The Lonely American

Ebook $19.00

Beacon Press | Feb 01, 2009 | ISBN 9780807095966

  • Paperback$19.00

    Beacon Press | Feb 01, 2010 | 240 Pages | 6 x 9 | ISBN 9780807000359

  • Ebook$19.00

    Beacon Press | Feb 01, 2009 | ISBN 9780807095966

Praise

In a wise, quiet, and gentle voice, Drs. Olds and Schwartz offer a devastating portrait of present-day American culture-the fragility of social bonds, the busyness that has become a badge of social worth, the conflict between the need for respite from the frantic pace and the gnawing feelings of exclusion and loneliness that accompany our attempts to slow it down. This is a book for our time, a book that calls all of us to take a serious look at the social and psychological costs of the way we live today. —Dr. Lillian B. Rubin, author of Just Friends, Intimate Strangers, and 60 on Up

“In today’s society the pursuit of individual happiness, materialism, and the frenetic pace of life has led many people unwittingly into lifestyles where they feel lonely and excluded. Yet we know that such states are damaging to physical and mental health. In their important new book, Drs. Olds and Schwartz provide a compassionate and insightful analysis of the conflicting currents that have led to this state of affairs, and they describe ways in which this pattern can be changed through individual and community efforts.”—Dr. Bruce S. McEwen, author of The End of Stress as We Know It

“An insightful, important, and comprehensive look at the causes and effects of the pervasive psychological and social isolation within contemporary American culture. The authors offer wise, compassionate, and helpful strategies toward the renewal of our essential human connections.”—Janet L. Surrey, Ph.D. Founding Scholar, Jean Baker Miller Training Institute, Wellesley College, and Samuel Shem, author of The House of God

“If you want to know why, in the midst of so many and so much, Americans all too often feel alone and disconnected, this is the volume for you. Drs. Olds and Schwartz have written a book that is scientifically rigorous and socially acute, delving deep into the latest research on the neurobiology behind our need for connection and the adverse effects of social isolation, while also unpacking the dangerous cultural myths that would deny these needs. Hooray for Olds and Schwartz’s sagacity, lucidity, humanity, and practicality. Read their book and take their advice for your own sake and for the rest of us, as well!”—Dr. William Pollack, author of Real Boys, Rescuing Ours Sons from the Myth of Masculinity and director of the Centers for Men and Young Men at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School

“Our contemporary situation is one of material affluence and social isolation. Olds and Schwartz provide a thoughtful and important analysis of how we came to cut ourselves off from one another, and what the consequences are.”—Daniel Nettle, PhD, author of Happiness: The Science behind Your Smile

Table Of Contents

CHAPTER 1 The Elephant in the Room
 
CHAPTER 2 Frantic without a Peep:
Busyness as a Virtue and a Curse
 
CHAPTER 3 Self-Reliance:
Do Lonesome Cowboys Sing the Blues?
 
CHAPTER 4 Left Out:
An Organism under Stress
 
CHAPTER 5 Free at Last:
American Living Arrangements
 
CHAPTER 6 The Technology of Relationships:
A Brief Review
 
CHAPTER 7 Love and Marriage in a Busy World
 
CHAPTER 8 The Ripple Effects of Increasing
Social Isolation
 
CHAPTER 9 Social Disconnection and the
Mental Health Industry
 
CHAPTER 10 Staying Limber
 
Acknowledgments
Notes
Index

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