When author Barbara Ehrenreich was diagnosed with breast cancer, she In her new book, Bright-Sided, Ehrenreich explores the negative. Barbara Ehrenreich thinks the prevalence of bogus optimism has weakened America, and she is willing to shoot fish in barrels to make that. Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America,” the new book by Barbara Ehrenreich, is based on.

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In the Declaration of Independence, the founding fathers pledged to one another “our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.

The promotion of positive thinking has become a minor industry in its own right, producing an endless flow of books, DVDs, and other products; providing employment for tens of thousands of “life coaches,” “executive coaches,” and motivational speakers, as well as for the growing cadre of professional psychologists who seek to train them.

Ehrenriech does a masterful job of taking on the “happyness” culture that pervades business, organized religion, pop psychology, and the American way, where being “upbeat” is no longer a guideline, but a requirement. In fact, I don’t think cancer, or any other illness, gives a fart if I’m chipper, whereas Ah. Ironically, the citizens of the USA ehrenrfich not even get upset with the excesses of the wealthy, because they the poor citizens are certain barbaea day they too will be rich, and so, in preparation for that day, no limits must ever be placed on the greed of the wealthy.

Thirdly, Ehrenreich uses personal anecdotes from her experience with breast cancer. For both rational and mystical reasons, sifed, the effort of positive thinking is said to be well worth our time and attention, whether this means reading the relevant books, attending seminars and speeches that offer the appropriate mental training, or just doing the solitary work of concentration on desired outcomes — a better job, an attractive mate, world peace.

But it’s worse than pink; she writes about women who are kicked out of breast cancer support groups when their cancer relapses; who are castigated in chatrooms for not being upbeat.

Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America

View all 3 comments. Notice how animals are always on alert, the author notes, and that if danger presents itself, animals in a group sound the alarm. Where is the demand for humility and sacrificial love for others? Much of the material in the middle chapters feels redundant – crowding in one more anecdote about yet another ridiculous motivational speaker, long after the point has been made.


Many of the kids were flirting with, or had already joined, local gangs, and during my last week a group of students caused a five car pile up by hurling rocks into passing traffic. First, it requires the denial of understandable feelings of anger and fear, all of which must be buried under a cosmetic layer of cheer Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness for some utter brilliance on the ehrrnreich of realism and whether it is helpful or hurtful to an individual’s life.

On the contrary, I would like to see more smiles, more laughter, more hugs, more brighg and, better yet, joy.

View all 35 comments. In fact, I don’t think cancer, or any other illness, gives a fart if I’m chipper, whereas if I take it seriously and realistically, rather than being determinedly, insistently, optimistic as to the outcome, then although I may be bloody miserable, at least I’ll be doing whatever it takes to improve my health. Cancer is the passport to the life you were truly meant to live. I enjoyed this book. Equally, each person thrown into the cold trauma of joblessness in the US, is expected to be positively grateful for the blessing thrown their way.

View all 9 comments. I need to chant that all is well and assure myself that house prices can continue to grow annually in double figures while the rest of the economy is growing at 2 or 3 percent.

In addition, good feelings, as expressed through our words and smiles, seem to be contagious: But more than a temperament, being positive, we are told, is the key to success and prosperity.

But we cannot levitate ourselves into that blessed condition by wishing it.

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Oct 20, Lena rated it really liked it Shelves: I didn’t know that, but it makes perfect sense. It tears me up to hear my friends beating themselves up for feeling down about something by saying ‘I know I shouldn’t be like this – other people have it worse.

Boy is it nice to see someone exposing Positive fucking Psychology, The Secretthe “prosperity gospel,” and all the rest of the American happytalk crap. Ehrenreich includes loads of examples. So I take it as a sign of progress that, in just the last decade or so, economists have begun to show an interest in using happiness rather than just the gross national product ehrenreidh a measure of an economy’s success. By highlighting the evil aspects bight ‘being positive’ this book bsrbara be essential reading — a mild, ehrenrech hopefully effective antidote to the poison that inhabits every extreme position.


Hope is an emotion, a yearning, the experience of which is not entirely within our control.

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One weekend in college, a bunch of us went on a day hike in the Adirondacks. By and large, America’s white-collar corporate workforce drank the Kool-Aid, as the expression goes, and accepted positive thinking as a substitute for their former affluence and security. I agree with Ehrenreich–please let me die any other way than clutching a teddy bear, surrounded by pink femininity. And why do the sceptics, the ones she agrees with, have ‘majestic’ posture and nicer hair?

Your mileage may vary. View all 12 comments. If you want it hard enough, if you think about it excessively, the thing you want money, job, love, etc.

Her rigorous and though-provoking work on this topic is a deep service to a culture addicted to denial. This leads to a focus on the individual’s own status, but works against genuine social change, of the kind that might make a real difference. You must have done something wrong. I like and agree barnara her message about bringing realism and clear eyesight back.

In subsequent chapters, Ehrenreich shows how variations of the same belief, which is essentially little more than magical thinking, have taken hold in different aspects of American life, and different sectors of U.

View all 4 comments. The post-script, the one non-article chapter, feels perfunctory and appended purely in an attempt to tie things up. In addition, positive thinking has made itself useful as an apology for the crueler aspects of the market economy.

It provides a balance to life. However, as I say, I broadly agree with her.