It all began with a diagnosis of breast cancer in 2000. As Barbara Ehrenreich struggled with the pain of operations and treatments, she raged against the onslaught of optimism and unrealistic positive thinking that confronted her. Now, in “Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America,” she criticizes the “pink ribbon culture” that has encouraged patients to approach their disease as an opportunity for spiritual cleansing and rebirth. The book links American-bred optimism with global issues like obesity, poverty, and unemployment. The Washington Post says, “Ehrenreich’s examination of the history of positive thinking is a tour de force of well-tempered snark, culminating in a persuasive indictment of the bright-siders as the culprits in our current financial mess.” Thomas Frank, author of “The Wrecking Crew,” writes:
Barbara Ehrenreich has put the menace of positive thinking under the microscope. Anyone who’s ever been told to brighten up needs to read this book.