Status Anxiety

Status Anxiety

3.89 (6,925 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback

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For this study, de Botton asks where our worries about status come from and what, if anything, we can do to reduce them. He looks at how people have coped with these anxieties in the past with a range of unexpected examples and entertaining more

Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 140 x 210 x 32mm | 698.54g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • Hamish Hamilton Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 0241142385
  • 9780241142387

Review Text

At the heart of each of Alain de Botton's books is a sincere attempt to use philosophy as a practical guide to good living. His latest work examines our anxious search for the recognition and approval of society. He gives a cool diagnosis of the condition of Status Anxiety, and then lays out a series of potential correctives, drawing on politics, art, Christianity and bohemianism as well as philosophy. He looks at how the decline of religion and the rise of consumerism in the West have given a particularly sharp focus to status anxiety, how the factors determining status have always been mutable, and how our insecurities are less about how much or little we have, but more about how much/little we have in relation to others and to our own desires and expectations. He asks enlightening questions such as: why should we care about someone's opinion of us if they are a fool anyway? And why do we insist on being so acquisitive when, in the end, we will die and have to leave it all behind? As always, de Botton's approach is wise and gentle. We are flattered that a book displaying such erudition is yet so very readable. Its tone is perhaps less personal than that of, say, 'The Art of Travel'. Nevertheless, one can't help but feel the weight of personal conviction behind his final statement that 'there is more than one way of succeeding at life.' (Kirkus UK)show more

Rating details

6,925 ratings
3.89 out of 5 stars
5 27% (1,897)
4 42% (2,920)
3 24% (1,683)
2 5% (344)
1 1% (81)
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