Better Than Well by Carl Elliott
American Medicine Meets the American Dream

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Synopsis

"Elliott's absorbing account will make readers think again about the ways that science shapes our personal identities."—American Scientist


Americans have always been the world's most anxiously enthusiastic consumers of "enhancement technologies." Prozac, Viagra, and Botox injections are only the latest manifestations of a familiar pattern: enthusiastic adoption, public hand-wringing, an occasional congressional hearing, and calls for self-reliance.



In a brilliant diagnosis of our reactions to self-improvement technologies, Carl Elliott asks questions that illuminate deep currents in the American character: Why do we feel uneasy about these drugs, procedures, and therapies even while we embrace them? Where do we draw the line between self and society? Why do we seek self-realization in ways so heavily influenced by cultural conformity?
 

About Carl Elliott

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Carl Elliott is a professor of bioethics and philosophy at the University of Minnesota. He lives in Minneapolis.
 
Published June 17, 2004 by W. W. Norton & Company. 388 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Professional & Technical, Law & Philosophy, Education & Reference, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Opening with a discussion of Stephen Hawking’s voice synthesizer and an “accent-reduction clinic” in North Carolina, he moves on to consider drugs that reduce social anxieties or calm hyperactivity, cosmetic surgery that alters the size of appendages or changes gender, human growth hormones that ...

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Publishers Weekly

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His book reads like a travelogue that takes readers through the many forms of remedy, from Viagra, Paxil, and Botox, to the other American disease, "boredom" and our various responses to it.

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BC Books

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We are, Elliott says, "Faced with a nagging sense of dissatisfaction about the way we are living our lives."

Jun 09 2004 | Read Full Review of Better Than Well: American Me...

BC Books

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So begins a Elliott's questioning of the new American take on health as addressed in this thought-provoking and highly original book-cum-philosophical exploration that addresses America's love-hate relationship with what Elliott calls 'enhancement technologies.' Before "personality," a word co...

Jun 09 2004 | Read Full Review of Better Than Well: American Me...

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