There are a few more powerful desires than the wish to be thought of as a success, worthy of dignity and respect. We long for status and dread its opposite. But such aspirations and anxieties are rarely spoken about - or at least not without sarcasm, embarrassment or condemnation. In 'Status Anxiety', Alain de Botton asks where our worries about questions of status come from and what, if anything, we can do to reduce them.
Looking at how people have coped with these anxieties in the past, and appealing to philosophers, historians, politicians and artists, de Botton brings status anxiety out into the open with a range of unexpected examples and entertaining anecdotes.