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Freelance journalist Boss performs a real service by putting some of America's financial hangups on trial, charging that "the money taboo"—our good-manners reluctance to discuss what we earn and spend—is "destructive nonsense" that leads to debt and despair. Boss argues that envy ("the only vice warned against in both the Ten Commandments and the Seven Deadly Sins") can be good for the economy, but our drive to keep up with our neighbors can be unhealthy. In five case studies, she shows the consequences of maintaining appearances when we can't afford it; the highlight is a chapter in which Boss lives a fantasy by interrogating her seemingly well-off next-door neighbors and getting the real scoop on their savings, income and credit card bills. The scope of the author's reporting is a bit limited—except for one billionaire, her subjects aren't especially socioeconomically diverse—and we never learn whether non-U.S. cultures suffer the same pangs of envy. Worse, her soft concluding chapter tacks toward self-help, offering counsel that's surprisingly platitudinous ("The universe will provide"). Even so, Boss's case for candor is valuable. (May)
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"It's rare to encounter such honesty about the endless financial comparisons people make...refreshingly juicy... a compelling read." -- --USA Today
"A much-needed reality check...a must-read for those trying to achieve true wealth." -- --Black Enterprise
"Boss performs a real service by putting some of America's financial hang-ups on trial...Her case for candor is valuable." -- --Publishers Weekly
"Finally--an entertaining book about money." -- --King Features Syndicate
"Voyeuristic...nicely backed up with a slew of eye-opening facts." -- --Charlotte Observer --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
It's worth reading quickly. I'd prefer something a bit more academic. It's essentially lunch time reading on an interesting topic. I liked the ending takeaways.Published 16 months ago by J.H. Smith
Well written and fun.
It also makes many good points. The conclusions were a little new-agey for my tastes, but the book makes an important point (that we stress ourselves... Read more
Neither impossible, find another book that resumes all our emotions, fears, competiveness and of course envyyyy!!! Read morePublished on October 22, 2011 by Pamela
loved the book. loved it more the last chapter when she actually gave experience with the solution. wasn't what i thought. Read morePublished on May 3, 2010 by Frances T. Colamatteo
What I most thoroughly enjoyed about this read is that it's crystal clear with the message that anyone at any income level can find themselves overwhelmed by debt. Read morePublished on November 10, 2008 by Trace Moriarty
First I would like to say what this book is not going to do. It is not going to help you develop a budget, and it is not going to give you advice about different ways of getting... Read morePublished on August 4, 2008 by J.W. Posey
The book overall has a good point, which is chasing materialism is useless because in the end you end up empty emotionally and monetarily. Read morePublished on February 23, 2008 by Helllooo Sunshine
Very thin. It's just a bunch of (rather voyeuristic) stories, with very little analysis. The idea that competition within one's peer group as an explanation of our consumerist... Read morePublished on February 5, 2008 by C. P. Anderson