Why doesn't self-help help? Cultural critic Micki McGee puts forward this paradoxical question as she looks at a world where the market for self-improvement products--books, audiotapes, and extreme makeovers--is exploding, and there seems to be no end in sight. Rather than seeing narcissism atthe root of the self-help craze, as others have contended, McGee shows a nation relying on self-help culture for advice on how to cope in an increasingly volatile and competitive work world. Self-Help, Inc. reveals how makeover culture traps Americans in endless cycles of self-invention and overworkas they struggle to stay ahead of a rapidly restructuring economic order. A lucid and fascinating treatment of the modern obsession with work and self-improvement, this lively book will strike a chord with its acute diagnosis of the self-help trap and its sharp suggestions for how we can address thealienating conditions of modern work and family life.