Exhaustion: A History by Anna Katharina Schaffner is a vigorous review of the various lenses through which exhaustion has been viewed throughout human history. Throughout this review, Schaffner is making the case that exhaustion, though treated as something new by each successive generation, is better understood as the same snake shedding different types of skin. She suggests that although exhaustion is considered a more modern phenomenon, it has actually manifested under various guises over the centuries. Schaffner poses the following questions regarding exhaustion and the specter with which it shadows humanity:

“Is not ours the most exhausted age in history? And does the current epidemic of exhaustion not threaten the very future of the human animal? There are many who believe this to be the case. Yet before simply assenting to this assessment of our times, there is another question that needs to be asked: What do we really mean...

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