Book Review – We Have Met The Enemy

We Have Met the Enemy: Self-Control in an Age of Excess

By Daniel Akst, Published 2011

Two important takeaways from this book. First, gaining self-control is one of the hardest things most people will ever do. Second, you will need help to do it. This book will challenge everyone to think about how much influence we have over our actions. When we are strong of mind and body, we are probably more accountable for our actions, says Daniel Akst. And when fatigue besets us, beware. Daniel covers all topics from greed and overeating to sex, smoking and buying things. After pointing out the areas of struggle that are common, he reviews the research that validates the negative effects of lack of self-control. One example is how one’s level of self-control is a better predictor of academic success than IQ. Control oneself is the central them of the book. And while there are many techniques offered that can assist with that, it is clear that to varying degrees, all of us are dependent on others to moderate our desires. Daniel brings the debate into the public square and discusses the role of government as it relates to self-control. In fact, think about what laws are on the books that, in reality, serve to “protect” us from a lack of self-control. This book won’t draw the line, but it will make you think.

Rating: ♦♦♦♦◊

Recommendation: A read that will open your mind.

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