Smile Or Die: How Positive Thinking Fooled America and the World

Front Cover
Granta, 2010 - Social Science - 235 pages
0 Reviews
POPULAR CULTURE. Offers a history of how it came to be the dominant mode in the USA. Ehrenreich conceived of the book when she became ill with breast cancer, and found herself surrounded by pink ribbons and platitudes. She balked at the way her anger about having the disease was seen as unhealthy and dangerous by health professionals and other sufferers. In her droll and incisive analysis of the cult of cheerfulness, Ehrenreich ranges across contemporary religion, business and the economy, arguing, for example, that undue optimism and a fear of giving bad news sowed the seeds for the current banking crisis. She argues passionately that the insistence on being cheerful actually leads to a lonely focus inwards, a blaming of oneself for any misfortunes, and thus to political apathy. Rigorous, insightful and bracing as always, and also incredibly funny, "Smile or Die" uncovers the dark side of the 'have a nice day' nation.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Other editions - View all

About the author (2010)

Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of "Blood Rites"; "The Worst Years of Our Lives"; "Fear of Falling", which was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award, & eight other books. A frequent contributor to Time, Harper's, Esquire, The New Republic, Mirabella, The Nation, The New York Magazine, she lives near Key West, Florida.

Bibliographic information