The Lonely American by Jacqueline Olds audiobook

The Lonely American: Drifting Apart in the Twenty-first Century

By Jacqueline Olds, MD  and Richard S. Schwartz, MD
Read by Joy Shaw

Beacon Press
6.26 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
  • $20.00
    or 1 Credit

    ISBN: 9780807092002

    $12.99 With Membership: Learn More

In today's world, it is more acceptable to be depressed than to be lonely-yet loneliness appears to be the inevitable byproduct of our frenetic contemporary lifestyle. According to the 2004 General Social Survey, one out of four Americans talked to no one about something of importance to them during the last six months. Another remarkable fact emerged from the 2000 U.S. Census: more people are living alone today than at any point in the country's history—fully 25 percent of households consist of one person only. In this crucial look at one of America's few remaining taboo subjects—loneliness—Drs. Jacqueline Olds and Richard S. Schwartz set out to understand the cultural imperatives, psychological dynamics, and physical mechanisms underlying social isolation. In The Lonely American, cutting-edge research on the physiological and cognitive effects of social exclusion and emerging work in the neurobiology of attachment uncover startling, sobering ripple effects of loneliness in areas as varied as physical health, children's emotional problems, substance abuse, and even global warming. Surprising new studies tell a grim truth about social isolation: being disconnected diminishes happiness, health, and longevity; increases aggression; and correlates with increasing rates of violent crime. Loneliness doesn't apply simply to single people, either—today's busy parents "cocoon" themselves by devoting most of their non-work hours to children, leaving little time for friends, and other forms of social contact, and unhealthily relying on the marriage to fulfill all social needs. As a core population of socially isolated individuals and families continues to balloon in size, it is more important than ever to understand the effects of a culture that idealizes busyness and self-reliance. It's time to bring loneliness—a very real and little-discussed social epidemic with frightening consequences-out into the open, and find a way to navigate the tension between freedom and connection in our lives.

Learn More
Membership Details
  • Only $12.99/month gets you 1 Credit/month
  • Cancel anytime
  • Hate a book? Then we do too, and we'll exchange it.
See how it works in 15 seconds

Summary

Summary

In today's world, it is more acceptable to be depressed than to be lonely-yet loneliness appears to be the inevitable byproduct of our frenetic contemporary lifestyle. According to the 2004 General Social Survey, one out of four Americans talked to no one about something of importance to them during the last six months. Another remarkable fact emerged from the 2000 U.S. Census: more people are living alone today than at any point in the country's history—fully 25 percent of households consist of one person only. In this crucial look at one of America's few remaining taboo subjects—loneliness—Drs. Jacqueline Olds and Richard S. Schwartz set out to understand the cultural imperatives, psychological dynamics, and physical mechanisms underlying social isolation. In The Lonely American, cutting-edge research on the physiological and cognitive effects of social exclusion and emerging work in the neurobiology of attachment uncover startling, sobering ripple effects of loneliness in areas as varied as physical health, children's emotional problems, substance abuse, and even global warming. Surprising new studies tell a grim truth about social isolation: being disconnected diminishes happiness, health, and longevity; increases aggression; and correlates with increasing rates of violent crime. Loneliness doesn't apply simply to single people, either—today's busy parents "cocoon" themselves by devoting most of their non-work hours to children, leaving little time for friends, and other forms of social contact, and unhealthily relying on the marriage to fulfill all social needs. As a core population of socially isolated individuals and families continues to balloon in size, it is more important than ever to understand the effects of a culture that idealizes busyness and self-reliance. It's time to bring loneliness—a very real and little-discussed social epidemic with frightening consequences-out into the open, and find a way to navigate the tension between freedom and connection in our lives.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

Our contemporary situation is one of material affluence and social isolation. Olds and Schwartz provide a thoughtful and important analysis of how we came to cut ourselves off from one another, and what the consequences are. Daniel Nettle, PhD, author of Happiness: The Science behind Your Smile
If you want to know why, in the midst of so many and so much, Americans all too often feel alone and disconnected, this is the volume for you. Drs. Olds and Schwartz have written a book that is scientifically rigorous and socially acute, delving deep into the latest research on the neurobiology behind our need for connection and the adverse effects of social isolation, while also unpacking the dangerous cultural myths that would deny these needs. Hooray for Olds and Schwartz's sagacity, lucidity, humanity, and practicality. Read their book and take their advice for your own sake and for the rest of us, as well! 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
An insightful, important, and comprehensive look at the causes and effects of the pervasive psychological and social isolation within contemporary American culture. The authors offer wise, compassionate, and helpful strategies toward the renewal of our essential human connections. Janet L. Surrey, Ph.D. Founding Scholar, Jean Baker Miller Training Institute, Wellesley College, and Samuel Shem, author of The House of God
In today's society the pursuit of individual happiness, materialism, and the frenetic pace of life has led many people unwittingly into lifestyles where they feel lonely and excluded. Yet we know that such states are damaging to physical and mental health. In their important new book, Drs. Olds and Schwartz provide a compassionate and insightful analysis of the conflicting currents that have led to this state of affairs, and they describe ways in which this pattern can be changed through individual and community efforts. Dr. Bruce S. McEwen, author of The End of Stress as We Know It
In a wise, quiet, and gentle voice, Drs. Olds and Schwartz offer a devastating portrait of present-day American culture-the fragility of social bonds, the busyness that has become a badge of social worth, the conflict between the need for respite from the frantic pace and the gnawing feelings of exclusion and loneliness that accompany our attempts to slow it down. This is a book for our time, a book that calls all of us to take a serious look at the social and psychological costs of the way we live today. —Dr. Lillian B. Rubin, author of Just Friends, Intimate Strangers, and 60 on Up

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Jacqueline Olds MD

Author Bio: Jacqueline Olds MD

Jacqueline Olds and Richard S. Schwartz are both Associate Clinical Professors of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Olds teaches child psychiatry and Dr. Schwartz teaches adult psychiatry at the McLean and Massachusetts General Hospitals. They are both psychoanalysts. Married and with two grown children, they each maintain a private practice in Cambridge, MA. They have written two other books, Overcoming Loneliness in Everyday Life and Marriage in Motion.

Titles by Author

Author Bio: Jacqueline Olds MD

Author Bio: Jacqueline Olds MD

Titles by Author

Author Bio: Richard S. Schwartz MD

Author Bio: Richard S. Schwartz MD

Titles by Author

Author Bio: Richard S. Schwartz MD

Author Bio: Richard S. Schwartz MD

Titles by Author

Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Nonfiction/Psychology
Runtime: 6.26
Audience: Adult
Language: English