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The Theory of the Leisure Class (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – May 20, 1994
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"In his first and most fascinating book, Veblen was mocking a process as old as civilization. He expressed his skepticism in a rough-hewn prose style which made him the most impressive American satirist of his day."
"Every brash, upcoming generation should discover Veblen, and most complacent adults need to rediscover him."
—The Minneapolis Tribune--This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
From the Inside Flap
Almost a century after its original publication, Thorstein Veblen's work is as fresh and relevant as ever. Veblen's The Theory of the Leisure Class is in the tradition of Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations and Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan, yet it provides a surprisingly contemporary look at American economics and society. Establishing such terms as "conspicuous consumption" and "pecuniary emulation," Veblen's most famous work has become an archetype not only of economic theory, but of historical and sociological thought as well. As sociologist Alan Wolfe writes in his Introduction, Veblen "skillfully . . . wrote a book that will be read so long as the rich are different from the rest of us; which, if the future is anything like the past, they always will be." --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Now a classic of economic theory, as well as a text book of social science, it describes the tendencies of consumerism, leisure and the "materialization" of the ideals of the aspiring new princes (or noveau rich) of society. Veblen's vibrant satire of the tendency of the modern individual to believe that real accomplishment is all about aquiring a condition of ostentatious wealth and status, and his analisis of the inception of modern class structure in America, still stand, a century after, as recommended reading for historians and economists.
If you are a fervent follower of advertisement, fashion, "glamour" and other modern expressions of consumerism , then you will find a surprisingly fresh portrait of yourself in this book. It worries me that the leisure class and its shallow views and values as described by Veblen, may still today represent elites in America and their religion, as analyzed by professor Lash in his last book "The Revolt of the Elites". I highly recommend Veblen's best book, to scholars and sociologists at large.
Surplus of conspicuous consumption by the Leisure Class gives the class license to indulge shamefully in pure conspicuous consumption, where their occupations eventually become leisure itself. These "professions" of the Leisure Class by nature render it closed, and impenetrable by outsiders.
Thorstein Veblen wrote the Leisure Class represented the new phenomena of conspicuous consumption compared to pre-Industrialized wealthy communities as well as contemporary working-class ones. But as intellectual inquiry into the topic of leisure has progressed over the past one hundred years, leisure has come to hold a number of definitions and meanings.
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This a beautiful, delightfully well-formatted book, the text of...Read more