Selfie

Selfie
Will Storr

Subtitled "How we became so self-obsessed and what it's doing to us".

This is my favourite sort of book, sweeping, well informed, compelling and empowering.

The author takes us on a couple of stops to explain the conception of self in the West, from the ideas of Ancient Greece, to Christianity and onto modern culture.  I found the paradox of the ideas at the centre of Western thought interesting, that of the Greek philosophers very much being about the perfectibility of human life, but then the Christian doctrine of original sin.

This makes it sound like an academic book, but it is much broader than that. It uses pictures of peoples lives, a depressed single mother, a violent psychopath. He talks about the different selves necessary in a world where most people worked for themselves, compared to the modern world where most people work for someone else.

It's hard to do it justice because it is so broad. If you thought it was some predictable attack on people who take photos of themselves, you have misjudged this book. 

A great read.