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32 of 51 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great subject area, wrong writer, November 4, 2009
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This review is from: Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America (Hardcover)
It's a great area to tackle: the tiresome need to smile in America. But it's the wrong author. Instead of a reasoned, interesting, curious investigation, Barbara Ehrenreich has written what might be the most shallow book of the year. She gets everything wrong. She mixes up facts, she equates William James with Dale Carnegie, she tries to imply that positive thinking in health is the same as positive thinking in the economy, she misquotes, and worst, she didn't do the necessary reading: She doesn't even mention the best book on the subject of health and attitude, Anne Harrington's "The Cure Within." All in all, this book reads like something a terrifically smart twelfth grader might patch together over a caffeine-soaked weekend. Such a shame, because this is a subject that could use a smart writer.

Interesting that someone who sees such a surfeit of positive thinking has written a book that has generated such a spate of negative reviews. Epic irony.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 6, 2009 8:58:18 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 6, 2009 8:59:11 AM PST
S.Dobbs says:
You criticize the author for lack of clarity and evidence/facts to support her claims. Where are your facts and evidence to support your claims? Seems you're guilty of the same thing you accuse the author of.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2009 12:32:16 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 12, 2009 12:33:47 AM PST
Hey Dobbs,

Not sure whether this comment was meant for another review. Anna provided clear evidence to support her claims. Logical evidence: "She mixes up facts, she equates William James with Dale Carnegie, she tries to imply that positive thinking in health is the same as positive thinking in the economy, she misquotes, and worst, she didn't do the necessary reading: She doesn't even mention the best book on the subject of health and attitude, Anne Harrington's "The Cure Within."

Or did you not review the evidence (the review) about which you made your claim?

Posted on Nov 18, 2009 10:42:12 AM PST
Hi Anna,

Just finished reading this book and I was curious as to specifically which facts the author had mixed up? I was also interested in which of her quotes were incorrect as well? I wish I had the book in front of me but it was a borrowed copy. I thougt she made many good points but I also felt as if the book were (as another reviewer put it) a bit lopsided or maybe just incomplete.

I thought that she was indeed drawing parallels between positivism in health, religion, and business but I did not get the sense that she was saying that these were all the same? Did you feel that she was indeed saying that? You seem to have more insight into this area than I do. I also was curious as to which author you believe could better cover this subject?

Thanks.
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