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Smile or Die: How Positive Thinking Fooled America and the World Paperback – June 1, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
Amongst comments from inept medical "professionals" that have infuriated me have been "No you're not attractive any more and never will be again, but you should see it as an opportunity to develop another aspect of your personality" from a plain as a pikestaff registrar who resembled a giant poodle and unbelievably worked as a specialist in reconstructing damaged faces. And from the Lead Clinician plastic surgeon who had been partly responsible for this situation: "You WILL feel happier about you face......I have patients who look like you who are happy to be seen in public".Mostinfuriating of all "You mustn't be angry. It's very bad for you. Try being more positive."
In my view, directed anger is not unhealthy. Repressed anger is.
I have looked at a number of facial disfigurement websites and found them sadly lacking, and in particular loathe some of the suggested strategies for dealing with disfigurement. One of the more inept suggested that disfigured people subjected to unwanted, intrusive and sometimes abusive attention from strangers should see it as an overture to making a new friend. Now - who on earth would want friends like that!Read more ›
For years many of us have found a touch of nostalgia with all this US home grown upbeat, positive, smile and be happy all the time sermons. Today we know through this book, how it has served corporate America, the Psychology profession many churches leaders, motivational speakers and more. And how can one be against positive? The author shows us how it fooled the nation.
In this reality check sobering review, easy to read at that, Mrs. Ehrenreich points out the dark side of a unrealistic positive view. Today we see what all went wrong when most people believe US house prices can only go up forever, the US can only excel and loosing one's job can be, well positive.
The 'slam dunk' brain washing of books/videos like "The Secret" only served to nurture this erroneous self serving belief on how positive thinking nearly fooled America and the world... as an ideological force in America which "encourages us to deny reality, submit cheerfully to misfortune and blame only ourselves for out fate". It's a timely wake-up call to America. Bravo to Mrs. Barbara Ehrenreich.
Paul A. Renaud.
The way that positive thinking is used by some people to spare themselves from having to listen to you, help you or really try to understand the reality of illness when you are seriously ill is something that comes up a lot in the chat groups for ill people I am a member of. On the surface they are being kind and offering you 'positive thoughts' but it is really about this serving their needs rather than yours.
Expressing legitimate anger is helpful and necessary. If you do this it passes quickly! Far better to vent for a little while to friends who understand than to repress all your feelings and so end up feeling unhappy far longer, in the end.
The chapter on positive thinking and illness was good but really only scratched the surface. I was somewhat disappointed by it as there was so much that could have been said on this topic and I'd have loved lots more comments on this topic to have been in the book. But then I am biased and this is a special interest subject of mine and probably this short chapter was more than enough for the average reader, so fair enough.
The way the author ties in positive thinking brainwashing to political apathy in the last chapter was very well done too and I couldn't agree more with her conclusions. As someone involved in trying to fire people up to participate in activism I absolutely find the 'nicey nicey at all costs' mindlessly positive attitude to be an enormous obstacle in effecting real positive change. Just enormous.
I highly recommend at least searching your local library for a copy of this book, it deserves to be widely read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Entertaining, well written and a sympathetic thesis. This is a great book for those wondering why they can't just grit their teeth and fake happiness. Read morePublished on January 24, 2014 by Sam Giancana
Clearly a cut above. Ehrenreich continually entertains and educates her readers in this description of the dangers of magical thinking and unfounded optimism. Read morePublished on January 9, 2013 by Just reading
I was ( and still am ) lucky to have encountered the title of this book through the Internet, and luckiest to have bought this book and have read it from cover to cover, even... Read morePublished on August 21, 2012 by humorous
Ehrenreich came face to face with the subject of positive thinking when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Read morePublished on March 23, 2012 by S Wood
The American version of "Smile or Die" is called "Bright-Sided: how positive thinking is undermining America" a rather harmless title compared to the UK subtitle "How Positive... Read morePublished on July 30, 2011 by B.Friendly