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In this in-depth exploration of the dumb things we all do and why, Helmreich sheds new light on the well-known foibles of Martha Stewart, Bill Clinton, Britney Spears, Don Imus, Eliot Spitzer, Tiger Woods and Bernie Madoff, as well as common missteps like road rage, telling your boss off, cheating, shoplifting, and lying. But this is far more than an entertaining read. Based on hundreds of interviews and exhaustive research, Helmreich concludes that this behavior isn't only a result of psychological problems. It's also based on our very culture, history, and values. Only when we understand these causes, the author says, can we begin to address our behavior and improve our lives.