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Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic (2001)

de John de Graaf, Thomas H Naylor (Autor), David Wann (Autor)

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8621719,390 (3.84)13
affluenza, n. a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety, and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more. We tried to warn you! The 2008 economic collapse proved how resilient and dangerous affluenza can be. Now in its third edition, this book can safely be called prophetic in showing how problems ranging from loneliness, endless working hours, and family conflict to rising debt, environmental pollution, and rampant commercialism are all symptoms of this global plague. The new edition traces the role overconsumption played in the Great Recession, discusses new ways to measure social health and success (such as the Gross Domestic Happiness index), and offers policy recommendations to make our society more simplicity-friendly. The underlying message isn't to stop buying--it's to remember, always, that the best things in life aren't things.… (mais)
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This could have been a good book, it is a topic we should all care about. Unfortunately, the premise was weak, there was no hook, they just kept smacking around that poor dead horse. I wanted this book to be revelatory, instead it was somnambulatory. ( )
  Chris.Bulin | Oct 1, 2020 |
This could have been a good book, it is a topic we should all care about. Unfortunately, the premise was weak, there was no hook, they just kept smacking around that poor dead horse. I wanted this book to be revelatory, instead it was somnambulatory. ( )
  Chris_Bulin | May 13, 2013 |
I checked this book out because it was on a list that appeared, I think, in the Food and Drink issue of the New York Times Magazine. (You'll see many others in my current or recent reading list.) I saw the television documentary on which it was based several years ago, and I have to say that this is one case where the film made its point much better than the book did. This is quite often the case with PBS-type documentaries, but usually the books based on such films at least have a number of nice photographs that the reader can gaze on at leisure. Affluenza is illustrated primarily with cartoons, and not very good ones at that. To be fair, since the film was made and the book published, the same ground has been gone over and over in countless articles and books, so that it's all rather old hat even though the problems described persist. The fact that the boom times during which the book was written have ended brings some 20-20 hindsight, but I must confess that I skimmed the last several chapters extremely quickly. Perhaps one good thing to come out of the recession will be that books like this will become curiosities of a bygone age, describing a condition that no longer exists. In the meantime, most people can skip this book. ( )
  auntieknickers | Apr 3, 2013 |
What an eye opener. Everyone needs to read this. Speaks volumes about the state of our beings. ( )
  bnbookgirl | Mar 23, 2011 |
Originally a one hour special on PBS about overconsumption in the 1990s, the book Affluenza expands on what the show had to say on the subject. The first two sections section of the book covers how American society shifted over to a consumer society from a more frugal and saving society. The shift came from post-World War II prosperity, the growth of suburbia, continued influence of advertising, and other factors, leading to now, with people having very large houses, storage units, working longer and longer hours with less vacations, and continuing declines in reported quality of life. Part three covers ways to shift one's life from this high focus on stuff back to focusing on community and family and the world around us. Given the recent economic collapses, I think more Americans would benefit from reading and applying the techniques in this book.

I do have one disagreement with a statement in the book. One of the suggestions made for less consumption of meat, because of cattle using up so much grain and water in their raising. First, when cows are fed properly on the food they are designed to eat (grass, NOT grain, cows get sick on grain), they actually enhance overall quality of both the meat produced and the land on which they graze. Secondly, the implication in this statement that people can eat the grain is questionable, since there are so many people with gluten issues as is, and that a heavily grain based diet is potentially one of the big causes for so much chronic illness in Americans.
I do think Americans eat too much food, period. Not simply meat. Among our collective affluenza, "we" are obsessed with the idea of getting the highest volume of food for the least amount of cost. Never mind the quality of the food, or how the animals are treated, or how much fertilizer needs to be dumped on fallow land because it's being overtaxes by monocultures.

Otherwise, I highly recommend the book. In fact I think it's close to necessary reading. ( )
  quantumbutterfly | Jan 21, 2011 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
John de Graafautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Naylor, Thomas HAutorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Wann, DavidAutorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Horsey, DavidIlustradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Simon, ScottPrefácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Informação do Conhecimento Comum em inglês. Edite para a localizar na sua língua.
In memory of
David Ross Brower
(1912-200)
a giant of 20th Century thought and action on behalf
of the earth. He hoped that one day

We may see that progress is not the
Accelerating speed with which we multiply
And subdue the Earth, nor the growing number
Of things we possess and cling to.
It is a way along which to search for truth,
To find serenity and love and reverence for life,
To be part of an enduring harmony...


And in memory of
Donella Meadows
(1941-2001)
Scientist and sheep farmer, she pointed us all
in the direction of a more sustainable society.
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Wikipédia em inglês (2)

affluenza, n. a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety, and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more. We tried to warn you! The 2008 economic collapse proved how resilient and dangerous affluenza can be. Now in its third edition, this book can safely be called prophetic in showing how problems ranging from loneliness, endless working hours, and family conflict to rising debt, environmental pollution, and rampant commercialism are all symptoms of this global plague. The new edition traces the role overconsumption played in the Great Recession, discusses new ways to measure social health and success (such as the Gross Domestic Happiness index), and offers policy recommendations to make our society more simplicity-friendly. The underlying message isn't to stop buying--it's to remember, always, that the best things in life aren't things.

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