The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking

The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking

Paperback

By (author) Oliver Burkeman

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  • Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 129mm x 198mm x 16mm | 177g
  • Publication date: 3 January 2013
  • Publication City/Country: Edinburgh
  • ISBN 10: 1847678661
  • ISBN 13: 9781847678669
  • Edition statement: Main ed
  • Sales rank: 2,989

Product description

Is our search for happiness futile? Or are we just going about it the wrong way? In this fascinating new book, Oliver Burkeman argues that 'positive thinking' and relentless optimism aren't the solution to the happiness dilemma, but part of the problem. And that there is, in fact, an alternative path to contentment and success that involves embracing the things we spend our lives trying to avoid - uncertainty, insecurity, pessimism and failure. Thought-provoking, counter-intuitive and ultimately uplifting, "The Antidote" is a celebration of the power of negative thinking.

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Author information

Oliver Burkeman is a feature writer for the Guardian. He is a winner of the Foreign Press Association's Young Journalist of the Year award, and has been shortlisted for the Orwell Prize and the What The Papers Say Feature Writer of the Year award. He writes a popular weekly column on psychology, This Column Will Change Your Life, and has reported from London, Washington and New York. His work has also appeared in Esquire, Elle, GQ, the Observer and the New Republic. He was born in Liverpool in 1975, grew up in York, and holds a degree in Social and Political Sciences from Cambridge University.

Review quote

* An excellent book; Burkeman makes us see that our current approach, in which we want happiness but search for certainty - often in the shape of material goods - is counterproductive. We're on a treadmill of disappointment. So Burkeman explores a better way, and tells us about the philosophers and thinkers who have inspired him -- ***** Daily Telegraph, * He has written some of the most truthful and useful words on [happiness] to be published in recent years. This is a marvellous synthesis of good sense, which would make a bracing detox for the self-help junkie -- Julian Baggini Guardian * If life can only have one destination, then, Burkeman argues, we should enjoy the journey as much as we can and deal with the terminus when it comes. It's a simple idea, but an exhilarating and satisfying one Observer * Addictive, wise and very funny. Burkeman never takes himself too seriously, but the rest of us should. -- Tim Harford author of THE UNDERCOVER ECONOMIST * The Antidote is a gem. Countering a self-help tradition in which "positive thinking" too often takes the place of actual thinking, Oliver Burkeman returns our attention to several of philosophy's deeper traditions and does so with a light hand and a wry sense of humor. You'll come away from this book enriched - and, yes, even a little happier -- Daniel H. Pink author of DRIVE and A WHOLE NEW MIND * Quietly subversive, beautifully written, persuasive and profound, Oliver Burkeman's book will make you think - and smile -- Alex Bellos author of ALEX'S ADVENTURES IN NUMBERLAND * Does the pursuit of happiness make us miserable? In this elegant and erudite book, Oliver Burkeman explores the riddle of joy in the 21st century. This book doesn't set out to make you happy, but that may just be why it works -- Jonah Lehrer, author of Imagine: How Creativity Works * This is a genuinely useful book; Burkeman is not in the business of pouring automatic scorn; he really does want us to become slightly happier ... Help! is win-win. If you do find yourself with those problems which, though potentially tractable, are disproportionately aggravating, then you will find solace and good advice here. If you do not, or rather think you do not, then you will be amused anyway. Either way, you won't need to read another self-help book again. Nicholas Lezard, Guardian * [The Antidote] has performed a neat trick by appealing to both the self-help superfan and the self-help cynic... it's immensely readable and rewarding The Stylist * Wry, thought-provoking and often hilarious Irish Independent * Burkeman's entertainingly argued proposition seems refreshingly well-grounded in reality, solid research and common sense and is probably worth a shot... Good Book Guide