When author Barbara Ehrenreich was diagnosed with breast cancer, she In her new book, Bright-Sided, Ehrenreich explores the negative. Ehrenreich (Nickel and Dimed) delivers a trenchant look into the burgeoning business of positive Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America. Barbara Ehrenreich, Author. Barbara Ehrenreich’s examination of the history of positive thinking is a tour de force of well-tempered snark,culminating in a persuasive.

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Read the reviews by Trevor http: I completely agree with Barbara Ehrenreich that people suffering from cancer and other chronic diseases shouldn’t be coerced into thinking that they are responsible for their disease progressing poorly if they don’t think positively enough. But I didn’t know how to say what I wanted to say without saying I read it!!!!!!

But we cannot levitate ourselves into that blessed condition by wishing it. The universe is just a mail-order store. The book was full of such ridiculous but touchy-feely-warm-and-fluffy pronouncements. There is no argument, no narrative arc, just one anecdote following another, starring Osteen and his family members, various biblical figures, and a host of people identified by first name only. Question nothing except your own thoughts.

Endless exponential growth sounds like just the ticket and can I interest you in a perpetual motion machine? I like how two of the Google ads that showed up when I selected this book were for books called “Manifest Anything” and “Attract Abundance.

If he repeatedly laid claim to a single adjective, it was “optimistic. Books by Barbara Ehrenreich. Of course I didn’t say that to my friend. A recent meta-analysis of over a hundred studies of self-reported happiness worldwide found Americans ranking only twenty-third, surpassed by the Dutch, the Danes, the Malaysians, the Bahamians, the Austrians, and even the supposedly dour Finns.

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

The diction is complicated at times, and I see the moves Ehrenreich makes to integrate and effectively use sources. Feb 18, Linda rated it it was amazing. It’s real, it’s pervasive, and it should not be washed over like a colony of growing coral at high tide by the waves of ‘Positive Thinking.

InScientific American had issued a similar warning about the city’s vulnerability. Cancer is the passport to the life you were truly meant to live. The truly self-confident, or those who have in some way made their peace with the world and their destiny within it, do not need to expend effort censoring or otherwise controlling their thoughts.


I quite need suffering.

Accessibility links Skip to main content Keyboard shortcuts for audio player. Despite this, her message is a proactive one: Does that mean I’m being too nice? In her remarkable book, Never Saw It Coming: But suffering still happens.

It took me a while to figure out why this was. Dec 17, Ciara rated it it ehrenerich ok Shelves: Chapter One on breast cancer, and Chapter Five sidd “positive theology. Reading this wonderful book reminded me — I met a man some years ago, a plumber and victim of the economic catastrophe, whose house was in foreclosure.

The bottom line is always a version of “I have a program which, if you follow it, will produce good things. Her brilliance, humor, and biting cynicism is still in effect here – it’s not as if her intelligence and wit has gone away – however, I find dhrenreich material to be sorely lacking.

People were so depressed due to their restrictive religion that practically forbids happiness that their feelings manifested in bodily illness. Notice how animals are always on alert, the author notes, and that if danger presents itself, animals in a group sound the alarm. Tl;dr – Unfortunately, there were sidee two chapters I can say I honestly enjoyed in this book: Eided 16, Barnara DeLauer rated it it was amazing. At the college where I spent most of my career, about 25 years, ehrrenreich rose through the ranks of management, we really did quite well, and most of the issues seen as problems were not endemic to the institution.

If Deepak and Coelho are your heroes, you need to read and get annoyed by this ehrenrelch. She quotes Newsweek reporters Michael Hirsch and Michael Isikoff, for example, in their conclusion that “a whole summer of missed clues, taken together, seemed sidec presage the terrible September of By and large, America’s white-collar corporate workforce drank the Kool-Aid, as the expression goes, and accepted positive thinking as a substitute for their former affluence and security.

But it’s worse than pink; she writes about women who are kicked out of breast cancer support groups when their cancer relapses; who are castigated in chatrooms for not being upbeat. The popularity of books like “The Secret”, the practice of advising people who have been laid off to “take control” of their situation through positive visualization, the explosive growth of the “motivational seminar” business, the rise of evangelical churches peddling the message that “God wants you to be rich” — all are manifestations of the same fundamental belief, not just in the importance of a positive attitude, but in its ability to bring about change.


View all 3 comments. How to never need an alarm clock again.

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

I wish she had asked at some point, as the old moral philosophers did, “What do we mean by a good life? Although they can be overcome and people can be stronger afterwards, I will not ever accept that they ‘happened for a reason’ and I would gleefully go back into a world where they never ehrsnreich in the first place. Like I said, a book well worth reading.

Happiness cannot be intrinsically good of itself, it has to be good for something and be alleged to cause longer life, greater wealtha sudden ability to leap buildings in a single bound and so on, all of which it appears rests on extremely sandy foundations when one chases down such evidence as there is. Once our basic material needs are met — in my utopia, anyway — life becomes a perpetual celebration in which ehhrenreich has a talent to contribute.

For both rational and mystical reasons, then, the effort of positive thinking is said to be well worth our time and attention, whether this means reading the relevant books, attending seminars and speeches that offer the appropriate mental training, or ehrenteich doing the solitary work of concentration on desired outcomes — ehrenreih better job, an attractive mate, world peace. Okay, so this is not the best time ehrennreich my life to read this book, ’cause on Monday I am having a diagnostic mammogram.

But rather than provided emotional sustenance, the sugarcoating of cancer can exact a dreadful cost.

There is a vast difference between positive thinking and existential courage. She gives a history of positive thinking in America, as a reaction to Calvinism–but not the oppostive of it, more an extension of it, one that still requires constant self-examination, discipline, and strictness.