Why doesn't self-help help? Cultural critic Micki McGee puts forward this paradoxical question as she looks at a world where the market for self-improvement products--books, audiotapes, and extreme makeovers--is exploding, and there seems to be no end in sight. Rather than seeing narcissism at the root of the self-help craze, as others have contended, McGee shows a nation relying on self-help culture for advice on how to cope in an increasingly volatile and competitive work world. Self-Help, Inc. reveals how makeover culture traps Americans in endless cycles of self-invention and overwork as they struggle to stay ahead of a rapidly restructuring economic order. A lucid and fascinating treatment of the modern obsession with work and self-improvement, this lively book will strike a chord with its acute diagnosis of the self-help trap and its sharp suggestions for how we can address the alienating conditions of modern work and family life.
Yaddo is a rich account of America's premier artists' retreat, which has hosted some of the twentieth century's most renowned writers, composers, and visual artists. Hannah Arendt, James Baldwin, Saul Bellow, Leonard Bernstein, Elizabeth Bishop, Truman Capote, Flannery O'Connor, Aaron Copland, Langston Hughes, Carson McCullers, Sylvia Plath, Philip Roth, Clyfford Still, and William Carlos Williams all lived and worked at Yaddo. Richly illustrated with photographs, prints, intimate letters,papers, and ephemera from archives and collections at both Yaddo and TheNew York Public Library, this collection provides a window into the famously private institution, recounting the experiences of the artists who took advantage of a bucolic retreat to tap into?and mingle with?genius. With essays by Marcelle Clements, David Gates, Allan Gurganus, Tim Page, Ruth Price, Barry Werth, Karl Emil Willers, and Helen Vendler, and an overview by curator Micki McGee, Yaddo is a collaborative project that revisits the major moments of twentieth-century American culture and history.
In commemoration of Artists Space's 25th Anniversary Year, this 400 page, exhaustively illustrated compilation brings to life the history of one of the most renowned and multifaceted exhibition and arts service organizations of our time. Since the 1970's, Artists Space has played a pivotal role in shaping contemporary art, and this book employs not just a detailed chronology of the exhibitions, services and events of Artists Space, but also the recollections of the artists themselves: Barbara Kruger, Cindy Sherman, Laurie Anderson, Jonathan Borofsky, Mike Anderson, Tom Lawson, Adrian Piper, and many more.
If you’ve ever bought a personal finance book, watched a TV show about stock picking, listened to a radio show about getting out of debt, or attended a seminar to help you plan for your retirement, you’ve probably heard some version of these quotes: “What’s keeping you from being rich? In most cases, it is simply a lack of belief.” —SUZE ORMAN, The Courage to Be Rich “Are you latte-ing away your financial future?” —DAVID BACH, Smart Women Finish Rich “I know you’re capable of picking winning stocks and holding on to them.” —JIM CRAMER, Mad Money They’re common refrains among personal finance gurus. There’s just one problem: those and many similar statements ar...
Based on a reading of more than three hundred self-help books, Sandra K. Dolby examines this remarkably popular genre to define "self-help" in a way that's compelling to academics and lay readers alike. Self-Help Books also offers an interpretation of why these books are so popular, arguing that they continue the well-established American penchant for self-education, articulate problems of daily life and supposed solutions for them, and present their content in an accessible rather than arcane form and style. Using methods associated with folklore studies, Dolby then examines how the genre makes use of stories, aphorisms, and a worldview that is at once traditional and contemporary. The overarching premise of the study is that self-help books, much like fairy tales, take traditional materials, especially stories and ideas, and recast them into extended essays that people happily read, think about, try to apply, and then set aside when a new embodiment of the genre comes along.
In this era where dollar value signals moral worth, Daniel Fridman paints a vivid portrait of Americans and Argentinians seeking to transform themselves into people worthy of millions. Following groups who practice the advice from financial success bestsellers, Fridman illustrates how the neoliberal emphasis on responsibility, individualism, and entrepreneurship binds people together with the ropes of aspiration. Freedom from Work delves into a world of financial self-help in which books, seminars, and board games reject "get rich quick" formulas and instead suggest to participants that there is something fundamentally wrong with who they are, and that they must struggle to correct it. Fridman analyzes three groups who exercise principles from Rich Dad, Poor Dad by playing the board game Cashflow and investing in cash-generating assets with the goal of leaving the rat race of employment. Fridman shows that the global economic transformations of the last few decades have been accompanied by popular resources that transform the people trying to survive—and even thrive.
This timely collection explores the politics of female celebrity across a range of contemporary and historical media contexts. Amidst concerns about the apparent 'decline' in the currency of modern fame ('famous for being famous'), as well as debates about the shifting parameters of public/private visibility, it is female celebrities who are positioned as the most active discursive terrain. This collection seeks to interrogate such phenomena by forging a greater conceptual, theoretical and historical dialogue between celebrity studies and critical gender studies. It takes as its starting point the understanding that female celebrity is a particularly fraught cultural phenomenon with ideological and industrial implications that warrant careful scrutiny. In moving across case studies from the 19th century to the present day, this book works from the assumption that the case study should play a crucial role in generating debate about the dialogue between 'past' and 'present', and the individual essays seek to reflect this spirit of enquiry