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Showing 1-5 of 5 reviews(2 star). Show all reviews
on June 21, 2013
The central thesis of Nation of Rebels is valuable. We ought to look to political and regulatory solutions to social problems when applicable and beware to much emphasis on cultural transformation if said cultural rebellion is distracting.

The argument for this theory is quite rough, however. Counterculture receives what is frankly a highly disrespectful description prone to a large number of straw-man arguments. Real, effective benefit derived in the economy from conscious consumer behavior is under-analyzed or denied outright. Difficult issues with building a democratic consensus for public action is drastically downplayed.

Most importantly, placing the majority of the blame for consumerist tendencies on counterculture (insisting counterculture is about prestige and thus drives competition for positional goods) is faulty and misleading. Economies of scale produced by the likes of McDonald's and WalMart are presented as market successes, despite the fact that those economies of scale have become so coercive due to their control of capital that they stymie many government attempts to correct market failures.

This book is perhaps worth a read if you have a large background in political theory and counterculture, but better books on the subject include Hip: The History (P.S.),Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet,The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality, and (what the heck, I'll recommend them) The Scavengers' Manifesto and The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved: Inside America's Underground Food Movements
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on August 1, 2015
Had to buy this for my pol. science class. Probably read a page the whole semester and threw it away. Extremely boring!!!
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on April 20, 2013
I thought it would discuss how the counter culture of the 1960's transformed into money obsess creatures. Perhaps it did later in the book but the first couple of chapters, from what I remember, were verbose extrapolations of discussion of Greek philosophers--hardly what I was looking for.
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on February 15, 2006
For two guys who profess to despise the counterculture as much as they do, the authors sure do seem to have spent a lot of time reading its books, listening to its music, and watching its films. The subtext of this book is more fascinating than its contents, because it's like these guys are intellectually fighting against their own attraction to bohemian rebellion. Anyone familiar with The Baffler or Thomas Frank's The Conquest of Cool will find his argument stretched to the point of total absurdity, as every variation of youthful counterculture is dismissed for being nothing more than fuel for capitalism and consumerism. And it's not just the kids, I mean everyone on the Left gets a thrashing in the book--Naomi Klein, Juliet Schor, Michael Moore.

With the passing of cultural studies, it's becoming fashionable for the intellectual Left to reject counterculture and what they deride as "identity politics" in favor of what they consider to be "real" political issues and social movements. Well that's fine and all but I don't see how any social movement is going to reach anyone in this day and age if it can't entertain them and is afraid of being commodified. But then maybe I'm like Emma Goldmann in that I don't want to be part of any revolution I can't dance to. Now where did I put that bong. . .
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VINE VOICEon December 27, 2005
Maybe I am just not the philosophical kind of person who finds this type of book attractive. As a Baby Boomer, I found some of the references to Boomer culture and marketing interesting..but I just did not get the author's intended message from this book...whatever the message was intended to be. If you are deep into philosophical discussions maybe this book is for you.
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