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Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche Paperback – March 22, 2011
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""Crazy Like Us" is a blistering and truly original work of reporting and analysis, uncovering America's role in homogenizing how the world defines wellness and healing." -- Po Bronson, author of "NurtureShock"
""Crazy Like Us" is both groundbreaking and shocking...Whether Watters' book will be sand in the engines of the bulldozers remains to be seen. At least it proves the West, despite its best intentions, does not possess all the answers."--"The Boston Globe"
"A devastating account of America's psychological adventures abroad. The stories Watters tells will move you, surprise you, and occasionally infuriate you, and they will change the way you think about culture, human nature, and the mind." -- Paul Tough, author of "Whatever it Takes"
"Ethan Watters has a truly original take on the way our country shapes the expression of mental illness around the globe. His is one of those books you can't stop thinking about or referring to in conversation, that permanently changes your perspective on beliefs you took for granted." -- Peggy Orenstein, author of "Waiting for Daisy"
"Ethan Watters has traveled the world to look at how globalization reaches far beyond economics and into people's very conceptions of what constitutes health and sanity. I find his book provocative, original, and convincing." -- Adam Hochschild, author of "Bury the Chains" and "King Leopold's Ghost"
"I couldn't put it down. "Crazy Like Us" is a fascinating and provocative intellectual travelogue, and Watters is a fearless guide." -- Alan Burdick, author of "Out of Eden"
"In crisp journalistic style, Watters argues convincingly that what the American psychiatric industry exports is not so much drugs as diseases." --"Mother Jones"
"Searing, startling, and utterly unforgettable. Ethan Watters brilliantly surveys the stark interior cost of globalization, from our export of stress disorders to Sri Lanka to our marketing of depression in Japan as 'a cold of the soul.' "Crazy Like Us" is a grand tour of the new global psyche, distorted and darkened by the export of the American dream." -- Jason Roberts, National Book Critics Circle finalist for "A Sense of the World"
"Watters commands attention with his repartee and conversational manner while drawing much-needed attention to the consequences of Western intrusion. This fascinating book deserves attention from mental health workers and Americans interested in the reach of their culture's psyche across the globe."-- "Library Journal"
About the Author
- Publisher : Free Press; Reprint edition (March 22, 2011)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1416587098
- ISBN-13 : 978-1416587095
- Item Weight : 9.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.44 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #17,506 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The idea that western knowledge is influencing and trying to fit it's square peg into a round hole of global mental illness is a valid one that needs to be considered with care. If we approach all cultures with a superior and domineering attitude, we will be unable to help when we most want to. We will alienate the very people we seek to help. But Watters approaches this topic with the delicacy of a bull in a china shop labeling all western thought as unfit to help anywhere except in western countries. In fact, I would even say that he doesn't think that any good can come from mental health practitioners who are too self-serving and egocentric to see past their own ethos to actually heal.
I would approach this book with caution. Whatever valid arguments Watters might have had are smeared with so much derision and disgust that his message is no longer one of intelligence or a call for caution; it is propaganda.
He is able to keep his readers captivated by incorporating the stories of people who are inflicted with this disorder. He also allows the reader to see how the disorder progressed from having a cultural specific identity to being manipulated into an entirely new being. One of his first examples is that of anorexia in China, at first the reason behind the disorder was completely different from our own, that was until it became exposed to the population.
Which is where Watters introduces the concept of western technology and science. In his book he stakes the claim that because of the advanced science and technology possessed by the United States, leads to less economically stable countries to embrace ideas that are foreign to them without thinking how it will affect their cultural background. He proves this point several times in the book, whether it be the United States influencing the introduction of a mental illness to another country, or the use of data collected in the United States in order to push a new SSRI.
Watter’s takes a topic that is what some would call near and dear to individuals of the United States, as mental illness is becoming a more prominent issues, and showing how it is negatively affecting societies that have not been introduced to these ideas. Meaning that no these societies quite possible did have these disorders in their society but before the globalization of their symptoms and definitions they had an entirely different meaning. They became something new instead of what they had always been. The reader sees then when reading chapter three of schizophrenics in Africa, the disorder was always there just never given a name or symptoms addressed to it. Instead it was just a burden to bare from God. Which is where the reader gets to see how the society accepts and treats the disorder.
Watters book is very well constructed and easy to lose oneself in because of the stories he tells of others, and does not bog down the reading with countless studies done, or scholarly information that takes away from the meaning. If one is interested in anthropology, and medical studies this is definitely a book to read. It not only touches base with American culture, but several other cultures, and also gives the reader a taste of the medical aspects of the world. It also allows the reader to see a more in depth view of medical companies and how sometimes these companies are not out for the betterment of individuals; they are out for the betterment of their wallets. Watters took a unique topic and allowed the individuals stories speak for themselves on how globalization has left a devastating footprint on numerous societies; a footprint that some individuals may not be able to recover from.