In the many decades since the publication of How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie's self-help classic has been both celebrated and mocked, but it's still selling plenty of copies. Steven Watts' new biography of the man may feel overstuffed, but, as Maureen Corrigan notes, Carnegie's relentless positivity always shines through.
Writer-director Todd Phillips' new film is School for Scoundrels, starring Billy Bob Thornton as a cross between a self-help genius and a scam artist. Phillips' other films include Old School, Road Trip and Starsky and Hutch.
Journalist and lawyer Wendy Kaminer (cam-AH-ner). Her new book, I'm Dysfunctional, You’re Dysfunctional, is a critical look at the recovery and self-help movement. Kaminer believes that the movement tends to trivialize suffering by refusing to distinguish among levels of suffering or victimization (for instance, one recovery expert suggests that childhood is a holocaust.) Kaminer also considers the political implications for democracy if people view themselves as victims. (by Addison-Wesley Publishing Company).
Feminist writer Deirdre English. She wrote a recent New York Times review of Gloria Steinem's new book "Revolution From Within: A Book of Self-Esteem." English is critical of Steinem's "quiet revolution of self-