Andrew's Reviews > Status Anxiety

Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton
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's review
Jan 09, 12

Read in January, 2012

A really excellent book in which de Botton examines how we are driven by our desire to have other people think highly of us and, ultimately, our desire to be loved. In the second half of the book he examines five areas that provide 'solutions': philosophy, art, politics, Christianity, Bohemia. I was able to latch on to all of these antidotes to a degree but was very fascinated by his inclusion of Christianity - my fascination made keen mainly because of my own belief in Christianity. One area he didn't really touch on, which is an antidote to status anxiety, is dedicating yourself to an altruistic calling that serves more than just yourself or your own little world. This factor would have fitted rather comfortably in the section about Christianity, but was left out for some reason. Christian writers have been examining for centuries how serving others and God takes the focus off ourselves and provides a greater sense of purpose for our lives. All that notwithstanding, de Botton is always great and this book is no exception.
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