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4.6 out of 5 stars18
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VINE VOICEon 19 May 2011
There are some popular sociology books that, once read, just can't be forgotten. Their point of view just seems to put everything you've been worrying about in today's world, on some semi-conscious level, into perspective. Suddenly you're seeing the truth of things everywhere, every day. The Narcissm Epidemic is such a book.

This text takes the ideas of entitlement, which were the core of Twenge's earlier book "Generation Me", to their logical conclusion and integrates them into the wider symptoms of nascissism, the destructive self-love that it claims is at the core of many of today's societal ills. American society is apparently teeming with narcissists who are shaping the world to their own selfish ends, and even if you're not an American, you'll be hard pushed to disagree.

Yes, it certainly is very sure of itself but this is the hook of the text: It's written in such an accessible way that you'll start to wonder about your own narcissitic tendencies, examine your own inner narcissist with the true irony of navel-gazing self-absorbtion. But even more fun is the newfound knowledge to spot the narcissist in your office (hint: If you can't tell who it is, it's you), in the bus queue (hint: narcissists probably don't take the bus, or if they do, they jumped the queue), on reality TV (hint: all of them). You'll never look at advertising the same way again, or celebrity, or food packaging, holidays, education, religion, your children, your home or anything that came into existence after around 1989.

I haven't had such a revelation since reading Gilmore and Pine's "Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want" or Goldacre's "Bad Science". The Narcissism Epidemic is written in the easy, accesible style all the best popular science books adopt and yet still has the research to back it all up.

It made me feel really smart, which is probably why I couldn't put it down.
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on 13 May 2011
I approached this book with skepticism as I don't really go for sensationalist titles, and actually thought of returning it, but gave it a go and became completely engrossed in the subject matter and approach. I have kids and some of the content really hit home, obviously taken with a healthy amount of realism, but generally I recommend it to anyone who wonders what is going on around them at the moment?! TV shows, the internet and education are all tackled in this hard hitting approach to modern day America and the effect on it's immediate European neighbours - main focus is US but UK and Europe are mentioned throughout. An excellent read.
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on 27 February 2014
An extremely thought provoking book addressing an issue in our individualistic, material culture we tend to dismiss. The personal self-obsession this book charts as a strong characteristic of our culture ironcally continually reinforces that avoidance but it is also of course firmly shaped by the political and economic system we allow to control us.

This book tackles that basic issue very well and in a reasonably balanced way, written as it is by a left-leaning Democrat and a libertarian Republican and, although written by Americans for primarily an American audience, it transfers easily to other western societies and, indeed, the developng world. A 'must-read' in many way.
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on 21 August 2011
This is a book that should be read by everyone ...particularly parents, teachers and politicians, but the subjects covered affect us all. It clarifies a lot of rather mystifying aspects of modern day culture, and does so in a clear and non-academic way. Absolutely excellent- and I will be passing my copy around.
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on 23 February 2014
This book is an absolutely fascinating look at the spread of narcissism through (mostly) American culture in the last few decades.

As the authors make clear, they are not focusing on clinical narcissism, but rather on its increase as a potential personality problem just bubbling under the surface of so many people's lives. They also look at the culture that has encouraged this spread and identify many real world examples from their own children's lives and schooling to add to the more academic literature they quote from.

I found this book struck just the right tone between academic and pop psychology and provided a lot of interesting and useful information while still being highly readable.
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on 8 September 2011
I think this book addresses the reasons why we live in more "selfish" times. Narcissists have always existed in our societies, but the current era we live in with all the social networking and reality TV gives narcissists several platforms on which to inflict themselves on the rest of society. Good book. Highly recommended.
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on 10 December 2013
I work with young offenders in an official environment and I welcome all the information I can lay my hands on as regards understanding problems behind modern society, we need more research and urgently on a global basis as I believe things are going to get far worse. This book is very helpful especially to new parents.
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on 17 March 2014
I've recently come out of a very difficult and traumatic relationship and in trying to make sense of what happened this book has been invaluable. It's not that some people are 'bad' - they just don't have normal boundaries. they don't know any better and the consequences can be devastating.
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on 23 September 2014
Should be enforced reading for all teenagers and parents of!!
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on 25 October 2014
fantastic read, these people exsist.......eveywhere
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