Author: Will Storr
We are living in an age of heightened individualism. Success is a personal responsibility. Our culture tells us that to succeed is to be slim, rich, happy, extroverted, popular--flawless. We have become self-obsessed. And our expectation of perfection comes at a cost. Millions are suffering under the torture of this impossible fantasy. The pressure to conform to this ideal has changed who we are. It was not always like this. To explain how we got here, award-winning journalist Will Storr leads us on a "terrific tour through the history of self-obsession" (NPR, On Point) that explores the origins of this notion of the perfect self that torments so many of us: Where does this ideal come from? Why is it so powerful? Is there any way to break its spell? Full of thrilling and unexpected connections among history, psychology, economics, neuroscience, and more, Selfie is an unforgettable book that makes sense of who we have become. Ranging from Ancient Greece, through the Christian Middle Ages, to the self-esteem evangelists of 1980s California, the rise of the "selfie" generation, and the era of hyper-individualism in which we live now, Selfie tells the epic tale of the person we all know so intimately--because it's us.
Author: Will Storr
This thrilling and ambitious book explores the mysterious power of the self and reveals the danger of our modern obsession with it. Journalist and novelist Will Storr began to wonder about this perfect self that torments so many of us: where does this ideal come from? Why is it so powerful? Is there any way to break its spell? To answer these questions, Storr takes the reader on a journey from the shores of Ancient Greece, through the Christian Middle Ages, to the self-esteem evangelists of 1980s California, and right up to the era of hyper-individualism in which we live now.
Author: Will Storr
'Fascinating' Guardian'Brilliant' Evening Standard'Electrifying' Financial Times'So interesting I literally couldn't put it down' Sunday TimesWe live in the age of the individual. We are supposed to be slim, prosperous, happy, extroverted and popular. This is our culture's image of the perfect self. We see this person everywhere: in advertising, in the press, all over social media. We're told that to be this person you just have to follow your dreams, that our potential is limitless, that we are the source of our own success. But this model of the perfect self can be extremely dangerous. People are suffering under the torture of this impossible fantasy. Unprecedented social pressure is leading to increases in depression and suicide. Where does this ideal come from? Why is it so powerful? Is there any way to break its spell? To answer these questions, Selfie by Will Storr takes us from the shores of Ancient Greece, through the Christian Middle Ages, to the self-esteem evangelists of 1980s California, the rise of narcissism and the selfie generation, and right up to the era of hyper-individualistic neoliberalism in which we live now. It tells the extraordinary story of the person we all know so intimately - our self.As featured on Russell Brand's Under The Skin podcast.
By the author of The Unpersuadables, this thrilling and ambitious book explores the mysterious power of the self and reveals the danger of our modern obsession with it. We live in the age of the individual. Every day, we’re bombarded with depictions of the beautiful, successful, slim, socially conscious, and extroverted individual that our culture has decided is the perfect self, and we berate ourselves when we don’t measure up. This model of the perfect self and the impossibly high standards it sets can be extremely dangerous. People are suffering under the torture of this impossible fantasy, and unprecedented social pressure is leading to increases in depression and suicide. Journalist and novelist Will Storr began to wonder about this perfect self that torments so many of us: Where does this ideal come from? Why is it so powerful? Is there any way to break its spell? To answer these questions, Storr takes the reader on a journey from the shores of Ancient Greece, through the Christian Middle Ages, to the self-esteem evangelists of 1980s California, the rise of narcissism and the “selfie” generation, and right up to the era of hyper-individualism in which we live now. Selfie tells the epic tale of the person we all know so intimately—because it’s us.
The Selfie Generation
Author: Alicia Eler
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing Inc.
Whether it's Kim Kardashian uploading picture after picture to Instagram or your roommate posting a mid-vacation shot to Facebook, selfies receive mixed reactions. But are selfies more than, as many critics lament, a symptom of a self-absorbed generation? Millennial Alicia Eler's The Selfie Generation is the first book to delve fully into this ubiquitous and much-maligned part of social media, including why people take them in the first place and the ways they can change how we see ourselves. Eler argues that selfies are just one facet of how we can use digital media to create a personal brand in the modern age. More than just a picture, they are an important part of how we live today. Eler examines all aspects of selfies, online social networks, and the generation that has grown up with them. She looks at how the boundaries between people’s physical and digital lives have blurred with social media; she explores questions of privacy, consent, ownership, and authenticity; and she points out important issues of sexism and double standards wherein women are encouraged to take them but then become subject to criticism and judgment. Alicia discusses the selfie as a paradox—both an image with potential for self-empowerment, yet also a symbol of complacency within surveillance culture The Selfie Generation explores just how much social media has changed the ways that people connect, communicate, and present themselves to the world.
While excavating fossils in the tropics of Australia with a celebrity creationist, Will Storr asked himself a simple question. Why don’t facts work? Why, that is, did the obviously intelligent man beside him sincerely believe in Adam and Eve, the Garden of Eden and a six-thousand-year-old Earth, in spite of the evidence against them? It was the start of a journey that would lead Storr all over the world—from Texas to Warsaw to the Outer Hebrides—meeting an extraordinary cast of modern heretics whom he tries his best to understand. Storr tours Holocaust sites with famed denier David Irving and a band of neo-Nazis, experiences his own murder during “past life regression” hypnosis, discusses the looming One World Government an iconic climate skeptic, and investigates the tragic life and death of a woman who believed her parents were high priests in a baby-eating cult. Using a unique mix of highly personal memoir, investigative journalism, and the latest research from neuroscience and experimental psychology, Storr reveals how the stories we tell ourselves about the world invisibly shape our beliefs, and how the neurological “hero maker” inside us all can so easily lead to self-deception, toxic partisanship and science denial.
Author: Svend Brinkmann
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
The pace of modern life is accelerating. To keep up, we must keep on moving and adapting – constantly striving for greater happiness and success. Or so we are told. But the demands of life in the fast lane come at a price: stress, fatigue and depression are at an all-time high, while our social interactions have become increasingly self-serving and opportunistic. How can we resist today's obsession with introspection and self-improvement? In this witty and bestselling book, Danish philosopher and psychologist Svend Brinkmann argues that we must not be afraid to reject the self-help mantra and 'stand firm'. The secret to a happier life lies not in finding your inner self but in coming to terms with yourself in order to coexist peacefully with others. By encouraging us to stand firm and get a foothold in life, this vibrant anti-self-help guide offers a compelling alternative to life coaching, positive thinking and the need always to say 'yes!'
Author: Katrin Tiidenberg
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing
This book presents a rich and nuanced analysis of selfie culture. It shows how selfies gain their meanings, illustrates different selfie practices, explores how selfies make us feel and why they have the power to make us feel anything, and unpacks how selfie practices and selfie related norms have changed or might change in the future.
Author: Micki McGee
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
Why doesn't self-help help? Millions of people turn to self-improvement when they find that their lives aren't working out quite as they had imagined. The market for self-improvement products - books, audiotapes, life-makeover seminars and regimens of all kinds - is exploding, and there seems to be no end in sight for this trend. In "Self-Help, Inc.: Makeover Culture in American Life", cultural critic Micki McGee asks what our seemingly insatiable demand for self-help can tell us about ourselves at the outset of this new century. The answers are surprising. Rather than finding an America that is narcissistic or self-involved, as others have contended, McGee sees a nation relying on self-help culture for advice on how to cope in an increasingly volatile and competitive work world. For Americans today, a central component of working has become working on themselves. "Be all one can be," they are told. Build your own personal brand. As women have entered the paid labor force in growing numbers, the Protestant work ethic has been augmented by a Romantic imperative that one create a vision - a script - for one's life.; More and more, Americans are compelled to regard themselves in effect as "human capital." No longer simply an enterprising or entrepreneurial individual, the new worker is the artist and the artwork, the "CEO of Me, Inc.," in Tom Peters' memorable phrase, and the central product line. "Self-Help, Inc." reveals how makeover culture traps Americans in endless cycles of self-invention and overwork as they struggle to stay ahead of a rapidly restructuring economic order. A lucid and fascinating treatment of the modern obsession with work and self-improvement, this book will strike a chord with its diagnosis of the self-help trap and with its suggestions for how we can address the alienating conditions of modern work and family life.
Part sinister fairy tale, part gothic horror novel, this unique debut pulls back the curtain on the celebrity chef’s kitchen, revealing a disturbing world of ambition and brutality. Killian Lone comes from a long line of gifted cooks, stretching back to the seventeenth century, and yearns to become a famous chef himself. When he starts an apprenticeship under Max Mann, the most famous chef in London, he looks set to continue the family tradition. But the reality of kitchen life is brutal. Even his fellow apprentice, Kathryn, who shows Killian uncharacteristic kindness, can’t stop his being sucked into the vicious, debauched world of 1980s fine dining, and gradually he is forced to surrender his dream. Then he discovers a dark family secret—the legacy of an ancestor who was burnt as a witch for creating food so delicious it was said to turn all who tasted it mad. Killian knows he can use this secret to achieve his ambitions and maybe, finally, to win Kathryn’s affections. But is he willing to pay the price? This is Killian’s confession—a strange tragedy about love, ambition andincredible food . . .
The Happiness Effect
Author: Donna Freitas
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sexting. Cyberbullying. Narcissism. Social media has become the dominant force in young people's lives, and each day seems to bring another shocking tale of private pictures getting into the wrong hands, or a lament that young people feel compelled to share their each and every thought with the entire world. Have smartphones and social media created a generation of self-obsessed egomaniacs? Absolutely not, Donna Freitas argues in this provocative book. And, she says, these alarmist fears are drawing attention away from the real issues that young adults are facing. Drawing on a large-scale survey and interviews with students on thirteen college campuses, Freitas finds that what young people are overwhelmingly concerned with--what they really want to talk about--is happiness. They face enormous pressure to look perfect online--not just happy, but blissful, ecstatic, and fabulously successful. Unable to achieve this impossible standard, they are anxious about letting the less-than-perfect parts of themselves become public. Far from wanting to share everything, they are brutally selective when it comes to curating their personal profiles, and worry obsessively that they might unwittingly post something that could come back to haunt them later in life. Through candid conversations with young people from diverse backgrounds, Freitas reveals how even the most well-adjusted individuals can be stricken by self-doubt when they compare their experiences with the vast collective utopia that they see online. And sometimes, as on anonymous platforms like Yik Yak, what they see instead is a depressing cesspool of racism and misogyny. Yet young people are also extremely attached to their smartphones and apps, which sometimes bring them great pleasure. It is very much a love-hate relationship. While much of the public's attention has been focused on headline-grabbing stories, the everyday struggles and joys of young people have remained under the radar. Freitas brings their feelings to the fore, in the words of young people themselves. The Happiness Effect is an eye-opening window into their first-hand experiences of social media and its impact on them.
The Narcissism Epidemic
Author: Jean M. Twenge, W. Keith Campbell
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Citing a rise in such factors as cosmetic surgery, status-related debt and misrepresented Facebook profiles, a cautionary report on the increase of unhealthy ego-related behaviors examines its actual cost to families, organizations and societies. By the author of Generation Me.
You might not know it by observing popular media, but the world does not revolve around "me, my selfie and I". Teresa Tomeo, media expert and host of the syndicated radio program Catholic Connection, believes "selfie culture" represents a society that is losing touch with its humanity. In Beyond Me, My Selfie and I, she offers real ways to rebel against the narcissism of modern life and rediscover our relationship with each other, the beauty of nature--and, most importantly, God. Tomeo explores Church teachings and Scripture passages about self-centeredness versus other-centeredness, as well as the thoughts of Popes John Paul II, Benedict and Francis, all of whom have written and spoken extensively about the proper use of media. She's also gathered practical advice from a number of media experts on how to find balance when it comes to selfies and other media activities. Tomeo makes the case for "selfie control," with advice for moms and dads on navigating today's media minefields. She'll also provide research-backed methods for finding real happiness by giving and putting others first rather than staying focused on oneself. When your identity is focused in Christ--as opposed to yourself--life becomes so much more than fleeting moments of attention. You'll read inspiring examples of individuals who made a real difference in the world, as well as people whose change in media habits changed their lives--and the lives of others--in surprising ways.
It's Not You
Author: Sara Eckel
“Why am I still single?” If you’re single and searching, there’s no end to other people’s explanations, excuses, and criticism explaining why you haven’t found a partner: “You’re too picky. Just find a good-enough guy and you’ll be fine.” “You’re too desperate. If men think you need them, they’ll run scared.” “You’re too independent. Smart, ambitious women always have a harder time finding mates.” “You have low self-esteem. You can’t love someone else until you’ve learned to love yourself.” “You’re too needy. You can’t be happy in a relationship until you’ve learned to be happy on your own.” Based on one of the most popular Modern Love columns of the last decade, Sara Eckel’s It’s Not You challenges these myths, encouraging singletons to stop picking apart their personalities and to start tapping into their own wisdom about who and what is right for them. Supported by the latest psychological and sociological research, as well as interviews with people who have experienced longtime singledom, Eckel creates a strong and empowering argument to understand and accept that there’s no one reason why you’re single—you just are.
The Selfie Book
Author: Kory Pryor