The Narcissism Epidemic:
Living in the Age of Entitlement
by Jean M. Twenge and W. Keith Campbell
Published in April 2009 by Free Press,
a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Buy the book at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.
On a reality TV show, a girl planning her Sweet Sixteen wants a major road blocked off so a marching band can precede her grand entrance on a red carpet. Five times as many Americans undergo plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures as ten years ago, and ordinary people hire fake paparazzi to follow them around to make them look famous. High school students physically attack classmates and post YouTube videos of the beatings to get attention. And for the past several years, Americans have been buying McMansions and expensive cars on credit they can't afford.
Although these seem like a random collection of current trends, all are rooted in a single underlying shift in American culture: the relentless rise of narcissism, a very positive and inflated view of self. Narcissists believe they are better than others, lack emotionally warm and caring relationships, constantly seek attention, and treasure material wealth and physical appearance. In The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement, psychologists and professors Jean Twenge and W. Keith Campbell draw from empirical research and cultural analysis to expose the destructive spread of narcissism. Perhaps most important, they also discuss treatment – what each of us can do to stop the epidemic of narcissism so corrosive to society.