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The Theory of the Leisure Class (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics) Paperback – February 1, 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 an alternate Paperback 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.
His prose is turgid, archaic, opaque, riddled with redundancies, and, at times, utterly meaningless, as though a random word generator strung together some difficult words. I started marking examples, early on, for this review. I usually fine that three should suffice, but I will list four. If I listed them all, it would surely exceed Amazon's word limit: "The particular point of view, or the particular characteristic that is pitched upon as definitive in the classification of the facts of life depends upon the interest from which a discrimination of the facts is sought."; "It would on this account be misleading to attempt an analysis of devout demeanor by referring all evidences of the presence of a pecuniary standard of reputability back directly and baldly to the underlying norm of pecuniary emulation.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
By applying and extending Darwin's theory to human affairs, the author explained quite a bit of human conditions and their underlying basis. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sheng
U.S. readers, forget about MOBY DICK. Read this regretfully neglected U.S. classic, and be amazed.
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A fascinating book that has a uniquely American perspective and perhaps more relevant today than when it was written.Published 3 months ago by A. K.
Great read. Surprising that even at the turn of the last century per were as such. Beyond the superfluous verbiage, this is a must read!Published 5 months ago by GL
Great book. Lost my hard copies or gave them all away, so I'm happy I can "buy" it for $0 on Kindle. Read morePublished 6 months ago by J. Brinitzer