Posted by: irenesroth | October 13, 2010

Consumed/Reviewed by Irene S. Roth

      

      Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children,
      Infantilize Adults,  and Swallow Citizens Whole
       By: Benjamin R. Barber
       W.W. Norton & Company, 2007, 406pp., $33.50
      

       Barber’s book is quite an interesting and alarming book about
       the state of our culture and economy. The book is a must read for
       ordinary consumers, as well as the more reflective ones, who want
       to know how and why they are constantly misled into buying,
       even to the point of maxing out all of their credit cards. Can’t
       consumers stop buying and just start saving for a rainy day? Why
       do we insist on purchasing all the time? Why do advertisers have
       so much luck with us?  These questions and many more are
       answered in detail throughout this very important book.
      
       This book is a powerful sequel to his first book Jihad vs.
       McWorld. Consumed offers a vivid portrayal of the perils of a global
       economy that overproduces products and targets even children to
       be consumers in a market where there are never enough shoppers,
       and where the primary goal is no loner to manufacture goods but
       needs. Barber brings together a vast amount of empirical research
       to show why this is the case. It will shed a lot of light about our
       contemporary materialistic and consumeristic predicament.
      
       Barber’s book is simultaneously disturbing and compelling in
       that it presents the raw truth about so many difficulties that we
       face, and will face, as a result of globalization and over-
       consumerism. In many ways, we have developed a type of civic
       schizophrenia that we must come to grips with as soon as possible
       by resisting consumerism. I think that any one chapter of his book
       could provide a sufficient amount of material to write another
       book. Because of this, some readers may find that the book covers
       too much disparate material, making it hard to follow. Despite
       this, Barber’s book is a must read for all consumers. 
       
       Rating: 4 roses
      
       Reviewed by Irene Roth

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