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Perpetual Euphoria
Author: Pascal Bruckner
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400835976
Pages: 256
Year: 2011-01-10
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Happiness today is not just a possibility or an option but a requirement and a duty. To fail to be happy is to fail utterly. Happiness has become a religion--one whose smiley-faced god looks down in rebuke upon everyone who hasn't yet attained the blessed state of perpetual euphoria. How has a liberating principle of the Enlightenment--the right to pursue happiness--become the unavoidable and burdensome responsibility to be happy? How did we become unhappy about not being happy--and what might we do to escape this predicament? In Perpetual Euphoria, Pascal Bruckner takes up these questions with all his unconventional wit, force, and brilliance, arguing that we might be happier if we simply abandoned our mad pursuit of happiness. Gripped by the twin illusions that we are responsible for being happy or unhappy and that happiness can be produced by effort, many of us are now martyring ourselves--sacrificing our time, fortunes, health, and peace of mind--in the hope of entering an earthly paradise. Much better, Bruckner argues, would be to accept that happiness is an unbidden and fragile gift that arrives only by grace and luck. A stimulating and entertaining meditation on the unhappiness at the heart of the modern cult of happiness, Perpetual Euphoria is a book for everyone who has ever bristled at the command to "be happy."
Perpetual Euphoria
Author: Pascal Bruckner
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691143730
Pages: 256
Year: 2011-01-30
View: 393
Read: 693
Happiness today is not just a possibility or an option but a requirement and a duty. To fail to be happy is to fail utterly. Happiness has become a religion--one whose smiley-faced god looks down in rebuke upon everyone who hasn't yet attained the blessed state of perpetual euphoria. How has a liberating principle of the Enlightenment--the right to pursue happiness--become the unavoidable and burdensome responsibility to be happy? How did we become unhappy about not being happy--and what might we do to escape this predicament? In Perpetual Euphoria, Pascal Bruckner takes up these questions with all his unconventional wit, force, and brilliance, arguing that we might be happier if we simply abandoned our mad pursuit of happiness. Gripped by the twin illusions that we are responsible for being happy or unhappy and that happiness can be produced by effort, many of us are now martyring ourselves--sacrificing our time, fortunes, health, and peace of mind--in the hope of entering an earthly paradise. Much better, Bruckner argues, would be to accept that happiness is an unbidden and fragile gift that arrives only by grace and luck. A stimulating and entertaining meditation on the unhappiness at the heart of the modern cult of happiness, Perpetual Euphoria is a book for everyone who has ever bristled at the command to "be happy."
Has Marriage for Love Failed?
Author: Pascal Bruckner
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745683835
Pages: 96
Year: 2013-10-29
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Today we like to think that marriage is a free choice based on love: that we freely choose whom to marry and that we do so, not so much for survival or social advantage, but for love. The invention of marriage for love inverted the old relationship between love and marriage. In the past, marriage was sacred, and love, if it existed at all, was a consequence of marriage; today, love is sacred and marriage is secondary. But now marriage appears to be becoming increasingly superfluous. For the past forty years or so, the number of weddings has been declining, the number of divorces exploding and the number of unmarried individuals and couples growing, while single-parent families are becoming more numerous. Love has triumphed over marriage but now it is destroying it from inside. So has the ideal of marriage for love failed, and has love finally been liberated from the shackles of marriage? In this brilliant and provocative book Pascal Bruckner argues that the old tension between love and marriage has not been resolved in favour of love, it has simply been displaced onto other levels. Even if it seems more straightforward, the contemporary landscape of love is far from euphoric: as in the past, infidelity, loss and betrayal are central to the plots of modern love, and the disenchantment is all the greater because marriages are voluntary and not imposed. But the collapse of the ideal of marriage for love is not necessarily a cause for remorse, because it demonstrates that love retains its subversive power. Love is not a glue to be put in the service of the institution of marriage: it is an explosive that blows up in our faces, dynamite pure and simple.
An Imaginary Racism
Author: Pascal Bruckner
Publisher: Polity
ISBN: 1509530649
Pages: 204
Year: 2018-10-22
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‘Islamophobia’ is a term that has existed since the nineteenth century. But in recent decades, argues Pascal Bruckner in his controversial new book, it has become a weapon used to silence criticism of Islam. The term allows those who brandish it in the name of Islam to ‘freeze’ the latter, making reform difficult. Whereas Christianity and Judaism have been rejuvenated over the centuries by external criticism, Islam has been shielded from critical examination and has remained impervious to change. This tendency is exacerbated by the hypocrisy of those Western defenders of Islam who, in the name of the principles of the Enlightenment, seek to muzzle its critics while at the same time demanding the right to chastise and criticize other religions. These developments, argues Bruckner, are counter-productive for Western democracies as they struggle with the twin challenges of immigration and terrorism. The return of religion in those democracies must not be equated with the defence of fanaticism, and the right to religious freedom must go hand in hand with freedom of expression, an openness to criticism, and a rejection of all forms of extremism. There are already more than enough forms of racism; there is no need to imagine more. While all violence directed against Muslims is to be strongly condemned and punished, defining these acts as ‘Islamophobic’ rather than criminal does more to damage Islam and weaken the position of Muslims than to strengthen them.
The Tyranny of Guilt
Author: Pascal Bruckner
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400834317
Pages: 264
Year: 2010-02-01
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Fascism, communism, genocide, slavery, racism, imperialism--the West has no shortage of reasons for guilt. And, indeed, since the Holocaust and the end of World War II, Europeans in particular have been consumed by remorse. But Pascal Bruckner argues that guilt has now gone too far. It has become a pathology, and even an obstacle to fighting today's atrocities. Bruckner, one of France's leading writers and public intellectuals, argues that obsessive guilt has obscured important realities. The West has no monopoly on evil, and has destroyed monsters as well as created them--leading in the abolition of slavery, renouncing colonialism, building peaceful and prosperous communities, and establishing rules and institutions that are models for the world. The West should be proud--and ready to defend itself and its values. In this, Europeans should learn from Americans, who still have sufficient self-esteem to act decisively in a world of chaos and violence. Lamenting the vice of anti-Americanism that grips so many European intellectuals, Bruckner urges a renewed transatlantic alliance, and advises Americans not to let recent foreign-policy misadventures sap their own confidence. This is a searing, provocative, and psychologically penetrating account of the crude thought and bad politics that arise from excessive bad conscience.
The Paradox of Love
Author: Pascal Bruckner
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691149143
Pages: 266
Year: 2012-01
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Drawing on history, politics, psychology and pop culture, the author traces the roots of sexual liberation to explain love's supreme paradox, and concludes that love's messiness, surprises and paradoxes are not merely the sources of its pain--but also of its pleasure.
The Wisdom of Money
Author: Pascal Bruckner
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674972279
Pages: 296
Year: 2017-05-02
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Money is an evil that does good, and a good that does evil. It is wise to have money, says Pascal Bruckner, and wise to think and talk about it critically. One of the world’s great essayists guides us through the commentary that money has generated since ancient times, as he builds an unfashionable defense of the worldly wisdom of the bourgeoisie.
The Fanaticism of the Apocalypse
Author: Pascal Bruckner
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745670148
Pages: 224
Year: 2013-04-25
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The planet is sick. Human beings are guilty of damaging it. We have to pay. Today, that is the orthodoxy throughout the Western world. Distrust of progress and science, calls for individual and collective self-sacrifice to ‘save the planet’ and cultivation of fear: behind the carbon commissars, a dangerous and counterproductive ecological catastrophism is gaining ground. Modern society’s susceptibility to this kind of thinking derives from what Bruckner calls “the seductive attraction of disaster,” as exemplified by the popular appeal of disaster movies. But ecological catastrophism is harmful in that it draws attention away from other, more solvable problems and injustices in the world in order to focus on something that is portrayed as an Apocalypse. Rather than preaching catastrophe and pessimism, we need to develop a democratic and generous ecology that addresses specific problems in a practical way.
The Wellness Syndrome
Author: Carl Cederstr?m, Andre Spicer
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745688713
Pages: 200
Year: 2015-02-04
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Not exercising as much as you should? Counting your calories in your sleep? Feeling ashamed for not being happier? You may be a victim of the wellness syndrome. In this ground-breaking new book, Carl Cederström and André Spicer argue that the ever-present pressure to maximize our wellness has started to work against us, making us feel worse and provoking us to withdraw into ourselves. The Wellness Syndrome follows health freaks who go to extremes to find the perfect diet, corporate athletes who start the day with a dance party, and the self-trackers who monitor everything, including their own toilet habits. This is a world where feeling good has become indistinguishable from being good. Visions of social change have been reduced to dreams of individual transformation, political debate has been replaced by insipid moralising, and scientific evidence has been traded for new-age delusions. A lively and humorous diagnosis of the cult of wellness, this book is an indispensable guide for everyone suspicious of our relentless quest to be happier and healthier.
The Fire Next Time
Author: James Baldwin
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0804149720
Pages: 128
Year: 2013-09-17
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A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation and gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement. At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin's early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document. It consists of two "letters," written on the occasion of the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, that exhort Americans, both black and white, to attack the terrible legacy of racism. Described by The New York Times Book Review as "sermon, ultimatum, confession, deposition, testament, and chronicle...all presented in searing, brilliant prose," The Fire Next Time stands as a classic of our literature.
Walking on Trampolines
Author: Frances Whiting
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1476780021
Pages: 352
Year: 2015-02-03
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Praised as “a tender exploration of friendship, families, and first love” (Liane Moriarty, New York Times bestselling author of The Husband’s Secret), this coming-of-age novel from bestselling author Frances Whiting is equal parts heartwarming, accessible, and thought provoking. “Tallulah de Longland,” she said slowly, letting all the Ls in my name loll about lazily in her mouth before passing judgment. “That,” she announced, “is a serious glamorgeous name.” From the day Annabelle Andrews sashays into her classroom, Tallulah ‘Lulu’ de Longland is bewitched: by Annabelle, by her family, and by their sprawling, crumbling house tumbling down to the river. Their unlikely friendship intensifies through a secret language where they share confidences about their unusual mothers, first loves, and growing up in the small coastal town of Juniper Bay. But the euphoria of youth rarely lasts, and the implosion that destroys their friendship leaves lasting scars and a legacy of self-doubt that haunts Lulu into adulthood. Years later, Lulu is presented with a choice: remain the perpetual good girl who misses out, or finally step out from the shadows and do something extraordinary. And possibly unforgivable… It’s not how far you fall, but how high you bounce.
Against the Gods
Author: Peter L. Bernstein
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0470534532
Pages: 400
Year: 2012-09-11
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A Business Week, New York Times Business, and USA Today Bestseller "Ambitious and readable . . . an engaging introduction to the oddsmakers, whom Bernstein regards as true humanists helping to release mankind from the choke holds of superstition and fatalism." -The New York Times "An extraordinarily entertaining and informative book." -The Wall Street Journal "A lively panoramic book . . . Against the Gods sets up an ambitious premise and then delivers on it." -Business Week "Deserves to be, and surely will be, widely read." -The Economist "[A] challenging book, one that may change forever the way people think about the world." -Worth "No one else could have written a book of such central importance with so much charm and excitement." -Robert Heilbroner author, The Worldly Philosophers "With his wonderful knowledge of the history and current manifestations of risk, Peter Bernstein brings us Against the Gods. Nothing like it will come out of the financial world this year or ever. I speak carefully: no one should miss it." -John Kenneth Galbraith Professor of Economics Emeritus, Harvard University In this unique exploration of the role of risk in our society, Peter Bernstein argues that the notion of bringing risk under control is one of the central ideas that distinguishes modern times from the distant past. Against the Gods chronicles the remarkable intellectual adventure that liberated humanity from oracles and soothsayers by means of the powerful tools of risk management that are available to us today. "An extremely readable history of risk." -Barron's "Fascinating . . . this challenging volume will help you understand the uncertainties that every investor must face." -Money "A singular achievement." -Times Literary Supplement "There's a growing market for savants who can render the recondite intelligibly-witness Stephen Jay Gould (natural history), Oliver Sacks (disease), Richard Dawkins (heredity), James Gleick (physics), Paul Krugman (economics)-and Bernstein would mingle well in their company." -The Australian
The Loved One
Author: Evelyn Waugh
Publisher: New Canadian Library
ISBN: 0735253048
Pages: 103
Year: 2017-02-21
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America and Britain swirl together in this delightful satire. Dennis Barlow came to America as a poet, hired to write a screenplay for a movie studio. But that ended badly, and so he has taken a job at a pet cemetery, a choice that has left other members of the British expat community in Hollywood quite taken aback, though they are quickly distracted by the suicide of one of their own. Barlow is tasked with the funeral arrangements, during which process he meets the beautiful Aimée Thanatogenos. Can he keep himself in the good graces of his countrymen, and Ms. Thanatogenos – especially after the passing of other poets’ works as his own? Penguin Random House Canada is proud to bring you classic works of literature in e-book form, with the highest quality production values. Find more today and rediscover books you never knew you loved.
Extreme Money
Author: Satyajit Das
Publisher: FT Press
ISBN: 0132790076
Pages: 459
Year: 2011
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Everything from home mortgages to climate change has become financialized, as vast fortunes are generated by individuals who build nothing of lasting value. Das shows how "extreme money" has become ever more unreal; how "voodoo banking" continues to generate massive phony profits even now; and how a new generation of "Masters of the Universe" has come to domiinate the world.
The Temptation of Innocence
Author: Pascal Bruckner
Publisher: Algora Publishing
ISBN: 1892941260
Pages: 336
Year: 2007
View: 629
Read: 992
A highly insightful essay on the culture of dependency and its damaging effects on the moral fiber of society; from corporate welfare to affirmative action, the author takes on the culture of copping out. A book against depression, existential angst, cry-babies and whining "victims," either acting as a child in a candy store or as a martyr of one's own fears. Men against women, women against men, isn't it time to grow up and take charge of our own destiny?

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