what's remarkable then is that it does so in such a clear and erudite manner that nearly every part of it--and it follows the whole would--makes sense. fundamentally.
it offers no cure for status anxiety (as there isn't one) but it does give great insight into its roots, and some of the ways people have managed...more
I love comparitive philosophy. I especially love it when it's well-researched and well-written. Alain's style is conversational and informative but he doesn't come of sounding academic and esoteric. You learn from his research that our modern day obsession with 'stuff' isn't a modern convention.
I loved this book and re...more
It was with this particular instance in mind that I approached Status A...more
The book's a short philosophical exercise that goes through causes, and then solutions, of anxiety we feel about status. Both run the gamut from religion, politics, lovelessness, history, and other ways of looking at how we've looked at life over the last couple millennia. Do we pu...more
Maybe it's schadenfreude, but there's nothing wrong with validation on our natural human feelings of insecurity, especially given today's economic state. de Botton never gets too preachy as his premise is grounded in several historical exa...more
Anyone who’s ever lost sleep over an unreturned phone call or the neighbor’s Lexus had better read Alain de Botton’s irresistibly clear-headed new book, immediately. For in its pages, a master explicator of our civilization and its discontents turns his attention to the insatiable quest for status, a quest that has less to do with material comfort than with love. To demonstrate his thesis, de Botton ranges through Western history and thought from St. Augustine to Andrew Carnegie and Machiavelli
The strongest chapters discuss how we perceive status as a comparative idea, and how what is consid...more
In the personal life sphere, the status anxiety is fueled by the slogan such as "be the best you can be", the triumphant pursue of American dreams of bigger house, better clothes, and most often the envy...more
Meritocracy, Politics, Religion, and Bohemia are my favorite chapters.
Reading this book was a blend of a history lesson, an interesting angle on economics and social psychology, philosophy, and therapy: looking at the cause of the causes to an all too commonly felt anxiety.
"Different societies have awarded status to different groups: hunters, fighters, ancient...more
"Status Anxiety," on the other hand...more
Here's a quote from p.9... "There is something at once sobering and absurd in the extent to which we are lifted by the attentions of others and sunk by their disregard."
"'To give up pretensions is as blessed a relief as to get them gratified. There is a strange lightness in the heart when one's nothingness in a particular area is accepted in good faith. How pleasant is the day when we give up striving to be young or slender. "Thank God!" we say, "those illusions are gone....more
Completely different to 'On Love' and 'The Consolations of Philosophy' (thanks Peter at congnatum.com for putting me on to Alain de Botton), the basic idea that our current system of measuring people on a scale of wealth (an...more
de Botton devotes the first half of the book to delineating the causes of status anxiety and then explores the...more
Het eerste deel is sociologisch/psychologisch het interessantste...more
He is a writer of essayistic books, which refer both to his own experiences and ideas- and those of artists, philosophers and thinkers. It's a style of writing that has been termed a 'philosophy of everyday lif...more