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Worrying: A Literary and Cultural History by…
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Worrying: A Literary and Cultural History

by Francis O'Gorman

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Although only a short book, he packs a lot of ideas into less than 200 pages. I am interested in the history of psychiatry and mental health, but hadn't really thought about worrying as coming under this category. O'Gorman doesn't limit himself to worry, but tackles the enormous subject of the birth of reason (the creation of worry?); the ways in which self help seems preoccupied with worry (and the flaws within the idea that 'we' (as human beings in a capitalist society) are failing if our thoughts and emotions don't fit into the ideal type envisioned by market economies. He even questions the place of CBT as used to rewrite individuals' personal beliefs about themselves, which given its status as magic bullet in the NHS, is brave. He references plenty of other books on worry, and even talks about ways in which the worrier might be an asset in paticular roles or tasks at work. I really liked this book, and am going to add it to the 'buy if you can' list. ( )
1 vote charl08 | Dec 31, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 144115129X, Hardcover)

Worrying: A Literary and Cultural History suggests a unique approach to the inner life and its ordinary pains. Francis O'Gorman charts the emergence of our contemporary idea of worry in the Victorian era and its establishment, after the First World War, as a feature of modernity. For some writers between the Wars, worry was the "disease of the age."

Worrying examines the everyday kind of worry-the fearful, non-pathological, and usually hidden questioning about uncertain futures. It shows worry to be a natural companion in a world where we try to live by reason and believe we have the right to choose, finding in the worrier a peculiarly contemporary sufferer whose mental life is not only exceptionally familiar, but also deeply strange.

Offering an intimately personal account of an all-too-common human experience, and of a word that slips in and out of ordinary conversation so often that it has become invisible in its familiarity, Worrying explores how the modern world has shaped our everyday anxieties.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 02 Jul 2015 11:29:56 -0400)

"Worrying: A Literary and Cultural History is a unique approach to the inner life and its ordinary pains. It charts the emergence of our contemporary conception of worry, which originated with the Victorians and became established after the First World War as a feature of modernity. It was, for some writers between the Wars, the 'disease of the age.' Worrying considers the kind of worry--fearful, non-pathological, and hidden questioning about uncertain futures--which is every day. It offers a 'short' history of worry as it came into language in the early twentieth century and a 'long' history: an account of worry as the natural bedfellow of a world in which we try to live by reason and believe we have the right to choose. It finds in the worrier a peculiar contemporary sufferer, whose world is not only exceptionally familiar but deeply strange. This book suggests that when we take worry into account, we realize just how little we know of others. Offering an intimately personal account of an all too common human experience, and of a word that slips in and out of ordinary conversation so that it has become invisible in its familiarity, Worrying is a book about the sadness of everyday and how the modern world has shaped it"-- "A literary and cultural exploration of worry and the modern mind"--… (more)

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