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Summary

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.

©2004 Alain de Botton (P)2011 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic reviews

"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)

What listeners say about Status Anxiety

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An in depth look at the history of status

Some great little insights, but dragged a little in places. Good for a different perspective

2 people found this helpful

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just not convinced by his arguments this time

I loved de Botton's "the consolations of philosophy" - the consolations really did console me.
however, here they did not.
his premises seemed full of holes, even to my undergrad philosophy brain.
I wonder if the difference is that in "consolations", the arguments came from history's greatest thinkers whereas here, they seemed to largely come from de Botton's thinking.
I haven't read anything else by him so it's a weak argument I have..... appropriate here, I argue