From grapefruit diets to indoor rock climbing, yoga to the analyst's couch, health is an American obsession. We'rewilling to spend millions of dollars each year to ensure our physical andemotional well-being. But, Stanton argues, we ignore "the moral realm." Without a healthy, well-functioning conscience, aflourishing sense of right and wrong, we will be unhappy and "morallyunhealthy."

The book includes discussions of empathy, guilt, andself-esteem, looking at each in terms of developing a virtuousconscience.

For a psychologist, there is something rather unreflective and glib about Shelton's scolding to just be good. But there are clearly some important lessonshere as well, about throwing out the Nikes and looking inward a littlemore. Shelton's message that we should give our consciences the sameworkout that we do our abdomens, biceps, and quadrilaterals is well taken.

Think of it as Pilates for the conscience.