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Affluenza por Oliver James
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Affluenza (original 2007; edição 2008)

por Oliver James

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
4141145,819 (3.13)16
There is currently an epidemic of 'affluenza' throughout the world - an obsessive, envious, keeping-up-with-the-Joneses - that has resulted in huge increases in depression and anxiety among millions. Over a nine-month period, bestselling author Oliver James travelled around the world to try and find out why. He discovered how, despite very different cultures and levels of wealth, affluenza is spreading. Cities he visited include Sydney, Singapore, Moscow, Copenhagen, New York and Shanghai, and in each place he interviewed several groups of people in the hope of finding out not only why this is happening, but also how one can increase the strength of one's emotional immune system. He asks- why do so many more people want what they haven't got and want to be someone they're not, despite being richer and freer from traditional restraints? And, in so doing, uncovers the answer to how to reconnect with what really matters and learn to value what you've already got. In other words, how to be successful and stay sane.… (mais)
Membro:marek2009
Título:Affluenza
Autores:Oliver James
Informação:Vermilion (2008), Paperback, 592 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:***1/2
Etiquetas:Psychology, capitalism, self-help, Non-fiction

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Affluenza por Oliver James (2007)

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Mostrando 1-5 de 11 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
I can sum up my emotions about this book in one word. Bilge!

James promises to provide evidence for all he writes and yet mistakes anecdotes for proof, and correlation for causation. I already believe in what he set out to say but he somehow manages to make such a mess of it I wanted to throw the book across the room. His basic premise is that we need to get away from constantly desiring new things, ie greed Capitalism. This is great, I wholeheartedly agree with him on this. However, he underpins his evidence of this by claiming that rich people are unhappy, and poor people are happy. This is a ridiculous generalisation for anyone to make, let alone a clinical psychologist. His evidence is endless, repetitive, anecdotal interviews with people that are clearly chosen because they back his viewpoint. I'm sure, given a few hours I could find rich people who are happy and poor people who are unhappy, yet magically he couldn't find any.

At the end of the book there is a section titled 'The Unselfish Capitalist Manifesto' where the book really takes a turn for the bizarre. It ends up being a 37 page tirade against specific Labour MP's and the party as a whole. I'm no fan of politicians in general but none of this ire is aimed at a Conservative MP. He stops just shy of telling people to vote for the Conservatives at the next election but only by the thinnest of margins. It felt as though he decided to use the space at the end of the book as a political campaign, justifying it by the most tenuous links possible to the premise of the book. From time to time I like to seek out books that oppose my viewpoints and they generally provide a few thinking moments or alter my thoughts about something. I think this is a good thing to do. Mental or physical debate to challenge your beliefs is ever more important in an age where we can surround ourselves in an echo chamber. However, this book almost made me go against something I strongly believe in because I hated it so much, and that is a first. ( )
  Brian. | Mar 8, 2021 |
Affluenza is a common ailment afflicting many in the developed world, particularly in English speaking countries, whereby the richer a nation becomes the higher the aspirations of the citizens, and thus the less satisfied they are with what they have. The author travelled the world investigating the issue in different cultures and interviewing many people. It's a completely secular book but has a lot in common with Christian books speaking against the dangers of materialism and idolatry. At the end of each chapter is a list of Affluenza immunisations, factors which go at least some way to protecting certain types of people within each of the societies examined. I found it utterly fascinating. Particularly that an author with no focus on God should make so many secular arguments for common Christian ways of thinking. ( )
  eclecticdodo | Oct 17, 2015 |
James gropes towards an interesting thesis but ends up losing it in a sludge of boring anecdotal research (some of which is so obviously unrepresentative as to be pointless - how many psychotic criminal billionaires do you meet every day?) and off colour colloquialisms. Instead he finds truisms. Materialism is bad for you. Unrestrained capitalism breeds materialism. If he had truly examined the link (if there is one) between capitalism and societal neurosis, and thought deeply about just how we have got ourselves into this state, he might have had something new to say.

Instead this book is just a vehicle for his 60s style psychoanalytical homilies and nurture-over-nature polemics, all served up with some warmed over pieties about how the first three years of life lay the basis for everything that comes afterwards. With some frankly embarrassing political prescriptions for dessert. ( )
1 vote dazzyj | Mar 11, 2012 |
This book has some really wholesome ideas that we all need to hear now and again. It reminds us that we aren't defined by the brand of our shoes, the cost of our watch and the postcode we live in, it reminds us to be grateful for our abundant lives. However, somewhere around 2/3 of the way through James starts on a diatribe about day care and I start to understand his assumption is that we all work for money, that people using day care must only be doing it because they want more possessions - what about the satisfaction of working hard at work that fulfills you, and at the end of the day sharing some moments of that with your children, hoping that they too will grow up and find such satisfaction. I had to stop reading at this point. He has a series of interviews that become increasingly disturbing as he categorises people and sums up their menial existance from his higher plane of knowledge. I wouldn't profess to know a person so well that I can judge them that way, at least I try to remember not to, James should too. ( )
  booksbooks11 | Feb 26, 2011 |
dreadful ( )
  flobmac | Dec 16, 2010 |
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The Affluenza Virus is a set of values which increase our vulnerability to emotional distress.
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There is currently an epidemic of 'affluenza' throughout the world - an obsessive, envious, keeping-up-with-the-Joneses - that has resulted in huge increases in depression and anxiety among millions. Over a nine-month period, bestselling author Oliver James travelled around the world to try and find out why. He discovered how, despite very different cultures and levels of wealth, affluenza is spreading. Cities he visited include Sydney, Singapore, Moscow, Copenhagen, New York and Shanghai, and in each place he interviewed several groups of people in the hope of finding out not only why this is happening, but also how one can increase the strength of one's emotional immune system. He asks- why do so many more people want what they haven't got and want to be someone they're not, despite being richer and freer from traditional restraints? And, in so doing, uncovers the answer to how to reconnect with what really matters and learn to value what you've already got. In other words, how to be successful and stay sane.

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