The origin and development of self-help literature in the United States: The concept of success and happiness, an overview

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The aim of this article is to show that self-help literature, far from being a trivial aspect of popular American culture, represents a basic pillar which has been present since its beginnings and continues to be present in American society and culture nowadays. This article explores the origin of this phenomenon and the fact that self-help literature can be divided into three distinct phases marked by a shift from a culture of 'industry and effort' - beginning with Benjamin Franklin until the mid-twentieth century - to a culture of 'leisure and ease' - especially after World War II - and the emergence, towards the end of the twentieth century, of a spiritually-oriented literature of partly Eastern influence devoted to the study of the mind and the concept of self-mastery and self-knowledge as basic factors in the achievement of happiness and success in life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-141
JournalAtlantis
Volume31
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2009

Keywords

  • American dream
  • Benjamin franklin
  • Happiness
  • Industriousness
  • Self-help literature
  • Success

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The origin and development of self-help literature in the United States: The concept of success and happiness, an overview'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this