Thanks Jim for this review. Looking forward to reading this volume.
This book is an excellent evaluation of today’s social understanding of ego and self-esteem. It is a popular assumption in our society that the root of many problems is the lack of confidence people have. According to this line of thinking what people need to solve their problems then is a boost of their self-esteem; thus, to increase and maintain people’s self-esteem have become the social gospel of the hour, or as the author put it, it is the “social vaccine” with many promises (76). But how does this square with reality? This book argues that although it seems counter-intuitive the effect of the self-esteem movement has been more hurtful rather than helpful.
In the beginning the book gives a good survey of the historical origin and development of the self-esteem movement. The author traces much of the incipient form of this self-esteem boosterism back to Freud although…
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