Strangers Drowning: Summary Review

This is a summary review of Strangers Drowning containing key details about the book.

What is Strangers Drowning About?

"Strangers Drowning: Grappling with Impossible Idealism, Drastic Choices, and the Overpowering Urge to Help" by Larissa MacFarquhar is a book that explores the lives of individuals who are driven to help others in extraordinary ways.

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In Strangers Drowning, the author seeks out people living lives of extreme ethical commitment, and tells their intimate stories: their stubborn integrity and their compromises; their bravery and their recklessness; their wrenching dilemmas. This book confronts us with fundamental questions about what it means to be human. In a world of strangers drowning in need, how much should we help, and how much can we help? Is it right to care for strangers even at the expense of those we are closest to? Moving and provocative, Strangers Drowning challenges us to think about what we value most, and why.

Summary Points & Takeaways from Strangers Drowning

Some key summary points and takeaways from the book include:

* The importance of moral dilemmas: The author examines the moral dilemmas faced by individuals who strive to help others in ways that are considered extraordinary or even impossible, and argues that these dilemmas can be a source of moral growth and development.

* The power of altruism: The author explores the concept of altruism and argues that individuals who are motivated to help others are driven by a deep sense of compassion and a desire to make a positive impact in the world.

* The role of sacrifice: The author argues that individuals who strive to help others often face difficult sacrifices, such as giving up personal comfort or financial security, in order to make a difference in the lives of others.

* The importance of perspective: The author encourages people to broaden their perspectives and to consider the lives and experiences of others, in order to develop a more compassionate and empathetic view of the world.

* The power of moral courage: The author argues that individuals who strive to help others in extraordinary ways often require a great deal of moral courage, as they may face opposition and criticism from those who do not understand their motivations.

* The importance of self-reflection: The author encourages individuals to reflect on their own motivations and to consider the reasons why they are driven to help others, in order to gain a deeper understanding of their own moral values and beliefs.

* Overall, "Strangers Drowning" is a thought-provoking and insightful book that explores the lives of individuals who are driven to help others in extraordinary ways. The author provides a unique perspective on altruism, sacrifice, perspective, moral courage, and self-reflection, and argues that these concepts are essential for individuals who want to make a positive impact in the world.

Who is the author of Strangers Drowning?

Larissa MacFarquhar is an American writer known for her profiles in The New Yorker. She is the daughter of the sinologist Roderick MacFarquhar. She was born in London and moved to the United States at the age of 16.

Book details

  • Print length: 336 pages
  • Genre: Nonfiction, Philosophy, Psychology

What are the chapters in Strangers Drowning?

Chapter 1 For Do-Gooders, it is Always Wartime
Chapter 2 The Bodies of Strangers
Chapter 3 The Most Oppressed of All
Chapter 4 Duty! Thou Sublime and Mighty Name that Dost Embrace Nothing Charming or Insinuating, But Requires!
Chapter 5 At Once Rational and Ardent
Chapter 6 An Accidental Capability Produced, in its Boundless Stupidity, By a Biological Process that is Normally Opposed to the Expression of Such a Capability The Undermining of Do-Gooders, Part One
Chapter 7 The Humiliation of Strangers
Chapter 8 The Legacy of Drunks The Undermining of Do-Gooders, Part Two
Chapter 9 One of those God Things
Chapter 10 Please Reply to Me as Soon as Possible
Chapter 11 The Children of Strangers
Chapter 12 The Aspidistra is the Tree of Life The Undermining of Do-Gooders, Part Three
Chapter 13 From The Point of View of the Universe
Chapter 14 Something Quite Different From Life

What is a good quote from Strangers Drowning?

Top Quote: “To judge is to believe that a person is capable of doing better. It's to know that people can change their behavior, even quite radically in response to what is expected of them.” (Meaning) - Strangers Drowning Quotes, Larissa MacFarquhar

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What do critics say?

Here's what one of the prominent reviewers had to say about the book: “Fascinating…The keys to the book’s success are MacFarquhar’s exhaustive journalistic approach and her clear, concise writing…Strangers Drowning is a brilliant jumping-off point to explore where each of us stands morally.” — Chicago Tribune

* The editor of this summary review made every effort to maintain information accuracy, including any published quotes, chapters, or takeaways. If you want to enhance your personal growth, I recommend checking out my list of favorite personal growth books. These books have played a significant role in my life, and each one includes a summary and takeaways to help you apply the concepts.

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Chief Editor

Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.

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