My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread, and the Search for Peace of Mind

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The unfortunate thing about this book is that the very people who will be attracted to it may be those who’ll get the least from it. I’m speaking of those who suffer from anxiety, something that Scott Stossel is unable to precisely define although he claims to suffer from it. Stossel is not an expert but he combines a survey-like approach – what he calls “a cultural and intellectual history of anxiety” – to the topic with his own experiences. The problem with the initial approach is that Stossel goes into deep waters very quickly, discussing Kierkegaard and Sartre and the nature of Existentialism. All readers who were not Philosophy majors in college are likely to be lost immediately.

The author might have grabbed the reader by relating his own anxious experiences first. However, there are two problems with his stories. Firstly, one wonders whether some of them actually happened. And secondly, they must have been greatly exaggerated in the telling.

Those who pick up My Age of Anxiety thinking it’s a self-help book will likely be sorely disappointed, especially as Stossel self-absorbedly relates the exact nature of his confused and anxious mental state ad infinitum (to infinity).


Reviewed By:

Author Scott Stossel
Star Count 1.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 416 pages
Publisher Knopf
Publish Date 2014-Jan-07
ISBN 9780307269874
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue August 2014
Category Biographies & Memoirs
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