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Supersurvivors

The Surprising Link Between Suffering and Success

Product Description and Author Information

About the Book

The key to how ordinary people accomplish extraordinary things after traumatic upheaval

Many people suffer trauma in their lifetime. While some experience serious psychological consequences, like post-traumatic stress disorder and other afflictions, many are able to move on and overcome trauma's effects. Then there are those rare individuals who, in the aftermath of great tragedy and turmoil, reassess their priorities, redirect their focus, and accomplish extraordinary feats—they break records, win awards, and meet the seemingly unattainable goals they set for themselves.

These are the supersurvivors.

A leukemia sufferer who won an Olympic gold medal, a blind man who rowed across the Atlantic, a woman who survived genocide in Rwanda and went on to become a President Obama appointee: these are among the extraordinary men and women who moved beyond mere resilience. They radically deviated on their life path, transforming the worst thing to happen to them into their best success.

Renowned psychology researchers David B. Feldman and Lee Daniel Kravetz interviewed dozens of men and women to understand how these individuals pushed beyond their experiences to attain greatness. We discover why certain delusions can be healthy, why forgiveness is good for the body, and why reflecting on death can lead to a better life. And, perhaps counterintuitively, we learn how positive thinking is not always a strategy toward the good. Feldman and Kravetz weave the narratives of these supersurvivors with the latest scientific findings and clinical experience to elucidate how we can learn from their inspiring stories, offering hope that tragedy does not have to cause us to shrink from a full and adventurous life. Supersurvivors is sure to reset our thinking about how we deal with all our challenges, no matter who we are or what we have endured.

About the Authors

David B. Feldman

David B. Feldman, PhD, is among the top experts on hope in the field of psychology. An associate professor of counseling psychology at Santa Clara University, he has written for Psychology Today and the Huffington Post, published research in top scientific journals, and lectured around the world. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Lee Daniel Kravetz

Lee Daniel Kravetz

Lee Daniel Kravetz has a master's degree in counseling psychology and is a graduate of the University of Missouri–Columbia School of Journalism. He has written for Psychology Today, the Huffington Post, and the New York Times, among other publications. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and children.

Reviews

“Fascinating. . . . ultimately, we discover our ability to deal with unforeseen challenges and realize the remarkable potential of the human spirit.” —Diane Dreher, Ph.D., Psychology Today

“Hope for the endurance of the human spirit in the face of tragedy. Artfully described . . . intensely powerful . . . riving . . . uplifting!” Kirkus Reviews

“If you read Feldman and Kravetz, you will come away inspired and more attuned to the factors that influence resilience?including religious faith, the ability to forgive, and awareness of mortality.” —Harvard Business Review

“Just surviving suffering is a form of success. But these people have done more than survive, and their stories are worth your time. One day you may need what they have.” —Linda Ellerbee, Peabody and Emmy Award-winning Journalist, TV Producer, and New York Times best-selling author

“This summer’s Big Idea book!” —Bloomberg Businessweek

“An inspirational read that’s rooted in hard science.” —People

“Supersurvivors dares to ask, ‘How, really, do we heal?’ From real case studies and hard science, the answers it finds shake the foundations of the way we conceive recovery.” —Po Bronson, New York Times bestselling author of NurtureShock

“This is a blockbuster that every leader, parent, doctor, teacher, student, coach, and caregiver needs to read. I can’t remember the last time I was so fascinated and moved by a book-let alone one grounded in science.” —Adam Grant, Professor at the Wharton School of Business, and New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take

“Turns out surviving the most dangerous situations has some good lessons we can use to learn how to be resilient in everyday life.” —Time magazine online

“A charming and thoughtful mix of scientific thought and anecdotal evidence.” —Mindful Magazine

“It’s rare to find a book that appeals so well to both the head and the heart. Marrying eye-opening stories with thought-provoking science, Feldman and Kravetz open a powerful window into a world of forgiveness and hope.” —Frederic Luskin, Ph.D., author of Forgive for Good and Director of the Stanford Forgiveness Project

“Supersurvivors might well be a how-to manual on taking adversity and turning it into an advantage. As I read it, I kept thinking: I wish I’d had this book ten years ago!” —Aron Ralston, survivor, speaker, author, and subject of the film 127 Hours

“Supersurvivors is a book you should uncover.” —Houston Style Magazine Online

“Supersurvivors is a brilliant rethinking of the consequences of trauma. This book will change the meaning we give to survival, both for individuals and for our culture as a whole.” —Ethan Watters, Author of Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche

Supersurvivors provides the contemporary science about the biology of hope that is vital for all of us-all of us-as we daily confront challenge big and small, real and imagined.” —Walter M. Bortz, II M.D., Clinical Professor of Medicine, Stanford University, and author of The Roadmap to 100