A self-help guide with a difference

A self-help guide with a difference
Marilyn Monroe: her proportions did not meet scientific ideals, but this hardly damaged her careerPicture: Getty

Sociology; The End Of Average; By Todd Rose; Allen Lane, €26.60

Amid this blizzard, Rose doesn’t provide a self-help manual so much as a design for life. The End Of Average’s message is deceptive in its simplicity: be yourself. Because there is no such thing as an average body size, talent, intelligence or character. Human potential is nowhere near as limited as various systems have us believe.

To illustrate his point, Rose recalls a contest that the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper announced in the...

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