Communique


  • Revised edition of a bestseller--over 75,000 copies sold
  • Updated throughout with startling new facts and new material, including the first-ever "Affluenza Fever Index" and a new foreword by Vicki Robin, author of Your Money or Your Life
  • Uses a whimsical disease metaphor to explore the serious negative consequences of the obsessive quest for more and more possessions

The first edition of Affluenza touched a national nerve. It was named one of the eight best nonfiction books of 2001 by Detroit Free Press. The mayor of Telluride, Colorado urged residents to read it and passed out "IÕm reading Affluenza" buttons at city council meetings. York University in Pennsylvania and Boise State University gave copies to every freshman.

Based on two acclaimed PBS documentaries watched by 10 million viewers, Affluenza uses the whimsical metaphor of a disease to tackle a very serious subject: the damage done to our health, our families, our communities, and our environment by the obsessive quest for material gain. Like any medical report, Affluenza begins by detailing the symptoms of the disease. Chapters with titles like Swollen Expectations, A Rash of Bankruptcies, Chronic Congestion, and An Ache for Meaning detail the many negative consequences of our societyÕs compulsive desire to acquire. If it turns out you do have the bug--the book includes a self-diagnosis test so you can find out--the authors detail a number of treatments that offer hope for recovery.

This edition features a new introduction and foreword, updated facts and figures, and new material on topics like the impact of stress and overwork, the voluntary simplicity and Take Back Your Time Day movements, and new ways of looking at wealth, as well as the first-ever "Affluenza Fever Index" that assesses the state of affluenza today. Engaging and accessible, Affluenza shows that the good life isnÕt about how many goods you have.

 

What sets this book apart from similar titles

The Overspent American is a book by a Harvard economist that argues consumerism is out of control, not because of greed or advertisers, but because of peer pressure and the need to display social status.  However, it doesn't devote many pages to solving consumerism, unlike Affluenza, which devotes a full third of the book to "treating the disease."  Many of the treatments Affluenza recommends are about getting peer support for a simpler lifestyle, so it really is a "solution" book to the problem posed in the Overspent American.  The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less by Barry Schwartz, expands on one symptom of Affluenza by explaining how increased consumer choice also increases stress.   But this is only one harmful symptom of the consumerism epidemic which Affluenza describes so comprehensively.  Finally, Culture Jam: How to Reverse America's Suicidal Consumer Binge, touches on many of the same themes as Affluenza, but views them through the lens of anger and rebellion against the corporate juggernaut.  Framing consumerism as a disease paves the ground for a very compassionate and constructive approach.  
  • The Overspent American is a book by a Harvard economist that argues consumerism is out of control, not because of greed or advertisers, but because of peer pressure and the need to display social status.  However, it doesn't devote many pages to solving consumerism, unlike Affluenza, which devotes a full third of the book to "treating the disease."  Many of the treatments Affluenza recommends are about getting peer support for a simpler lifestyle, so it really is a "solution" book to the problem posed in the Overspent American.  
  • The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less by Barry Schwartz, expands on one symptom of Affluenza by explaining how increased consumer choice also increases stress.   But this is only one harmful symptom of the consumerism epidemic which Affluenza describes so comprehensively.  
  • Finally, Culture Jam: How to Reverse America's Suicidal Consumer Binge, touches on many of the same themes as Affluenza, but views them through the lens of anger and rebellion against the corporate juggernaut.  Framing consumerism as a disease paves the ground for a very compassionate and constructive approach.