How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America
eAudio - unabridged
Audio (7.45 hours)
Product Number: Z100124811
Released: Jun 01, 2017
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781427208378
Narrator/s: Kate Reading
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
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A sharp-witted knockdown of America's love affair with positive thinking and an urgent call for a new commitment to realism Americans are a "positive" people-cheerful, optimistic, and upbeat: this is our reputation as well as our self-image. But more than a temperament, being positive, we are told, is the key to success and prosperity. In this utterly original take on the American frame of mind, Barbara Ehrenreich traces the strange career of our sunny outlook from its origins as a marginal nineteenth-century healing technique to its enshrinement as a dominant, almost mandatory, cultural attitude. Evangelical mega-churches preach the good news that you only have to want something to get it, because God wants to "prosper" you. The medical profession prescribes positive thinking for its presumed health benefits. Academia has made room for new departments of "positive psychology" and the "science of happiness." Nowhere, though, has bright-siding taken firmer root than within the business community, where, as Ehrenreich shows, the refusal even to consider negative outcomes-like mortgage defaults-contributed directly to the current economic crisis. With the mythbusting powers for which she is acclaimed, Ehrenreich exposes the downside of America's penchant for positive thinking: On a personal level, it leads to self-blame and a morbid preoccupation with stamping out "negative" thoughts. On a national level, it's brought us an era of irrational optimism resulting in disaster. This is Ehrenreich at her provocative best-poking holes in conventional wisdom and faux science, and ending with a call for existential clarity and courage.

Author(s): Barbara Ehrenreich
Original Publish Date: Oct 13, 2009

All formats/editions

Author(s): Barbara Ehrenreich
Product Number EB00094857
Released: Oct 28, 2013
Business Term: 2 Year
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
ISBN: #9781429942539

Professional reviews

"Fans of Barbara Ehrenreich love her not just for her concise, well-researched writing but for her sly, sardonic humor. Kate Reading handles her latest refreshingly askance look at life in America with a nuanced, meticulous narration that ensures listeners will miss none of Ehrenreich's acerbic humor or commonsense look at our penchant for delusion. Whether she's taking on corporate downsizing or mega-churches, she deftly pricks the balloon of our fantasy that you just have to think positive thoughts and that every setback is really an opportunity. There's a good reason, she points out, why we need to pay attention to people warning us to stop building gas-guzzling SUVs or having subprime mortgage exposure. Fortunately, Reading's skillful performance makes it all a positive pleasure to take in. D.G. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award (c) AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine"

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