Infectious Generosity: The Ultimate Idea Worth Spreading

Chris Anderson

Catching the Good: A Review of “Infectious Generosity” by Chris Anderson

Chris Anderson’s “Infectious Generosity” offers a hopeful perspective on human behavior, arguing that generosity, like viruses, can spread and have a positive ripple effect. The book explores various aspects of generosity, its potential for positive change, and practical ways to cultivate it in ourselves and others.


  • Uplifting Message: In a world often dominated by negativity, Anderson’s focus on the power of generosity is refreshing and inspiring. He provides numerous real-world examples of individuals and communities harnessing the power of giving to create positive change.
  • Practical Framework: Anderson goes beyond mere inspiration, offering a framework for practicing and amplifying generosity. He discusses different forms of giving (time, money, talent, etc.) and suggests ways to leverage technology and social networks to maximize impact.
  • Focus on Positive Psychology: The book draws on research in positive psychology, highlighting the benefits of generosity for both the giver and the receiver. This perspective helps readers understand the positive emotions and connections fostered by acts of kindness.


  • Optimistic Lens: Some readers might find Anderson’s optimistic view of human nature overly simplistic, particularly in light of complex societal issues. The book could benefit from a more nuanced discussion of the challenges and limitations of relying solely on individual generosity to address systemic problems.
  • Focus on Individual Action: While acknowledging the role of social systems, the book primarily focuses on individual actions for promoting generosity. This might leave some readers wanting a deeper exploration of how societal structures and institutions can be designed to encourage and facilitate more widespread acts of giving.

Overall: “Infectious Generosity” is a thought-provoking read that encourages a shift in perspective towards seeing generosity as a powerful tool for positive change. While it may not offer all the answers to complex social issues, it serves as a valuable starting point for individuals seeking to make a real difference in their communities and the world around them.

Recommendation: Recommended for readers seeking an optimistic perspective on human behavior, practical ideas for cultivating generosity in everyday life, and an introduction to the positive impact of giving.