Synopses & Reviews
When President Bush promoted shopping as a patriotic duty, the American culture of consumption hit a new low. But a quiet revolution is growing in the developing world and in a new generation of Americans, fighting the advance of the shopping malls and the desolation they leave behind.
Written by one of the most insightful critics of American commercialism, "The Business of America" probes the forces that have transformed citizens into consumers eager to take as much as they can from the planet. From on-line shopping to spectator sports to the cash-and-carry ethos of political campaigns, Saul Landau decodes the subtle ways in which advertising images tell us to correct our inadequacies with more things: SUVs, credit cards, air conditioning, video games.
The winds of change are blowing, Landau shows, from resurgent student protests for underpaid janitors to the "Group of 21," the developing countries that stopped the World Trade Organization dead in its tracks in 2003. Eschewing nostalgia for a simpler time--a less-interconnected world that can never return-"The Business of America" shows how we as citizens can regain our identities, stripping away the plastic overlay of consumerism.