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Going Broke: Why Americans Can't Hold On To Their Money Hardcover – Bargain Price, January 29, 2008
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"In this lucidly-written and very timely book, Vyse has brought recent empirical research by psychologists and economists to bear on the question of why so many people are currently getting themselves into unmanageable debt. Vyse makes astute suggestions as to what we can do individually and collectively to reverse this frightening situation. I highly recommend the book to anyone who is currently in such straits or who is in danger of getting into them -- and, as Vyse makes clear, that could be any of us." -Howard Rachlin, PhD, Psychology Department, SUNY Stony Brook
About the Author
Stuart Vyse is Professor of Psychology at Connecticut College, in New London. He is the author of Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition, which won the prestigious William James Book Award in 1999.
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Moving beyond the stories that open each chapter, Vyse looks not only at the internal, "psychological" processes associated with financial difficulty--such as the seemingly inexplicable tendency to overpay for items on eBay--but he also uses a broad lens to examine the social and political forces that conspire against our best efforts to stay ahead in the financial game. Rather than simply attributing the bankruptcy epidemic to "shopaholism" or endemic self-indulgence (as many others blithely do), Vyse weaves together hard science, cultural criticism, and macroeconomic analysis to create a disturbing image of our personal--and national--economic landscape.
Finally, the majority of Vyse's suggestions for not going broke are practical, common-sense solutions that almost every American can employ. But even in presenting his suggestions, Vyse acknowledges that there are larger forces which need to be addressed before a majority of Americans can enjoy financial security. Far from being a panacea, Vyse presents his suggestions as something of a self-defense strategy in a world where our senses and sensibilities are constantly bombarded, and our financial futures are bought and sold by corporations without hesitation or regulation.
I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in human behavior, American culture, economics, politics, or public policy--and to anyone who just wants a good, thought-provoking read.