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Smile or Die

How Positive Thinking Fooled America and the World

By Barbara Ehrenreich
10-minute read
Audio available
Smile or Die: How Positive Thinking Fooled America and the World by Barbara Ehrenreich

Smile or Die (2009) explores the impact of positive thinking on mainstream American culture. These blinks show how Americans have convinced themselves that they alone are in control of their happiness, buying into a mass delusion which in the end only does them harm.

  • Anyone curious about the roots of American optimism
  • Professionals who question positive attitudes promoted at the workplace
  • People annoyed when told to “be more positive”

Barbara Ehrenreich is an award-winning American author and journalist who has written over 20 books. She wrote Smile or Die following her diagnosis of breast cancer, when she discovered that the positive thinking rooted in cancer care can stifle the expression of a person’s true emotions.

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