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

Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America Barbara Ehrenreich
  • Title: Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America
  • Author: Barbara Ehrenreich
  • ISBN: 9780805087499
  • Page: 463
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America Barbara Ehrenreich Bright Sided How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America Americans are a positive people cheerful optimistic and upbeat this is our reputation as well as our self image But than a temperament being positive we are told is the key to success and prosper
    Americans are a positive people cheerful, optimistic, and upbeat this is our reputation as well as our self image But than a temperament, being positive, we are told, is the key to success and prosperity In this utterly original take on the American frame of mind, Barbara Ehrenreich traces the strange career of our sunny outlook from its origins as a marginal ninAmericans are a positive people cheerful, optimistic, and upbeat this is our reputation as well as our self image But than a temperament, being positive, we are told, is the key to success and prosperity In this utterly original take on the American frame of mind, Barbara Ehrenreich traces the strange career of our sunny outlook from its origins as a marginal nineteenth century healing technique to its enshrinement as a dominant, almost mandatory, cultural attitude Evangelical mega churches preach the good news that you only have to want something to get it, because God wants to prosper you The medical profession prescribes positive thinking for its presumed health benefits Academia has made room for new departments of positive psychology and the science of happiness Nowhere, though, has bright siding taken firmer root than within the business community, where, as Ehrenreich shows, the refusal even to consider negative outcomes like mortgage defaults contributed directly to the current economic crisis.With the myth busting powers for which she is acclaimed, Ehrenreich exposes the downside of America s penchant for positive thinking On a personal level, it leads to self blame and a morbid preoccupation with stamping out negative thoughts On a national level, it s brought us an era of irrational optimism resulting in disaster This is Ehrenreich at her provocative best poking holes in conventional wisdom and faux science, and ending with a call for existential clarity and courage.
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      463 Barbara Ehrenreich
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      Posted by:Barbara Ehrenreich
      Published :2020-01-19T22:58:09+00:00

    About Barbara Ehrenreich


    1. Barbara Ehrenreich is an American journalist and the bestselling author of sixteen previous books, including the bestsellers Nickel and Dimed and Bait and Switch A frequent contributor to Harpers and The Nation, she has also been a columnist at The New York Times and Time Magazinecmillan author barbar


    697 Comments


    1. Boy is it nice to see someone exposing Positive fucking Psychology, The Secret, the prosperity gospel, and all the rest of the American happytalk crap I get so sick of it I get so fucking sick of it God, I got so sick of it at the Health NonProfit Call Center I worked at all the smileys and balloons and cheery emails with little animated cartoons Join me on the coverage train and the required attendance pep rallies and the color coded performance scales with little medals and the cutesy slogans, [...]

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    2. Barbara Ehrenreich was first exposed to the dark side of the positive thinking movement when she was diagnosed with breast cancer Early into her cancer journey, she discovered that normal emotions such as anger and fear were being aggressively denied by those who believed that a positive attitude was crucial to survival Cultural skeptic that she is, Ehernreich poured through the literature on the subject and found that, not only did science fail to support the hypothesis that a positive attitude [...]

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    3. I always feel slightly guilty about my reaction to Barbara Ehrenreich s writing I do admire her she is ideologically committed, writes with passion, is on what I consider the correct side of the various social issues that concern her And yet somehow I always end up with these niggling reservations that prevent me from endorsing her books wholeheartedly In the case of Nickel and Dimed , probably her best known work, the niggling reservation was the artificiality of the whole endeavor the knowledg [...]

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    4. It was bad enough that Barbara Ehrenreich suffered from breast cancer what made it even worse was that so many people medical professionals as well as friends and acquaintances insisted that she be upbeat and positive about her affliction Now, in addition to feeling angry and scared, she had to feel guilty about not looking on the bright side This experience led Ms Ehrenreich to examine the origins of Positive Thinking in America Dr Quimby s New Thought, Mary Baker Eddy as a reaction to Calvinis [...]

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    5. Well, I basically slept my way through this That sounded wrong I was surprised and disappointed that I was so bored by this, especially since Ehrenreich s Nickel and Dimed On Not Getting By in America remains an invigorating favorite of mine Her brilliance, humor, and biting cynicism is still in effect here it s not as if her intelligence and wit has gone away however, I find the material to be sorely lacking.Ehrenreich starts out on a high note, with one of the strongest chapters in this book t [...]

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    6. This Just InShort paragraphs and emoticons in reviews quadruple reading pleasure Shiny Happy PeopleApparently, 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 SmileMillions of unemployed people, many middle class professionals, have been forced into taking minimum wage jobs, in which any negative comments are met with a swi [...]

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    7. There is little point writing a review of a book once Lena has written one review show not, of course, that that will stop me.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 suit with a smile to let you know just h [...]

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    8. I enjoyed this book It left me feeling angry, which I regard as the highest praise Hurrah for realism however bleak and a pox on the blindness of optimism Or instead as the old joke goes lets draw the curtains and pretend the train is still moving Indeed this is a book that reminds me of Douglas Adams Electric Monk from a Dirk Gently adventure.The first chapter deals with her experience of breast cancer did I mention this is cheerful book her points in passing here the association of femininity [...]

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    9. I remember reading this line in Paul Coelho s The Alchemist When you really want something to happen, the whole universe conspires so that your wish comes true I didn t think about it too much The book was full of such ridiculous but touchy feely warm and fluffy pronouncements But then I kept seeing this quote everywhere And Coelho is not the only one going around saying such vacuous platitudes The reason why so many people find such patently false absurdities charming or even inspiring has to d [...]

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    10. Last year, while working in one of the roughest schools in one of the roughest districts of Orange County, I had a chance to see how the positive thinking self help movement had slimed its way into public education Each day at School X came with newly minted and labeled behavioral issues, expulsions, and cop cars, always cop cars Many of the kids were flirting with, or had already joined, local gangs, and during my last week a group of students caused a five car pile up by hurling rocks into pas [...]

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    11. Read the reviews by Trevor review show and Lena review show They are better, but I couldn t resist a few comments.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 stronger theories that surround the modern cancer patient Ehren [...]

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    12. Ehrenreich is the Richard Dawkins of positive thinking 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 Sarcasm should not be such a major weapon of an obviously intelligent and otherwise convincing author.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 everything abo [...]

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    13. another book i wanted to like than i did also a book that makes me realize that i need to expand my book categories a little anywayi contemplated buying this book, but i saw barbara ehrenreich s interview on the daily show found it really frustrating is it absolutely necessary to be so hyperbolic smug on national television , so i settled for putting it on hold at the library i m glad i did, because i was really disappointed i was hoping for a smart, clever, somewhat mean spirited book that i c [...]

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    14. Great read This book takes a look at the whole positive thinking culture It offers a different viewpoint Sometimes things just suck Ehrenreich discusses everything from cancer, to the economic downfall In order to have an informed opinion, I think both sides need to be investigated While I may not agree with all her points, many rang true I thought this was a well articulated and compelling read.

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    15. Although I was already familiar with some of the ideas presented in Bright Sided How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America, Barbara Ehrenreich thoroughly covers the historical aspects of the proliferation of the Positive Thinking and Psychology movement in the US Beginning with the Calvinist theology roots that abhorred idleness and pleasure seeking, Ehrenreich then moves onto the New Thought Movement that held the beginning philosophical beliefs of our current era [...]

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    16. I ve been waiting my whole life for someone to write this book THANK YOU Ever since the positive thinking curriculum in sixth grade I ve loathed the philosophy Then there was the junior high math teacher who wanted us to visualize getting the A It makes me feel awful to want to slap any person who says, everything happens for a reason or why did you draw that into your life would you say that to a someone in the third world, or in a war torn country Now someone has taken my side the side of all [...]

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    17. Before you back away from this title, understand that the opposite of positivism is not negativism, but realism Ehrenriech does a masterful job of taking on the happyness culture that pervades business, organized religion, pop psychology, and the American way, where being upbeat is no longer a guideline, but a requirement Particularly disturbing are her accounts of people being drummed out of cancer support groups for not being positive enough during obviously failing prognoses, and the quite co [...]

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    18. Smile It ll hide your feelings of being dead inside Buy our stuff.

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    19. I sought this out after reading Ehrenreich s L.A Times essay on her experience with breast cancer The first chapter of this book is indeed called Smile or Die The Bright Side of Cancer Because I m shallow, I didn t find the transition from the personal to the political a smooth one It works thematically it didn t work for me emotionally.However, once I got over wanting to hear about her own life, I understood how valuable this book is It exposes the cruelty inherent in the positive thinking mov [...]

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    20. Though I prefer the provocative UK title Smile or Die How Positive Thinking Fooled America and the World The week I was reading this book, my mother happened to ask what I had been reading lately during our regular phone call and I replied that I was reading a book about positive thinking Her pleased oh quickly morphed into a not very effectively smothered whimper of dismay as I explained that it was a critical book about how self help and pop psychology have done America a disservice and kept [...]

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    21. Every wonder how these positive thinking gambits are supposed to work, the ones that are supposed to make you richer Napoleon Hill s Think and Grow Rich , popular Dale Carnegie s How to Win Friends and Influence People , or godly Norman Vincent Peale s The Power Of Positive Thinking Spoiler alert In short, they don t Barbara Ehrenreich, who exposed the underbelly of the service economy in Nickel and Dimed On Not Getting By in America, provides the same service for the multi billion dollar posi [...]

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    22. Yes I agree with this author, Barbara Ehrenreich So how about a rant that supports her suspicion of the recent American fad with Positive Thinking 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 it in its co [...]

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    23. I was given this book for Christmas I thought pretty much as a joke We all know you re a crabby old grouch, so here s some ammunition for you I expected it to be a collection of snarky and witty anecdotes a la Maureen Dowd, but it turned out to be far heart felt and sober, without being too bitter Or as Samuel Johnson put it about Law s A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, I expected it to be the usual thing, but it quite overmastered me She begins with her own experience of breast cancer [...]

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    24. This is a superb examination of a current cultural malaise which has taken over and dominated western thinking Positive Thinking So prevalent is this malaise that we automatically accept its premise be positive Nobody wants to be negative 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 politics, commer [...]

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    25. WAIT.I HAVE NOT READ THIS BOOK But I didn t know how to say what I wanted to say without saying I read it Hearing somebody be TOO positive at inappropriate times just feels worse If your fill in the blank , was dying or you had found our you had Cancer would you want to hear Oh just keep your chin up Hang in or THINK POSITIVE , cheer up or might you just prefer to hear I m so sorry which feels better I can name a hundred of other negative outcomes for thinking too positive kids for example grow [...]

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    26. Keep Calm and Stay Positive Everyday is a second chance S.M.I.L.E See Miracles in Life Everyday Positive Mind Positive vibes Positive life I ask myself, what do positive quotes teach us, other than every day and everyday are used interchangeably without fail Barbara Ehrenreich, a highly credible journalist with 16 books under her belt and whose work appears in college textbooks, must have asked a similar question before she started writing Bright Sided How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Th [...]

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    27. Ah at last a member of my tribe What s wrong with being sad and depressed when you re sick and suffering horrified by the bombing of innocents furious with inequality, racism, misogyny, ageism outraged by corporate malfeasance and immunity A little pessimism and skepticism is damn useful I suspect I m in the minority when I say I don t believe having a positive, cheerful outlook will cure cancer In fact, I don t think cancer, or any other illness, gives a fart if I m chipper, whereas if I take i [...]

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    28. The week I was reading this book, my mother happened to ask what I had been reading lately during our regular phone call and I replied that I was reading a book about positive thinking Her pleased oh quickly morphed into a not very effectively smothered whimper of dismay as I explained that it was a critical book about how self help and pop psychology have done America a disservice and kept people from facing the truth After that we didn t talk so much about books I think she is best off not kno [...]

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    29. THE PERILS OF POSITIVE THINKING Ehrenreich came face to face with the subject of positive thinking when she was diagnosed with breast cancer Buried under an avalanche of pink ribbons, teddy bears, and bogus claims for the value of positive thinking in beating cancer hence the title Smile or Die she began to look into the pervasiveness of positive think ism in American society in her usual thorough, good humoured and insightful manner.It is everywhere There are Christian denominations that are de [...]

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    30. Summary Barbara Ehrenreich has never been huggedI 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 poorly argued than my senior thesisd I wasn t a very bright college student In fair [...]

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