Synopses & Reviews
Who knows more about a business's shady practices than the people who work there? In this pioneering study, Paul Blumberg examines a wide variety of evidence, including over 600 accounts written by workers who disclose in elaborate detail the deceptions their employers practiced on the public. Employed in a wide variety of business enterprises--supermarkets, restaurants, fish markets, department stores, gas stations, drug stores, pet stores, and many more--these workers pull back the curtain and reveal the hidden recesses of the American marketplace.
Blumberg documents these deceptions in numerous vivid stories, providing readers with a trenchant handbook on survival in America. He tells of stores that routinely mark prices up before a sale; gas stations that sell regular gas as high test; auto mechanics who spray-paint customers' old car parts and then charge them for new parts (in one gas stations, the workers claimed that the mechanic's best tool was his paint can); and pharmacists who sell generic drugs and charge name-brand prices.
But equally important, he provides an insightful analysis of why deception pervades the American marketplace. Though at times amusing, The Predatory Society is also frequently disturbing for what it says about private capitalism: how dishonesty is all but built into the American marketplace, and how this dishonesty has potentially disastrous effects on trust and community in our society.
"[Includes] an excellent, detailed analysis of the causes of immoral behavior in the marketplace....This excellent book is recommended for academic and public library collections."--Choice
About the Author
is Professor of Sociology at the City University of New York. His articles have appeared in The Nation
, The New Republic
, and Dissent
, and he is the author of Inequality in an Age of Decline
and Industrial Democracy: The Sociology of Participation