On the Failures of Others

On the Failures of Others 1

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If you hope Richard H. Smith's book is a flop because you're certain you could write a better one, and because you think he's due for a fall, he will understand.

Such factors are at the core of a complex sentiment: schadenfreude.

Smith's The Joy of Pain: Schadenfreude and the Dark Side of Human Nature, just out from Oxford University Press, is an entertaining explanation of the phenomenon, told through accounts of research as well as Smith's personal