Monday, January 02, 2006

In which Self Help Doesnt

Bell Shaped Curve?The list of books I intend to read grows faster than that of those I finish. An editorial in the Los Angeles Times on Sunday (their editorial section is called, oddly, "Current") has added one to my IN-list.

The piece is titled Self-help's big lie by Steve Salerno. It expresses the opinion that the United States has been hurt by our penchant for self-help gurus.

I was surprised and amused to read contrarian comments such as "society has embraced such concepts as self-esteem and confidence despite scant evidence that they facilitate positive outcomes." and "The most dangerous person in corporate America is the highly enthusiastic incompetent." (In government too, I might add.)

When someone attacks widely cherished assumptions I'm usually interested. Salerno's book is called "SHAM: How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless." I just ordered a copy with that hope that it will be worth the effort. Judging by reviews on Amazon, people either love it or hate it.

Firewalking, anyone?


1 comment :

Dave said...

Might I also suggest 'A Mad World, My Masters' by John Simpson?