Based on two highly 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. In cleverly titled chapters such as “Swollen Expectations” and “A Rash of Bankruptcies,” the authors examine the origins, evolution, and symptoms of the affluenza epidemic. But they also explore cures and suggest strategies for rebuilding families and communities and for restoring and respecting the earth.
The 2008 economic collapse demonstrated how prophetic this book was.
The third edition examines the role overconsumption played in the collapse and how our economy and society have changed since then.
The authors also discuss new ways to measure social health and success, such as the Gross Domestic Happiness index, and offer policy recommendations to make our society more simplicity-friendly. The underlying message isn’t to stop buying; it’s to buy carefully and consciously, remembering, always, that the best things in life aren’t things.
About the Author
John de Graaf has worked with KCTS-TV, the Seattle PBS affiliate, for 24 years, as an independent documentary producer. More than 15 of his programs have been broadcast in prime time nationally on PBS. He is the recipient of more than 100 awards for film-making, including three Emmy awards. He is currently active in the Happiness Initiative and is an advisor to the Prime Minister of Bhutan. David Wann is an author, filmmaker, and speaker on the topic of sustainable lifestyles and designs. He has produced 20 videos and TV programs, including the award-winning TV documentary "Designing a Great Neighborhood. David is president of the Sustainable Futures Society and a Fellow of the National Simplicity Forum. He worked more than a decade as a policy analyst for U.S. EPA and co-designed the cohousing neighborhood. Thomas Naylor is a Professor Emeritus of Economics at Duke University and is the author of over thirty books. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, The Nation, and Business Week.
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Comments about Affluenza:
Absolutely loved this book- I have had it three weeks, and have just started reading it for the fourth time. This book is highly, highly recommended for anyone who is looking to declutter their home, and has feelings of emptiness after making purchses. The book is deep and extensive, it covers a lot of ground in a simple and easy to read way. I have implemented some of the ideas not only into my home and personal life, but into my workplace.This book definitely was read at the right time in my life, after losing a job and spending time decluttering. In saynig that, this isn't a book about decluttering, but rather an insight into what and how we buy, how we live and the impact consumerism and overconsumption has on us as individuals (yes, it goes into the environmentail and social aspects) but it focus on the "me"- which is what readers need- to be able to identify and place themselves. (It is based on American Consumerism, but as an Australian I can identify with the whole book)
"Affluenza has easily passed the test of time and become an American classic, the book that raised our crisis of consumption to national awareness.--Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature and founder, 350.org "The authors have packed their book with stunning facts, searing insights--and they point out a path forward."--Fast Company "Clear, witty and heartfelt."--Sojourners "It is not a book that shakes a finger in our faces and reprimands hardworking Americans for wanting a little more comfort, elegance, and enjoyment . . . it creates something of real value--a new way of accounting for true happiness in our lives."--Scott Simon, Weekend Edition host, National Public Radio "Affluenza is a sober indictment of the excesses and sheer waste in our increasingly consumer-oriented society. We would all be well served to read the book and pass it on to relatives, friends, and neighbors in the hopes of creating a great public conversation around how to eradicate the affluenza pandemic."--Jeremy Rifkin, author of The Third Industrial Revolution "This witty yet hard-hitting book provides evidence of the social problems caused by the American obsession with acquiring 'stuff' and proposes solutions for living more sustainably. Highly recommended."--Library Journal "Now here is a good reason to go shopping! The wonderful book that made consumerism the issue it should be, Affluenza, is here in a third, fully updated edition. The story of the Joneses, of 'keeping up with the Joneses' fame, is itself worth the very modest price you will have to pay to enjoy this classic, now new and improved."--James Gustave Speth, author of America the Possible and former director, Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies "If ever there was a right book at the right time, Affluenza is it. This country needs this book."--Lester R. Brown, President, Earth Policy Institute, author of Plan B 4.0 and Full Planet, Empty Plates "Affluenza makes us take a hard look at how the drive to excessive consumerism is personally, socially, and environmentally disastrous and then takes us on an exciting path to deeper happiness and satisfaction. It is a must-read for all who strive to create more healthy, just, and secure communities."--Anthony D. Cortese, former Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, and founder, American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment "De Graaf, Wann, and Naylor have achieved something special with Affluenza. They take an unflinching look at the train wreck of America's consumer culture and then extricate us from the wreckage by providing practical policies and achievable actions for building a healthier society. Affluenza is also a great read; it contains the hopeful ideas we need to reach a livable future."--Rob Dietz, coauthor of Enough Is Enough "The programs offered at the end of the book work on many levels, from making personal choices to changing the rules of the game to reward all actions moving us toward a thriving, just, and sustainable future. So enjoy! This is a great book about a tough-to-face set of problems."--Vicki Robin, coauthor of Your Money or Your Life and author of Blessing the Hands That Feed Us "Affluenza is an engagingly conversational, thought-provoking look at where we have perverted the American dream. Though the nature of books like these is to preach to the converted, Affluenza offers enough support to the arguments and enough depth to the solutions to have a good chance of reaching the unconvinced."--Detroit Free Press "You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll cheer. You'll growl. But you'll be challenged and moved by this book. Affluenza looks at our epidemic of overconsumption and shows how we can live simpler, more meaningful lives. It's a fantastic book--very funny yet deeply serious."--Peter Barnes, cofounder, Working Assets, now CREDO "If you sometimes suspect that American life has become a nightmare but you dare not admit the truth to yourself or talk about it to others, take a peek inside Affluenza. The way to end a nightmare is to wake up, and this book is an alarm clock. We have created a world that dishonors all that is honorable, good, and meaningful. There is another possibility."--Paul Hawken, author of The Ecology of Commerce and Natural Capitalism "One of the wittiest, most dynamic treatments of the linked problems of our frenetic lives and the destruction of the planet. If you want to feel exhilarated, like jumping up and down and cheering humanity on as we find ways to save the Earth and ourselves, read this book!"--Cecile Andrews, author of The Circle of Simplicity and Living Room Revolution "The material basis for the American way of life is not sustainable here and is not replicable elsewhere. Our feverish mindset is burning up the natural systems that support us. Affluenza provides a witty, informed road map out of this unfulfilling dead end and describes sustainable alternatives that are stimulating, healthy, diverse, and fun."--Denis Hayes, Chair, Earth Day Network "Affluenza lays out the symptoms, the causes, and (gratefully) the cure. With wit, intelligence, and pizzazz, this trio of authors has brought together a complete guide to the disease that most ails America. Proof of having read the book should be a requirement for opening a charge account, applying for a boat loan, or running a large corporation."--Yes! Magazine
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 3rd February 2014
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.6 x 17.0 x 1.8
Weight (kg): 0.45
Edition Number: 3