|Pages/Publication Date:||158 / 2013|
Whether we admit it or not, most of us have at some point gained malicious delight from the misfortune of others—what the Germans so aptly dubbed schadenfreude, or shameful joy. Generally tied to a pseudo-biblical outlook, and often gleefully expressed ("Well, that's what you get!"), it sums up a perfectly human trait. When a billionaire is indicted for insider trading, when a flawless model stumbles on the runway, when a self-righteous politician gets caught in a sex scandal, that satisfaction we feel is schadenfreude, and here Lawrence Dorfman—well known for his Snark books—gives us hundreds of examples, for everyone from Sigmund Freud and Charles Dickens to Britney Spears and Eliot Spitzer.