Better Than Well: American Medicine Meets the American Dream

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W. W. Norton & Company, Jun 17, 2004 - Health & Fitness - 384 pages
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"Elliott's absorbing account will make readers think again about the ways that science shapes our personal identities."—American Scientist

Americans have always been the world's most anxiously enthusiastic consumers of "enhancement technologies." Prozac, Viagra, and Botox injections are only the latest manifestations of a familiar pattern: enthusiastic adoption, public hand-wringing, an occasional congressional hearing, and calls for self-reliance.

In a brilliant diagnosis of our reactions to self-improvement technologies, Carl Elliott asks questions that illuminate deep currents in the American character: Why do we feel uneasy about these drugs, procedures, and therapies even while we embrace them? Where do we draw the line between self and society? Why do we seek self-realization in ways so heavily influenced by cultural conformity?

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User Review  - Katya0133 - LibraryThing

An interesting and somewhat creepy collection of the stories of people whose personal idea of physical perfection doesn't quite square with cultural norms. Read full review

Better than well: American medicine meets the American dream

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Why do Americans place so much emphasis on individual identity and self-fulfillment? How does the concept of self vary from one culture to the next? Does the use of enhancement procedures or drugs ... Read full review

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About the author (2004)

Carl Elliott is a professor of bioethics and philosophy at the University of Minnesota. He lives in Minneapolis.

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