Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton

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Synopsis

Anyone who’s ever lost sleep over an unreturned phone call or the neighbor’s Lexus had better read Alain de Botton’s irresistibly clear-headed new book, immediately. For in its pages, a master explicator of our civilization and its discontents turns his attention to the insatiable quest for status, a quest that has less to do with material comfort than with love. To demonstrate his thesis, de Botton ranges through Western history and thought from St. Augustine to Andrew Carnegie and Machiavelli to Anthony Robbins.

Whether it’s assessing the class-consciousness of Christianity or the convulsions of consumer capitalism, dueling or home-furnishing, Status Anxiety is infallibly entertaining. And when it examines the virtues of informed misanthropy, art appreciation, or walking a lobster on a leash, it is not only wise but helpful.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Alain de Botton

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Alain de Botton is the bestselling author of How Proust Can Change Your Life, as well as numerous other works of fiction and essays. He is well-known for making complex philosophical and artistic subjects accessible for a wider audience. De Botton founded the School of Life, a series of lectures in London that aim to make academic learning applicable to real life. With the success of the school, this concept was adapted into The School of Life book series. De Botton lives and works in London.
 
Published December 10, 2008 by Vintage. 320 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Self Help, Law & Philosophy, Parenting & Relationships, Business & Economics, Religion & Spirituality, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Status Anxiety

Kirkus Reviews

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(A key adjunct: public opinion, as such, is rarely rational, therefore hardly worth a damn.) He waxes more eloquent, however, in proposing that art—novels, paintings, songs, films—has the capacity, through both laughter and tears, to “rebalance one’s moral perspective,” while citing (monochrome i...

Apr 01 2004 | Read Full Review of Status Anxiety

The Guardian

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Most people try to get their status from areas, such as work, over which they have little control.

Mar 08 2004 | Read Full Review of Status Anxiety

The Guardian

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Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton 314pp Hamish Hamilton, £16.99.

Mar 26 2004 | Read Full Review of Status Anxiety

Publishers Weekly

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and in Australia, and hosted by de Botton, has been commissioned to promote the book.) Lively and provocative, de Botton proves once again that originality isn't necessary when one has that continental flair we call "style."

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Entertainment Weekly

In his thoughtful, beautifully rendered 1993 novel On Love, de Botton structured the most unwieldy of subjects -- passion and the end of an affair -- as a quasi-academic dissertation.

Jun 04 2004 | Read Full Review of Status Anxiety

The Sydney Morning Herald

In this age when almost everything is in some way "sexed up", Alain de Botton makes talk of love seem not crass but essential: "Our need for love remains unwavering, no less steady or insistent than it might have been in infancy;

May 22 2004 | Read Full Review of Status Anxiety

Bookmarks Magazine

Alain De Botton (1998): De Botton provides irreverent self-help advice through the life and work of Marcel Proust.

Oct 21 2009 | Read Full Review of Status Anxiety

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