Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole

W. W. Norton & Company
6
Free sample

"Powerful and disturbing. No one who cares about the future of our public life can afford to ignore this book." —Jackson Lears

A powerful sequel to Benjamin R. Barber's best-selling Jihad vs. McWorld, Consumed offers a vivid portrait of an overproducing global economy that targets children as consumers in a market where there are never enough shoppers and where the primary goal is no longer to manufacture goods but needs. To explain how and why this has come about, Barber brings together extensive empirical research with an original theoretical framework for understanding our contemporary predicament. He asserts that in place of the Protestant ethic once associated with capitalism—encouraging self-restraint, preparing for the future, protecting and self-sacrificing for children and community, and other characteristics of adulthood—we are constantly being seduced into an "infantilist" ethic of consumption.

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About the author

Benjamin R. Barber (1939—2017) was an American political theorist and author, perhaps best known for his 1995 bestseller, Jihad vs. McWorld.

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4.5
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Additional Information

Publisher
W. W. Norton & Company
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Published on
Mar 17, 2008
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Pages
416
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ISBN
9780393070392
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Consumer Behavior
Business & Economics / Economics / Macroeconomics
Political Science / Political Economy
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Ideas and the presidency flirt with each other, but can they really get along? President Clinton had a romance with big ideas. He intently cultivated intellectuals, seducing them with his characteristic charm and with the promise of real influence on the political stage. Yet most often he disappointed the big thinkers whose advice he sought.

Benjamin Barber was first invited to Camp David in 1994, along with other prominent members of the academic community, to participate in a "seminar" with President Clinton on the future of Democratic ideas and ideals. Afterwards, he became a steady informal adviser to the White House. For a politically committed professor like Barber, the opportunity was exhilarating—here was an opportunity to put ideas into action, to link ideas to power. The result was enlightening, if unexpected. The most unpredictable factor was the president himself: a man of astonishing intellectual gifts, a consummate listener and synthesizer of ideas, who nonetheless failed to present a stirring progressive vision or even to craft a memorable speech.

With great perceptiveness, wit, and élan, Barber provides a startling meditation on truth and power—and the truth of power, which is the responsibility of the elected not to an idea but to the electorate. He identifies the fault lines that future progressive candidates must straddle if they are to win—and the gift they must have, if they are to be great, of calling forth the best in their fellow citizens. In the end, Barber give us a unique portrait of our compelling and maddening ex-president, and the hopes and disillusionments he represents.
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