From <i>Power!</i> to <i>Personal Power!</i>

Micki McGee

in Self-Help, Inc.

Published in print October 2005 | ISBN: 9780195171242
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199944088 | DOI:
From Power! to Personal Power!

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This chapter describes the unisex or general-audience advice literature, exploring the new survivalism that emerges against the background of a continuing inward turn. In The Road Less Traveled, M. Scott Peck recounts his spiritual “journey” from the secular medical realm of psychiatry to a hybrid realm of psychotherapeutic and Christian values. Anthony “Tony” Robbins and Stephen Covey represent two distinct traditions of self-improvement culture: the former privileges emotion and the affective dimension while the latter heralds the superiority of reason, planning, and time management. The New Age inheritors of New Thought posit a world in which there is ultimately no distinction between self and other, matter and energy, reality and imagination. The generic literature of self-help during the last quarter of the twentieth century signaled an intensification of tendencies in American culture that had been evident, in some cases, since the nation's founding.

Keywords: survivalism; inward turn; self-help; unisex; Road Less Traveled; Scott Peck; Anthony Robbins; Stephen Covey; American culture

Chapter.  11369 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sociology

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