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American Mania: When Too Much Is Not Enough Hardcover – 18 Feb 2005

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3.8 out of 5 stars 32 reviews from us-flag |

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Product Description


"Whybrow has seen the future." Irene Lacher, The New York Times" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

PETER C. WHYBROW is the Judson Braun Professor of Psychiatry and Bio-behavioral Science and the director of the Neuropsychiatric Institute at the Jane and Terry Semel Institute of Neuroscience and Human Behavior (UCLA).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars 32 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A capitvating, evidence-based evaluation of how Americans live 19 Mar. 2015
By JoeInLA - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Dr Whybrow is equal parts Malcolm Gladwell, Jared Diamond, Richard Dawkins, and a foremost brain scientist. This makes for a book that examines the economic, anthropological, evolutionary and psychiatric / psychological bases for our current state. It is an ambitious undertaking that proves engaging and insightful. His style is both cerebral and accessible, with bits of wit that make such a foreboding topic interesting even to the lay person.

Reading this book will make anyone re-evaluate your lifestyle, your diet and your family life. Whybrow touches on our daily activities, our addiction to material goods, what we truly value, and how we live, exercise and interact with one another. He even addresses the seeds of income inequality.

This book pairs nicely with Jared Diamond's "Guns, Germs and Steel" and "Collapse;" Dawkins' "The Selfish Gene" and Bill Nye's "Undeniable."
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the most important books I have ever read 24 Mar. 2014
By T Stojanovic - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
after living in LA for about a decade - this book really helped me put all the pieces together to better understated the world around me. Anyone interested in understanding life in 21st century USA will greatly profit from reading this book. Well written in a good historical context. I loved it.
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read 13 Aug. 2016
By MontanaChurch - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I needed it for class but I agreed with the author on everything.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book written from a unique and powerful perspective 11 May 2006
By Patrick D. Goonan - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Peter Whybrow's book is well researched and offers a unique perspective on where we have arrived as culture within the last 250 years in terms of quality of life, peace, happiness and prosperity. He also explains how things have gone awry in regard to having too much of a good thing. In his argument, he draws on evolutionary biology, neurology, economics and many other resources. This book is well researched.

American Mania illustrates the personal and cultural problems that arise when our rate of technological advancement outpaces our ability to evolve. The bottom line is that mechanisms that once served us and helped us to survive become self destructive. For example, a craving for fats and sweet things was good 100,000 years ago, but not so good now when we have all kinds of food available to us all the time and lead more sedentary lifestyles.

This book is wonderful for looking the implication of all of the above within the individual and at the level of culture. It is great food for thought. It will help anyone who is looking for balance to put things in perspective and understand why we have a tendency to err in the directions that we so often do as individuals and as a society.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chill out America! 30 Dec. 2007
By M. Persic - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Whybrow convincingly explains that Americans in general are biologically hardwired to be restless and oriented towards distant goals- and our condition is inimical to the very well-being that we hope to find through our activity.

As a student of Urbanism, I found this book fascinating. One of the distinctive characteristics of the American built environment- a pattern that repeats everywhere you look- is the instrumentalization of all things for some other material end. Whybrow explains (to my understanding) the mentality behind the landscape.

Whoever you are, whatever your interests or profession, this book is a must read if you want to better understand your country!!
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