Lead Us Into Temptation: The Triumph of American Materialism
"Coke adds life. Just do it. Yo quiero Taco Bell." We live in a commercial age, awash in a sea of brand names, logos, and advertising jingles -- not to mention commodities themselves. Are shoppers merely the unwitting stooges of the greedy producers who will stop at nothing to sell their wares? Are the producers' powers of persuasion so great that resistance is futile?
Paperback, 310 pages
Published October 18th 2000 by Columbia University Press
(first published April 29th 1999)
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I have a lot more to say about this book - but it surpasses my word limits. I contemplated rating this book lower and higher, but found I could not. It is fascinating and infuriating. Twitchell makes wonderful points connecting religion and consumption, each as systems creating meaning for their users, but he does so with off-hand slights to religion that display a lack of complete thought and research. He sees consumption and religion together in the medieval church that must deal with scarcit...more
I don't agree that the Christian religion and materialism are as exchangeable as Twitchell presents them here, but I do think he makes some valid points about both. He didn't have to convince me that some people view possessions, or a particular set or type of possessions, with practically a religious fervor, or that they define themselves by what they own and by what they crave, because I see that all the time. But as someone who views Christianity as something more than "pie in the sky by-and-...more
This is a witty and fun book to read. The author provides a well-researched guide to consumerism with an almost tongue-in-cheek attitude. The history of modern advertising is discussed along with some of the psychological insights and shibboleths of the business. He argues that consumers are not victims of commercialism but have eagerly participate in it. He attacks a host of critics of commercialism, including Thorstein Veblen, Vance Packard, Ralph Nader and John Kenneth Galbraith, Effectively...more
starting with the bullshit premise that more people are living better today than at any other time in history, this book makes the case for materialism as the major positive force behind our supposed blissful lives. between ad hominem attacks on the authors of research and opinions that he disagrees with, and faulty premises, this book is pretty useless even if you had technical questions you needed answered about the way our consumer society reproduces and maintains itself. try naomi klein's No...more