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In Cheap We Trust: The Story of a Misunderstood American Virtueby Lauren Weber
Synopses & Reviews
What does it mean to be cheap? When is it mature to stow money away and when is it miserly, even Scrooge-like? And how might Americans navigate the economic downturn in an era when everything seems disposable and when credit has felt dangerously unlimited?
In answering these questions, IN CHEAP WE TRUST combines a consideration of cheapness as it relates to personality, lifestyle, and philosophy with a colorful ride through the history of thrift in America, from Ben Franklin and his famous maxims to Hetty Green, the 19th-century millionaire named by Guinness as "the world's most miserly person," to the branding of Jews, Chinese, and other ethnic groups as cheap in order to neutralize the economic competition they represented. Weber also explores contemporary expressions and dilemmas of thrift, from Dumpster-diving to Keynes's "Paradox of Thrift" to today's recession-driven enthusiasm for frugal living.
This is a book in the tradition of Mary Roach and Andrew Solomon--a compulsively readable, popular biography of thrift itself.
About the Author
Lauren Weber was formerly a staff reporter at Reuters and Newsday. She has also written for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, American Banker, and other publications. A former resident at Yaddo, Lauren graduated from Wesleyan University and was a Knight-Bagehot fellow, a fellowship that invites 10 business journalists each year to study finance and economics at Columbia's Graduate School of Business.
Weber grew up with a father whose creative and eccentric ways of saving money included rationing household toilet paper and developing a gas-saving method of driving in which light pedal taps substituted for full braking.
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