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Affluenza : the all-consuming epidemic /
John de Graaf, David Wann, Thomas H. Naylor in association with Redefining Progress ; illustrations by David Horsey ; foreword by Scott Simon.
1st ed.
San Francisco, CA : Berrett-Koehler Publishers, c2001.
xvi, 268 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
1576751511 (acid-free paper)
More Details
San Francisco, CA : Berrett-Koehler Publishers, c2001.
1576751511 (acid-free paper)
general note
Based in part on the PBS television programs "Affluenza" and "Escape from affluenza".
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2002-06-01:
In the world of truly silly books, this one takes the organic cake. Unfortunately, just as the authors want to make the case that Americans are being duped at every turn by sinister forces of crass consumerism and economic expansionism in a valueless, disposable society, the nonsense they themselves peddle will find a broad, sympathetic appeal among the uncritical, adoring eco-liberal public. Based on the 1997-98 two-part PBS series Affluenza and Escape from Affluenza, the book trots out every familiar shibboleth--Americans are shopaholics driving themselves into literal and ethical bankruptcy as they work themselves to death at the office in order to sit in traffic congestion in their SUVs to beat the Joneses to the mall so they can clutter their lives with useless stuff, while at the same time depleting the earth's resources, increasing its temperature, polluting its waters, and filling it up with garbage. That so many of the authors' claims are factually inaccurate or have been debunked by serious research is no deterrent. Thirty chapters take readers through a three-part, self-help program--the symptoms, causes, and treatment--to combat their obsession with consumption and material possessions. One good way to begin: Don't buy this book. Not recommended for academic collections. A. R. Sanderson University of Chicago
Appeared in Library Journal on 2001-07-01:
De Graaf, producer of the PBS documentaries Affluenza (1996) and Escape from Affluenza (1998); David Wann, a former EPA staffer and expert on sustainable lifestyles; and Thomas H. Naylor, professor emeritus in economics at Duke, have assembled an updated and more in-depth look at the epidemic of overconsumption sweeping the United States and the rest of the world, based on de Graaf's documentaries. They define "affluenza" as "a painful, contagious, socially-transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety, and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more" and examine the spiraling cycle of overconsumption, spending, stress, and broken relationships caused by America's obsession with uncontrolled economic growth at any cost. This witty yet hard-hitting book provides evidence of the social problems caused by the American obsession with acquiring "stuff" and proposes solutions for living more sustainably. Highly recommended for academic and public libraries. Mark Bay, Indiana Univ.-Purdue Univ. Lib., Indianapolis (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This item was reviewed in:
Booklist, June 2001
Library Journal, July 2001
Choice, June 2002
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Bowker Data Service Summary
This text is about personal, social, economic and environmental costs of over-consumption, and what we can do to beat the 'all-consuming bug'. This revision presents symptoms, historical and cultural origins, and proven cures which address today's 'affluenza' with a new urgency, but also hope for recovery.
Main Description
In chapters with titles like "Swollen Expectations" and "A Rash of Bankruptcies, " Affluenza uses the whimsical metaphor of a disease to tackle a very serious subject: the damage done -- to our health, our families, our communities, and our environment -- by the obsessive quest for material gain. The authors examine the origins, evolution, and symptoms of the affluenza epidemic. But more importantly, they explore cures and suggest strategies for rebuilding families and communities and for restoring and respecting the earth.
Table of Contents
Foreword to the First Editionp. ix
Foreword to the Second Editionp. xi
Prefacep. xv
Acknowledgmentsp. xxi
Introductionp. 1
Symptomsp. 9
Shopping Feverp. 11
A Rash of Bankruptciesp. 18
Swollen Expectationsp. 23
Chronic Congestionp. 31
The Stress Of Excessp. 38
Family Convulsionsp. 47
Dilated Pupilsp. 54
Community Chillsp. 63
An Ache for Meaningp. 72
Social Scarsp. 81
Resource Exhaustionp. 89
Industrial Diarrheap. 100
The Addictive Virusp. 109
Dissatisfaction Guaranteedp. 114
Causesp. 125
Original Sinp. 127
An Ounce of Preventionp. 133
The Road Not Takenp. 139
An Emerging Epidemicp. 146
The Age of Affluenzap. 153
Is There a (Real) Doctor in the House?p. 160
Treatmentp. 171
The Road to Recoveryp. 173
Bed Restp. 177
Aspirin and Chicken Soupp. 182
Fresh Airp. 188
The Right Medicinep. 197
Back to Workp. 206
Vaccinations and Vitaminsp. 214
Political Prescriptionsp. 221
Annual Check-Upsp. 234
Healthy Againp. 242
Notesp. 248
Bibliography and Sourcesp. 263
Indexp. 276
About the Contributorsp. 284
About Redefining Progressp. 286
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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