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" This elegantly written and useful book . . . describes how, for millennia, human beings have struggled to rein in desire." -USA Today At a time when the fallout from reckless spending and unrestrained consumption is fueling a national malaise, Daniel Akst delivers a witty and comprehensive investigation of the central problem of our time: how to save ourselves from what we want. Temptationreminds us that while more calories, sex, and intoxicants are readily available than ever before, crucial social constraints have eroded, creating a world that sorely tests the limits of human willpower. Referencing history, literature, psychology, philosophy, and economics, Akst draws a vivid picture of the many-sided problem of desire-and delivers a blueprint for how we can steer shrewdly away from a campaign of self-destruction.
A native New Yorker, Daniel Akst is a well-known journalist who has worked at the LA Times and Wall Street Journal and now writes a monthly column in the Sunday New York Times. He also writes regularly for the Wall Street Journal culture pages, and has appeared in many other publications, including American Heritage, the Boston Globe, the Christian Science Monitor, Civilization, Technology Review, the Washington Monthly, and on both public radio and television. His first book, Wonder Boy (Scribners), chronicled the eye-popping ZZZZ Best fraud perpetrated by teenage entrepreneur Barry Minkow, and was named one of the 10 best of 1990 by Business Week. He is also the author of The Webster Chronicle published by BlueHen in October 2001.
Akst is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania who spent 13 years in Los Angeles before moving to the Hudson Valley, where he lives with his wife and two sons.
Table of Contents
|A Democracy of Excess||p. 1|
|Sickening Excess||p. 17|
|On Having Yourself Committed||p. 32|
|The Cost of Good Inventions||p. 45|
|The Perils of Prosperity||p. 55|
|Self-control and Social Change||p. 70|
|The Greek Way||p. 81|
|The Marshmallow Test||p. 96|
|The Seesaw Struggle||p. 110|
|Let My People Go||p. 121|
|The Intimate Contest||p. 132|
|The Mind-Body Problem||p. 146|
|Self-control, Free Will, and Other Oxymorons||p. 161|
|Odysseus and the Pigeons||p. 175|
|Crimes of Passion||p. 192|
|Addiction, Compulsion, and Choice||p. 203|
|Tomorrow Is Another Day||p. 212|
|Cutting Loose||p. 227|
|Government and Self-government||p. 239|
|Being Your Own Godfather||p. 251|
|Carpe Diem||p. 261|
|Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.|