Tuesday, May 29, 2007

de Graaf/Wann/Naylor - Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic

Since I forgot to post the opening post for this book I'm going to post all the information together :-)

Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic
236 pages
Berrett Koehler

affluenza, n. a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety, and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more.

Based on two highly acclaimed PBS documentaries,
Affluenza uses the metaphor of a disease to tackle a very serious subject: the damage done - to our health, our families, our communities, and our environment - by the obsessive quest for material gain. The authors show that problems like loneliness, rising debt, longer working hours, environmental pollution, family conflict ad rampant commercialism are actually symptoms caused by the same "disease": affluenza.
Affluenza presents the symptoms - stress of excess, family convulsions, dilated pupils, resource exhaustion - along with their historical and cultural origins. Most importantly, the book explores causes and cures, such as the "new frugality" an "voluntary simplicity" movements, and suggests strategies for rebuilding families and communities and for restoring and respecting the earth.
Engaging, fast-paced, and accessible,
Affluenza takes a hard look at a complex and serious issue, revealing ways of living and working that make more sense and are, ultimately, more satisfying. After all, the best things in life aren't things.

First sentence:
"Imagine, if you will, the following scene:
In his office, a doctor offers his diagnosis to an attractive, expensiely dressed female patient."

Well, what can I say? Basically, the backcover blurb tells it all. I enjoyed that each chapter began with a short, fictional scene to introduce what the authors would talk about afterwards.
The only negative aspect were some lengthy parts that were really boring. But those passed and it got back to the interesting part soon again.

I think I got some ideas out of the books for my future life, though the test showed that I'm doing okay in my life. But then, what can you expect from a student? It's not like I have much money...

If you are interested in this epidemic that we have to buy and have to have "it all", then I can only recommend this book.

Rating: B+

1 comment: