Anxiety Is Not Only a Jewish Disorder

One of the liberating lessons of My Age of Anxiety, the amazingly candid and compassionate new book by Scott Stossel, is that Jews have no patent on anxiety. It is not a parochial problem but a human one, with universal implications for the way we think about our minds and ourselves. Stossel’s own family history makes the point clearly. His father’s family is Jewish, with just the kind of history that one might expect to breed anxiety: His grandparents were exiles from Germany in the 1930s, and Stossel was raised with this part of his background a complete secret, not finding out he was part Jewish until he went to college.
Yet when he comes to examine the sources of his own anxiety, Stossel finds that it is not a legacy from his father’s Jewish family, but rather from his mother’s WASP one ... Adam Kirsch on tablet.

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