The Lonely American was named an Outstanding Academic Title of 2009 by the American Library Association/Choice Magazine.
Ten years ago,
we wrote a practical book, Overcoming Loneliness in Everyday Life. Over the
past decade, America has become an even lonelier country for many who live
here. As psychiatrists, we recognize the toll this takes on people’s
health and well-being. In our new book, we put forth a theory about why Americans
fall into a trap of social isolation that is damaging emotionally, physically,
and politically. The Lonely American examines the causes and the consequences
of this dangerous trend.
"Olds and Schwartz have written
a book that is simultaneously scientific and intelligent, a brilliant social
commentary on the ills of contemporary America and a literary tour de force
which will pull at your heartstrings.
Borrowing from recent social commentary, popular culture and clinical experience
they weave the sad tale of America's dangerous myth of stoic individualism,
which in the end turns out to be , in fact, a foundering bedrock of emotional
disconnection, the sickness at the heart of the American dream --which leaves
us all too frequently both as individuals and a society-- in a state of dangerous
disconnection from our fellow human beings: sad and lonely Americans all.
A balanced and beautifully written book, the authors make clear how our
cult of American individualism is far from a strength; it is indeed a dangerous
myth fraught with epidemic pain leading to an all too certain state of anomie
and aloneness throughout our country.
If you read one book this year in order to understand why in
the midst of so many and so much we Americans-all too often-- feel so alone
and disconnected; and how there is a definite cure for a more joyful state
of aliveness, this is the volume for you."
Dr. William Pollack, author of Real Boys, Rescuing Ours Sons from the
Myth of Masculinity and director of the Centers for Men and Young
Men at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School