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Posted July 27, 2001
The Right Book at the Right Time
Sure, I've heard about the disappearing rainforests and the many species of animals and plants becoming endangered or extinct, but that doesn't really have anything to do with me, I live in America, the most affluent country in the history of the world. Yes, there are some problems with industrial pollution and other environmental issues but not in my community and besides that's the concern of all those 'environmentalists.' I can go to the mall to buy anything I want as long as I have a credit card, and life is good. Not so fast! It's time to stop and think about what is really happening to us. How many Americans are working in jobs that don't energize them? How many spend hours every week shopping and commuting, but only minutes with their kids or their friends? How many feel 'used up' by a glitzy, gaudy American Dream? The book Affluenza is common ground for many victims who toss and turn, trying to wake up from a value system in which people are too often treated like machines, and machines are too often treated like people. If a million Americans read this book, we may have a shot at moving beyond the short-term illusion many call 'success.' The book offers welcome news that the Joneses have surrendered! Standing on their front porch, they plead, 'Please don't try to keep up with us anymore!' What a concept - that we might be able to cooperate with the Joneses, rather than compete with them¿ Beating affluenza is not about 'giving up' the good life, but getting it back. The strength of this book is that it successfully presents critical information on the anthropology and psychology of America without stripping the reader of hope. Yes, affluenza undermines our personal health, our family life, our communities, and our environment, but the authors offer us a way out. Affluenza has a three-step strategy: to present the symptoms of a disease that often feels deceptively pleasant, like an addiction; to trace the epidemic back to its historical sources; and then to offer dozens of concrete ways to Beat the Bug. The strategy works! The humor, the great satirical cartoons, and the well-researched presentation helped open my mind up and evaluate what's important for me individually, and also what needs to be done throughout our society. This is a great book for book clubs, church discussion groups, high school and college classrooms. Get it, read it, and tell your friends about it!
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Posted June 6, 2002
I'm Not Alone!
For years I have felt like a fish swimming upstream against the constant pressures of rampant commercialism in our society. I have tried to teach my children by example that less is more, even going so far as to write them a novel, A PARTING GIFT (Warner Books), as a way to impress my thoughts to them. All this time I thought I was standing virtually alone in our spend, spend, spend culture, but now that I have read AFFLUENZA, I realize that there are thousands of others out there who feel the same way I do. I plan to give this book to both my children in the hopes that the hard cold facts and statistics presented here will have as much impact on them as the philosophical truths I tried to express in my novel.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.