We Have Met the Enemy: Self-control in an Age of Excess

Daniel Akst

We Have Met the Enemy: Self-control in an Age of Excess
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We Have Met the Enemy: Self-control in an Age of Excess

Daniel Akst

Half of all deaths in America come from overeating, smoking, drinking too much, failing to exercise and other deadly behaviours that we indulge against our own better judgment. Self-control is tough - especially now, when more calories, sex and intoxicants are more readily and privately available than at any time in memory. But while temptations have multiplied like fast-food outlets in suburbia, crucial social constraints have eroded. The result is a world that puts more pressure than ever on the ‘self’ in self-control, sorely testing the limits of human willpower. How can we cope with our appetites in a landscape of such boundless temptation? We Have Met the Enemy is a brilliant and irreverent search for answers that delves into overeating, overspending, procrastination, anger, addiction, wayward sexual attraction and most of the other homely transgressions that bedevil us daily. Akst ransacks history, literature, psychology, philosophy and economics to alarm, teach, empower and, at the very least, entertain.

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