Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World

Coming April 2020: Pre-order Today

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Book Description

Humans are social creatures: in this simple and obvious fact lies both the problem and the solution to the current crisis of loneliness. In his groundbreaking book, the 19th Surgeon General of the United States Dr. Vivek Murthy makes a case for loneliness as a public health concern: a root cause and contributor to many of the epidemics sweeping the world today from alcohol and drug addiction to violence to depression and anxiety. Loneliness, he argues, is affecting not only our health but also how our children experience school, how we perform in the workplace, and the sense of division and polarization in our society.

But, at the center of our loneliness is our innate desire to connect. We have evolved to participate in community, to forge lasting bonds with others, to help one another, and to share life experiences. We are, simply, better together.

 

And yet, in spite of our desire to connect, Dr. Murthy found loneliness in the stories of people everywhere and he wanted to know why. He traveled the country and abroad, meeting with doctors, scientists, children, parents, and community members, and looked to the latest science to better understand why people are feeling so disconnected. It's no surprise, that in our increasingly complex world, Murthy found equally complex forces contributing to loneliness.

 

While technology promises to connect us, it can also isolate; while mobility means our loved ones are only a train ride or flight away, we also move away from the communities where we grew up; while we increasingly have the opportunity to pursue our individual destinies, we can put our own goals ahead of our relationships and community; and despite all of the progress we have made in how we talk about mental health, we are still ashamed of feeling lonely. Dr. Murthy further contextualizes the subject with explorations of the social and evolutionary implications of our need to connect and what happens when we find ourselves untethered.

 

The good news is that with awareness of the causes of our loneliness, comes creative solutions to help ourselves and those we love to create more connected lives. Together offers inspiring and encouraging stories of individuals and communities who are making great strides in helping us to understand that we are not alone.

Told with great compassion and hope, Dr. Murthy makes a powerful and convincing argument for why we can and must build a more connected world.

Praise for "Together"

“One of our most loved surgeon generals, Murthy has a big heart and a big message. We have a massive, deadly epidemic hidden in plain sight: loneliness. It is as harmful to health as smoking and far more common. And as his gripping stories of the science and suffering makes clear, we can do something about it. Together is fascinating, moving, and essential reading.”

 

— Atul Gawande, author of BEING MORTAL

 "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

“Sometimes the most obvious thing is the hardest to see. Thank goodness we have Dr Vivek Murthy to light the way towards understanding loneliness and its dark comers. This book is a gift for us all.”

 

— Susan Cain, bestselling author of Quiet

“Profound, empathic, ultra-savvy about the plight of disconnect and the power of human connection in the digital age, Murthy has his finger precisely on the pulse of what ails us as a nation and as a world, and what we can, and really have to all do about it, each in our own way—together. This book is a balm and an inspiration just to read—offering not just a convincing diagnosis of a public health epidemic of loneliness in our time, but also a well-articulated etiology, prognosis, and treatment plan based on kindness and caring for each other, as well as uplifting examples of their widespread embodiment.”

 

— Jon Kabat-Zinn, Author of Full Catastrophe Living and Meditation is Not What You Think

"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, bestselling author of Grit

"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

"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, best-selling author of The Tipping Point, Blink, and Talking to Strangers