What are we reading: special edition

I read this book, and it is so great: Blind to Betrayal: Why We Fool Ourselves We Aren’t Being Fooled, by Jennifer Freyd and Pamela Birrell.  Authors’ page for the book here, where you can read the preface and a sample chapter.

One thing I love about this book is the authors’ voices.  The two authors are long-time collaborators, and their friendship comes through in the writing.  The cover is kind of dumb, but ignore that — this isn’t a romance book or even necessarily about romantic relationships (though they are in there).

The idea behind this book is to look at how we fool ourselves, in all sorts of relationships, into being unaware of the bad things we “should” know are going on.  This includes spouses not knowing their partners are cheating on them, but it also includes employees not being aware of how badly their companies are screwing over the employees legally and financially (see: Enron).  Through easy-to-read, nonacademic summaries of science and also through numerous personal stories, the authors lay out many situations in which it is adaptive and necessary for people to be unaware of being cheated: to be blind to betrayal.  The tone has a lot of sympathy for people who find themselves struggling to explain this situation in themselves, and even includes some of the authors’ own experiences.  This book sheds a light on what we can do as individuals who are dependent on institutions (marriages, governments, workplaces) that may not act in our best interests.  I appreciate the hopeful ending.

You should really read this book, and tell your friends.  It’s very readable and would even make a good gift.  It’s available on kindle and audible too.  Check it out of the library, buy it, ILL it.

Try reading the samples and tell us what you think in the comments?

3 Responses to “What are we reading: special edition”

  1. Linda Says:

    The link to the preface didn’t work for me, but the sample chapter looked interesting. According to Worldcat, very few public libraries have this book. It seems that it is mostly available at academic libraries, so this is one I’ll likely have to add to my “to buy” list if I’d like to read it. (Chicago Public Library’s ILL page isn’t very confidence inspiring, even if all four Illinois academic institutions that have it in their catalog are within the city or just out of if.)

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Hey, you’re right, the preface link goes to a dead page. Oops. The book is relatively new, so that may be why it’s not in a lot of places. You could always ask your local branch to buy a copy :-)

  2. EarthSciProf Says:

    Thanks for the recommendation. Will definitely check it out.


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