We Have Met the Enemy

We Have Met the Enemy

Self-control in An Age of Excess

Book - 2011/01/06
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An irreverent investigation into the modern world's struggles with self-control traces how such indulgences as over-eating, over-spending, and wayward sexuality have replaced tradition, ideology, and faith at a cost of individual and societal resilience.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2011/01/06
ISBN: 9781594202810
1594202818
Branch Call Number: 153.8 AKS
Characteristics: xiv, 303 p. ; 25 cm

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JudithE
Aug 22, 2012

I really liked this book, although it does get sort of esoteric in the middle. Still, it is full of fascinating information about the struggle to do what we'd really like to do, except something easier/more appealing/more interesting in the moment keeps getting in the way. I recommend it.

ksoles Jun 16, 2011

In "We Have Met The Enemy," Daniel Akst attempts to shine light on the struggle between temptation and self-restriction. His discussion is multi-faceted: he delves into the psychological conditions that rein in our impulses, examines evolutionary survival tactics and relates temptation to modern marketing strategies and societal pressure.

Akst presents an engaging and well-researched look at a Western drive towards excess but he falls short of producing a "must read." He sets up to equip the reader with tools to prevent and cure addictive behaviours but doesn't quite follow through, suggesting obvious tactics like seeking help from others and removing oneself from triggers like junk food and cigarettes. Also, despite the doughnut on the cover, the book is less about food than the introductory chapter implies. Disappointingly, it is more of a detailed history of failed resolutions.

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