From Cleopatra to Bernie Madoff, the pursuit of pleasure, in whatever form it might take, has been a dramatic motivating force. In this fascinating book, neuroscientist David J. Linden explains how the entire gamut of behaviors that give us a buzz actually operates and how these acts can become compulsive. Why is nicotine addictive while LSD is not? What steps do fast-food restaurants take to guarantee that diners will eat more? Why can’t some of us resist the lure of a new sexual encounter? Answering these and many other questions with lucidity and a sense of humor, Linden exposes as never before the science behind our vices and virtues.