SHAM

SHAM

How the Self-help Movement Made America Helpless

Book - 2005
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Self-help: To millions of Americans it seems like a godsend. To many others it seems like a joke. But as investigative reporter Steve Salerno reveals in this groundbreaking book, it's neither--in fact it's much worse than a joke. Going deep inside the Self-Help and Actualization Movement (fittingly, the words form the acronym SHAM), Salerno offers the first serious exposé of this multibillion-dollar industry and the real damage it is doing--not just to its paying customers, but to all of American society. Based on the author's extensive reporting--and the inside look at the industry he got while working at a leading "lifestyle" publisher--SHAM shows how thinly credentialed "experts" now dispense advice on everything from mental health to relationships to diet to personal finance to business strategy. Americans spend upward of $8 billion every year on self-help programs and products. And those staggering financial costs are actually the least of our worries. SHAM demonstrates how the self-help movement's core philosophies have infected virtually every aspect of American life--the home, the workplace, the schools, and more. And Salerno exposes the downside of being uplifted, showing how the "empowering" message that dominates self-help today proves just as damaging as the blame-shifting rhetoric of self-help's "Recovery" movement. SHAM also reveals: • How self-help gurus conduct extensive market research to reach the same customers over and over--without ever helping them • The inside story on the most notorious gurus--from Dr. Phil to Dr. Laura, from Tony Robbins to John Gray • How your company might be wasting money on motivational speakers, "executive coaches," and other quick fixes that often hurt quality, productivity, and morale • How the Recovery movement has eradicated notions of personal responsibility by labeling just about anything--from drug abuse to "sex addiction" to shoplifting--a dysfunction or disease • How Americans blindly accept that twelve-step programs offer the only hope of treating addiction, when in fact these programs can do more harm than good • How the self-help movement inspired the disastrous emphasis on self-esteem in our schools • How self-help rhetoric has pushed people away from proven medical treatments by persuading them that they can cure themselves through sheer application of will As Salerno shows, to describe self-help as a waste of time and money vastly understates its collateral damage. And with SHAM, the self-help industry has finally been called to account for the damage it has done. Also available as an eBook
Publisher: New York : Crown Publishers, c2005.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781400054091
1400054095
Branch Call Number: 155.2
Characteristics: viii, 273 p. ; 25 cm.

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LRS1969 Apr 16, 2015

Excellent book. The analysis of Booklist and Publishers Weekly say it all.

To a large degree specifically what is wrong with America today. The pseudo science and junk science of insistent advice by the "experts" (repeatedly saying something or having a magical like charisma - or the benefit of the Oprah Effect - does not make it true!) has had a tremendously negative effect amongst a large number of people... people who stay hooked and pour away billions searching for the quick cure Holy Grail.

Strongly suggest that you read and learn.

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