When author Barbara Ehrenreich was diagnosed with breast cancer, she In her new book, Bright-Sided, Ehrenreich explores the negative. Barbara Ehrenreich thinks the prevalence of bogus optimism has weakened America, and she is willing to shoot fish in barrels to make that. Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America,” the new book by Barbara Ehrenreich, is based on.

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‘Bright-Sided’: When Happiness Doesn’t Help

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. And by the way, she’s done with both the chemo and the radiation now, and her hair is finally starting to grow back.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. About the only positive thing to come out of the meetings I could tell was that an affair developed between two of the directors in a hot tub and they later got married.

‘Bright-Sided’: When Happiness Doesn’t Help : NPR

The bottom line is always a version of “I have a program which, if you follow it, will produce good things. View all 35 comments. About books where cancer is celebrated as life-affirming, life-giving, the best thing that could happen to you.

The people I have met who have been wealthy have also tended to be rather sad, self-satisfied and obsessed with money to the point of fetishism. We smile a lot and are often baffled when people from other cultures do not return the favor.

Does that mean I’m being too nice? Eurenreich Happiness Doesn’t Help When author Barbara Ehrenreich was diagnosed with breast cancer, she was bombarded with wildly optimistic, inspirational phrases.

I have already heard barbraa Australia that there actually was no financial crisis. As someone who was exposed early on to the fantasy that what you think can directly impact external reality, Barbars am no stranger to the massive amount of internal stress caused by trying to control one’s thinking to be only positive.

Endless exponential growth sounds like just the ticket and can I interest you in a perpetual motion machine? And I hadn’t cottoned onto the point that britht is a manipulative tool to keep people down in the US, in exactly the same way it has been used in, for example, Soviet society.


Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America

In my own vision of utopia, there is not only more comfort, and security for everyone — better jobs, health care, and so forth — there are also more parties, festivities, and opportunities for dancing in the streets. Ehrenreich starts out on a high note, with one of the strongest chapters i Well, I basically slept my way through this.


It provides a balance to life. Allow me to wax bitter for a moment. So it can and does become a very dangerous addiction, and besides causing actual physical harm to us, the environment, the physical world, etc.

Cultural Challenges to Envisioning the Worstsociologist Karen Cerulo recounts a number of ways that the habit of positive thinking, or what she calls optimistic bias, undermined preparedness and invited disaster. According to Bob Woodward, Condoleezza Rice ehenreich to express some of her worries because, she said, “the president almost demanded optimism. Despite the poverty and often abusive situations in which many of these kids lived, the only remedy the principal could arrive with his fevered lack of imagination was chicken soup.

Ehrenreich’s willingness to question received wisdom and dig deeper for answers, her characteristically clear thinking, expressed in clear and forceful prose.

If Deepak and Coelho are your heroes, you need to read and get annoyed by this book. At the turn of the twenty-first century, American optimism seemed to reach a manic crescendo. It is not so much that a single line can be drawn from positive thinking to public policy disastersthe ’08 financial crash with named persons plainly culpable for distinct crises, rather Ehrenreich describes the growth and metastasis through, primarily US culture, of the impact of positive thinking.

Decades ago I worked as a correspondence course teacher for a company in the UK that had imported many of the principles of positive thinking, so I’m familiar with the tropes and the cynicism underlying the business: And the answer to that is, quite simply, that it makes them happy. And I would criticize her for apparently accepting the motivational industry’s definition of happiness, her only objection being that their scheme doesn’t really produce it.

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I dare say I’m too late to the party on this one to say anything that hasn’t already been said. One might think that psychologists who extol the virtues of positive thinking would be on firmer ground than those who have a more openly exploitative agenda, but in an entertaining chapter in which Ehrenreich describes her futile attempt to pin down positive psych guru Martin Seligman, it becomes clear that the science of happiness is much murkier than it has been presented in the press.

Erenreich’s discussion of this phenomenon, as well as how positive thinking is twisted to the service of repression by totalitarian regimes, was one of the most disturbing parts of the book. In a chapter titled “Motivating Business and The Business of Motivation,” Ehrenreich details how corporations turned barbra motivational speakers to pump up workforces demoralized by layoffs and convince both those let go and those remaining that their attitude, and not the relentless pursuit of corporate profit, was responsible for their barbaga.

In addition, good feelings, as expressed through our words and smiles, seem to be contagious: Americans did not start out as positive thinkers — at least the promotion of unwarranted optimism and methods to achieve it did not really find articulation and organized form until several de cades after the founding of the republic. Optimism also explains why we spend so much and sded so little…. I watch with horror at what is clearly a housing bubble here in Australia while being told that it will never burst by all manner of seemingly sensible people.