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Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has… (2009)
de Barbara Ehrenreich
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A very important book for employees, white-collar and common people. I can only say: Indignez-vous! time for outrage! We have 2022 and nothing has changed since 2009: the richer become richer, and the poor poorer. Don`t blame yourself for this. You can find Ehrenreich Barbara on youtube.
This is a brilliant book. Ehrenreich looks at the horrible things that have been done to our country under the guise of "positive thinking." Corporations push motivational speakers on employees who are stressed out because of too much overtime and not enough benefits. CEOs lose touch with reality because they've bought into the notion that they're rich because they deserve to be rich, and nobody wants to bring them bad news because negatively gets people fired. Preachers of "prosperity gospels" sucker the less affluent into believing they can buy anything they want (and, according to some sources, may even be directly responsible for the housing market's collapse). People can fight cancer and other illnesses if they're just happy enough. It's ridiculous.
The notion of "positive thinking" goes back to Mary Baker Eddy and the founding of the Christian Scientists. White America was founded by gloomy Calvinists, who believed that the financial condition in which people found themselves was predestined. New Thought (Eddy's belief system) was that people did deserve what they got, but that thinking only good things (and carefully moderating one's thoughts) would result in God providing whatever was needed. Added to that was the human tendency toward magical thinking, and the result was modern "positive thinking."
Ehrenreich completely tears down the foundations and gurus of the movements, and I love her for it. I've been meaning to read this book for years, and I'm sorry I waited so long. It's excellent. Fair warning: if you read it, it will piss you off, but that's even more reason to read it. Five VERY well-earned stars.
Another gem from Ehrenreich.
When I saw this book I was immediately intrigued by an in-depth look into the psychology of positive thinking. I was a skeptic of things like "The Secret" and the prosperity theology that cause me to leave many a church, so a book like this was right up my alley.
I enjoyed learning about the history of the positive thinking movement and seeings its mark in places like religion, business and health care. Since the first chapter, I have not looked at Breast Cancer paraphernalia the same. At time I disagreed with Ms Ehrenreich, especially about her analysis of Cancer patients/survivors, but I also saw a lot of truth in the information presented.
Overall an enjoyable read I recommended to fans of Ehrenreich and those interested in Positive thinking
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Vindicated at last! All of us misanthropic misery guts, whingers and whiners, Seroxat-refuseniks, "walking nimbus clouds"; we grouches, saddos, naysayers, demoralisers and party-poopers – our day has dawned. Time to gather and strike for the right to snigger, sulk and be sceptical, for the whole purpose of the cult of positive thinking is the beatification of bullshit.
I must confess, I have waited my whole life for someone to write a book like “Bright-Sided”... Now, in Barbara Ehrenreich’s deeply satisfying book, I finally have a moral defense for my apparent scowl.
The myth-busting Barbara Ehrenreich takes on the ``cult of cheerfulness'' in her latest book and shortly after diving into the icy plunge pool of Chapter One readers will find themselves asking: Can I really make it all the way through a screed that starts off with a roundhouse punch at the positive thinking of cancer patients?
You can. And you should.
[Ehrenreich's] argument has the makings of a tight, incisive essay. And each chapter eventually delivers a succinct reiteration of the central point. But this short book is also padded with cheap shots, easy examples, research recycled from her earlier books and caustic reportorial stalking. Ms. Ehrenreich starts out with her ideas firmly in place, then goes out hunting for crass, benighted individuals whose perniciousness helps her accentuate the negative.
While Ehrenreich is entertaining and instructive as she has been in the past, "Bright-Sided" is probably her least persuasive book.
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A sharp-witted knockdown of America's love affair with positive thinking and an urgent call for a new commitment to realism, existential clarity and courage.
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El llibre de Barbara Ehrenreich Bright-Sided estava disponible a LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
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Classificació Decimal de Dewey (DDC)155.232 — Philosophy and Psychology Psychology Developmental And Differential Psychology Individual Psychology Traits Particular Traits
LCC (Clas. Bibl. Congrés EUA)
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Naturally, Ehrenreich has somewhat of a "root-of-all-evil" approach to the subject, but that seems to be part of the way books are sold these days. If nothing else, she makes a case against mysticism, supernaturalism and wishful thinking, as well as against the notion that "negative thinking" is neccessarily a bad thing. Where would America be today if the founding fathers had "thought positively" and just wished for a better life under British oppression, instead of rising up against it? Where would my own Germany be if everyone "thought positively" and trusted that that little Nazi problem would just take care of itself? Where would freedom, equality, labor unions, and rule of law be if everyone had always thought that everything bad in their life was just due to their own personal attitude?
As Ehrenreich points out, a key component of "negative thinking" is vigilance. And when you live in the real world and want to survive in it, vigilance is a good thing. ( )