The Power of Place: How Our Surroundings Shape Our Thoughts, Emotions, and Actions

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9780061233357: The Power of Place: How Our Surroundings Shape Our Thoughts, Emotions, and Actions

Are New Yorkers and Californians so different because they live in such different settings? Why do some of us prefer the city to the country? How do urban settings increase crime? Why do we feel better after an experience in nature?

In this fascinating and enormously entertaining book, Winifred Gallagher explores the complex relationships between people and the places in which they live, love, and work. Drawing on the latest research on behavioral and environmental science, THE POWER OF PLACE examines our reactions to light, temperatiure, the seasons, and other natural phenomena, and explores the interactions between our external and internal worlds.

Gallagher's broad and dynamic definition of place includes mountaintops and the womb, Alaska's hinterlands and Manhattan's subways, and she relates these settings to everything from creativity to PMS, jet lag to tales of UFOs.

Full of complex information made totally accessible, THE POWER OF PLACE offers the latest insights into the many ways we can change our lives by changing the places we live.

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Review:

There are reasons why most humans love the mountains and why the great outdoors can do so much to soothe the urban jitters. Winifred Gallagher explains the inner workings of environmental psychology in The Power of Place. Traveling from northernmost Alaska, where the need to stay indoors for so much of the year takes a heavy mental and physical toll on the locals, to the artificial canyons of Manhattan, Gallagher strips off one civilizing layer after another to reveal the human animal within us, the creature that requires open spaces and clear air to function as it should. If you ever wondered why mountaineers take the risks they do or why Michael Jackson spent all that money on a hyperbaric chamber, Gallagher has the answer.

About the Author:

Winifred Gallagher is the author of House Thinking, Just the Way You Are (a New York Times Notable Book), Working on God, and Spiritual Genius. She has written for numerous publications, including Atlantic Monthly, Rolling Stone, and the New York Times. She lives in Manhattan and Dubois, Wyoming.

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