What Was I Thinking?

The Dumb Things We Do and How To Avoid Them
What Was I Thinking?: The Dumb Things We Do and How To Avoid Them. Taylor. 2011. c.240p. bibliog. ISBN 9781589795976. pap. $15.95. SELF-HELP
At first glance, Helmreich's (Against All Odds: Holocaust Survivors and the Successful Lives They Made in America) newest book sounds like a humorous compendium of the foibles of well-known and ordinary people. He goes beyond storytelling, however, to analyze the why behind the deeds. He uses hundreds of interviews and exhaustive research regarding American culture and values, pointing to the role of arrogance, insecurity, ambition, and greed in doing stupid things. To deflect the influence of these vices and make the right decisions, Helmreich suggests honoring the social contract, curbing one's appetite for power, counting one's blessings, and understanding that no one is perfect. Any student of human behavior will enjoy this book.
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