Johann Hari

is creating Books, Journalism, Talks

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The Good People

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Thank you. I appreciate you supporting my work and I’m really grateful for it. You get access to all my locked posts on Patreon. 

The Even More Good People

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This is the equivalent of buying me a large bottle of Diet Coke (which I would have running into my veins on an IV drip if it was medically possible). I can only write if I have consumed enough caffeine to kill a cow. You’ll also get a monthly email from me about what I’ve been up to that week. And the happy knowledge you have exposed to me a whole range of acids and aspartames.

The Saints and Heroes

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Amazing! You are officially and truly GOOD and will certainly enjoy the afterlife. I’ll also be sending this group a small monthly mail-out responding to any questions you submit and would like to discuss.



About Johann Hari

Hi, I'm Johann Hari and I’m a British journalist and author. For the past seven years, I have been writing deeply-researched books about what I see as some of the most important issues facing us as a culture – addiction, depression, anxiety. I have been trying to understand their causes, and to explain to people that their pain makes sense, and there are places in the world I have reported from that are solving these problems.

I work really hard to get what I’ve learned to the largest possible audience – to explain to everyone that we need to approach these issues with love, compassion, and a determination to deal with their root causes. I try to present the best research from around the world, which I spend years gathering.

My TED talk, arguing that the opposite of addiction is connection, has (along with the animation based on it) been viewed over 25 million times. I have spoken for free to groups and medical providers arguing for a more compassionate approach, and I had advised for free many groups that work on these issues. I think there’s evidence this is making a real difference – I have been contacted by a huge range of people, from Mexican politicians to British members of parliament, from protesters outside the UN in New York to people working with homeless people with addiction problems in Sao Paulo, who say they have drawn on my work. The most moving emails I get are from people with addiction or depression problems themselves, who say this work has led to them taking action to fight for better approaches for everyone.

I have set up this Patreon because I’ve been contacted by quite a few people asking about two separate things.

Firstly: I explain in my books that for each of them, I interviewed over 200 people, and obviously the books only quote a small number of the conversations I had. I am often asked by people if they can see the other interviews and what I learned. I’m conscious there’s a treasure trove of amazing people, and the wisdom they gave me, sitting in my hard drive, that I’m keen to share. (For each book, I could easily have written a book three times as long writing about the amazing people I met.)

Secondly: I have been contacted by some people asking if they can support and help out with my future books, and the work I continue to do to get the message out about everything I learned for my previous books. To be honest, I’ve been reluctant to respond with a Patreon. My books have sold well – but I’m also conscious that each one takes around three years to produce. I employ my own fixers and translators across the world, pay for my own transcriptions, fund the creation of memes and videos to get the message out, and pay for an extensive fact-checking process for the final book. To gain the deep insights I hope the books contain, I have to travel and spend time in many different countries properly listening to a very broad range of people. More than anything, money buys the time to listen deeply and think about what I have heard.

So I wondered if I could bring together these two requests here on Patreon. What I’d like to do is to ask for your support, and in return, I’d like to continue to do a lot of outreach, and to start to post here, a few times a month for patrons, a few things:

(1) Exclusive transcripts and audio of the interviews that didn’t make the cut for Chasing The Scream and Lost Connections but nonetheless contain lots of insights.

(2) Previews of my interviews for my forthcoming books.

(3) The chapters for my books that got cut for space reasons but I still think contain things everyone should know.

(4) A monthly update about what I’ve been working on and the progress I’m making.

Anything you pledge will be used entirely to fund research for my forthcoming books and to get the message out about addiction and depression.

It will also help with my future work. Because the most expensive part of my work is the travel, I am usually researching and writing a few books at the same time. At the moment, I am working on deeply researching three topics for non-fiction books that will come out some time in the next ten years. (I know it’s a long time frame, but I like the feeling of depth that comes from really talking to people again and again about the most important subjects. The faster you’re working, the less value there is in what you have to say, in my view. To have something worth saying, you have to spend a lot of time listening to other people.)

They are:

  • I am, with his co-operation, writing a biography of Noam Chomsky, one of the most important and humane intellectuals of the past century. I have interviewed Chomsky over twenty times, and I have interviewed over 300 of the most important people in his life – from El Salvador to the Palestinian territories to Laos. I want to present a deep portrait of one of the most important thinkers of our time – because I believe from his work we can find a crucial guide to how to live, and how to find our way through many of the crises facing us. Talking to Chomsky and studying his work helped me to correct many things I had misunderstood or got wrong in my own life. I have been concentrating on gathering information and original interviews that – because they tend to come from older people – would be lost if I waited too long. I think these interviews will, in time, be a valuable historical resource for more than just my book.

  • Why can’t we focus? At the same time, children, the middle-aged, and the elderly have all been losing our ability to think and focus. A society that can’t focus is lost in a kind of digital dementia - and can't solve the most urgent problems. I want to understand the deep reasons for this crisis – and to go to places that are finding solutions. I’ve already interviewed people who have blown my mind on this.

  • How do people change? How do we change our minds, our hearts, our personalities? Can we change ourselves? Can we change other people? These seem to me to be some of the most profound questions about human beings, and they are being lost in an age of social media shouting – so I have been interviewing people who study and work on change across the world. In addition to the leading experts, I’ve been following a rhino-whisperer in Zimbabwe, an African-American who gets people to leave the Ku Klux Klan in the US, a woman who converts pimps into allies against human trafficking in Mexico City, and a cult-leader in South Africa who claims to be Jesus Christ (it’s a long story). Change is possible - and I have been trying to figure out its underlying rules.

I’d be really grateful for your help. Think of this as a tips jar. Anything you can give helps to boost my freedom to work on these projects and to spread the message of love and connection more widely. It also means I will be able to write these books a little faster – and you’ll be able to read them sooner!

If just a few hundred of you chip in two or three or ten dollars a month, that makes a massive difference.

I’m British, so I have an in-built hatred of asking for anything, and now feel the need to apologise profusely for having been so pushy and presumptuous, but – you know what I trying to say here. Sorry, sorry, sorry. And thanks!

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