Status Anxiety

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Dec 10, 2008 - Philosophy - 320 pages
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 turns his attention to the insatiable quest for status, a quest that has less to do with material comfort than with love. To demonstrate his thesis, de Botton ranges 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.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - otterley - www.librarything.com

Nothing particularly earth shattering or revelatory here (in fact you're likely to spend your time questioning and challenging quite a lot of the rather bold historical assertions here) - but it's ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Annabel1954 - www.librarything.com

An organised book that unpacked many aspects of anxiety from the perspective of causes ( loneliness, snobbery, expectation, meritocracy, dependence. He then looks at solutions . An interesting book that causes the reader to reflect on their own beliefs. Read full review

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About the author (2008)

Alain de Botton is the author of three previous works of fiction and three of nonfiction, including The Art of Travel, The Consolations of Philosophy, and How Proust Can Change Your Life (all available in paperback from Vintage Books). He lives in London.

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