Book Summary: Natural Causes by Barbara Ehrenreich

Natural Causes by Barbara Ehrenreich Book Cover

Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves with Hope is a thought-provoking book by Barbara Ehrenreich that delves into the complexities of the wellness industry and the impact it has on our society. The book is divided into three parts, each exploring a different aspect of the wellness industry and its effects on our lives.

In the first part of the book, Ehrenreich explores the rise of the wellness industry and how it has become a cultural phenomenon. She argues that the wellness industry is not just about promoting healthy living but also about selling a lifestyle that is based on the belief that we have complete control over our health. Ehrenreich points out that this belief is not only false but also dangerous, as it can lead to a sense of guilt and shame when we are unable to achieve the perfect health that is promised by the wellness industry.

Part 2: The War on Disease

In the second part of the book, Ehrenreich examines the history of the war on disease and how it has shaped our attitudes towards illness and death. She argues that the war on disease has led to a culture of denial and avoidance, where we are encouraged to ignore the inevitability of death and focus on living forever. Ehrenreich also points out that this culture of denial has had a negative impact on our mental health, as we are unable to come to terms with our mortality.

Part 3: The End of the Rainbow

In the final part of the book, Ehrenreich looks at the impact of the wellness industry on our society and how it has contributed to a culture of self-blame and shame. She argues that the wellness industry has created a sense of guilt and shame around illness and death, which has had a negative impact on our mental health. Ehrenreich also points out that the wellness industry has contributed to a culture of individualism, where we are encouraged to blame ourselves for our own illnesses and to take responsibility for our own health.

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Conclusion

Overall, Natural Causes is a thought-provoking book that challenges our attitudes towards health and wellness. Ehrenreich argues that the wellness industry has contributed to a culture of denial and avoidance, where we are encouraged to ignore the inevitability of death and focus on living forever. She also points out that this culture of denial has had a negative impact on our mental health, as we are unable to come to terms with our mortality. The book is a must-read for anyone who is interested in understanding the complexities of the wellness industry and its impact on our society.

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