Bright-sided: how the relentless promotion of positive thinking has undermined America

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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 realismAmericans 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.
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Grouped Work ID 75a3cf85-5c06-4ad1-d272-999ad31e4286
full_title bright sided how the relentless promotion of positive thinking has undermined america
author ehrenreich barbara
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2018-04-24 04:51:44AM

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auth_author2 Reading, Kate.
author Barbara Ehrenreich
author2-role Reading, Kate.|Narrator, hoopla digital.
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display_description A sharp-witted knockdown of America's love affair with positive thinking and an urgent call for a new commitment to realism, existential clarity and courage.
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publishDate 2009
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subject_facet Downloadable audio, Happiness -- United States, Optimism -- United States, Self-confidence, Self-confidence -- United States, Self-deception, Streaming audio, Success in business -- United States
title_display Bright-sided : how the relentless promotion of positive thinking has undermined America
title_full Bright-sided : how the relentless promotion of positive thinking has undermined America / Barbara Ehrenreich, Bright-sided How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America, Bright-sided [sound recording] : how the relentless promotion of positive thinking has undermined America / Barbara Ehrenreich, Bright-sided: [how the relentless promotion of positive thinking has undermined America] / Barbara Ehrenreich
title_short Bright-sided :
title_sub how the relentless promotion of positive thinking has undermined America
topic_facet Nonfiction, Sociology