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Boomer Guru: How M. Scott Peck Guided Millions but Lost Himself on the Road Less Traveled
Wednesday, Nov 22, 2017 2:29pm
In the 1980s and ’90s, thousands of women wrote to psychiatrist M. Scott Peck, MD, to thank him for pulling them through the difficult times in their lives with his ground-breaking and best-selling self-help book, The Road Less Traveled (1978). Yet Peck’s own life was in turmoil.
His readers, and those who attended his spiritual workshops and talks, told him how his words had helped them make decisions about their marriages and careers, and ease their insecurities and self-doubts. But in 1992 one woman told Life magazine that after a spiritual group session Peck had seduced her.
Scott Peck’s The Road Less Traveled began with the words, “Life is difficult.” And he made it difficult for his family, so difficult that only two of his three children attended his funeral.
Arthur Jones’s Boomer Guru explores that dichotomy in a deeply researched biography based primarily on hours of recorded interviews with the frank but conflicted guru. This first-ever biography of “the nation’s shrink” is that rare account: a psychiatrist on the couch.
Peck’s The Road Less Traveled had more than 10 million “boomer” readers. The book spent more than a decade on the New York Times Best Seller List, longer than any other book by a living author in that category. On the 10th anniversary of Peck’s death, this candid biography of the boomer guru is an intriguing recap both of the times and the man.
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