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The Self-Help Compulsion: Searching for Advice in Modern Literature

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  7 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Samuel Beckett as a guru for business executives? James Joyce as a guide to living a good life? The notion of notoriously experimental authors sharing a shelf with self-help books might seem far-fetched, yet a hidden history of rivalry, influence, and imitation links these two worlds. In The Self-Help Compulsion, Beth Blum reveals the profound entanglement of modern ...more
Hardcover, 344 pages
Expected publication: January 28th 2020 by Columbia University Press
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Priya
Nov 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, arc
The book is dense reading.

It mentions a lot of different concepts about the self-help industry and how the genre started. A lot of times, you may have felt that the genre is very repetitive or there's nothing new here. Now you can go back and read about how it all started, the ancient books as well as the authors and what they intended.

Lots of ideas are repeated in the genre but most of them are timeless and can carry through the ages.

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley.
Greg
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-help
Let me start by saying what this book is not. This book is not your typical self-help book. If you are looking for advice about life this may not be the book for you. However, if you are looking for an inquiry into the evolution of self help books this book will provide a wealth of information.

Moreover, I also felt that this is a dense read. Many of the words and phrases used here are academic and not relatively easy to understand.

Nevertheless, this book will appeal to its intended audience.
Paul
Oct 19, 2019 rated it liked it
This is the history of self-help with stories, photos, and lots of well research info. This will appeal to a narrow audience. If you're seeking self-help, this will not help you. If you want to see how it evolved you're in the right place.

I really appreciate the NetGalley advanced copy for review!!
Michelle
Oct 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
***Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review***

This book was a little dense and hard for me to get into, but I appreciate the message and the wonderful use of literature throughout.
Heather Bennett
Dec 01, 2019 rated it liked it
The Self-Help Compulsion is a dense history of self-help.It is not a quick easy read. It has some interesting information.
Steven Gidder
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a very engaging read. It shows the political history of the self-help genre. Incredible examples! Enjoyable and informative. The relation of different kinds of literature to self-help was interesting.
Alexandra
Oct 29, 2019 rated it liked it
A look at the history of the self help industry / genre. Primary text and images help the author. A look how it has changed and grown. Good if wanting to know more on its history.
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