The Pleasure Trap: Mastering the Hidden Force that Undermines Health & Happiness

Lisle, Doug & Alan Goldhamer. The Pleasure Trap: Mastering the Hidden Force that Undermines Health & Happiness. Book Pub. Sept. 2003. c.240p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 1-57067-150-8. $24.95.

Lisle and Goldhamer, a clinical psychologist and a chiropractor, respectively, claim that modern life is “the root of the vast majority of disease, disability, and unhappiness in Western civilization” in their convincing, if dramatic, argument for a back-to-essentials diet. Humans, like all animals, are genetically wired to pursue pleasure, avoid pain, and conserve energy. Life today, however, “has magic buttons that can short-circuit the natural connection between happiness and pleasure-seeking behavior with products such as recreational drugs, processed foods, pain-relieving medications, and gambling.” Advice, though ardent and thought-provoking, is unorthodox on the whole, e.g., “consume a diet of whole natural foods, excluding all meat, fish, fowl, eggs, and dairy products.” Readers may find Laurel Mellin’s The Pathway: Follow the Road to Health and Happiness more palatable. Order on demand.

This review appeared in Library Journal 15 Sept. 2003: 77; the galley was shredded on May 11, 2012.

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