“The idea that nearly all human individual and cultural activity is a response to death sounds far-fetched. But the evidence the authors present is compelling and does a great deal to address many otherwise intractable mysteries of human behaviour. This is an important, superbly readable and potentially life-changing book. . . . The lesson contained within The Worm at the Core suggests one should confront mortality in order to live an authentic life, as the Epicureans and the Stoics suggested many centuries ago.”—The Guardian (U.K.)
“A neat fusion of ideas borrowed from sociology, anthropology, existential philosophy and psychoanalysis . . . [The] sweep-it-under-the-carpet approach to death is facile and muddle-headed. More than that, it has consequences more far-reaching than we could possibly imagine because, as [the authors] see it, death informs practically every aspect of human existence. From the way we organise our societies to the moral codes we live by, even down to how we have sex and what rituals and emotions we ascribe to it, death is the bedrock.”—The Herald (U.K.)
“Deep, important, and beautifully written, The Worm at the Core describes a brilliant and utterly original program of scientific research on a force so powerful that it drives our lives, but so frightening that we cannot think clearly about it. This book asks us to, compels us to, and then shows us how—by shining the light of reason on the heart of human darkness.”—Daniel Gilbert, Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of Stumbling on Happiness
“As psychology becomes increasingly trivial, devolving into the promotion of positive-thinking platitudes, The Worm at the Core bucks the trend. The authors present—and provide robust evidence for—a psychological thesis with disturbing personal as well as political implications. This is an important book.”—John Horgan, author of The End of War and director of the Center for Science Writings, Stevens Institute of Technology
“This is a wonderfully (terrifyingly) broad and deep study of most everything we know or have thought about death. It carries Ernest Becker’s work a long way further down the road.”—Sam Keen, author of Faces of the Enemy
From the Hardcover edition.