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Showing 1-10 of 52 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 148 reviews
on February 12, 2015
I got this as a requirement for school but I wont be selling it back. The info and concepts in this book are so important and interesting. And the book is broken up into sections so its easy to get through. Some of the products listed are a bit dated but it doesnt change the importance of the book.
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on March 2, 2005
To consume: to exhaust, to pillage, to lay waste, to destroy. This is how Samuel Johnson defined the word so many years ago in his dictionary. And here we are - a nation of the most "consuming" people in the world. The government, the corporations, the advertisers and the media seldom even bother to call us "citizens" anymore. We are now just "consumers".

And all of our purchases have made us the happiest people on earth, right?

This book addresses the symptoms, the causes and the treatment for AFFLUENZA - a "disease" resulting from overconsumption. It takes a good, hard look at what our addiction to "things" is doing to our lives and the lives of our families; to our culture and our communities, and to our planet. The authors provide some good suggestions at the end of the book for overcoming AFFLUENZA - or if not overcoming - at least for beginning the process of healing. Some ideas such as simplifying our lifestyles and starting community groups to share ideas and assist one another are within our reach. Other ideas though, such as flexible work reduction and work sharing, while honorable goals will take more time. When people are working two or three jobs just to survive, and under the current political leadership, the dream of more leisure time is still a long way off.

There is a lot to this book. It could change your life. I should also add that I enjoyed the illustrations by David Horsey.
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on August 7, 2017
Affluenza is a trenchant and insightful examination of an extremely important social, economic, and environmental issue: America's epidemic of overconsumption and its many impacts. Delivered with humor and considerable imagination, this book is one of those rare, intelligent works from a team of gifted writers. Cartoons by Pulizer prize winner David Horsey add immeasurably to this phenomenal book. If you're suffering from nagging discontent with life, depression over your personal welfare and the rapid pace of life, and want a way out, this is a book to read. It's message is powerful, but hopeful.
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on August 6, 2005
I teach English as a Second Language to college-bound adults, and I'm always looking for reading materials that are both engaging and educational. This book fits the bill perfectly. The subject matter - rising affluence - is one that everyone can relate to, no matter what their age or nationality. The book's premise - that rising affluence is a disease that must be cured - is thought-provoking to say the least, especially since it flies in the face of the current wisdom that economic growth is the benchmark of a healthy society. The authors support their claims with numerous facts and statistics, but this never reads like a textbook; the consistent use of humor will hold the interest of nearly any reader.

The fact that this book is based on a PBS documentary (available on VHS) is a definite bonus. Teachers might be interested to know that there is a whole set of free, supplementary lesson plans for Affluenza the video on the PBS website.

Whether you read this book for pleasure or as an educator with an eye towards classroom use, Affluenza is a highly readable analysis of a phenomenon that is affecting not only Americans, but people the world over.
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on June 3, 2016
I recommend the following books: Affluenza, The Millionaire Next Door, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and The Richest Man in Babylon as reading material to teach financial management. All are a few years old, but relevant. They provide great dinner table conversation topics.
Use them to rein in the "I want it all and I want it now" syndrome.
I keep copies around to share with family, friends and clients.
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on December 17, 2013
I -had- to read it for class, and assumed that it was going to be incredibly preachy (which it was, but not as bad as you might think). Also it really made me take a look at things in a different light. It definitely wasn't "life changing" but it is really interesting, and a good read I would think even if you aren't a tree-hugging bearded dreadlock wearing hippie.

It's really worth the read, and really kind of enlightening to current problems (especially money). Give it a shot, and it will probably surprise you a bit.
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on July 20, 2009
I really wanted the black tee shirt because, unlike the 10 other black tee shirts I have, it has some sequins around the neck. And it was on sale.

But I was in the midst of Affluenza so I didn't buy it. Instead I bought and planted flowers and herbs. Ninety five percent of those came in plastic pots. Net/net I am not sure that decision on how to allocate resources was a good one.

And that is the problem in a nutshell. We are faced with thousands of resource allocation decisions every year, and it is impossible to know with any certainty what the right decision is 9/10ths of the time. Do I buy the huge tub of sour cream because it costs less and has less packaging per ounce than the smaller one knowing that I might end up throwing some of the larger one out? And what about the dairy farmer? If we all go vegan, what happens to him? And what happens to the guy who runs the machine that makes all those plastic tubs? I actually stood in the store for several minutes contemplating those questions.

I read the book on my Kindle and I have to wonder what the authors would think about that. Less trees killed for sure, but yet another round of plastic objects which will either (1) have to upgraded the next iteration because at some point, Amazon will stop supporting this version, or (2) fail some day and end up in the landfill or the ocean. Is there a number of books I can read on my Kindle before it dies or becomes obsolete which will cause the ecological cost of my book consumption to tip in favor of the Kindle? I haven't a clue.

There is just too much of everything, and the messages we get about what to do or not do are so mixed there is no making sense of it. Joe Biden says we must spend money to get out of this crisis - should I have bought the shirt? - but we also need to increase our savings - should I not have bought the flowers?

This book frames the issue very well, but I felt it was a little simplistic, tried to cover way too much ground, and was short on real answers, probably because there aren't any. But I have found that just asking the question has changed my behavior. I am consuming far more consciously, and I hope less, which has freed up my time to read more. That has to be good.
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on September 23, 2017
everyone should read this book. This is why we see all the rent-a-space storage units going up all over.
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on May 13, 2004
Affluenza is really an inspiring book. It makes you look at the emptiness of American over-consumption and find alternative solutions to finding a more fulfilling life. Thinking about the effects of overconsumption not only on the psyches of the American people, but also upon the environment, social policies and our future, this book advocates lifestyle changes that would be beneficial and set an excellent example for future generations. Buying your children every piece of plastic known to man won't make them happy. Neither will a closet full of Jimmy Choos make you happy. Spending time with your family, enjoying nature and helping people are much more rewarding and fulfilling. The authors of this book are right on the nose.
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on April 7, 2002
Affluenza is just like it sounds, the sickness of having too much, or feeling like you have to have the latest and greatest of everything. You experience a temporary high as you shop and buy, only to suffer the future consequences in the form of financial distress and increased clutter in your life shortly thereafter.
Combine a lack of financial education in schools and at home with relentless credit card company marketing, more and more advertising targeted at children, the public's desire to have the latest of everything (driven by relentless marketing on all fronts), and an epidemic results.
In Affluenza, the authors detail America's over consumption of everything, so much in fact, that if every country on earth (probably even just half of them) consumed as much per person as the US, the planet would simply be destroyed. This consumption leads to debt and financial stress, environmental destruction, and a lifestyle that is simply not sustainable. The financial, social, and environmental impacts are tremendous.
There is nothing revolutionary about anything in this book. If you are like most people, you or someone you know suffers at least some of the symptoms, an addiction to shopping, difficulty paying bills (particularly credit card), and a deep down realization that all the stuff you have really doesn't mean much. The book provides a new way to look at mass consumption and realize how it affects ones life.
The book describes the empty world of plenty many Americans live in, as well as the global consequences of unchecked consumption. It also discusses various steps people have taken to simplify their lives (some rather extreme) and how the need to consume is in some ways simply built into the American society - like that 400+ a month most of us have to spend on a car to get back and forth to work so we have the cash to pay for the car.
Pick up a copy of the book and find a nice spot in the beautiful outdoors to go relax and enjoy it. If this book is up your alley you may also be interested in "Credit Card Nation" and "Fast Food Nation". Each covers a specific segment of Affluenza.
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