Craig Sager’s battle with cancer


( CNN) The U.S. men’s basketball squad missed having NBA sideline reporter Craig Sager at the Olympics in Rio. So they sent him a special message during the broadcast in the early stages of the games.

“We wish you were here, human. We’re gonna try to win this gold for you … you know you’re a part of our family, ” said starring forward Kevin Durant.

Women’s rights are on the retreat yet again. Why? | Barbara Ellen

5 days ago

Donald Trumps ruling attaining it easier for companies to opt out of providing free family planning highlightings the need for vigilance

When modern females are ultimately fitted with their regulation compulsory chastity belts, dare one dream that they’ll come in a range of fairly colours, delightful the documentation and snazzy designs? Or would it simply be the old-school medieval iron trad models? Hey, little ladies, do you think we’d be allowed to choose?

I muse facetiously because, in the US, President Trump has issued a ruling that makes it far easier for companies and insurers to opt out of free birth control to employees on the grounds of religious and moral beliefs, rolling back a key feature of Obamacare. Now that it will become easier to opt out, many more will do so, with the health risks to affect 55 million females. The American Civil Liberties Union( ACLU) and the National Women’s Law Center have announced that they will sue the government over the decision.

Obamacare provisions also encompassed treatment for gynaecological conditions such as endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Now, many girls will be worried about being able to afford such therapies. However, these unfortunate girls probably just count as collateral injury. Apart from the huge amount of money that big business will save, the real target there are sexual autonomy, doubtless all sexual independence, but specifically the female kind that a certain mindset have all along wanted to control.

Contraception, though imperfect, was one of the chief liberators of women, taking much of the dread out of sex. Thus, this removal of free family planning could only be about putting the dread back into sexuality. At the least, putting an end to the corporate bankrolling of the more liberal, humanist, proactive and protective approaches to sex.

It should come as no surprise that among the reasons cited for the change were findings that access to contraception incited” risky sex behaviour “. Eh? One would have thought that reduced access to contraception was far riskier and that, for both sexualities, access to barrier contraception would be the least “risky” of all?

However, even believing like this is to participate in the delusion that this is about people enjoying themselves safely. Take away the figleaf of social responsibility and this becomes about stopping people being able to enjoy sexuality when they want, with whom they want, without anxiety of the results of unwanted pregnancy. And when I say ” people”, I mainly mean women.

Not that things are so peachy for reproductive rights back in Europe. Even as an Irish abortion reform referendum is under discussion for next year, a poll has revealed that only 24% of Irish people are in favour of legalising terminations in nearly all cases. Meanwhile, Prof Lesley Regan, the president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, has argued that parts of the 1967 Abortion Act are outdated and that females need faster, safer access to abortion, without the necessity of achieving the approval of two separate physicians- thus far to no avail. The lesson seems to be that it will never be over- there will always be laws that need to be updated and, where needed, protected. Where the Trump contraceptive ruling is concerned, it’s scary enough that it’s such a backward step- yet scarier that it has been so slyly done.

It’s an example of how a quite subtle shifting of legislative emphasis- simply making something easy( the opt-out) that had previously been difficult- could be enough to undermine, or even destroy, major sociopolitical progress, with far-reaching repercussions for women. The imminence of chastity belts or not, this appears to be an era when there’s a real need for women to stay alert- when hard-fought gains could be eroded in an instant with the quiet swish of a departmental pen.

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What 5 Struggling People Should Know, From A Girl Who’s Been There

26 days ago

Mental health is a growing national issue in todays world.

While activists are starting to bring more awareness to it, some people out there still feel more alone than ever, and are afraid to ask for help.

Heres an open letter for those of you out there who might be feeling this way.I’m writing because my heart once ached for myself, and now it is aching for you.

To whom it may concern,

Whoever you may be and for whatever reason your heart is break, please know I have been there.

Now, I’m here for you.

To my old friend, whose mothers are getting a divorce:

I’m sorry your mom and dad are putting you through this.

I’m sorry I promised you on your birthday that this would be your best year yet. I had no idea this is what you would end up going through.

I’m even more sorry the guy you love is now with someone else, even though he’s no good for you.

I know you wake up every morning with a hole in your heart, and you go to sleep every night wishing you didn’t “re going to have to” wake up.

But I also know you can make it through this. Hang on to every term of affirmation you get.

When you hear a funny gag, laugh until your belly hurts. When your friends ask you to hang out, say yes , no matter how poorly you want to say no.

Do the things you love. I promise that eventually, this feeling will go away and things will get better.

But that means you have to take care of yourself, even if it’s in the simplest of ways.

To the girl in my religion class, who is so emphasized she literally pulls her hair out:

You asked a question a question in class last week, and I noticed nothing out of the ordinary. But when you walked into class today, I insured an old version of myself looking back at me.

Your face was red and irritated, and you had pulled almost all of your eyebrows and eyelashes out. My heart ached because I can only imagine how stressed you must have been in order to do that to yourself.

I know you want to stop it.

More importantly, you want to stop feeling like this.

You want the world to just pause for a second so you can get your thoughts together, just breathe and soothe yourself down.

You have too much homework. You feel like you’re behind in all of your classes.

Balancing all of your priorities only feels like too much right now, and you only feel like youre failing at all these things.

You feel like life is moving too fast, and you feel like you simply don’t have time to take care of yourself.

But heres the thing: You have to attain the time.

You and I both know your mental health goes first.

Please stoptaking your anxieties out on yourself. You do not deserve it.

To the girl on my dancing team, who just got dumped by her boyfriend of several years:

Your world is literally disintegrating into a million pieces.

Getting out of bed in the morning and walking to class seems impossible, but you’re doing it anyway.

I saw you smile yesterday and thought to myself, “I know that’s a fake smile, but she’s so strong for even forcing herself to make it.”

I know all of these mundanes everyday things are so hard for you right now because your heartache is so strong. But be proud of yourself for still doing them.

It means you’re not letting this violate you completely.

I know we never talk that much, but if you need to cry on my shoulder, I’m here.

I have no idea why this happens to daughters, or why it hurts so badly, but I promise you are able to wake up one day and realize you came out alive and stronger than ever.

It might take threemonthsor three years. But eventually, you will realize you do not require him to be happy.

I know there is nothing I can say to mend the gaping pit in your heart, but I promise it won’t be there forever.

To her boyfriend of several years, who just dumped her:

I could tell you you’re stupid for doing it. I could say you will want her back in a month or so, and you made a mistake.

But at some point in our lives, we all play the role you’re playing right now.

Sometimes, we get our hearts violated. But sometimes, we’re the ones doing the breaking.

I wish you could have realise a long time ago that you didn’t love her anymore.

But thank you for not resulting her on any longer than you did. Thank you for forcing her to discover her own strength and gain her independence.

Sometimes, decisions like this can feel selfish.

But know you’re doing her a favor, too. We can’t hold on to people out of sympathy.

To the stranger who is reading this right now, and has no real reason to feel so lost:

I know you’re probably disliking yourself for sulking forno distinctreason.Your grades are good.

You have a happy family, great friends and maybe the perfect significant other. But none of that equates to happiness.

You feel empty inside, even though there are plenty of people surrounding you.

You have never felt more alone.

I have been there.

Sometimes, the darkness can overtake the brightest of places. Please, stranger. Know you are worthy.

Know your feelings matter , no matter how silly or unwarranted they may seem. Know the people in your life care about you more than you realize.

They will be glad to help you if you need it.

But that means you have to be brave enough to tell them.

Do not let your pride keep youdrowningin the darkness.

Admitting you need help necessitates humility. I know you are humble. That’s why you’re being so quiet.

But please, find help. The darkness doesn’t have what you’re looking for.

The truth is, the darkness doesn’t have what any of us are looking for.

But so often, we find ourselves lost in it. Sometimes we are pushed into it, but sometimes, we conceal there for comfort.

Friends, whatever it is that life is or isn’t throwing at you and whatever it is you’re vying for, know you are worthy.

You are loved and you matter. You will get through this.

With love,

A girl who has been there

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Trump discussed a commission on vaccines and autism with a prominent anti-vaxxer

1 month, 20 days ago

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. talks with reporters in the hall of Trump Tower in New York, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017.
Image: AP Photo/ Evan Vucci

UPDATE: Jan. 10, 2017, 5:59 p.m. EST The Trump transition team walked back Robert F. Kennedy’s assertion that a vaccine commission is being formed, instead stating he is “exploring the possibility of forming a committee on Autism.”

President-elect Donald J. Trump has asked anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to chair the regional commissions on vaccine security, Kennedy said after meeting with Trump Tuesday.

This appointment is certain to rattle the scientific community, since Kennedy is a well-known anti-vaccine proponent who falsely believes that vaccine ingredients cause autism. This is a claim that scientists have debunked time and time again.

“President-elect Trump has some doubts about the present vaccine policies and he has the issue of it, ” Kennedy said after the meeting, according to a pool report.

For his part, Trump has publicly expressed his own concerns about vaccines and their link to autism, despite the absence of proof to support such a link.

A history of anti-vaccine rhetoric

Trump has a history of anti-vaccine rhetoric.

During the Republican primaries in 2015, for example, Trump said that he was in favor of inoculations but still expressed concerns about how they’re administered.

“I am totally in favor of vaccines, ” Trump said during a Sept. 16 debate. “But I want smaller doses over longer periods. Because you take a newborn in and I’ve insured it and I’ve insured it, and I had my children taken care of over a longer period, over a two or three year period of time.”

The idea that vaccines should be spaced out over years would actually render many of life-saving vaccinations ineffective, scientists have said.

In 2014, Trump tweeted about his autism and inoculation beliefs.

Trump’s relationship with the anti-vaccine motion doesn’t end with Kennedy, either.

Just before the election, Trump also met with Andrew Wakefield, whose now-debunked and recanted 1998 examine connecting vaccines to autism effectively sparked the anti-vaccine movement.

After meeting with Trump, Wakefield said that he found him “extremely interested, genuinely interested, and open-minded on this issue, so that was enormously refreshing, ” according to STAT News.

Wakefield’s license to practice medicine was rescinded by the General Medical Council in the United Kingdom in 2010 after it was found that he conducted unethical research.

Scientific consensus

According to the scientific community, inoculations do not cause autism.

A 2011 Institute of Medicine study looking at eight vaccines “found that with rare exceptions, these vaccines are very safe, ” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention( CDC ).

“A 2013 CDC examine added to the research showing that vaccines do not cause ASD[ autism spectrum disorder ], ” the CDC states on its website.

“The study looked at the number of antigens( substances in vaccines that cause the bodys immune system to render disease-fighting antibodies) from inoculations during the first two years of life. The outcomes showed that the total amount of antigen from vaccines received was the same between children with ASD and those that did not have ASD.”

At the moment, recommendations on inoculations and day are made by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, a group of scientists select through a “rigorous nomination process, ” according to STAT News. The committee’s vacancies are also staggered, STAT added, means that Trump cannot simply appoint a large number of anti-vaccine activists to the committee in one go.

Trump’s move to create a vaccine commission that may review federal inoculation guidelines and research is in keeping with other highly questionable scientific opinions he holds, such as falsely claiming that human-caused global warming is a hoax.

BONUS: Trump and Carson on Vaccines

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Tips for raising an optimistic child in a world of cynicism

1 month, 23 days ago

If you’re creating kids today, it can be easy to focus on the negative. And it’s no wonder: Thanks to the 24 -hour news cycle, social media, cell phone notifications — and even sources you wouldn’t expect, like Instagram and YouTube — kids are immersed in doom and gloomines.

Consider their world: The suicide rate is up, cyberbullying is rampant, the United States is more divided than ever, and people are now live-streaming slaying and suicide. So it’s understandable if you don’t feel like putting on a happy face every day and keeping your children optimistic about the future.

But don’t give up. Ironically, even though media and technology seem to be the cause of our collective despair, they’re also essential for overcoming it, either by using them wisely or knowing when to put them away.

The sex origins of the popular barre workout

2 months, 12 days ago

( CNN) Here’s what I remember about my first barre class: The workout was so grueling it constructed my muscles twitch as I lay on my back, rhythmically thrusting my pelvis to a sensual cover of Rihanna’s “Umbrella.” Beyond the thrusting itself, I was struck by the express of the spandex-clad females beside me, who seemed entirely unamused by the synchronized schwing we performed. All around me, everyone was taking their air-humping very, very seriously.

Barre, a fitness phenomenon based on stretchings and strength-training exercises performed at a ballet barre, has exploded in recent years. The workout is as challenging as it is effective at sculpting women’s bodies — its fanatics are known for being physical overachievers who are already fit but however driven to chisel themselves to perfection.

It’s the “pretty girl” workout, a friend recently told me, with nearly every woman in class contained within Lululemon , no sweatpants in sight. But the moves of the workout itself belie this prim ethos. From the pelvic “tucking, ” in which you roll your groin forward, to the seated ab work, where you sit with legs spread and bent, to the “knee dancing, ” which is what it sounds like, the class can feel like an hour-long rehearsal for sex.

‘Avatar therapy’ aims to help those who hear voices

2 months, 14 days ago

( CNN) The voices in Keris Myrick’s head are “in the kitchen, ” she says.

She’s not referring to where food is cooked. The word “kitchen, ” she said, is how many black women describe the nape of the neck “where our hair is curly and wavy; some people might use the term ‘kinky.'”

“The hair might appear very pretty on top, but underneath, it could be a frizzy mess — and that’s where the voices reside, ” she said. “They’re not up front bothering me or taking my attention away. They simply hang out in that frizzy place.”

Which countries have the worst drinking cultures?

3 months, 15 days ago

From savouring flavors in France to binge drinking in Australia readers talk about the alcohol culture where they live

How much alcohol is safe to drink? It is a question scientists have been trying to get to the bottom of for centuries, and now a survey exploring drinking advice around the world has found that the answer varies significantly depending on where you live.

In the US, for example, three or four drinkings a day( 42 g for women and 56 g for men) is thought to be safe, but in Sweden that is well over the amount health authorities recommend: 10 g for women and 20 g for men. Whats more, a standard drink in Iceland and the UK is 8g of alcohol, compared to 20 g in Austria.

Government standard drink definition in grams with readers quotes about the countrys drinking culture
Government standard drink definition in grams

Can these fluctuations be attributed to the fact that each place has its unique drinking culture? We asked readers to summarise their countrys stance towards alcohol and the unscientific, we should stress outcomes seem to suggest we might all be tip-off the scale when it is necessary to consuming a safe amount.

South Africa

It is differed, but most people drink socially , not generally to excess, but responsible drinking( not drinking and driving for example) is rare. We should have tighter drinking and driving statutes. Dickon, 40


In the Spanish equivalent of a greasy spoon, workers stop for brunch with a beer followed by a big brandy then get into their autoes and go back to work. Its the drink-driving that I dont like. Anonymous, 45


Binge drinking is glorified in Australia, and the focus is not on drinking in moderation or for enjoyment. We should be encouraging alcohol-free days. I am likely not a true representative of the Australian drinking population as I am a very light drinker I drink maybe once a month. Anonymous, 44

New Zealand

There is a big binge-drinking culture among the youth in the country and a huge part of the health budget and policing budget is spent on dealing with drink-driving, collision and emergency services, and other long-term harmful effects of alcohol. We have a robust liquor industry that lobbies the government ferociously to prevent regulation of alcohol marketings. Advertising here has been grudgingly curtailed. Anonymous, 50


People often go to Izakayas[ Japanese-style pub] after work on Fridays or special occasions with their colleagues. However, alcohol is nearly always drunk here alongside snacks or food, entailing very few people get incredibly drunk. There are some cases of people with alcohol-related problems in this country, but people dont drink alcohol in order to get drunk, but rather to relax.

A bar in Tokyo. Photo: Graeme Robertson for the Guardian

Japans alcohol safety guidelines seem approximately around the same as my home country[ the UK ]. However, you need to be 20 years old to buy alcohol in Japan, although unless you seem underage they wont ask you for ID, especially if you seem non-Japanese. Anonymous, 23


Beer sold in every frituur[ chip store ], open bottles of wine to help yourself to in supermarkets but drunkenness is socially unacceptable. The guidelines seem fair enough, especially having at least two non-drinking days a week. Elspeth Morlin, 46


In France people drink extensively and steadily, but in small divisions. Even though I have find a couple of people drunk, I have never seen any aggressivenes. At a dinner party you are able to ordinarily have an apritif, three glasses of various types of wines and a digestif but all in small quantities. There will also be water on the table. The guidelines in France are sensible, although here there is a tradition of ignoring regulations and laws anyway. The French drink to savour the flavors and to enhance their food. Peter, 62


In Italy, consuming alcohol revolves around food. So you are either drinking to accompany your snack( wine will always be on the table at an Italian meal ), or you are please give free snacks to soak up your drink when at a bar. So the idea is that you order a drinking at a standardised cost and you are given crisp or other bite-sized food. Or you can help yourself from a generous buffet.

The whole point of aperitivo is that you have it before dinner and drinking on an empty belly generally leads to unpleasant situations( especially as typical aperitivo beverages are of the likes of the murderer negroni ). Hence the free food. This has led to the creation of a sub-culture: the one of apericena[ a hybrid of aperitivo and cena: dinner ]. So people, instead of going for a drinking and then on to dinner, go to the bar with the best buffet, order a drink( commonly 8-10) and then simply reached the buffet and stuff their faces, scoring a very cheap dinner. Benedetta, 31


Once a bottle is opened it must be finished; its never shut while still full. I guess 14 g a day for women seems reasonable, but 28 g a day for a human seems a little high. However, I have never seen these guidelines published or “was talkin about a” anywhere in this country. Richard Hartland, 39


In the UK the notion of enjoying yourself in the evening without alcohol is so unusual it can lead to you being called a freak( or at least miserable and antisocial) whereas drinking yourself insensible is not just acceptable, it is admired. Unfortunately( and I am a drinker) all advice dedicated seems to be decided upon somewhat arbitrarily and although most doctors agree alcohol is bad for you, restriction seem to be plucked out of the air with no real evidential statistics.

While most would agree that binge drinking in the UK is deplorable and turns our towns and cities into ugly and threatening places at night, I find the nanny country reaction of teaches us that any amount of drinking can give us cancer or liver failure somewhat unhelpful. In Europe people seem to drink as part of a food experience and it is an accompaniment , not an end in itself. We have much to learn but our history suggests an entrenched route of relating to alcohol. Fergus, 68


We would have a lot less underage drinking problems if we lowered the drinking age to 18. Young adults are getting targeted at parties and social events at universities where police know there will be alcohol and the people who are there and under 21 get underage drinking charges( and people over 21 get charged with the supply of alcohol to minor ). I am not even a huge drinker, just seems absurd that freshman and sophomores have to be sneaky about it, which leads to more issues. There is also a binge-drinking culture generally in the US Karina, 23

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How To Celebrate The Best Proportions Of The Holidays All Year Long

3 months, 30 days ago

After weeks of preparation, menu planning, decorating and addressing greet cards, just like that another holiday season has passed us by.

Although the tree decorations may not be packed away, and the leftover food may not have disappeared quite yet, it’s still possible to feel a little bit of yearning for the vacation happiness you simply experienced. It’s no wonder we’re sad to see the season go: Surveys show that holidays full of family boost emotional wellness.

The good news is it’s possible to construct that exuberance and pleasure “youre feeling” during the season last throughout the year. Below, find six ways to construct your holiday buzz carry into next year and beyond .

Be festive .

When was the last time you celebrated something, just because? Or had a festive gathering outside of the span of the season? Adopting a more festive posture, and ritualizing more events than simply the main holidays on the calendar, can actually help you cultivate more joy all year.

Celebrating good times and fun occasions can create a deeper sense of social connection and helps to build closer relationships. By being festive beyond the vacation season, you also open yourself up for more opportunities to log some time with your friends, which has been proven to help beat nervousnes. Celebrating the little things — no matter if it’s an accolade at work or simply because you’re happy it’s Friday night — is also associated with overall gladness. So next time this is necessary a little pick me up, schedule a little festival( the ugly Christmas sweater is optional ).

Send greeting cards and thank you notes .

Another way to carry the vacation spirit through the rest of the year is to express thanks to and keep in touch with loved ones more often than your once-a-year Christmas card. It’s no secret that gratitude is at its peak during the holidays, but practising it all year — even in small forms — can have a significant impact on your on your emotional and physical wellness. Writing down what — and more specifically, who — you’re thankful for can assist you focus on the present and cultivate gratitude for all the good in your life, according to gratitude researcher Robert Emmons. The result? An increased number of feelings of happiness and contentment.

In his volume 365 Thank Yous , writer John Kralik details how the simple act of writing one thank you note can have a positive impact on your psyche. After struggling with a series of challenges, Kralik attained it his mission to take the time to write a thank you note at the least once a day to person — and the findings are life changing.

Writing a thank you note or a message merely to check in doesn’t have to follow training materials gift. Just letting person know you care will also affect your happiness levels — but according to Kralik, make sure you say it in print. “Things we write in cyberspace are so easily deleted and forgotten … buried by the next 30 e-mails we receive, ” Kralik told NPR in 2010. “In this day and age, a handwritten note is something that people actually feel is special.”

Spread a little generosity.

Part of the joy that fills the season includes devoting gifts to loved ones — but that thoughtfulness and generosity doesn’t have to come to an end once that last gift has been unwrapped.

Adopting a giving mentality all year round can build the jolliness of the season thrive — along with your happiness levels. According to a study published in the International Journal of Happiness and Development, extending any bit of kindness or generosity to others can increase social connection and feelings of positivity for the donor.

The study examined how social devoting affected emotional wellness, concluding that giving to worthy causes through friends and family attained participants feel the happiest. “Our findings suggest that putting the social in pro-social[ spending] is one way to transform good deeds into good feelings, ” the researchers wrote in the report.

Spend time with loved ones .

Surrounding ourselves with those who build us the happiest doesn’t have to be a once-a-year treat. In fact, spending time with people rather than your vacation gifts can have a positive impact on our emotional well-being. According to a study conducted by the University of Missouri, happiness levels were greater when family events were more prominent during the season. Connection with friends and family also has a major reduction on stress, resulting in more pleasant, helpful and sociable attitudes.

Instead of the empty promise to get together as you head to your autoes after the Christmas party, try making a regular date and sticking to it. A busy social calendar, along with some quality time with those who lift you up, can help transcend the holiday happiness into the springtime, summer and beyond.

Let yourself indulge a little .

Admit it: You wholly feed that second piece of tart even though you were already full — and even more so, at the time, you didn’t regret it. It turns out your desire to pander isn’t wrong; in fact, allowing yourself a little leniency more often was in fact be good for you in the long run.

Research has shown that those who didn’t deprive themselves when it came to cravings managed to stay on track with dieting a lot better than the individuals who limited themselves wholly — and that vacation buffet is no exception. In other words,( mindfully) adopt that “cheating” attitude and grab a cookie at the next book club or treat yourself to that bowl of ice cream — a little indulgence is going to help you more than hurt you, and will help your jolly spirit live their lives beyond the end of December.

Take time off .

Perhaps one of the most thrilling parts of the holidays is the mental infringe and day away from our work responsibilities — and rightfully so. A 2010 study published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life found that the anticipation of planning and taking a vacation resulted in higher overall happiness levels — not a bad thing to have on your side when you’re navigating your way through a hectic day at the office.

And that’s not the only benefit of a little vacation. Study have shown that taking a vacation can help stave off a heart attack, alleviate stress and help you be a healthier employee. So instead of just using the time allotted to you at the end of the year, take a little more time off for yourself during the other 11 months — you’ll be much jollier for it.

A previous version of such articles appeared in December 2013.

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The 100 best nonfiction volumes: No 41- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie( 1936)

4 months, 20 days ago

The original self-help manual on American life with its influence stretching from the Great Depression to Donald Trump has a lot to answer for

The selling of the American self, and its dream of a better future, began with the Declaration of Independence and founding father Benjamin Franklin, who once observed that God helps them that help themselves. Selling and salesmanship pervade American life and literature: Sister Carrie ( Theodore Dreiser ), Babbitt ( Sinclair Lewis ), The Iceman Cometh ( Eugene ONeill ), Death of a Salesman ( Arthur Miller ), and Glengarry Glen Ross ( David Mamet ).

Exactly 80 years after How to Win Friends first appeared, it comes as no surprise to find a distorted, and sickeningly corrupted, version of Dale Carnegies homespun and inspirational self-help manual prosper in the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, bestselling author of The Art of the Deal . Trump, indeed, continues actively to extol a later Carnegie fan( Norman Vincent Peale, writer of The Power of Positive Thinking ) for his contribution to the American way of life. Whatever the outcome of Tuesday 8 November, theres no doubt that the ecstatic selling of American greatness will remain part of “the member states national” psychodrama for years to come.

Trumps diehard supporters are an apt reminder that, for many Americans, the pursuit of happiness is unsatisfying, success painfully elusive, and failing shameful and/ or infuriate. The hunger for a better future remains a constant feature of the American sociopolitical scenery. In the depths of the Great Depression, it was this desperate need that Carnegie addressed in How to Win Friends and Influence People . Carnegies message was to inspire go-getting Americans to look on the bright side, and sell themselves better. By the time of Carnegies demise in 1955, more than 5m transcripts had been sold, the book had been translated into more than 30 speeches, and its title had passed into the language. Today, my paperback reprint from Vermilion( an imprint of Random House UK) boasts over 16 m transcripts sold. As Jay Parini, a devout student of Carnegies work, has noted: between 1989, when Soviet communism failed and 1997, How to Win Friends went through no fewer than 68 editions in a Russian translation. Notions of success usually make for a bestseller.

Carnegie himself, born in 1888, the same year as TS Eliot, represented the American idea of self- or re-invention. He grew up the son of a failed Missouri farmer named Carnagey. Ambitious young Dale changed the spelling of his name more closely to associate himself with the great steel baron, Andrew Carnegie, a late 19 th-century household name, and embarked on a career as a salesman while also attempting to make a future in the theatre as an actor, auditioning successfully for the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Theatre life was hard. It was at this stage, he wrote, that the dreams I had nourished back in my college days turned into nightmares.

But he didnt give up, and it was from this cavity of despair and letdown that he conceived the idea of devoting courses in public speaking. Paraphrasing RW Emerson, a deeply influential American we shall meet later, he would say, Do the thing that you fear to do, and the death of fear is absolutely certain. By 1916, he was in a position to rent Carnegie Hall and lecture to full houses about his self-help techniques. His first book, Public Speaking: A Practical Course for Business Men , are still in 1926, and led inexorably through his growing stateswide audience to How to Win Friends .

The key to this new iteration of his optimistic message was its 12 principles( which ranged from No 1, The only route to get the best of an debate is to avoid it, to No 12, Throw down a challenge, via No 6, Let the other person do a great deal of the talking ). Each principle was deftly illustrated by Carnegies well-chosen examples of influential and successful Americans in action.

Carnegie left nothing to opportunity. To persuade his readers of his wisdom, he went to the top of American society in the 1930 s. I personally interviewed ratings of successful people, he writes, some of them world- famous inventors like Marconi and Edison; political leaders like Franklin D Roosevelt movie stars like Clark Gable and Mary Pickford and tried to discover the techniques they used in human relations. He ensure himself as an enabler, quoting Herbert Spencer: The great objective of education is not knowledge but action. This, he declared, was an action book.

As Donald Trump knows only too well, to hook the uncommitted, any good salesmans pitch must subtly invite the buyer to risk leaving his or her convenience zone, and take a chance. Carnegie was not afraid to connect his message to new ideas. Early on in his pitch for a mass audience, Carnegie mixed a simple American credo with revolutionary European suppose. He writes: Sigmund Freud said that everything you and I do springs from two motives: the sex exhort and the desire to be great.

Carnegie also traded in folksy wisdom, in the manner of his idol, Abraham Lincoln. His first chapter, If You Want to Gather Honey, Dont Kick Over the Beehive, fosters a positive, warm and optimistic posture in dealings with others. He argues against assaulting or criticising people. That they are able to merely induce them aggressive towards you. After that, successive chapters enter into negotiations with: how to get people to act as you want them to; how to build people like you; how to convince people of your arguments; and finally, how to be a Leader( Constructing People Glad to Do What You Want ). All this was packaged into Carnegies systematic technique, an important key to his popular success.

The measure of Carnegies extraordinary achievement can be seen in his many imitators. The most immediate was Norman Vincent Peale whose keynote sentence could have been written by Carnegie: If you feel that you are defeated and have lost confidence in your ability to win, sit down, take a piece of paper and make a list , not of the factors that are against you, but of those that are for you.

Unlike Carnegie, Peale was that now familiar American figure: a charismatic evangelist trading in a petroleum, faith-based optimism. The officiating priest at the Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan for more than half a century, Peale first began to promote positive thinking on the radio with a programme entitled The Art of Living . The latest edition of The Power of Positive Thinking proclaims: This Book Could Change Your Life, and specifically offers to enable everyone to enjoy confidence, success and exhilaration. Here, in about 300 pages, is a succinct expres of the American Dream in its purest form. From the outset, like Carnegie, Peale identifies squarely with the Common Man. His book, he proclaims, was written for the plain people of this world, of whom certainly I am one. With a sly allusion to Abraham Lincolns origins a straight lift from Carnegie he then makes a classic assertion of white American solidarity: I was born and reared in humble midwestern situations in a dedicated Christian home. The everyday people of this land are my own kind whom I know and love and believe in with great faith. Then follows Peales kicker: When any one of them lets God have charge of his life the power and glory are amazingly demonstrated.

What Peale offered was not merely spiritual counselling( over the years, plenty of other evangelists had already done that ), but a system of simple procedures that would generate untold peace of mind, improved health and a never-ceasing flow of energy. Extolling the common sense of his system, he goes on:[ This volume] induces no pretence to literary excellence , nor does it seek to demonstrate any unusual scholarship on my part. This is simply a practical, direct-action, personal improvement manual.

After Peale, the other American titles that owe a huge indebtednes to Carnegie include: The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson( 1982 ); The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey( 1989 ); and Become a Better You: 7 Keys to Improving Your Life Every Day by Joel Osteen( 2007 ). From these popular bestsellers, bought by people who likely possess almost no other books, it is only a short step to Trumps Make America Great Again.

Dale Carnegie has something to answer for.

A signature sentence

Charles Schwabs personality, his charm, his ability to stimulate people like him, were almost wholly responsible for his extraordinary success; and one of the most delightful factors in his personality was his captivating smile.

Three to compare

Norman Vincent Peale: The Power of Positive Thinking ( 1952)
Donald Trump: The Art of the Deal ( 1987)
Malcolm Gladwell: Blink: The Power of Believing Without Thinking ( 2005)

How to Win Friends and Influence People is published by Vermilion ( 8.99 ). Click here to buy it for 7.37

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