Review of Rising Strong

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Brené Brown has a unique gift for touching something deep within her readers. They respond to, anticipate and support her fundamental theme: that being emotionally honest and vulnerable and facing your mistakes and shortcomings bravely and without self-blame will bring wisdom and personal evolution. This candid openness also will enhance your ability to connect to other people, to love and to accept love. Brown is the founder and CEO of The Daring Way and research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. Her TED Talk, “The Power of Vulnerability,” remains the fourth-most viewed TED Talk worldwide. Her New York Times #1 bestsellers include Daring Greatly, The Gifts of Imperfection and Rising Strong.

Brown seems a great deal more sincere, dedicated and rigorous than many crank-’em-out best-selling authors whose specialties are feelings and spiritual evolution. She thinks and writes on a more profound yet accessible level. As with her other books, Rising Strong reads like an extended magazine article and becomes repetitive here and there. But there is no denying the inspirational quality of Brown’s advice and the empathy with which she offers it. getAbstract recommends her combination of folksy tone and insightful advice to anyone seeking to understand him- or herself more clearly or anyone who needs guidance to recover from difficult times.

About the Author

Brené Brown is founder and CEO of The Daring Way and a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. Her 2010 TED Talk, “The Power of Vulnerability,” is the fourth-most viewed TED Talk worldwide. She also wrote Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection, both bestsellers.


“I Don’t Believe Faith and Reason Are Natural Enemies.”

Brown offers a side message in her introduction. She wants to frame or maybe justify what follows. She cites the reasons for this aside as her deep background in research and the way her prior books dealt with research-based conclusions. Naturally, she made intuitive leaps inspired by research, but the research came first. When younger, Brown took as gospel the maxim, “If you can’t measure it, it doesn’t exist.” That helped her cope with a “profound dislike of uncertainty.”

She lays claim today to the identity of “researcher/storyteller.” Brown doesn’t regard faith and reason as oppositional. She accepts scientific facts as much as she does the “power of mystery.” Brown prepares the reader to hear from a variety of sources: academics, songwriters, scholarly research and films. She offers evidence from sociologists and discusses how art speaks truth about the “human spirit.” This is an interesting departure for Brown; she doesn’t justify her methods in her other books. It speaks to her courage in taking this approach and the discomfort it causes the academic in her. It frames the book with the idea that truth is where you find it.

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