Power Paradox
Dacher Keltner

Book cover image

Narrated By: Kaleo Griffith

Duration: 4 hours and 37 minutes

What to expect

Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable, audiobook edition of The Power Paradox by Dacher Keltner, read by Kaleo Griffith.

A concise, paradigm-shifting account of the power dynamics that shape everyday life - from the board room to the dinner table, the playground to the bedroom

The Machiavellian view of power as a coercive force is one of the deepest currents in our culture, yet new psychological research reveals this vision to be dead wrong. Influence is gained instead through social intelligence and empathy - but ironically the seductions of power make us lose the very qualities that made us powerful in the first place. By drawing on fascinating case studies that debunk longstanding myths, Dacher Keltner illuminates this 'power paradox', revealing how it shapes not just boardrooms and elections but everyday relationships, and affects whether or not we will have an affair, break the law or find our purpose in life.


Social, group or collective psychology

Listen to a sample

The Power Paradox brings clarity to our confusion, brimming with evidence-based insights into powerlessness, the selfish uses of power, and the best kind: power that furthers the greater good. Dacher Keltner's brilliant research gives us a lens that lets us see afresh hidden patterns in society, politics, and our own lives. No doubt this will be one of the most significant science books of the decade

Daniel Goleman, author of 'Emotional Intelligence' and 'A Force for Good: The Dalai Lama's Vision for Our World'

Dacher Keltner is the most interesting psychologist in America. He's busy changing the minds of Americans about how power works, how inequality works. It's only a matter of time before his ideas spread everywhere. And unlike most psychologists I know, he's not a weirdo

Michael Lewis, author of 'The Big Short', 'Flash Boys', and 'Boomerang'

With personal insight and the latest science, Keltner is both realistic and idealistic: The Power Paradox sheds light on human power's dark side, as well as its redeeming qualities. Everyone can learn from this wise book

Susan T. Fiske, Professor of Psychology at Princeton and author of 'Social Cognition'

Keltner shares insights into many aspects of power, including afternoon tea in Britain and how Lincoln won the presidency. His combination of academic sophistication and clear style delivers a new concept of power in our society today that is provocative and intriguing

Sheryl WuDunn, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of 'Half the Sky: How to Change the World'

That power is not taken but given is true for most human relations today. It has ancient roots in primate behavior. Dacher Keltner applies a lifetime of research to this topic, offering a lively description of how true power is like a return on a social investment in others