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Oversuccess: Healing the American Obsession with Wealth, Fame, Power, and Perfection
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Oversuccess: Healing the American Obsession with Wealth, Fame, Power, and Perfection

3.44 of 5 stars 3.44  ·  rating details  ·  18 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Why are one in three American adults pervasively dissatisfied with their lives? Why is major depression seven times more likely among those born after 1970 than their grandparents? Why are one in four of us addicted to at least one substance or behavior? Why is America drowning in record personal and public debt? Why did over 100,000 people humiliate themselves this year a ...more
Hardcover, 451 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Greenleaf Book Group
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(showing 1-30 of 35)
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Katie
Moderately interesting, but too depessing in the end to finish, especially with all the violence around here in the past couple weeks. The author's theme, to which he clings no matter what wildly divergent topic he is discussing, much as a gibbon would cling to a trapeze as it swings past a bewildering variety of jungles, cityscapes, and speeding freight trains, is that thanks to TV, movies, and especially the internet, we have lost touch with the small communities our ancestors identified with ...more
Sheryl Tribble
I liked this book because I think the author is discussing a serious problem with our culture. But about half his solutions are either unlikely or unhelpful, and the rest are pretty much common sense. To be honest, reading his last chapter ("Healing the Obsession"), I sometimes thought he missed the point of his own book.

He thinks people should be less obsessed with popular media, but pooh-poohs the idea of "turn off your TV day" or of living without the daily news or that the Internet might se
...more
Jess
I like the basic idea that Rubens is trying to get across -- that Americans tend to kill themselves on the principle of achievement, rather than focusing on things that "really matter." Some of the sociology and science he brings up is interesting too -- like Sapolsky's experiments on primate group hierarchy and how this can inform the way we set up our own businesses, groups, etc.

I did like his concept of creating mini-villages in which to carry out our everyday lives, and I think this is a tre
...more
Cheri
OverSuccess starts off strong, with a sweeping overview of success from an evolutionary and cultural perspective. Jim Rubens links together myriad studies in an engaging, thoughtful manner.

He lost me once it became clear he believed that technology (gene therapy, epigenetics) is a solution to some of the problems of over-success. Rubens political bent comes through loud and clear (he's a republican) and I bristled at some of his comments about "anti-gun lefties."

If you can see past his politics
...more
Megan
The arguments were interesting, but the book felt choppy and incomplete.
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