How can you possibly “ditch productivity” when there is a career to build, competitors to overcome, and status to attain? How can one relax while trapped in the daily rat race? If you happen to be thinking along these lines, Alain de Botton’s “Status Anxiety” might be just what you need. In this witty and engaging book, de Botton examines a phenomenon you may have observed: the paradoxical disconnect between our level of affluence and that of happiness. Drawing from a rich array of sources, de Botton explains how we ended up where we are - incessantly striving for status and consistently being frustrated by not attaining as much as others.
Anyone who’s ever lost sleep over an unreturned phone call or the neighbor’s Lexus had better read Alain de Botton’s irresistibly clear-headed new book, immediately. For in its pages, a master explicator of our civilization and its discontents explores the notion that our pursuit of status is actually a pursuit of love, ranging through Western history and thought from St. Augustine to Andrew Carnegie and Machiavelli to Anthony Robbins.
Whether it’s assessing the class-consciousness of Christianity or the convulsions of consumer capitalism, dueling or home-furnishing, Status Anxiety is infallibly entertaining. And when it examines the virtues of informed misanthropy, art appreciation, or walking a lobster on a leash, it is not only wise but helpful.
Praise and awards
“There’s no writer alive like de Botton” (Chicago Tribune)
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