Empathy: A Handbook for Revolution

Empathy Cover pb low resEmpathy: A Handbook for Revolution is out now, published by Random House.

‘A powerful case for empathy as the key to a better life and better world.’ Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive, Royal Society of the Arts

‘Eloquent and inspiring writer.’ Mary Anne Hobbs, DJ and broadcaster

Coming soon in Dutch, Korean, Portuguese, Turkish, Croatian and American…

Alongside the book, I’ve launched the world’s first online Empathy Library. Please visit it!

About the book

98% of people have the ability to empathise and step into the shoes of others. But few of us use our full empathic potential.

Roman Krznaric’s new book  shows how we can boost our empathy and use it to improve our relationships, enhance our creativity, rethink our priorities in life, and tackle social problems from everyday prejudice to violent conflicts. Empathy, Krznaric argues, has the power to transform relationships, from the personal to the political, and create fundamental social change.

Through encounters with actors, activists, groundbreaking designers, undercover journalists, nurses, bankers and neuroscientists, Krznaric defines a new breed of adventurer. He sets out the six life-enhancing habits of highly empathic people, whose skills enable them to connect with others in extraordinary ways.

Drawing on over 10 years of research, you will discover how babies can teach empathy, what happens at a ‘human library’, how our empathic brains work and encounter the world’s first Empathy Museum. Krznaric also tackles the big questions: Can we empathise too much? How is empathy different from sympathy or compassion? And can empathy be used to manipulate people?

Krznaric argues our brains are wired for social connection: empathy is at the heart of who we are. It’s an essential, transforming quality we must develop for the 21st Century.

Articles and media

Print and online

Guardian: How My Children Became My Greatest Teachers – article on my personal struggles to practice empathy in family life.

Red Magazine: Interview with Louise Chunn on the art of practising empathy.

The School of Life blog: 5 Ways to Grow Your Empathy – my quick ‘how to’ guide for empathy.

Psychologies Magazine: How to use empathy to open your mind.

Welldoing.org: 7 Ways to Teach Yourself Empathy.

Waterstones blog: Why I wrote the book and founded the Empathy Library.

Guardian Australia: Is Australia losing its empathy?

Guardian Education: Should we be using babies to teach empathy?

Books for Breakfast: Three things about the radical power of empathy.

Daily Good: The Six Habits of Highly Empathic People. This is my all-time most popular article on empathy. Warning: it was written before the book came out so differs slightly in content from the book itself.

TV and Video

The Power of Outrospection:  10 min RSA Animate video on empathy. Watch the famous hairy hand bring some of the key ideas in the book to life. Over half a million views.

TEDx Athens: Talk on How to Start an Empathy Revolution. (With Spanish, French and Greek subtitles.)

The School of Life: Sunday Sermon on Empathy where I discuss the six habits of highly empathic film. With great music by Stevie Wonder.

Empathy and Happiness- The 3 Minute Pitch: Video on how to put empathy to work in your everyday relationships (with some rather funky music).

Studio 10 – Network 10 TV Australia: Is empathy in decline? Panel discussion of my new book.


BBC Radio 4 – Today Programme: I discuss the role of empathy in peace-building and Mandela’s role as an empathic leader.

BBC Radio 3 – Free Thinking: Can empathy really create a revolution? I debate the issues with author Sheri Fink and philosopher Jan Slaby.

BBC World Service – Weekend: Interview on empathy and the peace negotiations in Syria.

BBC Radio Scotland – Sunday Morning: Do bankers need to boost their empathy levels? And how can it be done? (starts 18.3omin)

ABC Radio National Australia – Life Matters: Interview with Natasha Mitchell.

ABC Radio Brisbane: Does Twitter make you narcissistic? Is Obama an empathic failure? Did the Enlightenment help or hinder empathy? Interview with Steve Austin.

2UE Radio Sydney: A lively discussion and interview, including the distinction between empathy and sympathy.

Open House Radio Australia: On Gandhi and the empathy revolution.

Other media

Blogosphere: The Happiness Experiment, Designing Stories, Good Men Project, Independent Record, IKIM Institute Malaysia, Incredible Awareness, Designing Stories, Living Dharma

Empathy Library media coverage – a project I’ve launched together with my new book:  The Bookseller, BBC Radio 5′s Outriders programme (starts at 17.50min), Christian Science MonitorYes! Magazine, UTNE Reader, Ashoka’s Start Empathy blog, Revista GalileuPorvir and Lucilia Diniz in Brazil, NationSwell, Stichting Beroepseer in the Netherlands.


‘An absorbing, inspiring book that could start a revolution. Read it.’ Philippa Perry, psychotherapist and author of How to Stay Sane

‘A fascinating look at championing “outrospection” instead of self-absorbed individualism.’ Thuy On, Sydney Morning Herald

‘Roman Krznaric’s ideas on empathy challenge each one of us to see the world afresh, and in doing so he offers us the chance to become so much greater than we already are.’ John-Paul Flintoff, journalist and author of How to Change the World

An extraordinary understanding of the importance of utilizing empathy in our every day life, has been translated into vital guide for personal wellbeing and professional success.’ Patricia Moore, industrial designer and gerontologist

‘A mesmerizing mélange of history, social science, neuroscience, psychology and sociology. Krznaric is calling for nothing short of an empathy revolution and paints a compelling and practical picture of how to get there. His concept of an “Empathy Museum” is as brilliant as he is.’  Mary Gordon, Founder/President, Roots of Empathy

‘I know it is absurdly early in the year to be choosing the top book of the year, but here goes. I recommend Empathy by Roman Krznaric for both the quality of the content and its importance.’ Mike Childs, Head of Policy, Friends of the Earth

‘In his best-selling self help manual, Roman promotes the idea that empathy is at the heart of being human, and so by helping others we can help ourselves feel better too.’ Sarah Holmes, Woman & Home

‘Roman Krznaric explains that understanding why others behave as they do is the key to a happier, more fulfilled life’. Health & Fitness Magazine.

‘It’s difficult not to be swept up by Krznaric’s wave of optimism. The ideas and thought processes that buoy them are highly accessible and discerning.’ Jen Vuk, Eureka Street

‘Like the popular works of Bertrand Russell and Alain de Botton it’s easy to read, and it tackles the sort of every day philosophical issues that ordinary people think about.’ Lisa Hill, ANZ LitLovers


And finally…here’s a photo from the book launch at Daunt Books in Chelsea