Smile or Die: How Positive Thinking Fooled America and the World
A sharp-witted knockdown of America’s love affair with positive thinking and an urgent call for a new commitment to realism
Americans 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
In the case of "Nickel and Dimed", probably her best-known work, the niggling reservation was the artificiality of the whole endeavor...more
Short paragraphs and emoticons in reviews quadruple reading pleasure. :)
Shiny Happy People
Apparently, forced happiness is crushing the spirit of the American workforce and driving ravenous capitalists to unstoppable heights of self-delusion that contribute to the one hundred trillion dollars or so national debt. :) :)
I Love Your Smile
Millions of unemployed people, many middle-class professionals, have been forced into taking minimum wage jobs, in which any negative comments are met w...more
This is a wonderful book. The main idea behind it is that we have developed a religious (quite literally) fervour for positive thinking. The best bits of this book are when she talks about the Evangelical Churches in the US and how they have moved away from negative images (like Jesus on the cross) towards Jesus in a three-piece business s...more
I didn’t expect to like this book. I wasn’t wildly enthusiastic about Nickle and Dimed, but this title was chosen for our reading club, so I gave it a whirl.
Ehrenreich uses her personal experience with breast cancer as a jumping off point.which led to her loathing for the pink-ribbon-cancer-is-a-blessing-and-will-make-you...more
In some chapters, along with some very reasoned and potent argument, she attacks people for the way they dress or for their hairstyle (mullets and bulletheads). Do I have to dislike everythin...more
i was hoping for a smart, clever, som...more
Thank goodness for The Great Recession. It came exactly at the right time. And global warming too! For the last 40 years or so (but especially since the 1980s) Americans have absorbed the opiate of positive thinking. It's a happiness movement run amok across our culture. And we hope--the author and I--that the global financial meltdown has stopped...more
However, once I got over wanting to hear more about her own life, I understood how valuable this book is. It exposes the cruelty inherent in the positive...more
But 'being negative' is not what this book is about. It is concerned to reveal to the reader that there are deep and ugly realities that masquerade under the big smiley face we see everywhere; and it can and does do real harm. This is to be found in politic...more
I'm sorry, Barbara Ehrenreich thinks that positive thinking is ruining our country. It denies people their genuine emotions and convinces them that they can do things just with their mind. Wait, I'm sorry, is that what she said? I'm still not sure because her logic was all over the place.
Review: Obviously I can't give an impartial summary, largely because this book was more poorly argued than my senior thesis....and I wasn't a very bright coll...more
I forced - I mean, really FORCED - myself to finish the first chapter, in which she details her experience with breast cancer... She cites many various and valid studies that show that positive thoughts and emotions really do help the body heal, but then claims, at one point, that...more
"But always, in a hissed undertone, there is the darker message that if you don't have all that you want, if you feel sick, discouraged, or defeated, you have only yourself to blame."
This book dis...more
There have always been snake oil salesmen, and they have always cloaked themselves in the the reigning science or magic of the times. There have...more