Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of 16 books, including the bestsellers Nickel and Dimed and Bait and Switch. A frequent contributor to Harper’s and the Nation, she has also been a columnist at the New York Times and Time magazine. Her seventeenth book, Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America(Metropolitan Books), has just been published. An examination of recent studies of the medical ineffectiveness of positive thinking, mentioned in this essay, can be found in the book. To listen to the TomDispatch audio interview with Ehrenreich that accompanies this piece, click here.