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Life Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take It Back

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Life Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take It Back Cover

ISBN13: 9781400066896
ISBN10: 1400066891
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Staff Pick

Going further than Joel Bakan's documentary The Corporation ever could, Rushkoff delivers another outstanding meditation on the influence of conglomerates on humanity. Life Inc. isn't another one of the "corporations are bad, very very very bad" rants that have become so commonplace today; rather, it delves deep into the history, influence, and ideological implications of this nebulous entity. Instead of the Fight Club solution (i.e., "destroy all corporations"), Rushkoff calls for a shift in humanity's perception of the corporate entity and indeed shows us how. Rushkoff's most powerful point is to remind us that the economy is not a natural science to be studied and influenced by; it is a human invention that we can alter and shape. The question is, will we?
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This didn't just happen.

In Life Inc., award-winning writer, documentary filmmaker, and scholar Douglas Rushkoff traces how corporations went from being convenient legal fictions to being the dominant fact of contemporary life. Indeed, as Rushkoff shows, most Americans have so willingly adopted the values of corporations that they're no longer even aware of it.

This fascinating journey, from the late Middle Ages to today, reveals the roots of our debacle. From the founding of the first chartered monopoly to the branding of the self; from the invention of central currency to the privatization of banking; from the birth of the modern, self-interested individual to his exploitation through the false ideal of the single-family home; from the Victorian Great Exhibition to the solipsism of MySpace–the corporation has infiltrated all aspects of our daily lives. Life Inc. exposes why we see our homes as investments rather than places to live, our 401(k) plans as the ultimate measure of success, and the Internet as just another place to do business.

Most of all, Life Inc. shows how the current financial crisis is actually an opportunity to reverse this six-hundred-year-old trend and to begin to create, invest, and transact directly rather than outsource all this activity to institutions that exist solely for their own sakes.

Corporatism didn't evolve naturally. The landscape on which we are living–the operating system on which we are now running our social software–was invented by people, sold to us as a better way of life, supported by myths, and ultimately allowed to develop into a self-sustaining reality. It is a map that has replaced the territory.

Rushkoff illuminates both how weve become disconnected from our world and how we can reconnect to our towns, to the value we can create, and, mostly, to one another. As the speculative economy collapses under its own weight, Life Inc. shows us how to build a real and human-scaled society to take its place.

Synopsis:

In this captivating book, cultural theorist Rushkoff reveals how corporations have come to dominate all aspects of life — including our inner lives — and what to do about it. In tracing the roots of corporatism from the Renaissance to today, Rushkoff reveals the way it supplanted social interaction and local commerce and came to be regarded as a pre-existing condition of our world.

Synopsis:

This didn't just happen.

In Life Inc., award-winning writer, documentary filmmaker, and scholar Douglas Rushkoff traces how corporations went from being convenient legal fictions to being the dominant fact of contemporary life. Indeed, as Rushkoff shows, most Americans have so willingly adopted the values of corporations that they're no longer even aware of it.

This fascinating journey, from the late Middle Ages to today, reveals the roots of our debacle. From the founding of the first chartered monopoly to the branding of the self; from the invention of central currency to the privatization of banking; from the birth of the modern, self-interested individual to his exploitation through the false ideal of the single-family home; from the Victorian Great Exhibition to the solipsism of MySpace — the corporation has infiltrated all aspects of our daily lives. Life Inc. exposes why we see our homes as investments rather than places to live, our 401(k) plans as the ultimate measure of success, and the Internet as just another place to do business.

Most of all, Life Inc. shows how the current financial crisis is actually an opportunity to reverse this six-hundred-year-old trend and to begin to create, invest, and transact directly rather than outsource all this activity to institutions that exist solely for their own sakes.

Corporatism didn't evolve naturally. The landscape on which we are living-the operating system on which we are now running our social software-was invented by people, sold to us as a better way of life, supported by myths, and ultimately allowed to develop into a self-sustaining reality. It is a map that has replaced the territory.

Rushkoff illuminates both how we've become disconnected from our world and how we can reconnect to our towns, to the value we can create, and, mostly, to one another. As the speculative economy collapses under its own weight, Life Inc. shows us how to build a real and human-scaled society to take its place.

Synopsis:

A captivating book that reveals how corporations have come to dominate all aspects of life — including our inner lives — and what to do about it

Something has gone terribly wrong. Unquestionably, but seemingly inexplicably, we now live in a world where the market has infiltrated every area of our lives.

In Life Incorporated, brilliant and charismatic cultural theorist Douglas Rushkoff argues that we no longer know who we are, or what we want. Everything, especially authenticity, is branded. Real community and real intimacy have broken down, replaced by market-tested cures for everything from weight, to conception, to poverty, to food, to finding a mate. The market, and its operating system, Corporatism, is no longer something people build and control. Rather, it builds and controls us.

Rushkoff, in tracing the roots of corporatism from the Renaissance to today, reveals the way it supplanted social interaction and local commerce and came to be regarded as a preexisting condition of our world, from the history of public relations to the relentless gentrification of America's urban neighborhoods. And he shows us how to fight back: how to de-corporatize ourselves, disengage from branded expectations, think locally, and return to the real world of human activity. As Rushkoff puts it, Micro-decisions are what matter.

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Rita_Smith, June 23, 2009 (view all comments by Rita_Smith)
This book is incredibly thought provoking. Not only are the stories told very elegantly, but the message behind them are so powerful. Rushkoff somehow tells the story of our extremely corporatized society and the notion of how we have all become individual actors in competition with one another. I felt like I shed my skin reading this book, as it gave me something to really think about and my interactions with others and the world. It's also laugh out loud funny.

A must read!!!
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781400066896
Subtitle:
How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take It Back
Author:
Rushkoff, Douglas
Publisher:
Random House
Subject:
Conduct of life
Subject:
Marketing
Subject:
General
Subject:
Anthropology - Cultural
Subject:
Corporate & Business History - General
Subject:
General Business & Economics
Subject:
Business-History and Biography
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20090602
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
9.6 x 6.3 x 1.05 in 1.1 lb

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Related Subjects

Business » History and Biographies
History and Social Science » Sociology » General

Life Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take It Back Used Hardcover
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Product details 304 pages Random House - English 9781400066896 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Going further than Joel Bakan's documentary The Corporation ever could, Rushkoff delivers another outstanding meditation on the influence of conglomerates on humanity. Life Inc. isn't another one of the "corporations are bad, very very very bad" rants that have become so commonplace today; rather, it delves deep into the history, influence, and ideological implications of this nebulous entity. Instead of the Fight Club solution (i.e., "destroy all corporations"), Rushkoff calls for a shift in humanity's perception of the corporate entity and indeed shows us how. Rushkoff's most powerful point is to remind us that the economy is not a natural science to be studied and influenced by; it is a human invention that we can alter and shape. The question is, will we?

"Synopsis" by , In this captivating book, cultural theorist Rushkoff reveals how corporations have come to dominate all aspects of life — including our inner lives — and what to do about it. In tracing the roots of corporatism from the Renaissance to today, Rushkoff reveals the way it supplanted social interaction and local commerce and came to be regarded as a pre-existing condition of our world.
"Synopsis" by , This didn't just happen.

In Life Inc., award-winning writer, documentary filmmaker, and scholar Douglas Rushkoff traces how corporations went from being convenient legal fictions to being the dominant fact of contemporary life. Indeed, as Rushkoff shows, most Americans have so willingly adopted the values of corporations that they're no longer even aware of it.

This fascinating journey, from the late Middle Ages to today, reveals the roots of our debacle. From the founding of the first chartered monopoly to the branding of the self; from the invention of central currency to the privatization of banking; from the birth of the modern, self-interested individual to his exploitation through the false ideal of the single-family home; from the Victorian Great Exhibition to the solipsism of MySpace — the corporation has infiltrated all aspects of our daily lives. Life Inc. exposes why we see our homes as investments rather than places to live, our 401(k) plans as the ultimate measure of success, and the Internet as just another place to do business.

Most of all, Life Inc. shows how the current financial crisis is actually an opportunity to reverse this six-hundred-year-old trend and to begin to create, invest, and transact directly rather than outsource all this activity to institutions that exist solely for their own sakes.

Corporatism didn't evolve naturally. The landscape on which we are living-the operating system on which we are now running our social software-was invented by people, sold to us as a better way of life, supported by myths, and ultimately allowed to develop into a self-sustaining reality. It is a map that has replaced the territory.

Rushkoff illuminates both how we've become disconnected from our world and how we can reconnect to our towns, to the value we can create, and, mostly, to one another. As the speculative economy collapses under its own weight, Life Inc. shows us how to build a real and human-scaled society to take its place.

"Synopsis" by , A captivating book that reveals how corporations have come to dominate all aspects of life — including our inner lives — and what to do about it

Something has gone terribly wrong. Unquestionably, but seemingly inexplicably, we now live in a world where the market has infiltrated every area of our lives.

In Life Incorporated, brilliant and charismatic cultural theorist Douglas Rushkoff argues that we no longer know who we are, or what we want. Everything, especially authenticity, is branded. Real community and real intimacy have broken down, replaced by market-tested cures for everything from weight, to conception, to poverty, to food, to finding a mate. The market, and its operating system, Corporatism, is no longer something people build and control. Rather, it builds and controls us.

Rushkoff, in tracing the roots of corporatism from the Renaissance to today, reveals the way it supplanted social interaction and local commerce and came to be regarded as a preexisting condition of our world, from the history of public relations to the relentless gentrification of America's urban neighborhoods. And he shows us how to fight back: how to de-corporatize ourselves, disengage from branded expectations, think locally, and return to the real world of human activity. As Rushkoff puts it, Micro-decisions are what matter.

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