We all worry about what others think of us. We all long to succeed and fear failure. We all suffer – to a greater or lesser degree, usually privately and with embarrassment – from status anxiety. For the first time, Alain de Botton gives a name to this universal condition and sets out to investigate both its origins and possible solutions. He looks at history, philosophy, economics, art and politics – and reveals the many ingenious ways that great minds have overcome their worries. The result is a book that is not only entertaining and thought-provoking – but genuinely wise and helpful as well.