We Have Met the Enemy

We Have Met the Enemy : Self Control in an Age of Excess (2011) Daniel Akst is a readable look at how self-control causes many problems and what we can do about it.
The book is a bit long for the content and could have been edited down to a better Kindle single or similar. The problems that a lack of self-control creates, like being inactive, smoking and being obese need little introduction. The problem of procrastination is also something that almost everyone must be familiar with.
However, there is definitely something in the book in the synthesis and it’s hard to imagine anyone reading the book not finding some new facts or quotes that are of interest. It’s fascinating to learn that only 12% of returning Vietnam Veterans remained addicted to Heroin once they had returned to the US and were no longer subject to the strains of combat. The view of addiction as something continuous with ordinary appetites is also an interesting and illuminative way to look at things.
The book has lots of data and suggests strategies for overcoming problems of addictions and habits such as pre-commitment, pledging money and making distractions harder to access.
It’s a solid book, not brilliant but well written and fun to read.

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