Barbara Ehrenreich Takes on the Plague of Positive Thinking

Interesting perspective for those drunk on The Secret‘s kool-aid. From a New York Magazine profile:

Barbara Ehrenreich, renowned for her exposés of America’s grueling blue- and white-collar job markets (i.e., Nickel and Dimed, Bait and Switch), is out to cement her role as our nation’s reality checker. Her new book, Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America, was initially inspired by her resistance to the cancer-gives-my-life-meaning trope, which was inflicted on her when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000. She found that insistent, blind optimism is deeply ingrained in our nation’s psyche, especially in the realms of finance and national security.

And an interview with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show:

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  • girlmachine

    well, I think that maybe there is some middle ground between The Secret's blind optimism and Ehrenreich's hardcore materialism. It's a big universe, and there is a lot of gray area.

  • Anonymous

    Have to agree with girlmachine. I saw the interview and Ehrenreich seemed to have a personal bone to pick with the ‘positive thinking’ movement. If I had cancer I also wouldn’t want people to deny me my feelings by telling me to think positive all the time but it seems she’s trying to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

  • jahson

    Have to agree with girlmachine. I saw the interview and Ehrenreich seemed to have a personal bone to pick with the 'positive thinking' movement. If I had cancer I also wouldn't want people to deny me my feelings by telling me to think positive all the time but it seems she's trying to throw the baby out with the bathwater.