Perpetual Euphoria

Perpetual Euphoria
Author: Pascal Bruckner
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9780691204031
Available:
Release: 2020-03-31
Editor: Princeton University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Happiness today is not just a possibility or an option but a requirement and a duty. To fail to be happy is to fail utterly. Happiness has become a religion--one whose smiley-faced god looks down in rebuke upon everyone who hasn't yet attained the blessed state of perpetual euphoria. How has a liberating principle of the Enlightenment--the right to pursue happiness--become the unavoidable and burdensome responsibility to be happy? How did we become unhappy about not being happy--and what might we do to escape this predicament? In Perpetual Euphoria, Pascal Bruckner takes up these questions with all his unconventional wit, force, and brilliance, arguing that we might be happier if we simply abandoned our mad pursuit of happiness. Gripped by the twin illusions that we are responsible for being happy or unhappy and that happiness can be produced by effort, many of us are now martyring ourselves--sacrificing our time, fortunes, health, and peace of mind--in the hope of entering an earthly paradise. Much better, Bruckner argues, would be to accept that happiness is an unbidden and fragile gift that arrives only by grace and luck. A stimulating and entertaining meditation on the unhappiness at the heart of the modern cult of happiness, Perpetual Euphoria is a book for everyone who has ever bristled at the command to "be happy."

The Tyranny of Guilt

The Tyranny of Guilt
Author: Pascal Bruckner
Pages: 264
ISBN: 1400834317
Available:
Release: 2010-02-01
Editor: Princeton University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Fascism, communism, genocide, slavery, racism, imperialism--the West has no shortage of reasons for guilt. And, indeed, since the Holocaust and the end of World War II, Europeans in particular have been consumed by remorse. But Pascal Bruckner argues that guilt has now gone too far. It has become a pathology, and even an obstacle to fighting today's atrocities. Bruckner, one of France's leading writers and public intellectuals, argues that obsessive guilt has obscured important realities. The West has no monopoly on evil, and has destroyed monsters as well as created them--leading in the abolition of slavery, renouncing colonialism, building peaceful and prosperous communities, and establishing rules and institutions that are models for the world. The West should be proud--and ready to defend itself and its values. In this, Europeans should learn from Americans, who still have sufficient self-esteem to act decisively in a world of chaos and violence. Lamenting the vice of anti-Americanism that grips so many European intellectuals, Bruckner urges a renewed transatlantic alliance, and advises Americans not to let recent foreign-policy misadventures sap their own confidence. This is a searing, provocative, and psychologically penetrating account of the crude thought and bad politics that arise from excessive bad conscience.

The Paradox of Love

The Paradox of Love
Author: Pascal Bruckner
Pages: 266
ISBN: 9780691149141
Available:
Release: 2012-02-13
Editor: Princeton University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Drawing on history, politics, psychology and pop culture, the author traces the roots of sexual liberation to explain love's supreme paradox, and concludes that love's messiness, surprises and paradoxes are not merely the sources of its pain--but also of its pleasure.

Has Marriage for Love Failed

Has Marriage for Love Failed
Author: Pascal Bruckner
Pages: 96
ISBN: 9780745683836
Available:
Release: 2013-10-29
Editor: John Wiley & Sons
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Today we like to think that marriage is a free choice based on love: that we freely choose whom to marry and that we do so, not so much for survival or social advantage, but for love. The invention of marriage for love inverted the old relationship between love and marriage. In the past, marriage was sacred, and love, if it existed at all, was a consequence of marriage; today, love is sacred and marriage is secondary. But now marriage appears to be becoming increasingly superfluous. For the past forty years or so, the number of weddings has been declining, the number of divorces exploding and the number of unmarried individuals and couples growing, while single-parent families are becoming more numerous. Love has triumphed over marriage but now it is destroying it from inside. So has the ideal of marriage for love failed, and has love finally been liberated from the shackles of marriage? In this brilliant and provocative book Pascal Bruckner argues that the old tension between love and marriage has not been resolved in favour of love, it has simply been displaced onto other levels. Even if it seems more straightforward, the contemporary landscape of love is far from euphoric: as in the past, infidelity, loss and betrayal are central to the plots of modern love, and the disenchantment is all the greater because marriages are voluntary and not imposed. But the collapse of the ideal of marriage for love is not necessarily a cause for remorse, because it demonstrates that love retains its subversive power. Love is not a glue to be put in the service of the institution of marriage: it is an explosive that blows up in our faces, dynamite pure and simple.

Drug Use for Grown Ups

Drug Use for Grown Ups
Author: Dr. Carl L. Hart
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781101981658
Available:
Release: 2021-01-12
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

“Hart’s argument that we need to drastically revise our current view of illegal drugs is both powerful and timely . . . when it comes to the legacy of this country’s war on drugs, we should all share his outrage.” —The New York Times Book Review From one of the world's foremost experts on the subject, a powerful argument that the greatest damage from drugs flows from their being illegal, and a hopeful reckoning with the possibility of their use as part of a responsible and happy life Dr. Carl L. Hart, Ziff Professor at Columbia University and former chair of the Department of Psychology, is one of the world's preeminent experts on the effects of so-called recreational drugs on the human mind and body. Dr. Hart is open about the fact that he uses drugs himself, in a happy balance with the rest of his full and productive life as a colleague, husband, father, and friend. In Drug Use for Grown-Ups, he draws on decades of research and his own personal experience to argue definitively that the criminalization and demonization of drug use--not drugs themselves--have been a tremendous scourge on America, not least in reinforcing this country's enduring structural racism. Dr. Hart did not always have this view. He came of age in one of Miami's most troubled neighborhoods at a time when many ills were being laid at the door of crack cocaine. His initial work as a researcher was aimed at proving that drug use caused bad outcomes. But one problem kept cropping up: the evidence from his research did not support his hypothesis. From inside the massively well-funded research arm of the American war on drugs, he saw how the facts did not support the ideology. The truth was dismissed and distorted in order to keep fear and outrage stoked, the funds rolling in, and Black and brown bodies behind bars. Drug Use for Grown-Ups will be controversial, to be sure: the propaganda war, Dr. Hart argues, has been tremendously effective. Imagine if the only subject of any discussion about driving automobiles was fatal car crashes. Drug Use for Grown-Ups offers a radically different vision: when used responsibly, drugs can enrich and enhance our lives. We have a long way to go, but the vital conversation this book will generate is an extraordinarily important step.

The Wellness Syndrome

The Wellness Syndrome
Author: Carl Cederström,Andre Spicer
Pages: 200
ISBN: 9780745688718
Available:
Release: 2015-02-04
Editor: John Wiley & Sons
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Not exercising as much as you should? Counting your caloriesin your sleep? Feeling ashamed for not being happier? You may be avictim of the wellness syndrome. In this ground-breaking new book, Carl Cederström andAndré Spicer argue that the ever-present pressure to maximizeour wellness has started to work against us, making us feel worseand provoking us to withdraw into ourselves. The Wellness Syndromefollows health freaks who go to extremes to find the perfect diet,corporate athletes who start the day with a dance party, and theself-trackers who monitor everything, including their own toilethabits. This is a world where feeling good has becomeindistinguishable from being good. Visions of social change havebeen reduced to dreams of individual transformation, politicaldebate has been replaced by insipid moralising, and scientificevidence has been traded for new-age delusions. A lively andhumorous diagnosis of the cult of wellness, this book is anindispensable guide for everyone suspicious of our relentless questto be happier and healthier.

The Self destruction of the West

The Self destruction of the West
Author: Damien François
Pages: 578
ISBN: 9782748337976
Available:
Release: 2007-01-01
Editor: Editions Publibook
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Voilà désormais plus de 10 000 ans que la civilisation occidentale s'est installée et voilà 10 000 ans qu'elle viole le sens même de la nature : la vie. En s'appropriant sans concession ce qui l'entourait, l'homme de l'Ouest a vu son horizon ployer sous la charge de la destruction qu'il lui avait lui-même réalisée. Sommes-nous des lycanthropes ou des vampires? Ces monstres si terrifiants qui sortent de notre imagination sont-ils en réalité la copie de notre comportement dévastateur? Prédateurs, nous pompons sans remords les énergies qui nous entourent. Jusqu'où ira-t-on?.

The Wisdom of Money

The Wisdom of Money
Author: Pascal Bruckner
Pages: 296
ISBN: 9780674972278
Available:
Release: 2017-05-02
Editor: Harvard University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Money is an evil that does good, and a good that does evil. It is wise to have money, says Pascal Bruckner, and wise to think and talk about it critically. One of the world’s great essayists guides us through the commentary that money has generated since ancient times, as he builds an unfashionable defense of the worldly wisdom of the bourgeoisie.

Beyond Doer and Done to

Beyond Doer and Done to
Author: Jessica Benjamin
Pages: 278
ISBN: 9781315437682
Available:
Release: 2017-07-06
Editor: Taylor & Francis
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In Beyond Doer and Done To, Jessica Benjamin, author of the path-breaking Bonds of Love, expands her theory of mutual recognition and its breakdown into the complementarity of "doer and done to." Her innovative theory charts the growth of the Third in early development through the movement between recognition and breakdown, and shows how it parallels the enactments in the psychoanalytic relationship. Benjamin’s recognition theory illuminates the radical potential of acknowledgment in healing both individual and social trauma, in creating relational repair in the transformational space of thirdness. Benjamin’s unique formulations of intersubjectivity make essential reading for both psychoanalytic therapists and theorists in the humanities and social sciences.

The Fanaticism of the Apocalypse

The Fanaticism of the Apocalypse
Author: Pascal Bruckner
Pages: 224
ISBN: 9780745670140
Available:
Release: 2013-04-25
Editor: John Wiley & Sons
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The planet is sick. Human beings are guilty of damaging it. We have to pay. Today, that is the orthodoxy throughout the Western world. Distrust of progress and science, calls for individual and collective self-sacrifice to ‘save the planet’ and cultivation of fear: behind the carbon commissars, a dangerous and counterproductive ecological catastrophism is gaining ground. Modern society’s susceptibility to this kind of thinking derives from what Bruckner calls “the seductive attraction of disaster,” as exemplified by the popular appeal of disaster movies. But ecological catastrophism is harmful in that it draws attention away from other, more solvable problems and injustices in the world in order to focus on something that is portrayed as an Apocalypse. Rather than preaching catastrophe and pessimism, we need to develop a democratic and generous ecology that addresses specific problems in a practical way.

End of History and the Last Man

End of History and the Last Man
Author: Francis Fukuyama
Pages: 464
ISBN: 9781416531784
Available:
Release: 2006-03-01
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Ever since its first publication in 1992, The End of History and the Last Man has provoked controversy and debate. Francis Fukuyama's prescient analysis of religious fundamentalism, politics, scientific progress, ethical codes, and war is as essential for a world fighting fundamentalist terrorists as it was for the end of the Cold War. Now updated with a new afterword, The End of History and the Last Man is a modern classic.

Here Goes Nothing

Here Goes Nothing
Author: Eamon McGrath
Pages: 220
ISBN: 9781773056241
Available:
Release: 2020-09-29
Editor: ECW Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A smart, gritty examination of the lives of touring musicians Here Goes Nothing, Eamon McGrath’s brave second offering and follow-up to 2017’s widely acclaimed Berlin-Warszawa Express, once again explores the world of touring musicians — but this time McGrath expands his scope and perspective from the inner dialogue of a traveling songwriter into the wider range of a multi-member touring band. Told in two interwoven narratives that blur the lines between past and present, Here Goes Nothing explores the complex relationships that are both created and destroyed by the perpetual-motion engine that is the touring van. From confessional tales of saving friends and oneself from drowning in polluted lakes in Michigan to legendary liver-wrecking nights of excess and debauchery in Lisbon, McGrath comments on the corrupt and selfish music industry and the toll it takes on musicians as they blindly chase success. Here Goes Nothing is a gutsy story of how life on the road can bring a band together — or tear them wildly apart.

This Time Is Different

This Time Is Different
Author: Carmen M. Reinhart,Kenneth Rogoff
Pages: 463
ISBN: 9780691152646
Available:
Release: 2011-08-07
Editor: Princeton University Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Examines financial crises of the past and discusses similarities between these events and the current crisis, presenting and comparing historical patterns in bank failures, inflation, debt, currency, housing, employment, and government spending.

Evil Angels

Evil Angels
Author: Pascal Bruckner
Pages: 222
ISBN: UCAL:B4974855
Available:
Release: 1987
Editor: Grove/Atlantic
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The Book Thief

The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Pages: 560
ISBN: 9781407033327
Available:
Release: 2008-09-04
Editor: Random House
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The international and Sunday Times bestseller 'A novel of breathtaking scope' Guardian 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier. Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall. SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION - THIS NOVEL IS NARRATED BY DEATH This new edition features exclusive first chapter from Markus Zusak's brand new literary novel BRIDGE OF CLAY, out in autumn 2018.

Portents of the Real

Portents of the Real
Author: Susan Willis
Pages: 146
ISBN: 1844670236
Available:
Release: 2005
Editor: Verso
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Renowned cultural theorist reveals the deeper meanings of popular cultural phenomena in post-9/11 life in America.

Interior Chinatown

Interior Chinatown
Author: Charles Yu
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9780307907196
Available:
Release: 2020
Editor: Pantheon
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Willis Wu doesn't perceive himself as a protagonist even in his own life: He's merely Generic Asian man. Sometimes he gets to be Background Oriental Making a Weird Face or even Disgraced Son, but he is always relegated to a prop. Yet every day he leaves his tiny room in a Chinatown SRO and enters the Golden Palace restaurant, where Black and White, a procedural cop show, is in perpetual production. He's a bit player here, too, but he dreams of being Kung Fu Guy--the most respected old that anyone who looks like him can attain. At least that's what he has been told, time and time again. Except by one person, his mother. Who says to him: Be more. Playful but heartfelt, a send-up of Hollywood tropes and Asian stereotypes, Interior Chinatown is Charles Yu's most moving, daring, and masterly novel yet.

Bioscience and the Good Life

Bioscience and the Good Life
Author: Iain Brassington
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781849663397
Available:
Release: 2013-12-05
Editor: A&C Black
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

This book is available as open access through the Bloomsbury Open Access programme and is available on www.bloomsburycollections.com. The field of biotechnology has provided us with radical revisions and reappraisals of the nature and possibilities of our biological existence. Yet beyond its immediate utility, does a life that is healthier, longer, or freer from disease make us 'better' or more moral people? Bioscience and the Good Life explores the complex relationship between modern biosciences and human flourishing, their sympathies and schisms, and the instances of their reconciliation. Here cognitive enhancement, longevity, and the spectacle of excellence in sports, are examined within the context of what constitutes a life well lived. Framing biotechnological innovation in the discourse of duty and ethics, Brassington advances an insightful and involved response to the existing debates between bioscientific optimists and pessimists, one which mediates their differences, and expands the traditional scope of their arguments.

Reason and Goodness

Reason and Goodness
Author: Blanshard, Brand
Pages: 456
ISBN: 9781317852865
Available:
Release: 2014-02-25
Editor: Routledge
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

First published in 2002. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

Culture and Hegemony in the Colonial Middle East

Culture and Hegemony in the Colonial Middle East
Author: Y. Noorani
Pages: 245
ISBN: 9780230106437
Available:
Release: 2010-04-26
Editor: Springer
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

This work is a study of the nature and origin of nationality and modern social ideals in the Middle East, particularly Egypt, in the late nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries. Bringing together writings on political and social reform with literary works, Noorani challenges dominant assumptions about the emergence of modernity. It shows that while nationalist, liberal, and democratic ideals emerged in the Middle East under European influence, these ideals were nevertheless created out of existing cultural values by reformers and intellectuals. The central element of this process, the book argues, was the transformation of virtue into nationality.