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What Was I Thinking?: The Dumb Things We Do and How to Avoid Them Paperback – March 16, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Any student of human behavior will enjoy this book. (Library Journal)

About the Author

William B. Helmreich, Ph.D. is a noted expert on the sociology of everyday life and risk behavior, and is an award-winning author of 14 books. He has been interviewed by Oprah and Larry King, and has appeared on all the major networks to discuss his work. Helmreich has also written for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Newsday, and many scholarly journals. He lives in New York, NY.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing (March 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1589795970
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589795976
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,429,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Jimmy H. Frederickson on January 2, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I often wonder why rich and famous people also blow their life apart with stupid statements, that get them into trouble, and even black balled from certain situations.. This little gem of a book gives a great in sight to all the
B.S. that people do to wiggle them out of trouble for dumb statements and getting caught! very fun book to read and well done!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book, finding it both fascinating and extremely informative, before the recent sexual fiascos of the former Governor of California and that French Money Fund Guy. came to light. What was so astonishing was how perfectly William Helmreich's analysis of the disastrous decisions made by both the most famous and by the rest of us explained the unbelievable missteps of these two men.

Helmreich brings his formidable analytic tools and data culled from a hundred interviews to explanations of seemingly inexplicable deeds. Where newspaper articles simply reported the well-known disastrous actions of well-known actors, politicians, and the like, Helmreich rivetingly demonstrates how these actions are rooted in arrogance, fear, ambition , and the like--each case being different and in need of a different explanation.

Fascinating as are Helmreich's discussions of the famous, perhaps the most interesting portions of the book concern seemingly inexplicable errors that cause the man in the street--that's us--humiliation and hurt.

Helmreich sets all this in the context of the social milieu that both permits the errors and provides the antidotes.

Lest I have made this wonderful book sound to serious to be a good read, I hasten to add that it is a page turner that I read in one sitting. I recommend it both as most pleasant reading and as a very valuable guide to avoidance of the sorts of disasters Helmreich discusses.
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Format: Paperback
This book has some interesting commentary on the individual and societal reasons that people, against all reason, self-implode.

However, as a Utahn, imagine my surprise when Sen Larry Craig (of airport bathroom foot tapping fame) is repeatedly identified as the Senator from Utah. He was, in fact, elected by the people of Idaho - we have our own fools, thank you very much, without importing others. When such a basic and easily verifiable fact is not checked, it makes me wonder about the validity of the other "facts". Kind of a deal breaker in non-fiction.
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