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Publisher's Summary

The book we need now to avoid a social recession, Murthy’s prescient message is about the importance of human connection, the hidden impact of loneliness on our health, and the social power of community. 

Humans are social creatures: In this simple and obvious fact lies both the problem and the solution to the current crisis of loneliness. In his groundbreaking audiobook, the 19th surgeon general of the United States Dr. Vivek Murthy makes a case for loneliness as a public health concern: a root cause and contributor to many of the epidemics sweeping the world today from alcohol and drug addiction to violence to depression and anxiety. Loneliness, he argues, is affecting not only our health, but also how our children experience school, how we perform in the workplace, and the sense of division and polarization in our society.

But, at the center of our loneliness is our innate desire to connect. We have evolved to participate in community, to forge lasting bonds with others, to help one another, and to share life experiences. We are, simply, better together.

The lessons in Together have immediate relevance and application. These four key strategies will help us not only to weather this crisis, but also to heal our social world far into the future.

Spend time each day with those you love. Devote at least 15 minutes each day to connecting with those you most care about.

Focus on each other. Forget about multitasking and give the other person the gift of your full attention, making eye contact, if possible, and genuinely listening.

Embrace solitude. The first step toward building stronger connections with others is to build a stronger connection with oneself. Meditation, prayer, art, music, and time spent outdoors can all be sources of solitary comfort and joy.

Help and be helped. Service is a form of human connection that reminds us of our value and purpose in life. Checking on a neighbor, seeking advice, even just offering a smile to a stranger six feet away, all can make us stronger. 

During Murthy’s tenure as Surgeon General and during the research for Together, he found that there were few issues that elicited as much enthusiastic interest from both very conservative and very liberal members of Congress, from young and old people, or from urban and rural residents alike. Loneliness was something so many people have known themselves or have seen in the people around them. In the book, Murthy also shares his own deeply personal experiences with the subject - from struggling with loneliness in school, to the devastating loss of his uncle who succumbed to his own loneliness, as well as the important example of community and connection that his parents modeled. Simply, it’s a universal condition that affects all of us directly or through the people we love — now more than ever. 

©2020 Vivek Murthy (P)2020 HarperAudio

What listeners say about Together

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  • Amit Bhuta
  • 2020-05-04

Losing 7 Friends to Suicide, I’m Glad I Read This

Having lost seven friends to suicide and being suicidal in the past for many years, this book really resonates with me. I felt like Dr Murthy was speaking to me and understanding all my past struggles and sharing with me what so many didn’t understand during that dark time of my life.

I’m so grateful that this book was written and read by the author. It was soothing to me that he was able to share multiple stories of what people have gone through and how they were able to overcome their tough times.

I know this book will save many lives, especially during this time in history. If you are feeling down and life seems less perfect than it once was, I would highly recommend reading this. It may just change your life.

51 people found this helpful

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  • KJC
  • 2020-05-07

A must read for this time in our world

Any person who ever wondered how to live a meaningful life, parent children to care about others, question how to survive and affect positive change in our world needs to read/listen to this powerful book! The author has found a way to blend science, deep personal caring & human experiences into this life changing book.

23 people found this helpful

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  • Mark A Berman
  • 2020-05-12

This book will give you hope

This is a remarkable book that will change the way you look at the world. It is a deeply human story. Moving. Inspiring. Provocative. Captivating. And it may just change your life or give you courage to help make the world a better place. Listen to it now!

19 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-06-04

An appreciation

Vivek, thank you for writing this book. I read it during a pandemic and shortly after my mother had passed. While my father is disabled and living alone. Some of the stories hit close to home and were hard, but necessary to hear. Some parts brought language and clarity to unconscious truths, that I intuitively understand, but couldn’t have articulated myself. And some served as simple reminders to treat others with kindness, especially now. The mix of personal stories and science helped me better understand many of my peers, and reflect on my own experiences. This book is an excellent reminder of the human need for connection and community, and how to build healthy relationships to cultivate that community over time.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Marvelmoon
  • 2020-05-09

A Masterpiece

Thank you Dr. Murthy for composing this masterpiece of psychosocial literature. It is a must read for any human being who has ever felt the emotional gravity of loneliness. That means your book should be required reading for every human beyond the age of 14.
It will be a treasured addition to my personal home library.

13 people found this helpful

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  • C. Krause
  • 2020-04-12

Comforting Words

Comforting words when I most needed to hear them. Vivek’s voice is soothing and the words are a powerful reminder that we need to hear right now and anytime in fact. The ideas and so many solutions really hit home with me, making me want to reach out. We can be Together in this.

13 people found this helpful

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  • FYFM
  • 2020-06-09

Beautiful

What a powerful and poignant ode to the primacy of human connections. Great reminder that we need both depth and diversity of relationships. Many thanks to you and your family, Dr. Murthy, for this fantastic book.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-07-14

Great book especially during these times

I am an only child so listening to some of these stories helped me to see that it's not just me. You can still feel lonely when you have siblings, and everyone experiences loneliness. It goes to show that reaching out and being vulnerable are things that we all should work on. Emphasizing the importance of relationships in all types as a way to ground yourself and your emotions.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Luna
  • 2020-05-29

Fantastically written & true to modern times.

I will probably read a few times periodically. I like the chronological flow from all perspectives.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-05-11

A Gentle Reminder of How Humans Thrive - Together

During the Covid 19 disaster, this book gave me a chance to slow down, stop worrying, and reflect on my life. The writer helped me look back and smile, forgive myself and thank my parents who kept our struggling family Together with love, compassion and good humor. We learned as young'uns the importance of Family and that the stranger on our doorstep was Family who may need our help.

8 people found this helpful