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The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement Paperback – April 13, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (April 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416575995
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416575993
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 6.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (185 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,086 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Twenge and Campbell, psychologists and authors of previous books on self-admiration, team up for a thorough look at a troubling trend that has broad cultural implications. They begin by chronicling changes in American culture that have brought us Botox, fake paparazzi, and MySpace. The authors distinguish between self-esteem and narcissism, drawing on scientific research, but focus on narcissistic personality traits “among the normal population” and cultural narcissism that goes deep into social values. The authors debunk myths about narcissism—that it is necessary in order to be competitive and that narcissists are actually overcompensating for low self-esteem. Although young girls have been hit hardest by the narcissism epidemic, with unrealistic notions of physical beauty, the scourge has affected us all—witness Wall Street greed and the mortgage crisis with its overblown sense of materialism and entitlement. The authors argue that the nation needs to recognize the epidemic and its negative consequences, and take corrective action. Individuals can start by practicing gratitude, and parents can teach their children friendship skills, with the emphasis on others rather than self. --Vanessa Bush --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"The other night, when I was reading Twenge and Campbell's excellent and timely new book, my husband was busy framing a fake Sports Illustrated cover, with a picture of our 7-year old over the caption, "Player of the Year." The Narcissism Epidemic will hew close to the bone, rouse, and provoke many readers as it shines a spotlight on an important -- and highly costly -- trend in our lives. Rooted in hard data and illuminated with revealing anecdotes, stories, and solutions, The Narcissism Epidemic is both a pleasure and an education. But enough about this book. Let's talk about me." -- Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., author of The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want

"An important and illuminating book. Drs. Twenge and Campbell expertly analyze many strands of American culture and reveal an alarming tapestry of psychocultural narcissism. They also offer sound strategies for slowing this epidemic." -- Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D., author of Can't Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel and So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids

"Filled with important, disturbing research detailing the alarming cultural spread of narcissism today -- a serious social problem to which many people are unwittingly contributing without realizing the disastrous consequences. The authors give sound advice and provide an important resource for anyone who cares about compassion, empathy, and emotional connection rather than ME, ME, ME!" -- Karyl McBride, Ph.D., author of Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers

"The Narcissism Epidemic is a must read, an essential antidote to a culture spinning out of control. Filled with facts, fascinating examples, and written in a highly readable style, Twenge and Campbell's outstanding book shows how narcissism has been on the rise and has taken over almost every part of our lives and how we can rescue our culture from ourselves. An outstanding accomplishment by two people who truly care about the debacle of self-worship. It should be read by anyone interested in the future of our country" -- Robert L. Leahy, Ph.D., author of Anxiety Free: Unravel Your Fears Before They Unravel You

"Phenomenal...The Narcissism Epidemic clearly and succinctly identifies the dangerous disease and the catastrophic ways it threatens our society and future, and reveals urgently needed solutions at every level. The chapter on parenting alone makes this book priceless and should be compulsory reading." -- Patrick Wanis PhD, Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert, author of How to Find Happiness

"A must-read for anyone who is a parent, a relationship partner, in the workforce, in school, or on the job market. Twenge and Campbell not only define narcissism but detail its antecedents, consequences, and underlying processes in a way that brings together so much of what one sees in modern western culture. Grounded in research and peppered with media and anecdotal stories, The Narcissism Epidemic offers practical, much-needed solutions to coping in the age of entitlement." -- Kathleen Vohs, Ph.D., University of Minnesota McKnight Land-Grant Professor, Editor of Self and Relationships: Connecting Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Processes

"This insightful book shows us how the epidemic of narcissism touches almost all aspects of our lives. Twenge and Campbell's astute analysis and salient anecdotes powerfully map the problem and the high price we all pay. They expertly show us the kinds of actions we can take to free ourselves of the epidemic's ruthless grip and how the future wellbeing of humane society depends on our doing so." -- Diane E. Levin, Ph.D., Professor of Education at Wheelock College and co-author of So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids

"The evidence Twenge and Campbell have compiled is compelling and appalling.... Twenge and Campbell marshal statistics, polls, charts, studies and anecdotes to assemble a complete picture of the epidemic's current state of contagion, brought on by the Internet, reality television, a booming economy, easy credit and other developments over the past decade. The authors dismantle the prevailing myths that have made us inclined to tolerate and even encourage narcissism: that it's a function of high self-esteem, that it's a function of low self-esteem, that a little narcissism is healthy, that narcissists are in fact superior, that you have to love yourself to be able to love someone else." -- New York Times Style Magazine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

I thought this was a very interesting and easy read.
corndogmcp
I apologize for the length of this review, but it would take another book to point out all the factual mistakes and inconsistencies in book like these.
Michael A. Males
The authors of "The Narcissism Epidemic" do a good job of describing narcissistic trends in our society.
H. F. Gibbard

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

301 of 334 people found the following review helpful By Danno VINE VOICE on April 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"The Narcissism Epidemic" is an often thought-provoking critique of modern American culture. We're definitely more obsessed with ourselves than decades ago, and it's certainly an uncomfortable experience to read the many examples here and recognize family members, friends, and loved ones. Yet despite the fact that both authors are academic research psychologists, there's an awful lot less psychology in this book than meets the eye. Truth be told, while there are a lot of good research studies on narcissism, both Twenge and Campbell are willing to go far beyond the data to extend their hypotheses to such areas as MySpace, online flamers, and dating websites. A wealth of social psychology and evolutionary psychology research explains these areas far better than Twenge and Campbell's thesis, yet this research is all but ignored by the authors. Many of the chapters rely on the tried-and-true anecdotal approach used in academic critiques of pop culture, often implying empirical support by associating them with unrelated research articles. I'm also annoyed at the almost total lack of chapter references; instead we are given a website to download this information from.

The book ignores much of the social structure that supports narcissism and allows it to flourish. Yes, the parental and educational influences are clearly labelled. But codependency isn't probed. Nor is the general lack of assertiveness among many people. Narcissists can't run rampant within a society unless they are allowed to. In the chapter on the cult of celebrity, for example, the role of gossip mags as reinforcement for the celebrity narcissist is mentioned. But what about the consumer of such magazines?
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204 of 228 people found the following review helpful By James R. Holland VINE VOICE on April 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
For some time I've been wondering what the attraction of social networks such as MySpace and Facebook and dozens of imitators are all about. My children and most of their friends spend hours and hours on these "tell-all" websites. If I wish to know what my kids are up to, I can check their websites and the websites of their girl friends. My daughter ended up with some stalker problems and wisely cancelled her Facebook listing. I don't check my son's social sites often because I know I may not like what I find posted. Most of it is harmless news, but some of it is too personal for dear old Dad and Mom to want to know. Much of what is shown on many social sites may come back to bite the subject of the material on their rear ends. Employers often check the listings about potential employees.
Some of my peers spend more time updating their social website listings than improving their business websites. I know that the number of so-call "friends" pictured on their social sites must require them to spend several hours a day corresponding. The business friends justify it as networking and self-promotion for their businesses. I have my doubts. I suspect those friendships are miles wide and a fraction of an inch deep.
This book is about the fact that the Narcissism Epidemic has hooked millions of people into becoming "Me Addicts." These youngsters are the product of our American culture that glorifies wealth, beauty, glamour and fame and who have been told by their parents and teachers that they are truly outstanding individuals despite any flaws. The "Love Yourself" educational programs they have been brainwashed with throughout their school careers have gone amuck. The students have been protected from reality and turned into spoiled, entitled, and lazy adults.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Currie-Knight TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Narcissism is the fast food of the soul. It tastes great in the short term, has negative, even dire, consequences in the long term, and yet continues to have widespread appeal." (p. 259)

For all intents and purposes, The Narcissism Epidemic is something of a sequel to Jean Twenge's previous book, Generation Me. Wheras that book focused on the younger generation's (and gen y's) increase in narcissistic behavior, this book focuses on the same trend as a nation- and worldwide phenomenon. From our ever-increasing obsession with fawning over the lives of the rich and glamorous (Real Housewives of Orange County, anyone?) to our rampant consumerism, this book tells the tale of a nation in a very strange state of decline. In a sense, we are loving ourselves to death.

The first few chapters start off with the hard numbers. Twenge and Campbell have administered, and chased down, several experimental studies which demonstrate a very clear trend towards a more narcissistic attitude in the population. Young people list "being famous" as an important life goal far more frequently than their predecessors, the rise of platic surgery has increased FIVEFOLD in the past ten years (which COULD be explained by the fact that it has become more affordable, but the increase is so large that this explanation is unlikely to be the MAIN one). More and more newspaper articles and tv shows focus on narcissistic themes than in years past. Infintitely more people, when given the Narcissistic Personality Inventory, yield results consistent with narcissism than in years past. In other words, the rise in narcissism is thoroughly documented here.
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