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"Elliott's absorbing account will make readers think again about the ways that science shapes our personal identities."—American Scientist
Americans have always been the world's most anxiously enthusiastic consumers of "enhancement technologies." Prozac, Viagra, and Botox injections are only the latest manifestations of a familiar pattern: enthusiastic adoption, public hand-wringing, an occasional congressional hearing, and calls for self-reliance.
In a brilliant diagnosis of our reactions to self-improvement technologies, Carl Elliott asks questions that illuminate deep currents in the American character: Why do we feel uneasy about these drugs, procedures, and therapies even while we embrace them? Where do we draw the line between self and society? Why do we seek self-realization in ways so heavily influenced by cultural conformity?
|1||The perfect voice||1|
|2||The true self||28|
|3||The face behind the mask||54|
|4||The loneliness of the late-night television watcher||77|
|5||The identity bazaar||100|
|6||Three ways to feel homesick||129|
|7||Pilgrims and strangers||161|
|9||Amputees by choice||208|
|10||Bringing up baby||237|
|12||Conclusion: the tyranny of happiness||295|
Posted December 20, 2012