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Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic (Bk Currents) Paperback – September 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Series: Bk Currents
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers; 2nd edition (September 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576753573
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576753576
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Clear, witty and heartfelt. -- Sojourners

It’s a fantastic book, very funny yet deeply serious. -- Peter Barnes, cofounder, Working Assets

The authors have packed their book with stunning facts, searing insights— and they point a path forward. -- Fast Company

The way to end a nightmare is to wake up, and this book is an alarm clock. -- Paul Hawken, author of Ecology of Commerce and Natural Capitalism

Witty yet hard-hitting... highly recommended... -- Library Journal

About the Author

John de Graaf is the national coordinator of Take Back Your Time Day, an annual event scheduled for October 24th, (see www.timeday.org) and a frequent speaker on issues of overwork and over-consumption in America. David Wann has written and edited seven books and hundreds of articles, and has produced many videos and television programs about sustainable designs and lifestyles. He is the current president of the Sustainable Futures Society, a non-profit organisation. Professor Emeritus of Economics at Duke University, Thomas H. Naylor is a writer and social critic who has also taught at Middlebury College and the University of Vermont. As an international management consultant specializing in strategic management, Dr. Naylor has advised major corporations and governments in over thirty countries.

Customer Reviews

This is just one of the BS arguments that is presented over and over again in this book without any justification.
R. Wallner
In that vain, this book will help you come to realizations about how little you really need in terms of consumer goods to make you happy.
The Great Guldna
This book addresses the symptoms, the causes and the treatment for AFFLUENZA - a "disease" resulting from overconsumption.
L.A. in CA

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

169 of 176 people found the following review helpful By Hope Marston on June 12, 2001
Format: Hardcover
It's hard sometimes to live a simple life surrounded by "affluenza" and its effects. So for me, the book "Affluenza" has been really helpful in reminding me what's important in my life - it's not the "stuff." It's my life that I value. It's not all that's advertised to make me hungry for what I don't want. It's remembering what I do want in my life, and prioritizing that above those tantalizing baubles that are offered over and over again to deplete my bank account - to put me in debt - to put me in slavery to my possessions.
So, thank the authors for writing this important book that reminds me again and again who I am and why I have chosen to step back from all the glitter and acquisition. It reminds me why I work a 30 hour week, instead of a 40 hour week, and why I even hope to pare that down to a 25 hour week - so that the rest of my time can be spent on my life!
I like it that "Affluenza" isn't preachy or grim. It's light and humorous. It's fast-paced, like a television program - only without commercials. It's stock full of information about how we got to this place where money and things outweigh time with our families and time volunteering to make our communities stronger. And it gives examples and ideas about how to move forward into a place where each of us can get out of debt, and shift our priorities to what we truly value in this life that we only get to live one time.
David Horsey's cartoons are right on the money. They're witty and apt. The writing is visual and well-paced. Can you tell - I like this book! And it couldn't have come at a better time. A lot of us need to see its message. As for me, it's one of those books that I'll keep around to refer to when I feel particularly plagued by the lure of keeping up with any Joneses.
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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful By M. Keller on May 18, 2004
Format: Paperback
Although it's been some months since I finished "Affluenza," the book has stayed with me (and hasn't at the same time: I've loaned it to many appreciative friends). One of its most significant effects was helping me achieve what no financial planning book before it had: for the first time in the decade since leaving college, I've completely paid off my credit card debt. How did "Affluenza" help me do that? Well, if you read "Fast Food Nation" and thought you'd never want another to eat another Quarter Pounder again, you'll be able to relate; what Schlosser does for McDonald's, De Graff and Co. do for the mall. In a clear, straightforward fashion, "Affluenza" looks at the paralyzing effects the fever to consume brings upon us and offers simple strategies to start curbing the disease at its core -- even if that's just by forcing you to ask yourself, "Do I really need this?" before your next purchase.
Contrary to some of the reviews, I didn't find the book to be preachy or pedantic; actually, it was the book's common sense approach to the suffocating realities of our consumer society that made it so easy, in the months that followed finishing the book, to start spending sensibly, when at all. Armed with a new skepticism as to whether happiness was just one more swipe of the credit card away, I was able to put items back, turn deals down, and walk away with my money still in my pocket -- never once regretting the decision NOT to buy, in marked contrast to the many times I felt a hollow dread after dragging home another piece of crap to take its place atop the heap of crap bought before it (just like the book's cover).
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120 of 132 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 20, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Sure, I've heard about the disappearing rainforests and the many species of animals and plants becoming endangered or extinct, but that doesn't really have anything to do with me, I live in America, the most affluent country in the history of the world. Yes, there are some problems with industrial pollution and other environmental issues but not in my community and besides that's the concern of all those 'environmentalists.' I can go to the mall to buy anything I want as long as I have a credit card, and life is good.
Not so fast! It's time to stop and think about what is really happening to us. How many Americans are working in jobs that don't energize them? How many spend hours every week shopping and commuting, but only minutes with their kids or their friends? How many feel 'used up' by a glitzy, gaudy American Dream? The book Affluenza is common ground for many victims who toss and turn, trying to wake up from a value system in which people are too often treated like machines, and machines are too often treated like people. If a million Americans read this book, we may have a shot at moving beyond the short-term illusion many call 'success.' The book offers welcome news that the Joneses have surrendered! Standing on their front porch, they plead, 'Please don't try to keep up with us anymore!' What a concept - that we might be able to cooperate with and support the Joneses, rather than compete with them...
Do we have a good thing going, or a good thing going bad? The fact is, beating affluenza is not about 'giving up' the good life, but getting it back. The strength of this book is that it successfully presents critical information on the anthropology and psychology of America without stripping the reader of hope.
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