Book Review

1755 words - 8 pages

Affluenza was published in 2005. It is a book that focuses on the epidemic of affluenza which is a defined by the book as, "a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety, and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more." The book is divided into three sections that aim to find the symptoms, causes, and treatments for this financially and socially debilitating disease. The book was predated by an earlier book that was coupled with an earlier CBS documentary.
This second edition was authored by three gentlemen. The first author and director of the 1997 documentary from the first edition is John De Graaf. He has worked with PBS for over twenty years while making documentaries for them. This includes addition documentaries that confront the same issues confronted in Affluenza. De Graaf is the coordinator for Take Back Your Time organization that is mentioned at the end of the book. The organization aims to challenge poverty and over working of employees. Additionally, he has produced a children book dedicated to protection of the planet.
The second author, David Wann, is the president of the Sustainable Futures Society. He has also worked on various documentaries concerning the environment throughout his career. His major claim to fame is writing the book Simple Prosperity which is the sequel to Affluenza. His major focuses in life seem to concern on the environment with his awards from the EPA in the past.
Finally, Thomas Naylor is a former Duke University economics professor. He began the movement for a Second Vermont Republic that is mentioned towards the middle of this book. Like De Graaf and Wann, Naylor has written several works on the process of downsizing in order to improve the United States economy.
In order to evaluate Affluenza, it is necessary to review the material that was discussed throughout the publication. The book affluenza contains a total 288 pages including an introduction and biographical material. As previously mentioned, the book is divided up into three sections: symptoms, causes, and treatments. Different sections of the work have varying degrees of success throughout the reading.
To begin, the first section concerning symptoms of affluenza contains the first fourteen chapters of the book. These chapters focus on identifying various social and economic issues with persons that contribute to people being in debt and/or unhappy. Each chapter addressed a specific part of life that was affected or infected by this psychosomatic disease. For instance, chapter one confronted the need that Americans feel to shop constantly while chapter two built on the fact that the increase in credit card availability and use had led to Americans being willing and able to shop more frequently. Other negative focuses are highlighted in the first part of this book. These include the impact of stress and stress-related health problems like heart attacks caused by the constant...

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