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  • The Positive Thinkers
  • Written by Donald Meyer
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780307828231
  • Our Price: $19.99
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The Positive Thinkers

Written by Donald MeyerAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Donald Meyer


List Price: $19.99


On Sale: February 06, 2013
Pages: 400 | ISBN: 978-0-307-82823-1
Published by : Pantheon Knopf
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The subject of Professor Meyer's superb study concerns the dissolution of the Protestant ethic, its relationship to a general failure of nerve within the American community, and the consequent rise of a pseudo-theology in the guise of a pseudo-psychology, as reflected through the work of certain "mind-cure" practitioners, from Mary Baker Eddy to Norman Vincent Peale. It is a subject largely ignored by intellectuals, and Professor Meyer, in taking it out of the domain of the Reader's Digestor similar habitations, has produced a real service, not only to sociology and political science, disciplines in which he is very well versed, but also to mass-culture and the vague but insidious ethos behind it. In describing what the sub-title states as "the American Quest for Health, Wealth, and Personal Power," Professor Meyer works from an historical perspective, does not beat any drums nor ride any hobby horse; scholarly care and an in-depth generosity illuminate a number of intricate concepts, whether they be "individualism," laissez-faire industry or the peculiar role and influence of women within society. His work is schematized yet fluid, showing how a process of ego-disintegration has paradoxically resulted out of the improperly understood religious orientation of the past and the anxiety-ridden religious revival of the present. Today God "means" Adjustment.

—Virgina Kirkus, Kirkus Reviews


“I find it incredible that this superb book should have gone unnoticed for 15 years!  I have read nothing else that connects religious belief, culture, and politics so well; and Meyer’s unobtrusively epigrammatic style delights me.  E. M. Forster would have loved this book though he could not have written it.”
—Edgar Z. Friedenberg, author of The Vanishing Adolescent and Coming of Age in America

“Remarkable . . . A delightful scholarly investigation of American mind-cure movements.”
—The Nation

“Enormously interesting . . . sober, steady, enlightening.”
—The New Yorker

 “An important, provocative, and most valuable study.”
—American Historical Review

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