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The Empathy Diaries by Sherry Turkle

The Empathy Diaries

Best Seller
The Empathy Diaries by Sherry Turkle
Hardcover $28.00
Mar 02, 2021 | ISBN 9780525560098

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  • Mar 02, 2021 | ISBN 9780525560098

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Praise

“In this beautiful, compulsively readable memoir, Sherry Turkle,  who has asked why we expect ‘more from technology and less from each other,’ excavates the eras of her continually surprising 20th century life. In her hands, empathy is the instrument of knowledge, illuminating the uses and pleasures of crucial human values now under threat. This is the story not only of a woman but of her humane and exhilarating mind.” —Honor Moore, poet and memoirist, author of Our Revolution, a Mother and Daughter at Midcentury

“Sherry’s life story is that of a woman who made her own way—both in the academic world and in the larger cultural conversation—by following her passions without fear and with tremendous integrity. In so doing, she has helped us all understand a vital aspect of our lives with much greater clarity. The Empathy Diaries is a case study in courage and where it can take us.”
Arianna Huffington, founder and CEO of Thrive Global
 
 “Sherry Turkle’s memoir is a page-turner, and I was so drawn in by its vivid narrative and exquisitely drawn characters that it took me a while to realize that this is also a brilliantly original book about empathy. Her searing encounters with a stark lack of empathy in two of the most important men in her life—her scientifically driven father and brilliant first husband—led her to the discovery that empathy is not simply an interesting research topic or ‘feminine’ virtue but, as it became for her, a ‘strategy for survival.’ The Empathy Diaries is a magnificent capstone to Sherry Turkle’s studies of the human costs of our romance with technology. Drawing on firsthand experience, she shows us how empathy is a lifesaving necessity in human relations and, potentially, a key to our survival as a species.” —Carol Gilligan, author of In a Different Voice and most recently, Why Does Patriarchy Persist?

“In this brilliantly integrated memoir, Sherry Turkle traces her metamorphosis from the gifted child of a disturbed man to the preeminent ethnographer of digital culture. One part intellectual history, one part daddy dearest, one part portrait of the critic as a young woman, this is a one-of-a-kind page-turner. Bravo!” —Gish Jen, author of The Resisters
 
“I’ve long marveled at the remarkable and inspiring career of Sherry Turkle. Her path, so courageously interdisciplinary, has been strewn with dazzling insights. And now, in just the kind of brave and brilliant memoir one would expect from her, she gives us her personal story, explaining how, in a mind like hers, the deeply personal is transformed into ideas that can be shared by us all.” —Rebecca Goldstein, MacArthur Prize Fellow; National Humanities Medalist; author of Plato at the Googleplex
 
“This is a scintillating memoir. Turkle acts at once as storyteller, ethnographer, and psychologist of her own life—one stretching from a straitened Brooklyn Jewish girlhood shadowed by an unspeakable secret to a womanhood of academic accomplishment amidst the excitements of Radcliffe, Harvard, Chicago, Paris in the years after the upheaval of ’68 and MIT just as our computer world is born. Along the way she gives us a vivid account of ideas crucial to the last half-century of intellectual life, tracing their inner history with bracing clarity.” —Lisa Appignanesi, author of Everyday Madness: On Grief, Anger, Loss and Love and Mad, Bad, and Sad: Women and the Mind Doctors
 
“By respecting her own emotional, social, and intellectual history with careful—even loving—attention, Sherry Turkle shows what rescue from the crisis of technological disconnect looks like. Intimate, compassionate, and critical, her book instructs, edifies, and heals. A paradigmatic personal narrative, yet The Empathy Diaries is a tour de force of social science, saluting and protecting the precious intangibility that no machine can match—the quality that makes us human.” —James Carroll, author of The Truth at the Heart of the Lie
 
“Like a Harvard educated Nancy Drew, Sherry Turkle searches her past for clues to her true self and hits the mother lode in this fascinating, fearless memoir. Her struggle with the legacy of long-held family secrets as she forges her own unique path to authenticity and forgiveness is a story countless women will identify with. Reading The Empathy Diaries, I felt my mind—and my heart—expanding. Sherry Turkle is not only a great writer and teacher—she’s great company.” —Winnie Holzman, cowriter of the hit musical Wicked; creator of the television series My So-Called Life
 
“‘Use concrete events to think about large ideas. Use large ideas to think about concrete events.’ Sherry Turkle follows the advice of her professor, Samuel Beer, and The Empathy Diaries is the compelling result. The stages of Turkle’s narrative unfold so gracefully, in prose of such candor and clarity, that it’s easy to overlook how many tasks this memoir performs. The Empathy Diaries is about a childhood and a coming of age. It’s about a courtship and marriage. It’s also about the progress of Turkle’s engagement in the dynamic and overlapping fields in which this professor of social sciences, science, and technology is a crucial, authoritative, and, yes, empathetic voice. In every way, this is a book about an education. Fans of Turkle’s earlier work will certainly want to read The Empathy Diaries; but so too should everyone struggling in the cyber maze in which we find ourselves. A remarkable book.”
Rachel Hadas, PhD, Board of Governors Professor of English, Rutgers University–Newark
 
“I read it with delight. An honest, insightful, compelling, and sometimes painful account of the intellectual and emotional forces that shaped Turkle into a pioneer in the study of digital culture and how computers change the way we think about ourselves. Turkle’s is not only a personal story, but also a story of our digital age.” —Alan Lightman, Professor of the Practice of the Humanities, MIT; author of Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine

“Sherry Turkle has been daring and original for a long time—bearing witness to the emergence of artificial intelligence but also writing forcefully, while surrounded by true believers at MIT, about its limitations. In The Empathy Diaries, she dares even further by investigating a tightly held family secret, affirming in the process the wisdom of the human heart. The Empathy Diaries tells a fascinating story—one that manages to be profound and entertaining at the same time.” —Susan Quinn, author of Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair That Shaped a First Lady
 
“Over the decades, Sherry Turkle has provided the most penetrating analyses of the relations between the human and the computational worlds. In a remarkably revealing memoir, Turkle explores the personal as well as scholarly sources of her understandings and, in the process, provides a brilliant panorama of our time.” —Howard Gardner, author of A Synthesizing Mind
 

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