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Anthony Seldon's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Anthony Seldon recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Anthony Seldon's favorite book recommendations of all time.

There is a paradox at the heart of our lives. We all want more money, but as societies become richer, they do not become happier. This is not speculation: It's the story told by countless pieces of scientific research. We now have sophisticated ways of measuring how happy people are, and all the evidence shows that on average people have grown no happier in the last fifty years, even as average incomes have more than doubled.The central question the great economist Richard Layard asks in Happiness is this: If we really wanted to be happier, what would we do differently? First we'd have... more
Recommended by Anthony Seldon, Jessica Pryce-Jones, and 2 others.

Anthony SeldonHe makes it very clear in this book that more trusting people are happier people. (Source)

Jessica Pryce-JonesHe strongly makes the case that standard economic policy doesn’t really take into account feelings. (Source)

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A Question of Trust

Can trust be restored by making people and institutions more accountable? Or do complex systems of accountability and control damage trust? Onora O'Neill challenges current approaches, investigates sources of deception in our society and re-examines questions of press freedom. This year's Reith Lectures present a philosopher's view of trust and deception and ask whether and how trust can be restored in modern democracy. less
Recommended by Anthony Seldon, and 1 others.

Anthony SeldonO’Neill is an atheist, I think, and she is very Kantian, and she’s a hero because she raised the whole question of trust in a very public way in the Reith lectures in 2002, the year after 9/11. And she posed questions of such fundamental central importance that haven’t been answered seven years later, and it’s because they haven’t been answered that we have then had the credit crunch, we’ve had... (Source)

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The Case for God

Moving from the Paleolithic age to the present, Karen Armstrong details the great lengths to which humankind has gone in order to experience a sacred reality that it called by many names, such as God, Brahman, Nirvana, Allah, or Dao. Focusing especially on Christianity but including Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Chinese spiritualities, Armstrong examines the diminished impulse toward religion in our own time, when a significant number of people either want nothing to do with God or question the efficacy of faith. Why has God become unbelievable? Why is it that atheists and theists... more
Recommended by Anthony Seldon, and 1 others.

Anthony Seldonut what is God other than a state of total unknowing? One can’t know God with one’s mind. She quotes George Steiner saying one cannot begin to understand intellectually the impact that music has on oneself. And so with experiences of God: it means absolutely nothing at all, it is of absolutely of no consequence, that Richard Dawkins and the whole crew dismiss God. Because God is not an... (Source)

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“There is no way to peace, peace is the way.”

This statement has never been more true. Now, Deepak Chopra expands on A. J. Muste’s insight, teaching us how to expand awareness, stop reacting out of fear, and reject war—one person at a time. As Dr. Chopra says, “Violence may be innate in human nature, but so is its opposite: love. The next stage of humanity, the leap we are poised to take, will be guided by the force of that love.”
Recommended by Anthony Seldon, and 1 others.

Anthony SeldonHe is saying that we have to trust each other internationally: if you beat a country at war or if you humiliate them as Germany was after the First World War, they will come back at you. If you humiliate any population you will not engender peace, you will engender a resentment that will flare back at you. The only way to have enduring peace is to have the greatest sense of respect for each... (Source)

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Iris Murdoch once observed: 'philosophy is often a matter of finding occasions on which to say the obvious'. What was obvious to Murdoch, and to all those who read her work, is that Good transcends everything - even God. Throughout her distinguished and prolific writing career, she explored questions of Good and Bad, myth and morality. The framework for Murdoch's questions - and her own conclusions - can be found here. less
Recommended by Anthony Seldon, and 1 others.

Anthony SeldonThe book appeals to me because it is fundamentally about trust, because it says that the presiding fact about the universe is goodness. She is making the case that, whereas there are many reasons not to trust people, we should have an active sense of whether we can trust people or not. We should not have a blind trust, but if we have a presumption of mistrust we will find two things: we will make... (Source)

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