|Carl Elliott's Better than Well - American Medicine Meets the American Dream|
Better Than Well: American Medicine Meets the American Dream
In the tradition of The Culture of Narcissism and Listening to Prozac, a resonant exploration of the paradoxes of self-improvement.
Americans have always been the world's most anxiously enthusiastic consumers of "enhancement technologies." There is nothing novel about our use of Prozac and Viagra, or in our yearning toward cosmetic surgery and Botox injections, except the names of the drugs and the procedures. With the success of each new medical technology, a familiar pattern of response surfaces: public hand-wringing, an occasional congressional hearing, calls for self-reliance. "We have created in America a culture of drugs." The speaker? Richard Nixon.
Better Than Well offers a diagnosis rather than an argument. 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?
This wise, humane, and provocative book traces the fault lines in our peculiarly obsessive pursuit of happiness.