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Damaged People: Narcissism and the Foundation of a Dysfunctional American Society by Thomas Avant

A detailed, succinct look at narcissism and its impact on American society…

As a result of growing up in a rural, conservative household, Avant’s intellectual growth was limited. His desire for knowledge and intellectual transformation began in his mid-twenties, inspiring him to read extensively. He spent years studying books on the subject of narcissistic personality disorder (NDP), and this book reflects his logical, systematic approach for narcissistic personality assessment. Drawing from vast research, personal experience of dealing with a narcissistic father, and everyday personal anecdotes, Avant lists major narcissistic personality traits—having an unreasonably high sense of self-importance, needing and seeking too much attention and admiration, lacking the ability to understand or care about the feelings of others, high intolerance of criticism—as a tool to gauge human behavior. He also talks about how genetics and neurobiology play a heavy hand in influencing personality, and how a person’s background, character, and life story become paramount in shaping adult behavior. But this is not just a book about exploration of narcissistic personality disorder and how to deal with it. It looks at narcissism in the context of history and politics, and how it strengthens racism, xenophobia, and white supremacy. The prevalence of narcissism in American society is staggering, Avant writes, with narcissists ascending to positions of leadership, power, and authority and creating severe and lasting consequences on our families, institutions, and almost all aspects of our society. He describes how despite us living in the information era, with fact-checking available at finger-tip, fact-denial is at an all time high in the country. This rise of anti-intellectualism has not only led to race and class disparity but also is wreaking havoc in todays’ society, enabling leaders like Trump to paddle their lies to their constituents with absolutely no accountability and consequences. Avant also delves into religion, particularly Christianity. Declaring that practicing a religion solely for the purpose of everlasting life is, in itself, narcissistic by nature, he criticizes fundamental Christianity for its unquestionable belief in clichés that keep one’s thinking at a shallow level. Avant’s prose is conversational and tone light. The use of everyday examples provides a feeling of intimacy to the text. Those looking for traditional self-help advice won’t find it here, but the book beautifully lays the groundwork for self-awareness, self-analysis, humility, critical and analytical thinking, and deeper human interaction. A quintessential read.

Damaged People
Narcissism and the Foundation of a Dysfunctional American Society

Thomas Avant
Buy now
Pub date December 19, 2020
ISBN 978-0578821665
Price $10.00 (USD) Paperback, $0.00 Kindle Unlimited

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