The Upside of Narcissism

The Upside of Narcissism 1

Jon Krause for The Chronicle Review

Enlarge Image
close The Upside of Narcissism 1

Jon Krause for The Chronicle Review

It is a commonplace of social criticism that America has become, over the past half-century or so, a nation of narcissists. Greedy, selfish, and self-absorbed, we narcissists are thriving, the critics tell us, in the culture of abundance that is modern America.

The disciplined, patriarchal Victorianism under which our stalwart forebears were raised has purportedly given way to a culture that asks nothing of us while at the same time promising to satisfy