General Topics
Resources

 email page    print page

All Topic Reviews
Health Care in America The Happiness of Burnout"Guns Don't Kill People, People Kill People""How Come Boys Get to Keep Their Noses?"17 Lies That Are Holding You Back20 Jazz Funk Greats50 Popular Beliefs That People Think Are TrueA Brief History of the SmileA Child of One's OwnA Citizen Legislature/A People's ParliamentA Clinician's Guide to Legal Issues in PsychotherapyA Colorful History of Popular DelusionsA Cultural History of Modern Science in ChinaA Cursing Brain?A History of Intelligence and "Intellectual Disability"A History of MarriageA History of PsychiatryA Little F'd UpA Loving Approach to Dementia CareA Man's Guide to Healthy AgingA Mind ApartA Mind So RareA Natural History of RapeA Natural History of VisionA Red Heart of MemoriesA Short History of MedicineA Student's Guide to the History And Philosophy of Yoga A Tear is an Intellectual ThingA Therapist's Guide to Understanding Common Medical ProblemsA Universe of ConsciousnessA User's Guide to the BrainA World Full of GodsABC of Eating DisordersABCs to Positive LivingAbnormal Psychology in ContextAbout FaceAccessible Yoga for Every Body DVDActs of ConscienceAdvances in Culture and PsychologyAfter HarmAfter the Ecstasy, the LaundryAfter the Globe, Before the WorldAgainst the MachineAging Our WayAIDS & People with Severe Mental IllnessAkhenatenAl-JununAlgernon, Charlie and IAll About LoveAllergy ReliefAlone TogetherAlpha GirlsAltered EgosAltered StatesAlways On CallAm I Making Myself Clear?Am I Okay?AM/PM YogaAmerica in the FortiesAmerican Science Fiction Film and TelevisionAmong the Great ApesAn American ObsessionAn Anthropologist on MarsAn Illustrated Book of Bad ArgumentsAn Odd Kind of FameAnatomy of an EpidemicAnger, Madness, and the DaimonicAnimal ArchitectsAnimal MindsAnimals in TranslationAnother CountryAntimatterAre the Rich Necessary? Updated and Expanded EditionArt and PoliticsArtemis FowlAs Nature Made HimAsylumAsylum on the HillAsylum to ActionAt Liberty to DieAtonement and ForgivenessAttention Deficit DisorderAttitudeAuthentic HappinessBe Very AfraidBeautiful MindsBeauty's NothingBeckett and AnimalsBecoming a DoctorBeing VirtualBelle and Sebastian's If You're Feeling SinisterBest of the Brain from Scientific AmericanBetrayal TraumaBetter Sex Through YogaBeyond AIBeyond GreekBeyond HealthBeyond ReasonBeyond ToleranceBibliotherapyBipolar DisorderBlack Man in a White CoatBlack MassBlind SpotsBlinkBlood and GutsBodies out of BoundsBody Piercing Saved My LifeBorn Standing UpBrain LongevityBrain-Based Teaching for All SubjectsBrainchildrenBrainwashingBread Upon the WatersBreaking Murphy's LawBreaking WomenBreathingBrian Eno's Another Green WorldBrief EncountersBritain on the CouchBrothelBuddhism and ScienceBuilding Healthy MindsBullspottingBullying PreventionBurn UnitBuzzC StreetCalling Our Spirits HomeCamp ZCancer on $5 a Day* *(chemo not included)Cato's TearsCaughtChained to the DeskChickenizing Farms and FoodChild Slaves in the Modern WorldChildren's Learning in a Digital WorldChina on the MindChoices and ConflictChoosing CivilityChronic Fatigue Syndrome (The Facts)Classical Pilates Technique DVDCleopatraClinical Psychopharmacology Made Ridiculously SimpleClosing the AsylumsCognition, Creativity, and BehaviorCognitive Neuroscience of EmotionCollege Inc.Coming of Age in AmericaComing of Age in Ancient GreeceConceptual BlockbustingConcrete ReveriesConducting Insanity EvaluationsConfronting Postmaternal ThinkingConnected, or What It Means to Live in the Network SocietyConsciousnessConsider the LobsterConsuming InnocenceContagiousControlConversations About Psychology and Sexual OrientationCool WomenCorpora in Language Acquisition ResearchCorrect EnglishCorrupted CultureCount Us InCovered in InkCreative AngerCreative Core AbsCreative ThinkeringCreative Writing In Health And Social CareCreatures of AccidentCrime and Punishment in AmericaCritical ConditionCritical Perspectives in Public HealthCritical Psychology: An IntroductionCross-Cultural Topics in PsychologyCrossingCrossing the Unknown SeaCruddyCultural Healing and Belief SystemsCulture and Subjective Well-BeingCustomers and Patrons of the Mad-TradeCyber BullyingCyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy TeensDance the Chakras Yoga WorkoutDancing After HoursDangerous EmotionsDarwin's Dangerous IdeaDarwin's LegacyDeaf Identities in the MakingDeath in the AirDebunked!DeceptionDecoding DarknessDeep GossipDefenders of the TruthDefining Moments in ScienceDefying DementiaDeinstitutionalization And People With Intellectual DisabilitiesDematerializingDementiaDementia Caregivers Share Their StoriesDemons of the Body and MindDemons of the Modern WorldDepression In Later LifeDirty DetailsDiscourse of Twitter and Social MediaDistractedDivine MadnessDMT and the Soul of ProphecyDo-It-Yourself Eye Movement Techniques for Emotional HealingDoes Science Need a Global Language?Doing GoodDon't Believe Everything You ThinkDon't Get Too ComfortableDr. Andrew Weil's Guide to Optimum HealthDr. Andrew Weil's Mindbody ToolkitDreaming and Other Involuntary MentationDSM-IV SourcebookDSM-IV-TR Case StudiesDuplicityDutiful DaughtersDying for TimeEarthly Bodies, Magical SelvesEastern Body, Western MindEating AnimalsEccentricsEcological MedicineEducating People to Be Emotionally IntelligentEinstein and OppenheimerElectroshockElliott Smith and the Big NothingEmergence and EmbodimentEmergencies in Mental Health PracticeEmotionEmotional Intelligence at WorkEmotions RevealedEncyclopedia of Asylum Therapeutics, 1750-1950sEntwined LivesErotic PassionsEssentials of Cas AssessmentEssentials of Wais-III AssessmentEthics for the New MillenniumEvamarie Pilipuf's Yoga Express DVDEvery Day Yoga for Every Body DVDEveryday GreensEveryday IrrationalityEveryday SimplicityEverything Is MiscellaneousEvolutionEvolution and Human BehaviorEvolution in MindEvolution's RainbowExploring the Edge Realms of ConsciousnessExuberanceEyes of SophiaFalling for ScienceFalse-Memory Creation in Children and AdultsFamilyFamily Desk Reference to Psychology Fashion and Its Social AgendasFashion, Desire And AnxietyFast, Fresh & GreenFat and FuriousFear and Other Uninvited GuestsFearless ConfessionsFeminist Philosophy And Science FictionFinal ExamFine LinesFixing My GazeFlesh of My FleshFlesh WoundsFlirting With DangerFlow and YinFlying ColorsFocusFood for Thought:Food, Medicine, and the Quest for Good HealthFool Me TwiceFreedom, Fame, Lying, and BetrayalFridaFrom Certainty to UncertaintyFrom Joy Division to New OrderFull Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman's Guide to Why Feminism MattersFull Steam Ahead!Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths about Science and ReligionGang of Four's EntertainmentGender and Its Effects on PsychopathologyGender and Mental HealthGeneration DigitalGenetics of Mental DisordersGeniusGenomeGetting a Good Night's SleepGetting Inside Your HeadGetting WastedGilded CityGirl in the CurlGirlfightingGirls Gone MildGirls on the VergeGod and the MultiverseGood FortuneGood KarmaGood MedicineGood WorkGracefully InsaneGrassroots SpiritualityGreat Psychologists and Their TimeGulpHabeas CorpusHalf a Brain Is EnoughHandbook of AttachmentHappinessHappinessHappiness Is.Hate Crimes in CyberspaceHealingHealing SpacesHealth And the MediaHealth OnlineHearing the Person With DementiaHeavier than HeavenHello from Heaven!HelmholtzHelvetica: A documentary filmHemalayaa's Yoga for Young Bodies DVDHemingway's Second WarHerbs for the MindHere Is New YorkHeroes, Rogues, and LoversHeterophobiaHidden MindsHistory of ShitHistory of SuicideHoly Sh*tHoly WarHooked!Hot Body Cool Mind - Level 1Hot Body Cool Mind: Waking Energy Hot Chocolate for the Mystical LoverHot SpotsHotHouseHouse and PsychologyHow Children Learn the Meanings of WordsHow Doctors ThinkHow Emotions WorkHow Our Lives Become StoriesHow Proust Can Change Your LifeHow Science WorksHow to Build a Robot ArmyHow to Cook Everything VegetarianHow to Grow OldHow to Handle a Hard-To-Handle KidHow We AgeHow We Are Changed by WarHumankindHungerHysteria Complicated by EcstasyI Contain MultitudesI Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did: Social Networks and the Death of PrivacyI of the VortexI Only Say This Because I Love YouI, Little AsylumIdiot AmericaIf Men Could TalkIgnoranceIllness and ImageImagining NumbersImprove Your Writing With NLPIn Bed with MadnessIn Defense of FoodIn Praise of ScienceIn Pursuit of HappinessIn Search of FatimaIn the Line of DutyIn the Shadows of the NetIn Therapy We TrustIndivisible by TwoInsight Yoga with Sarah PowersIntegrative MedicineIntensive CareIntroduction to Ashtanga Yoga DVDIntroduction to Qi YogaIntroduction to Yoga DVDInvented KnowledgeInvestigating Digital CrimeIrrationalityIs Shame Necessary?It's Up to YouJanis Saffell Beverly Hills YogaJudo with WordsKanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted FantasyKids OnlineKilling MonstersKinds of MindsKissing DoorknobsKnowing the Nature of FearKnowledge MonopoliesKundalini Yoga for Beginners & BeyondLandscapes in My MindLaw, Mind and BrainLearning About School ViolenceLearning, Teaching and Education Research in the 21st CenturyLessons Learned on My Way HomeLicentious GothamLies! Lies! Lies!Life CoachingLife MakeoversLimboListening in the Silence, Seeing in the DarkListening to PainListening to the WorldLittle PeopleLittle Red Riding Hood UncloakedLiving DeeplyLiving Well with Pain and IllnessLiving with ArthritisLiving with SchizophreniaLiving, Thinking, LookingLoneliness as a Way of LifeLong Shadow of Small GhostsLosing My MindLove and Sex with RobotsLove Your Body, Love Your LifeLove, Sex & TragedyLust in TranslationMad Mary LambMade in AmericaMadhur Jaffrey's World VegetarianMadnessMadness in CivilizationMaidentripMake It CountMake It Fast, Cook It SlowMaking Babies the Hard WayMaking Dying IllegalMaking SpaceMaking the Big LeapMaking Your Mind MatterMale Female EmailMalefemaleMan As The PrayerManaged Care ContractingMandated Reporting of Suspected Child AbuseManic Depression and CreativityManlinessManning UpMapping the MindMarriage ConfidentialMary Pope Osborne's Tales from the OdysseyMaster PassionsMasters of the MindMatters of SubstanceMean GenesMedia ArgumentationMedia in the Digital AgeMediating MadnessMedical AnthropologyMedicine and Health Care in Early ChristianityMedicine and Philosophy in Classical AntiquityMedieval Writings on Female SpiritualityMemoires 1995Memory, Brain, and BeliefMental Health and Social SpaceMental Health MattersMental Illness in Popular MediaMerchants of DoubtMild Cognitive Impairment and Early Alzheimer's DiseaseMiles to Go for FreedomMillennium GirlsMind in Everyday Life and Cognitive ScienceMind WarsMind, Matter and Quantum MechanicsMindstormsMisconceptionsMistakes Were Made (But Not by Me)Mollie Katzen's RecipesMom's OK, She Just ForgetsMoody BitchesMoral PanicsMore Than MedicineMortificationMothers Who Kill Their ChildrenMusicophiliaMy Bloody Valentine's LovelessMy Life Among the Serial KillersMy Misspent YouthMy Stroke of InsightNakedNaked CityNarratives in PsychiatryNations Have the Right to KillNatureNear Death ExperienceNeurons and NetworksNeuroscience in Science Fiction FilmsNew Versions of VictimsNew YorkNew York September 11Not by DesignNot Your Mother's LifeNothing to HideNurembergNymphomaniaOath BetrayedObesityObjects of Our DesireObliquityOdd CouplesOf Spirits & MadnessOf Two MindsOld AgeOn BlindnessOn Fact and FraudOn the BrinkOn the Origin of StoriesOne Nation Under TherapyOpening to Love 365 Days a YearOptimizing Teaching and LearningOtherhoodOut of the DustOutliersOutsider ArtOver My HeadOxford Guide to the MindPainParanoia of Everyday LifeParents Do Make a DifferenceParty GirlPassingPassionate VegetarianPathways through PainPeople Like OurselvesPerceptual NeurosciencePersons and ThingsPestos, Tapenades, and SpreadsPhilosophy of MindPhotography and LiteraturePilates for MenPink ThinkPlanning for UncertaintyPoets on ProzacPostcards from the Brain MuseumPosthumanismPotatoes Not ProzacPower HerbsPower Yoga for HappinessPoxPractical ClassicsPractical Plans for Difficult Conversations in MedicinePracticing Feminist Ethics in PsychologyPrader-Willi SyndromePredictably IrrationalPretty in PunkPretty Is What ChangesPreventing Misbehavior in ChildrenPrime Ministers of CanadaPrint Literacy DevelopmentPrison MadnessPrivate Life in New Kingdom EgyptProblems in MindProtecting the GiftProust and the SquidPrudePsychiatryPsychiatry in the New MilleniumPsychiatrylandPsychologyPsychology and the MediaPsychology for ScreenwritersPsychotherapy and ConfidentialityPublic Health LawPunishment in Popular CulturePure Yoga Pilates with Kerry BestwickQuantum ArchetypesQuantum LeapsR.I.P.Race in Contemporary MedicineRacial ParanoiaRaising a Self-StarterRaising AmericaReady for AnythingReady or NotReady or Not, Here Life ComesReal SexReckoning With HomelessnessReclaiming Our ChildrenReclaiming Soul in Health CareRed Lotus YogaReligion ExplainedRemaking a WorldRepublic.com 2.0Rethinking CommodificationRethinking Middle YearsReviving OpheliaReviving the LeftRewarding Specialties for Mental Health CliniciansRights, Risk and Restraint-Free Care of Older PeopleSabbathSame DifferenceSamuel BeckettSatisfactionSavedScared SickScienceScience and NonbeliefScience in the MarketplaceScience TalkScience WarsScience, Consciousness and Ultimate RealitySecond OpinionsSeeds of HopeSelected Ambient Works Volume IISelf Hypnosis for Cosmic ConsciousnessSelf-Help NationSelf-Help, Inc.Selling the Fountain of YouthSells like Teen SpiritSerious ShoppingSeven Challenges To Change Your Life DVDSex, Mom, and GodSex, Time and PowerSexing the BodySexual Orientation and School PolicySexy FeminismShadow, Self, SpiritShop Class as SoulcraftShrink RapSick to Death and Not Going to Take It AnymoreSimulation and Its DiscontentsSinfully VeganSister CitizenSleeping With Extra-TerrestrialsSlut!Snake Oil ScienceSnoopSo Brilliantly CleverSocial RepresentationsSolar Flow Yoga DVDSold on LanguageSome Kind of GeniusSometimes Madness Is WisdomSorting Things OutSoul Made FleshSounds from the Bell JarSoupsSpace, Place and Mental HealthSpeaking Our MindsSpiritual CrisisSpontaneous HealingStates of MindStatus AnxietyStiffedStill HereStill LivesStrange BehaviorStrategies of Commitment and Other EssaysStrength, Grace, HealingStroke DiariesStumbling on HappinessSun SalutationsSuper Natural CookingSuperstitionSupersurvivorsSurgery JunkiesSwordfishtrombonesSylvia Plath ReadsTalk to HerTalking About RaceTalking Back to PsychiatryTalking Heads' Fear of MusicTalking ScienceTeach Yourself MeditationTeaching OnlineTeaching SexTeen LoveTeenageTextbook of Cultural PsychiatryThanks!The 101 Best Graphic NovelsThe Age of American UnreasonThe Alice Behind WonderlandThe American HotelThe American ParadoxThe American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Clinical PsychiatryThe Americanization of Social ScienceThe Anatomy of HopeThe Anatomy of MelancholyThe Angelica Home KitchenThe Antibiotic EraThe Ape and the Sushi MasterThe Architecture of MadnessThe Arctic IncidentThe Art of ChoosingThe Art of Exceptional LivingThe Bard on the BrainThe Barmaid's BrainThe Beginner's Guide to Healthy EatingThe Better to Eat You WithThe Biotech CenturyThe Birth of PleasureThe Birth of the PillThe Black DeathThe Blackwell Handbook of Organizational Learning and Knowledge ManagementThe Book of the PenisThe Brain That Changes ItselfThe Breathing FieldThe Bridge to HumanityThe Brooklyn Nobody KnowsThe Bully SocietyThe Cafe Brenda CookbookThe Call of the WeirdThe Cambridge Illustrated History of MedicineThe Case Against SugarThe Childless RevolutionThe Clitoral TruthThe Complete Guide to Herbal MedicinesThe Complete Vegetarian HandbookThe Consolations of PhilosophyThe Contemplative HeartThe Couch and the TreeThe Course of Gay and Lesbian LivesThe Creation of the Modern WorldThe Cult of PharmacologyThe Cultural Origins of Human CognitionThe Culture of FearThe Culture of PunishmentThe Da Vinci DogThe Dark Night of the SoulThe Deadly TruthThe Decency WarsThe Disobedience Of The Daughter Of The SunThe Dynamic NeuronThe Easy Yoga WorkbookThe Emotional BrainThe Emotional Journey of the Alzheimer's FamilyThe Employee Assistance Treatment PlannerThe End of MaterialismThe End of WarThe English and their HistoryThe Enigma of HealthThe Era of ChoiceThe Eternity CubeThe Event of LiteratureThe Evolving WorldThe f WordThe Fabulous ImaginationThe Faces of TerrorismThe Farm Colonies: Caring for New York City's Mentally Ill In Long Island's State HospitalsThe Fat Studies ReaderThe Fate of Early MemoriesThe Female ThingThe Final LeapThe Firmament of TimeThe Five Things We Cannot Change ...The ForgettingThe Game of TruthThe Get Healthy, Go Vegan CookbookThe Gift of FearThe Gold Leaf Lady and Other Parapsychological InvestigationsThe Good Enough ChildThe Great BetrayalThe Greatest Experiment Ever Performed on WomenThe HandThe Handbook of Disability StudiesThe Happiness HypothesisThe Healing Remedies SourcebookThe Health Psychology HandbookThe Healthy KitchenThe Heart of YogaThe Hedgehog's DilemmaThe Hero's JourneyThe History of Rhetoric and the Rhetoric of HistoryThe History of White PeopleThe Homework MythThe Hungry SoulThe Identity CodeThe Immortalization Commission:The Importance of Being LazyThe Indian VegetarianThe Insider's Guide to Mental Health Resources OnlineThe Insider's Guide to Mental Health Resources OnlineThe Insider's Guide to Mental Health Resources OnlineThe Insider's Guide to Mental Health Resources OnlineThe Intelligibility of NatureThe Interdisciplinary Science of ConsumptionThe Intuitive WriterThe Invisible PlagueThe Irreducible Needs of ChildrenThe Irritable Male SyndromeThe Jewel Tree of TibetThe Joy of MeditatingThe Language ImperativeThe Language Of YogaThe Language PoliceThe Language WarsThe Last PhysicianThe Last Self-Help Book You'll Ever NeedThe Law Is a White DogThe Lie DetectorsThe Little Book of Healthy TeasThe Little Book of HeartbreakThe Little Soy BookThe Little Yoga BookThe Lives and Loves of Daisy and Violet HiltonThe Lives of AnimalsThe Lolita EffectThe Lonely PatientThe Loss of Self: A Family Resource for the Care of Alzheimer's Disease and Related DisordersThe Lucifer EffectThe Lucifer PrincipleThe Madness of Adam and EveThe Madwoman in the AtticThe Magic of RealityThe Making of Dr. PhilThe Manual of EpictetusThe Marketplace of IdeasThe Mature MindThe Measure of Our DaysThe Meat Lover's Meatless CookbookThe Medical AdvisorThe Medicalization of SocietyThe Metaphysical ClubThe Mind's PastThe Misunderstood GeneThe MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive SciencesThe Monster WithinThe Mood CureThe Moral Intelligence of ChildrenThe Mystery of Mary RogersThe Myth of Freedom and the Way of MeditationThe New BrainThe New Cancer SurvivorsThe NineThe Nordic Theory of EverythingThe Norm ChroniclesThe Normal OneThe Omnivorous MindThe Orchid ThiefThe Origin and Evolution of CulturesThe Oxford Book of Modern Science WritingThe Pain AntidoteThe Paradox of ChoiceThe Paradox of SleepThe Paranoia SwitchThe Passion PlanThe Pastoral Counseling Treatment PlannerThe PDR Family Guide to Natural Medicines & Healing TherapiesThe Physics of ConsciousnessThe PlaceboThe Placebo Effect and HealthThe Playful BrainThe Pocket Life CoachThe Portfolio and the DiagramThe Power of FocusThe Power of Full EngagementThe Praeger Handbook of Learning and the BrainThe Private Life of the BrainThe Professor and the MadmanThe Psychoanalytic MysticThe Psychology of Religion and CopingThe Psychology Of The InternetThe Psychotherapy Documentation PrimerThe Quantum UniverseThe Quarter-Acre FarmThe Race for ConsciousnessThe Real Rules for GirlsThe Red DevilThe Republican BrainThe Richer SexThe Rise and Fall of Classical GreeceThe Rise of Mental Health NursingThe Roman Search for WisdomThe Root of All EvilThe Routledge Companion to Landscape StudiesThe Same Stuff as StarsThe Savage CityThe Science of Good and EvilThe Science of Optimism and HopeThe Scientist In The CribThe Seat of the SoulThe Second SelfThe Secret History of DreamingThe Secret Lives of GirlsThe Secret World of Doing NothingThe Seven Sins of MemoryThe ShakeressThe ShallowsThe Social Psychology of StigmaThe Sociology of PhilosophiesThe Sociopath Next DoorThe Soul Knows No BarsThe Spa DeckThe Spiritual Anatomy of EmotionThe Split MindThe Star ThrowerThe Story Is TrueThe Storytelling AnimalThe Strange Case of Hellish NellThe Symmetry of GodThe Talking CureThe Thing You Think You Cannot DoThe Three CulturesThe Three Failures of CreationismThe Toxic ConsumerThe Triumph of NarrativeThe True PathThe Truth About Chronic PainThe UndertakingThe Volitional BrainThe Wages of SinThe War Against BoysThe Way of StretchingThe Weblog HandbookThe Weight of the NationThe Why CaféThe Wild Ass’s SkinThe Will to Live and Other MysteriesThe Wisdom of PsychopathsThe Wisdom of Your DreamsThe Words We Live ByThe World of CaffeineThe Worldwide Practice of TortureThe Worst-Case Scenario Survival HandbookThe Wow ClimaxTheaters of MadnessTheatre and AnimalsTheories of Scientific MethodTherapeutic LandscapesTheraScribe 4.0Think CatThink SmartThinking for a ChangeThinking With AnimalsThrough Deaf EyesToo Big to FailTooning InTop ChefTortured SubjectsTotal AstangaTotal PilatesTotally WiredTowards a Science of Consciousness IIITrain Your Brain to Get RichTransforming MadnessTraumatic PastsTreatment and Rehabilitation of Severe Mental IllnessTreatment Kind and FairTribal ScienceTrick or TreatmentTrusting DoctorsTry to RememberTutoring as a Successful BusinessTwelve Examples of IllusionTwinsUnder the Medical GazeUnderstanding and Treating Violent Psychiatric PatientsUnderstanding Child MolestersUnderstanding FitnessUnforgettableUnholy MadnessUnscientific AmericaUnspeakable Acts, Ordinary PeopleUnto OthersUp From DragonsUrban Tourism and Urban ChangeUseful BodiesValues in ConflictVarieties of Anomalous ExperienceVegan ExpressVegetarian Turkish CookingVertigo VisionsVictorian Popularizers of ScienceViniyoga Therapy for the Low Back, Sacrum and HipsViolence Against WomenVoices Of Alzheimer'sVoices of CaregivingVoices of MadnessVoluntary SimplicityWaking Up to What You DoWalkingWalking a Literary LabyrinthWall: A World DividedWarWays of KnowingWays of KnowingWe Shall Be No MoreWe Shall Not Be MovedWe've Got BlogWellbeingWhat Emotions Really AreWhat I Learned in Medical SchoolWhat in the World Are Your Kids Doing Online?What Makes Us Think?What Nietzsche Really SaidWhat Our Children Teach UsWhat Science Offers the HumanitiesWhat Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and LiteracyWhat's Holding You Back? What's So Wrong with Being Absolutely RightWhen a Family Member Has DementiaWhen Experiments TravelWhen Good Thinking Goes BadWhen History Is a NightmareWhen Johnny and Jane Come Marching HomeWhen Mothers KillWhen Sex Goes to SchoolWhen Someone You Know Is Living in a Dementia Care CommunityWhen Things Fall ApartWhere Biology Meets PsychologyWhere Good Ideas Come FromWhere is the Mango Princess?Wherever You Go, There You AreWhile They SleptWhispers from the EastWho Rules in ScienceWhy Does E=mc2?Why Don't Students Like SchoolWhy God Won't Go AwayWhy Have Kids?Will They Ever Trust Us Again?WisdomWise Mind, Open MindWitch Beliefs and Witch Trials in the Middle AgesWitchcrazeWith Their EyesWithin ReasonWomanWomen and Mental IllnessWorking With Emotional IntelligenceWriting in FlowYogaYoga & Pilates Workouts for DummiesYoga Beauty BodyYoga for EveryoneYoga for People Who Can't Be Bothered to Do ItYoga for Regular GuysYoga for Regular Guys DVDYoga In BedYoga on DemandYoga SanctuaryYoga SculptYoga ShaktiYoga To Go's Yoga Quick Fixes DVDYogalosophyYou Are Not Your IllnessYou'd Be So Pretty If . . .Your Miracle BrainZen Encounters with LonelinessZen-Brain Reflections

Related Topics
The American ParadoxReview - The American Paradox
Spiritual Hunger in an Age of Plenty
by David G. Myers
Yale University Press, 2000
Review by Naomi Gold
Jul 3rd 2001 (Volume 5, Issue 27)

When a writer criticizes "radical individualism and cultural corrosion," and advocates a return to "a new communitarianism" that replaces "me thinking" with "we thinking," I read on with suspicion. In most cases, I discover that the author's religious faith, which is often not made explicit, decisively informs his or her worldview. Such is the case with The American Paradox--although I should be fair by noting that the author does acknowledge that his "sympathies...are colored by... religious faith" (xiv).

I was not surprised, therefore, by the author's recommendation that today's churches, like monastic communities in the so-called "Dark Ages," "...can serve as outposts of truth, decency, and civilization in the darkening culture around us" (276). And I was not surprised to read statements like this: "Although people of faith, as part of their culture, are often captive to their culture's norms-to individualism and materialism in contemporary America-it was people of faith who built hospitals, brought hope to prisoners, and spread literacy" (276). But Myers neglects to mention that people of faith have also been captive to-and indeed determinative of-other societal norms, advocating slavery (which has been supported using biblical sources), the non-personhood of women, and the torture and execution of "witches" (among others). History also bears out the fact that "people of faith" have often been less the transformers of societies and cultures than mirrors of their existing values, values that did not always include a belief in the equality of all persons or in any of the democratic ideals which we now regard as inviolable and non-negotiable. Religion and society have, in fact, always existed in a mutually dependent feedback loop, each influencing and reinforcing-but not necessarily challenging-the other. For example, the current head of the Roman Catholic church is officially opposed to capital punishment and has made a point of attempting to influence death-penalty cases in the U.S. and around the world. However, for most of its history the Roman church, along with most societies both western and non-western, has been not only a supporter of capital punishment, but has itself actively employed it. Did the Roman church cease to support the practice of execution because the tide was already turning in influential societies around the world? Or did societies begin to reconsider their use of execution because of a change in stance by the church? (The latter option, reflecting the church's decisive influence on society, is what the church would have us believe.) Religious and spiritual values do not exist in a sovereign, autonomous realm independent of culture. Thus, promoting a return to religious and spiritual values as a remedy for the contemporary North American "social recession" and spiritual impoverishment is a rather hollow, question-begging proposal.

The American Paradox is essentially a book of religious apologetics, one that advocates a certain brand of religious values, written under the guise of social psychology. The author, David G. Myers, is a professor and researcher at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. The "paradox" in the title refers to the fact that America's material prosperity seems to have produced "more spiritually deprived, unhappy and depressed people than ever before." The accumulation of wealth that is so much a part of the American dream doesn't bring about the "good life," and the book links the economic and technological expansion that has occurred in the latter part of the last century with a simultaneous burgeoning of divorce and crime, and a simultaneous decline of morality, civility, and community values. The same "prosperity" that brings with it more material possessions and comforts than ever before is linked to the mushrooming rates of clinical depression. "Society has becomes more materialistic since 1960," Myers explains. "Research tells us that people who have the most materialistic values, those for whom the purpose of life seems to be to accumulate things, live with less happiness than those who have more spiritual values." Myers fails to recognize, however, that historically the individuals in any society who could afford to be materialistic usually were. Wealthy people have always shopped recreationally and owned more possessions than they needed or could use. A visit to the United Kingdom, for instance, reveals a host of palatial and sumptuous residences (now open for public viewing), which house a mind-boggling quantity of treasures. Only a small number of people could afford such lifestyles, however. English society between the 16th-19th century was, therefore, ostensibly less materialistic because the acquisition of material goods beyond bare necessities simply wasn't an option for most people. Today, mass-production allows many, many more people to purchase more than they need for mere survival. We are more materialistic because more of us can be. This apparent growth of materialism is not the result of a change in human nature, but in a change in the circumstances surrounding production of goods and buying power.

As the previous example illustrates, Myers, like many advocates of a role for religion in the public forum, promotes an idealistic and a-historical view of what religious values have accomplished. On page 266, he asserts that all major contemporary religions have "transcendence of material concerns" as a "common core." But even a superficial knowledge of history reveals that the pursuit of wealth and religious convictions are not mutually exclusive. Rather, religious leaders have tended to dictate who may and may not accumulate it, under what conditions, and by what means. By contrast, the element of the community of believers that has usually been required to "transcend" its material concerns has been the laypeople--those without authority in the religious community.

Arguing against individualism puts a writer on a slippery slope. In response to such a proposal, one must always press the question of who, precisely, will be empowered to determine the preferred, "communitarian" values. When an individual or group advocates a greater role for religious values in the public forum, they seldom make explicit whose religious values will prevail. In secular, pluralistic societies, who gets to determine what brand of religious values will be decisive? Moreover, "religious values" themselves are not uniform and absolute. If Christian religious values, for example, are to determine society's moral core, the next question that must be addressed is which variety of Christian values? Roman Catholic? If so, should the prevailing values be those of the Roman hierarchy, or of groups within the church calling for reform? Should the dominant values be those of some variety of Christian fundamentalism, or of a "liberal" Protestant denomination? The idea of "religious" or "spiritual" values is itself too nebulous to be at all meaningful. Religions may, in theory, share a common set of moral codes, but the specific, concrete codes of behavior enjoined by different religions vary widely, as do moral positions among variant branches of the same religion. The official stance of the Roman Catholic church prohibits the use of artificial birth control. It regards this as a moral stance, one that would, in an ideal world, be absolutely enforced. Other Christian denominations have no such ban. And a liberal Protestant denomination might have fewer objections to pre-marital cohabitation than an evangelical one. Many Christian, Jewish and Muslim parents regard religious day-schooling for their children as essential for their religious and moral development. Others regard the support of inclusive, public schools as a moral duty and the only truly socially-responsible choice. Are these variations an indication of moral relativism or a capitulation to rampant individualism? Or is it the product of a different line of moral reasoning?

It is not surprising that Myers is critical of what he calls "private and self-defined" spirituality. Most Americans today, he notes, "...believe that people can be good Christians or Jews alone, apart from any church or synagogue" (288). He continues, "Such do-it-yourself piety is not only thinner-less likely to yield compassionate action-it also has contributed to the decline of traditional denominations..." The latter observation is certainly true, but the former charge, that piety apart from an organized base is less likely to produce compassionate action, is completely unfounded. It is also not surprising that Myers is also very critical of "new age" spiritual activity. People are naturally hungry for the transcendent (262), he states, and in the presence of a "spiritual vacuum" may "grasp at...bizarre phenomena that seemingly defy science." Like the belief that a first-century Jewish preacher rose from the dead, perhaps? Or the claim that bread and wine are transformed in their actual substance into the body and blood of this risen Jewish preacher? Who determines what is bizarre and what is not?

As for how we might "winnow spiritual truth from irrational nonsense," Myers advocates a "...scientific approach long ago advocated by Moses for testing self-proclaimed prophets: 'If a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord but the thing does not take place or prove true,' then so much the worse for the prophet" (263). This method advocated by Moses (whom Myers refers to as if his historical existence and actions were a given fact) would not be kind to either Jesus or Paul, both of whom preached, among other things, the imminent end of the world. Nor would such a standard bode well for various claims concerning the power of the Christian sacraments to sanctify believers. Like many believers, Myers sets a standard for other belief systems that his own could not fulfill. On page 264, he addresses "the gap between New Age and biblical spirituality." "Biblical spirituality," he asserts, "has cultivated a scientific attitude (emphasis mine) by advocating humility and by its skepticism of any self-important human authority" (265). The contention that the bible cultivates a scientific attitude about anything is, at best, a point that must be substantiated. What is more, an attitude of true humility is not cultivated by religionists, whose beliefs can be neither proved nor disproved and are not swayed by any observable, verifiable evidence, but by natural scientists, whose theories are subject to change based on evidence that must be replicated and corroborated. Finally, it is a perceptible fact that the great majority of religions are very far from cultivating skepticism of human authority. But Myers isn't fundamentally interested in commonplace realities that can be observed.

Myers choice of social role models is a little frightening. "Unlike America, where 'the squeaky wheel gets the grease,' in Japan 'the nail that stands out gets pounded down'" (169). Now there's a goal worth pursuing. Japan is an example of "collectivist culture," one in which confrontation, blunt honesty, and boasting are avoided, and in which members "defer to others, and display a self-effacing humility." Japanese culture surely has many things to recommend it. It is also an almost completely homogenous society that cultivates ferocious competition among its school children and slavish devotion corporate employers, and that demands intense levels of conformity. Thus, the ability of North Americans to "chart their own goals and separate from their parents" is strange to "Asian collectivists," says Myers, "whose parents more actively guide or decide their children's choices...So close is the mutual identification of parent and child that the crushed parents of an errant child seldom discuss their feelings of shame" (170). Is this the model that Myers would have us strive for? In another astonishing statement, Myers refers to China's one-child policy as an illustration of what can be accomplished "when social consciousness awakens and a culture redefines its values and priorities (58-59)." This is an outrageous declaration for a self-professed Christian given the impact this policy has had on often unwanted baby girls-the luckiest of whom are placed in orphanages and, irony of ironies, adopted by North American families. More poignantly, Myers, the committed Christian, seems to forget the impact the policy has had on the selective abortion of perfectly healthy fetuses for no other reason than their gender. And the policy's dependence on a coercive, totalitarian regime for its enforcement seems not to have occurred to him at all. "Where there is a cultural will, there is a way," he concludes. Indeed. And no more so when a government has absolute authority to impose its will. An individual with no religious affiliations or pretensions could get away with making statements praising the efficiency of China's one-child policy (although this is rather like praising Mussolini for making the trains run on time). A self-professed Christian cannot. But Myers' zeal for "communitarian" values, coupled with the muddled thinking that often plagues even very bright religiously-committed academics, leads him to make the most contrary and even ridiculous assertions.

It's too bad, because many of the issues Myers aims to discuss and illuminate are important ones, in particular, the often high level of disconnect between material affluence and happiness. But in a society as pluralistic and as committed to democratic principles as that of North America, the only values that can be brought to bear on the entire society are those that can be arrived at through a process of consensus-building. Believers in different traditions, and even those within the same traditions, will never agree on basic issues concerning the nature of revelation, proper modes of interpretation, and the identity and role of human authorities. More essentially still, religious claims and values, since they are in their very essence non-negotiable, cannot be included in the kind of unrestrained discussion and consensus-building that is fundamental in a highly diverse, secular, democratic society. Myers' identification of certain problems and challenges existing in North American society has some validity and merit. His proposed solutions do not.

© 2001 Naomi Gold

Naomi Gold is a Ph.D. Candidate at the Toronto School of Theology. Her dissertation discusses and critiques the way in which psychoanalytic object-relations theory has been used by theologically-committed analytic writers to validate theological belief systems. She has degrees in theology and religious studies, and has an active interest in the history and development of "New Age" religion, religious cults, and the psychology of religious belief.


Share

Welcome to MHN's unique book review site Metapsychology. We feature over 7800 in-depth reviews of a wide range of books and DVDs written by our reviewers from many backgrounds and perspectives. We update our front page weekly and add more than thirty new reviews each month. Our editor is Christian Perring, PhD. To contact him, use one of the forms available here.

Can't remember our URL? Access our reviews directly via 'metapsychology.net'


Metapsychology Online reviewers normally receive gratis review copies of the items they review.
Metapsychology Online receives a commission from Amazon.com for purchases through this site, which helps us send review copies to reviewers. Please support us by making your Amazon.com purchases through our Amazon links. We thank you for your support!


Join our e-mail list!: Metapsychology New Review Announcements: Sent out monthly, these announcements list our recent reviews. To subscribe, click here.

Interested in becoming a book reviewer for Metapsychology? Currently, we especially need thoughtful reviewers for books in fiction, self-help and popular psychology. To apply, write to our editor.

Metapsychology Online Reviews

Promote your Page too

Metapsychology Online Reviews
ISSN 1931-5716