9780415944694

The Business of America: How Consumers Have Replaced Citizens and How We Can Reverse the Trend

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780415944694

  • ISBN10:

    0415944694

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2004-06-15
  • Publisher: Routledge
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Summary

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 Americaprobes 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 asimpler time--a less-interconnected world that can never return-The Business of Americashows how we as citizens can regain our identities, stripping away the plastic overlay of consumerism.

Table of Contents

Series Editor's Preface ix
Foreword: Marcus Raskin xi
Acknowledgments xix
Introduction 1(8)
1. The Bush Vision: A Bipolar Political Disorder 9(26)
The Culture of Naked Power
11(7)
Politics and the Enron Scandal, Part I: The Enron System Works-Well, for Some People!
18(6)
Enron, Part II: Sex and the Enron Scam
24(2)
A Dialogue about Sex, Violence, and the Budget
26(4)
It's the Budget Stupid!-Bush's Lucky Duckies
30(5)
2. Classify This! National Security Culture Sets the Norm 35(20)
The Intelligence Culture in the National Security Age
37(4)
Our Aging Faust
41(5)
A Panglossian Conversation
46(4)
History? What's That?
50(5)
3. Sheep Don't Need Whipping: Media in the Twenty-First Century 55(32)
World News in Shotgun Pellets of Anxiety from the Media
57(5)
Religious Diversion from the Issues in the Age of Reason and Hi Tech
62(3)
Review of Pollock
65(2)
Advertising Can Make You Personally and Politically Crazy
67(4)
Commercial Messages Produce Advanced Scatteration
71(4)
Television: Democracy at Its Ugliest
75(4)
Clear Channel Fogs the Airwaves
79(4)
The Film Industry: Business and Ideology
83(4)
4. Ahab Can Beat the Whale 87(40)
At Two with Nature
89(6)
Commuting in Los Angeles
95(1)
Privatize-The Key to Public Culture
96(4)
Will the Next War Be Against Smog?
100(3)
A Global Warming Sermon in Dialogue
103(3)
An Anza Borrego Odyssey
106(2)
Mount Whitney Towers over Death Valley, but Death Valley Doesn't Look Up to Whitney
108(4)
Diseased Meat?-Could be Wurst!
112(2)
Exporting the Best Chemicals the Stomach Can Absorb
114(4)
Las Vegas: Bush's America
118(3)
Cuba Is Not Las Vegas: Scenes from a Late Summer Havana Wedding
121(6)
5. The Iraq Conundrum 127(42)
Bush and King Henry-Similar Birds of Different Feathers
129(5)
Don't Get Distracted by Cameron Diaz's Acne or Talk of War
134(5)
How 9/11 Events Helped Democracy to Evolve toward Perfection
139(6)
Different Worlds
145(4)
Shiite Happens
149(4)
The Quiet American Returns on Film
153(7)
Shopping, The End of the World, and G.W. Bush: Part I
160(4)
Part II
164(5)
6. Closing Remarks 169(6)
There Is Life after Shopping-and It Feels Good
171(4)
Notes 175(6)
Bibliography 181(2)
Index 183

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