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Better Than Well: American Medicine Meets the American Dream

by Carl Elliott

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841239,664 (3.58)None
"Americans have always been the world's most anxiously enthusiastic consumers of "enhancement technologies." There is nothing novel about our use of Prozac and Viagra, or in our yearning for cosmetic surgery and Botox injections, except the names of the drugs and the procedures. With the success of each new medical technology, a familiar pattern of response surfaces: public hand-wringing, an occasional congressional hearing, calls for self-reliance. "We have created in America a culture of drugs." The speaker? Richard Nixon." "Better than Well offers a diagnosis rather than an argument. Why do we feel uneasy about these drugs, procedures, and therapies even while we embrace them? Where do we draw the line between self and society? Why do we seek self-realization in ways so heavily influenced by cultural conformity? This wise, humane, and provocative book traces the fault lines in our peculiarly obsessive pursuit of happiness."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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An interesting and somewhat creepy collection of the stories of people whose personal idea of physical perfection doesn't quite square with cultural norms. ( )
  Katya0133 | Feb 28, 2009 |
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Carl Elliottprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kramer, Peter D.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In the late 1960s , the pharmaceutical company Sandoz began marketing a new tranquilizer called Serentil.
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"Americans have always been the world's most anxiously enthusiastic consumers of "enhancement technologies." There is nothing novel about our use of Prozac and Viagra, or in our yearning for cosmetic surgery and Botox injections, except the names of the drugs and the procedures. With the success of each new medical technology, a familiar pattern of response surfaces: public hand-wringing, an occasional congressional hearing, calls for self-reliance. "We have created in America a culture of drugs." The speaker? Richard Nixon." "Better than Well offers a diagnosis rather than an argument. Why do we feel uneasy about these drugs, procedures, and therapies even while we embrace them? Where do we draw the line between self and society? Why do we seek self-realization in ways so heavily influenced by cultural conformity? This wise, humane, and provocative book traces the fault lines in our peculiarly obsessive pursuit of happiness."--BOOK JACKET.

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W.W. Norton

An edition of this book was published by W.W. Norton.

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