direct. He has opinions. I don't always agree with them. But he is genuinely expressing himself, and the belief that we should all try to be better. We should all try to be more compassionate, and most of all, we all should try to understand our humanity a little more each and every there.
There's no division in this book; there's just deep anguish at the current state of humanity and its capacity for evil. There's some exasperation at the way things are currently constructed in society that is in many ways lost. And most of all, there's compassion and a belief that if we all got together in a room and truly talked, the world would be a better place.
I would shy away from the noise around Peterson in the headlines, on Youtube, and in how the idealogues use him (or even his own personal media narrative) to justify their twisted beliefs. Don't let the fact that the "Alt-Right" has co-opted this man to make him a mascot.
Just read the book independently and make your own judgments. You'll be glad you did.
This book had so many excellent reviews.
I just don’t understand.
I was following nicely about lobsters and posture. It made sense.
I ignored the tone, which was borderline yelling.
I ignored the sweeping generalizations.
I ignored the biblical passages that started to overtake every paragraph in a quasi word-salad way. I’ve studied the Bible since I could read. I know when something is off.
I can only compare this book to a very long sermon, where I’m trying to follow along, and derive some wisdom. As the hours wear on, everyone is shaking their heads in agreement and I just want to go home.
All I could hear were illogical statements that left zero room for elasticity and nuance. I am a human being. We all are. The author seems to set that aside and preach on...and on...and on.
I felt alienated, confused and finally could take no more. I got up and left the church that this book pretends not to be.
I could not have disliked this self-help book more.
12 Rules for Life is an interesting book. Equal parts philosophy, psychology, and self-help book, it covers a broad range of topics, with Peterson drawing from life experiences, religion, and history to build a strong case for his points and provide what seems on its surface to be very good advice for people.
This is where Peterson's background as a clinical psychologist comes in handy. 12 Rules for Life is billed as an "antidote to chaos", and that is what its primary focus is. It's not great at helping you be more successful if you're disciplined and self-reliant already. As someone who always struggled with grasping the world, however, I found it very helpful.
Since I started reading this book, I lost 12 pounds, went from writing five hundred words a day to three thousand words a day, started waking up earlier in the morning consistently, and have been much happier.
Some of that is attributable to the fact that I was already willing to make changes, and many of the things I was doing were obviously bad ideas.
But there is something to be said for the lessons Peterson teaches. They are complicated, sometimes a little indirect, and mired in allegory. This makes them more valuable, if anything. Peterson doesn't use a magic formula, he uses principles of right action. This book provides general ideas and positions that can serve as a great tool to understanding how people think and why things go wrong.
Not everyone will agree with it. There is a chapter in the book where Peterson reflects on the fact that he has opportunities with clients where he could tell them one thing or another and their minds would make it to be total truth either way.
Perhaps that is what Peterson has done here: perhaps most systems like this are sufficient to improve lives if brought diligently into practice.
Or perhaps there is something to Peterson's words. His indictment of meaninglessness and his calls to purpose echo soundly throughout the book. There have been those who say that Peterson's calls for people to get themselves organized and his oft-mystical language is a cover for something sinister.
But I don't think they've ever really listened to him.
Approaching Peterson a skeptic, I was not sure that reading a book would have the power to change anything in my life. The first few chapters were met with nods, hesitancy, and the concession of points that sounded good. I wasn't hostile to him, and I found many of his points quite clever.
But when Peterson delved deeper into the archetypes and depth psychology I became suspicious. I had a moderate distrust of the Jungian method; I use it to teach literature, but I did not believe in using archetypes to assess personality.
Peterson's point is that we are all part of something great and interconnected. Because it is so massive, we need to be working to make sense of it. It won't happen automatically, and if we go for an easy explanation we may find ourselves walking dark, treacherous paths of misanthropy and rejection.
We are complicated pieces in an even more complicated puzzle. Peterson's approach is one of self improvement. When we take steps to sort ourselves out, we also need to enter a symbiotic process of bringing order to our world.
The purpose of this is not to achieve some sort of superiority. It is to achieve survival. The world will change, and we will be forced to adapt.
Peterson states that "life is tragic." His point is that people need to be ready to deal with adversity. Anyone can handle good times, because that's what we are able to rest and relax during. The true test of a person comes when they lose a loved one or a job or their health. They need to make a decision: what will they do in response.
Peterson uses haunting examples to illustrate what happens when this goes wrong. Using everything from Dostoevsky to the Soviet Union (and countless other insights from modern and historical figures), he creates case studies of what happens when things go wrong and people turn to dysfunction rather than improving their situation.
His 12 Rules serve as a guide on how to go from that point of failure to a point of redemption, offering a series of suggestions and guidelines to take a life that is becoming corrupted by hatred of the world and everything in it and turn it into a vessel for growth and self-improvement.
Is it a perfect guide to living life? No.
Is it helpful? Does it give insight to great truths? Yes.