Assholes: A Theory (Paperback)Aaron James (author)
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'A wonderful book. If you come across it, you must read it.' - John Cleese
What does it mean for someone to be an a**hole? The answer is not obvious, despite the fact that we are often personally stuck dealing with people for whom there is no better name. Try as we might to avoid them, a**holes are found everywhere at work, at home, on the road, and in the public sphere. Encountering one causes great difficulty and personal strain, especially because we often cannot understand why exactly someone should be acting like that.
A**hole management begins with a**hole understanding. In the spirit of the bestselling On Bullshit, James gives us the concepts to think or say why a**holes disturb us so, and explains why such people seem part of the human social condition, especially in an age of raging narcissism and unbridled capitalism. These concepts are also practically useful, as understanding the a**hole we are stuck with helps us think constructively about how to handle problems they present. We get a better sense of when the a**hole is best resisted, and when he is best ignored a better sense of what is, and what is not, worth fighting for.
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 260 g
Dimensions: 197 x 130 x 18 mm
Splendid. -- Oliver Burkeman
Currently in love with a book called 'A**holes: A Theory' -- Bette Midler
The thrust of James' thesis is timely. Energetically argued and provoking...well worth the discomfort; not least for Aaron James's magnificent 'Letter to an A**hole', which ends the book. * Literary Review *
This is a book that should appeal equally to the general reader and the philosophical specialist. James's analysis of a**hole capitalism is a tour de force of philosophically astute political analysis and criticism. His witty and accessible study draws on his lucid and brilliant accounts of the best in contemporary moral and political philosophy. -- Marshall Cohen, University Professor Emeritus, University of Southern California
Aaron James provides us with a delightful philosophical romp through the world of a**holes. I was especially tickled by his analysis of different types: smug a**holes, royal royal a**holes, the presidential a**hole, corporate a**holes, the reckless a**holes, to name a few. -- Robert I. Sutton, Stanford Professor and author of the New York Times bestsellers The No A**hole Rule and Good Boss, Bad Boss
James's research is both thorough and imaginative; his impressive source list ranges from obscure philosophy books to popular websites to Rudyard Kipling to Kanye West, hip-hop's greatest a**hole. The author s enthusiasm for the subject makes it possible to get through the book quickly.... There are moments of great insight and outright hilarity. * Kirkus Reviews *
James's volume is equal parts philosophical meditation and historical survey, but its true value lies in his attempt to precisely define the term. -- Joe Keohane * New York Magazine *
A delightful combination of the demotic and the technical... James gives us some practical advice for confronting a**holes, for maintaining self-respect and social position in a world full of them. * Harpers Magazine *
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