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Consuming Kids: Protecting Our Children from the Onslaught of Marketing & Advertising Paperback – August 9, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (August 9, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400079993
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400079995
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #311,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A powerful warning and wake-up call.” –Marian Wright Edelman

“Forces us to see a world in which it is considered legitimate to treat children and their tastes as market potential and to manipulate them accordingly accordingly.” –Penelope Leach

“A call to arms. . . . We can and must take back our parental roles.” –T. Berry Brazelton, M.D.

Susan Linn

“A cri de coeur on behalf of people too young to suspect how their ‘share of mind’ is being jealously divided. . . . Linn does a fine job of exposing the wickedness of preying commercially on the young.” –The Wall Street Journal

“Arguing passionately . . . Linn makes a compelling case for restricting commercial access to children.” –The Washington Post Book World

“A measured, but ultimately devastating, critique of consumerism and American childhood.” –Mother Jones

“A take-charge book [filled with] a multitude of amazing and often terrifying facts. . . . An important and startling book that should be read not only by parents, but by policymakers as well.” –Rocky Mountain News

“The most disturbing book of the year–a fact-filled study of just how commercialized childhood has become.” –The Weekly Standard

“At last a book that provides the data, the arguments, and the passion that can be mobilized to end marketing to children. Susan Linn is a hero of our times.” –Howard Gardner, author of Changing Minds

“Like Eric Schlosser in Fast Food Nation, Linn . . . put[s] together a truly devastating case . . . couch[ed] in the most reasonable terms possible. . . . A socially conscious account that deserves wide exposure.” –Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Linn presents a salient, substantial, and worrying case. . . . As useful as it is serious, this book is necessary reading for parents.” –Alissa Quart, author of Branded

“[A] forceful exposé. . . . Illuminating.” –Library Journal (starred review)

“A compelling and compassionate critique. . . . If you’re thinking marketing to kids has gotten out of hand, and are wondering what to do, this book is for you. . . . Susan Linn has provided a road map for taking back the culture of childhood.” –Juliet B. Schor, author of Born To Buy

“Generous with both advice and the names of organizations already on the case.” –The Boston Globe

About the Author

Susan Linn is Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Associate Director of the Media Center at Judge Baker Children’s Center in Boston. An award-winning producer and ventriloquist, she is internationally known for her pioneering work using puppets as therapeutic tools with children and is co-founder of the coalition Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. She lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, with her husband and daughter.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn on January 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book has really helped us to open our eyes and look at our current culture and how it might impact our new son. It covers media and mass marketing and how unscrupulous marketing to children has become. Before I read this I didn't understand just how insidious some of the marketing is and I would just mark parents who complained about it as "a little crazy or too strict".

I know of parents who are experiencing some of the issues brought up in the book: the wrestling and anger mgt problems, girls trying to dress too old etc. And these kids live in good homes, with parents trying their best to raise them right. As I read the book I started to make correlations all over the place. I think the author hit the issues spot-on.

Because of this book we do NOT turn on the TV when he is awake anymore and make purchasing decisions more wisely.

I originally checked this out of the library, but decided it was a keeper and purchased it. I am also recommending it to many of my friends of kids of all ages.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Malvin VINE VOICE on November 18, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Consuming Kids" by Susan Linn builds a solid case against marketing to children. As a Harvard educator specializing in psychiatry and a children's entertainer, Ms. Linn is in an unique position to understand how corporate marketing harms and exploits children's psychic vulnerabilities for profit. Written for a general audience, the author inspires and encourages us to join the campaign to protect children from commercial exploitation.

On the one hand, Ms. Linn's feigned sense of outrage and overly reliant use of rhetorical questions tends to make some of her arguments appear somewhat contrived. For example, the author relates to us her shock upon discovering that businesspeople at a particular professional marketing conference were principally concerned with gaining market share and not with the best interests of children. While her descriptions of some of the invasive techniques that have been cooked up by marketers to cynically manipulate children in service to the corporate bottom line are objectionable, few but the most myopic readers should be surprised.

On the other hand, the facts remain indisputably on Ms. Linn's side. The author cites numerous studies that document the negative consequences associated with marketing junk food, alcohol, violence and sex to children. To cite just one example, we learn that the habitual viewing of wrestling programs on TV is highly correlated with risky behaviors among boys including reckless driving, drinking and fighting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Miss P on February 15, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book should be "required reading" for kids in high school and/or college, to understand the impact of media on our society and our spending behavior. Maybe it would prepare some of them better for parenting as adults. All parents really NEED to read this book - to be aware of how marketers are trying to "train" our children to be highly consumptive of any product that is available. Americans would be outraged at the conscious manipulation of our children by the media, targeting even the youngest aged children, if they knew what was really going on. Susan Linn did just that - attended national marketing conferences to gain insight into the goals of these marketing companies. Dr. Linn is a children's psychologist at Harvard Medical Center, so she is a very credible reference.
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Format: Paperback
Linn makes a strong case about how the marketing industry does everything to undermine parents. I read this book to learn more about the commercialization of childhood after seeing the film "Consuming Kids" (highly recommend this film!). I am outraged and disappointed that as parents we have so little room to fight the corporate greed that has marketing to kids as a 15 billion dollar industry. Linn provides concrete ways to combat marketing as parents, professionals in the community, foundations, members of the clergy, and policy makers can do. Included is a great appendix of organizations with contact information as well.

I am glad I read this book and highly recommend it to others who care about the well being of children.
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