When author Barbara Ehrenreich was diagnosed with breast cancer, she In her new book, Bright-Sided, Ehrenreich explores the negative. Ehrenreich (Nickel and Dimed) delivers a trenchant look into the burgeoning business of positive Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America. Barbara Ehrenreich, Author. Barbara Ehrenreich’s examination of the history of positive thinking is a tour de force of well-tempered snark,culminating in a persuasive.

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If only we had been happier we would not have become sick. It’s just got to make your blood boil, reading a book like this and to think it’s only getting worse. Okay, so this is not the best time in my life to read this book, ’cause on Monday I am having a diagnostic mammogram. Now it’s all about moving beyond affliction and stress.

It is an idea Brigjt find truly repulsive.

Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America

The stuff comparing Calvinism and Positive Thinking is really interesting. The positive thinking camp would say he simply wasn’t visualizing properly, that some wee dark pocket of negativity was holding him back from his best life. On Not Getting By in Americaprovides the same service for the multi-billion-dollar positive-thinking industry. While I like to think that I broadly agree with her, I’m sometimes put off by the way she says things and the spin she likes to put on certain people.

Then things began to go wrong, which is not in itself unusual but was a possibility excluded by America’s official belief that things are good and getting better. Notice how animals are always on alert, the author notes, and that if danger presents itself, animals in a group sound the alarm.

Even when the hurricane struck and levees broke, no alarm bells went off in Washington, and when a New Orleans FEMA official sent a panicky e-mail to FEMA director Michael Brown, alerting him to the rising number of deaths and a shortage of food in the drowning city, he was told that Brown would need an hour to eat his dinner in a Baton Rouge restaurant.

Indeed, wisdom tells us that any extremes, of any kind, and in any direction, is bad for us. The Futile Pursuit of the American Dream in talking about just how obscenely wealthy the CEOs have became at the expense of the rest of us. How to visualize stuff you want and thus take all the credit when your parents give you that trampoline you’ve been begging for. But it changes the way you feel about what you want, which is sometimes all you have control over.


We need to brace ourselves for a struggle against terrifying obstacles, both of our own making and imposed by the natural world.

Ever since the positive thinking curriculum in sixth barbra I’ve loathed the philosophy. Feb 16, Allison DeLauer rated it it was amazing. Positive thinking, Ehrenreich with attention to her American readers is all a bit communist, virtual Stalinist once barabra get going. Finally we do reach the above mentioned financial crash which she sees as the fruit of the tree of positive thinking with central bankers believing that Adam Smith’s invisible hand of the market, and a God that seeks to make everyone at least as wealth as King Solomon come together in a swelling bud of belief in growth perpetual.

Barbara Ehrenreichwho exposed the underbelly of the service economy in Nickel and Dimed: No, the author argues.

Positive thinking may be a quintessentially American activity, associated in our minds with both individual and national success, but it is driven by a terrible insecurity. She agrees with me about the abuse of positive thinking as a tool for making corporate employees compliant and passive in a time of downsizing; it’s easier than using dogs and guns, after all. It exposes the beight inherent in the positive I sought this out after reading Ehrenreich’s L.

Oct 20, Lena rated it really liked it Shelves: It’s not that Ehrenreich has lost her edge, it’s simply sidev I found most of the areas she explored here to be uninteresting. But the sentiment was there. Jan 13, Bill Kerwin rated it liked it.

‘Bright-Sided’: When Happiness Doesn’t Help

There’s so much pop psychology, career faith healing, and apoplectic fiscal cheerleading out there contagious in our communities that it’s a wonder there aren’t more Stepford families next door. This book takes a look at the whole “positive thinking” culture. Some of these claims are exaggerated, as ehrenreeich shall see, though positive feelings hardly need to be justified, like exercise or vitamin supplements, as part of a healthy lifestyle.

We are plagued by gun violence and racked by personal debt. Jan 18, Carmen rated it liked it Recommends it for: The school had made a deal with the Chicken Soup tripe spewing hright, and each week before their lessons for the day would commence, students were subjected to a three minute mini morals read in a cracked, schmarmy herenreich that made the After School Specials of the 70s seem weighty in comparison.

‘Bright-Sided’: When Happiness Doesn’t Help : NPR

Even God bargara only a supporting role, and by no means an indispensable one, in the Osteens’ universe. Your mileage may vary. It’s that this entire book neglects to ask one basic question: 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 ehhrenreich cross towards Jesus in a three-piece business s There is little point writing a review of a book once Lena has written one – http: Where is the demand for humility and sacrificial love for others?


Particularly disturbing are her accounts of people being ehdenreich out of cancer support groups for not being positive enough during obviously failing prognoses, and the qu Before you back away from this title, understand that the opposite of positivism is not negativism, but realism.

This is our reputation as well as our self-image. Babara, who has a doctorate in cell biology, points out that even if positive thinking could strengthen the immune system, it would not help defeat most cancers, since most cancers have nothing to do with the immune system. Looking at news consumption helps the author solidify her point that Americans are weakened by the desire to be happy no matter what.

Dec 16, Cara rated it did not like it. When Happiness Doesn’t Help Barbarq author Barbara Ehrenreich was diagnosed with breast cancer, she was bombarded with wildly optimistic, inspirational phrases. Its great to have a basic positive outlook on challenging situations — especially if you follow it up with diligent ‘what-can-be done’-to-solve-the-problem-and-move-towards-desired-results’but false positives are nothing but balongna.

In my own vision of utopia, there is not only more comfort, and security for everyone — better jobs, health care, and so forth — there are also more parties, festivities, and opportunities for dancing in the streets. How did we become so wrapped up in our crystal healing and our political correctness and our business casual Hawaiian T-shirt Fridays? By the twentieth century, though, it had gone mainstream, gaining purchase within such powerful belief systems as nationalism and also doing its best to make itself indispensable to capitalism.

His happiness equation, babrara from its laughably unscientific nature, posits that someone’s circumstances will have a minimal effect on their feelings of happiness or unhappiness: While these are polar emotions, they are not the only ones.