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Twenge (Generation Me) and Campbell (When You Love a Man Who Loves Himself) argue that the U.S. is suffering from an epidemic of narcissism, as real and as dangerous as the more widely reported obesity epidemic. Although Christopher Lasch's 1979 bestseller The Culture of Narcissism identified the phenomenon, this book draws on far more extensive research findings to claim that one in 10 Americans in their 20s suffers from narcissistic personality disorder, a psychocultural affliction and unanticipated consequence of the emphasis placed on self-esteem and self-promotion in modern parenting and the media and fed by Internet social networking sites that reinforce an obsessive need for admiration and ego-enhancement. At times, the authors sound like old scolds, but they themselves are members of the "Me Generation" and support their generalizations with persuasive evidence, particularly data derived from surveying 37,000 college students. Suggesting that the current financial crisis is, in part, a consequence of the narcissism epidemic affords the book an unexpected up-to-the-minute dimension, and the authors conclude with a dash of optimism, positing that straitened circumstances might cure Americans of all ages of narcissism. (Apr.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
"The other night, when I was reading Twenge and Campbell's excellent and timely new book, my husband was busy framing a fake "Sports Illustrated" cover, with a picture of our 7-year old over the caption, "Player of the Year." "The Narcissism Epidemic" will hew close to the bone, rouse, and provoke many readers as it shines a spotlight on an important -- and highly costly -- trend in our lives. Rooted in hard data and illuminated with revealing anecdotes, stories, and solutions, "The Narcissism Epidemic" is both a pleasure and an education. But enough about this book. Let's talk about me." -- Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., author of "The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want" "An important and illuminating book. Drs. Twenge and Campbell expertly analyze many strands of American culture and reveal an alarming tapestry of psychocultural narcissism. They also offer sound strategies for slowing this epidemic." -- Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D., author of "Can't Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel" and "So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids" "Phenomenal..."The Narcissism Epidemic" clearly and succinctly identifies the dangerous disease and the catastrophic ways it threatens our society and future, and reveals urgently needed solutions at every level. The chapter on parenting alone makes this book priceless and should be compulsory reading." -- Patrick Wanis PhD, Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert, author of "How to Find Happiness" "Filled with important, disturbing research detailing the alarming cultural spread of narcissism today -- a serious social problem to which many people are unwittingly contributing without realizing the disastrous consequences. The authors give sound advice and provide an important resource for anyone who cares about compassion, empathy, and emotional connection rather than ME, ME, ME!" -- Karyl McBride, Ph.D., author of "Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers " ""The Narcissism Epidemic" is a must read, an essential antidote to a culture spinning out of control. Filled with facts, fascinating examples, and written in a highly readable style, Twenge and Campbell's outstanding book shows how narcissism has been on the rise and has taken over almost every part of our lives and how we can rescue our culture from ourselves. An outstanding accomplishment by two people who truly care about the debacle of self-worship. It should be read by anyone interested in the future of our country" -- Robert L. Leahy, Ph.D., author of "Anxiety Free: Unravel Your Fears Before They Unravel You" "A must-read for anyone who is a parent, a relationship partner, in the workforce, in school, or on the job market. Twenge and Campbell not only define narcissism but detail its antecedents, consequences, and underlying processes in a way that brings together so much of what one sees in modern western culture. Grounded in research and peppered with media and anecdotal stories, The Narcissism Epidemic offers practical, much-needed solutions to coping in the age of entitlement." -- Kathleen Vohs, Ph.D., University of Minnesota McKnight Land-Grant Professor, Editor of "Self and Relationships: Connecting Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Processes" "This insightful book shows us how the epidemic of narcissism touches almost all aspects of our lives. Twenge and Campbell's astute analysis and salient anecdotes powerfully map the problem and the high price we all pay. They expertly show us the kinds of actions we can take to free ourselves of the epidemic's ruthless grip and how the future wellbeing of humane society depends on our doing so." -- Diane E. Levin, Ph.D., Professor of Education at Wheelock College and co-author of "So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids" "The evidence Twenge and Campbell have compiled is compelling and appalling.... Twenge and Campbell marshal statistics, polls, charts, studies and anecdotes to assemble a complete picture of the epidemic's current state of contagion, brought on by the Internet, reality television, a booming economy, easy credit and other developments over the past decade. The authors dismantle the prevailing myths that have made us inclined to tolerate and even encourage narcissism: that it's a function of high self-esteem, that it's a function of low self-esteem, that a little narcissism is healthy, that narcissists are in fact superior, that you have to love yourself to be able to love someone else." -- "New York Times Style Magazine"