Promise Land

Promise Land

My Journey Through America's Self-help Culture

Book - 2014
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"Raised by a child psychologist who was himself the author of numerous self-help books, as an adult Jessica Lamb-Shapiro found herself both repelled and fascinated by the industry: did all of these books, tapes, weekend seminars, groups, posters, t-shirts and trinkets really help anybody? Why do some people swear by the power of positive thinking, while others dismiss it as so many empty promises? Promise Land is an irreverent tour through the vast and strange reaches of the world of self-help. In the name of research, Jessica--a self-admitted nervous wreck at the best of times--attempted to cure herself of phobias, followed The Rules to meet and date men, walked on hot coals, and even attended a self-help seminar for writers of self-help books. But the more she delved into the history and practice of self-help, the more she realized her interest was much more than academic. Forced into a confrontation with the silent grief that had haunted both her and her father since her mother's death when she was a baby, she realized that sometimes thinking you know everything about a subject is a way of hiding from yourself the fact that you know nothing at all"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2014
Edition: First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781439100196
1439100195
1439100217
9781439100219
9781439101605
Branch Call Number: 616.89 La
Characteristics: xii, 224 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm

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JudithE
Jul 05, 2014

Interestingly written, and much of it is familiar to me, who made a similar journey. My only complaint is that it feels like such a brief skimming of the varieties of self-help culture that have been around for the last 50 years. The book on Cults by Margaret Sanger makes an interesting companion volume.

ChristchurchLib May 12, 2014

"This humorous and informative examination of the billion-dollar a year health industry describes the author's experiences trying to cure herself of phobias, date men by following The Rules and even a literal walk over hot coals.This humorous and informative examination of the billion-dollar a year health industry describes the author's experiences trying to cure herself of phobias, date men by following The Rules and even a literal walk over hot coals." History and Current Events May 2014 newsletter http://www.libraryaware.com/996/NewsletterIssues/ViewIssue/07a6a31c-7455-4328-9850-87f64b0c952f?postId=4ba36ab2-e78e-4e70-abde-d37ee7b88a73

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