The author of the best-selling An Unquiet Mind and an internationally renowned authority on mood disorders now gives us something wonderfully different: an exploration of exuberance and how it fuels our most important creative and scientific achievements.

John Muir’s lifelong passion to save America’s wild places, Wilson Bentley’s legendary obsession to record for posterity the beauty of individual snowflakes, the boundless scientific curiosity behind Watson and Crick’s discovery of DNA, sea lions that surf and porcupines that dance—Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison shows how these and many more examples, both human and animal, define the nature of exuberance and how this quality relates to intellectual searching, risk-taking, creativity, and survival itself. She examines the hereditary predisposition to exu- berance, the role of the brain chemical dopamine, the connection between positive moods and psychological resilience, and the differences between exuberance and mania. She delves into the phenomena of exuberance ----the contagiousness of laughter, the giddiness of new love, the intoxicating effects of music and of religious ecstasy while also addressing the dangerous desire to simulate exuberance by using drugs or alcohol. In a fascinating and intimate coda to the rest of the book, renowned scientists, writers, and politicians share their thoughts on the forms and role of exuberance in their own lives.

Original, inspiring, authoritative, Exuberance brims with tile very energy and passion that it celebrates.



The following “snapshots” (or in today’s jargon, “sound bits” )from the book are reproduced as I read them while seated at my computer and as such are merely my new form of underlining. (Saves me considerable time, releases my mind so that there is more enjoyment in reading the book: and finally maintains a nice clean book when I pass it on to someone I care about and feel should read it . (That way I can ask their opinion later, and get a different one from what underlining would have let them know about the items that were of interest to me.)

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