Every year, Americans waste millions of dollars on books that promise to fix all their problems. We buy each new one, believing its promises despite the failures of all the previous tomes, continuing to hope for that nonexistent magic bullet. Tom Tiede, a former syndicated columnist and the recipient of numerous journalism awards, just might be able to cure us of this addiction. In Self-Help Nation, Tiede skewers the authors of self-help books, whom he compares to modern-day snake-oil peddlers exploiting our weaknesses.As he slashes his way merrily through his least favorite books, Tiede posits a larger cultural argument about why we as a nation have fallen prey to the self-help juggernaut. Waging an eloquent attack on the salaciousness and irresponsibility of the media, the self-absorption of the Baby Boom generation, our fascination with celebrity, and other cultural afflictions, Tiede offers insightful commentary on what we’ve lost in our hyperaccelerated culture and calls for a return to the timeless American value of self-reliance.In urging us to trust ourselves, Tiede is perhaps writing just another self-help book, a sure sign of the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into. Regardless, Self-Help Nation is a delight to read — wickedly funny, refreshingly candid, and ultimately profound.
Self-Help Nation: The Long Overdue, Entirely Justified, Delightfully Hostile Guide to the Snake-Oil Peddlers Who Are Sapping Our Nation’s Soul
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