Self-Help Nation by Tom Tiede
The Long Overdue, Entirely Justified, Delightfully Hostile Guide to the Snake-Oil Peddlers Who Are Sapping Our Nation's Soul

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Synopsis

Every year, Americans waste millions of dollars on books that promise to fix all their problems. We buy each new one, believing its promises despite the failures of all the previous tomes, continuing to hope for that nonexistent magic bullet. Tom Tiede, a former syndicated columnist and the recipient of numerous journalism awards, just might be able to cure us of this addiction. In Self-Help Nation, Tiede skewers the authors of self-help books, whom he compares to modern-day snake-oil peddlers exploiting our weaknesses. As he slashes his way merrily through his least favorite books, Tiede posits a larger cultural argument about why we as a nation have fallen prey to the self-help juggernaut. Waging an eloquent attack on the salaciousness and irresponsibility of the media, the self-absorption of the Baby Boom generation, our fascination with celebrity, and other cultural afflictions, Tiede offers insightful commentary on what we've lost in our hyperaccelerated culture and calls for a return to the timeless American value of self-reliance. In urging us to trust ourselves, Tiede is perhaps writing just another self-help book, a sure sign of the mess we've gotten ourselves into. Regardless, Self-Help Nation is a delight to read-wickedly funny, refreshingly candid, and ultimately profound.
 

About Tom Tiede

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Tiede has been a syndicated national columnist, a foreign correspondent, and a war correspondent, as well as the owner of a newspaper and several businesses. He has reported from more than 100 countries and won many national journalism awards, including the Ernie Pyle Memorial Award, the National Headliners Award, and the Freedom Foundation's George Washington Medal.
 
Published March 30, 2001 by Atlantic Monthly Pr. 192 pages
Genres: Self Help, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Self-Help Nation

Kirkus Reviews

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Occasionally, in his zeal to point out the nakedness of the self-help emperors, Tiede does not notice his own nudity: He dangles a participle, assigns a work by Godwin (born in 1756) to the early 18th century, claims he saw a Sasquatch, and suggests the Pilgrims (1620) were the first European set...

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Publishers Weekly

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Taking the view that most people are better off thinking honestly and logically about their own desires, Tiede--a nationally syndicated columnist and recipient of the Ernie Pyle award--massacres self-help books for their quick fixes and, he says, dumbed-down psychology and theology.

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Entertainment Weekly

The glut of insipid, Chicken Soup-style in- spirational tomes is hardly a new development, but it sure ticks off Tiede, who takes what should have been a Sunday-paper column and stretches it to 200-plus repetitive pages.

Mar 09 2001 | Read Full Review of Self-Help Nation: The Long Ov...

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