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Sham : How the Self-help Movement Made America Helpless (Paperback)

Author: Salerno, Steven

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Product Overview

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 expose 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, "executivecoaches," 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

"From the Hardcover edition."


Publisher Crown Forum
Mfg Part# 9781400054107
SKU 202055053
Format Paperback
ISBN10 1400054109
Release Date 6/27/2006
Product Attributes
Book Format Paperback
Number of Pages 0273
Publisher Three Rivers Press (CA)
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