Do you worry about how well you're doing? Are you envious of your friends' success? Are you suffering from status anxiety? We all worry about what others think of us. We all long to succeed and fear failure. We all suffer - to a greater or lesser degree, usually privately and with embarrassment - from status anxiety. For the first time, Alain de Botton gives a name to his universal condition and sets out to investigate both its origins and possible solutions. He looks at history, philosophy, economics, art, and politics - and reveals the many ingenious ways that great minds have overcome their worries. The result is a book that is not only entertaining and thought-provoking - but genuinely wise and helpful as well.
"De Botton is in tune with the times. He is artful in defining the contemporary Western condition, and through careful deliberation places his concepts in everyday, historical, and cultural contexts. And he does it with wit: his mock tabloid headline for Oedipus the King is: "Sex with Mum was Blinding". He does not deserve the frequent criticism of his fragmentary style (which veritably adds to the pleasure), and of watering down philosophy. If philosophy is to be revived as a pertinent inquiry into the nature of being, which is what it is, then why shouldn't the masses partake in it?" (Sydney Morning Herald)