Sunday, November 27, 2005

Speaking of Oprah

Speaking of Oprah, I'm reading a quite dazzling work of cultural criticism by sociologist Eva Illouz. Oprah Winfrey and the Glamour of Misery (Columbia University Press, 2003) is Illouz's analysis of how Winfrey has fashioned an empire out of suffering and moral certitude. This is a must-read for students of culture and fans of Oprah. Illouz, along with Steve Salerno—from a quite different vantage—have made me rethink my position on the role of victimization in self-help culture.