Sandra's Reviews > Status Anxiety

Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton
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's review
Jun 15, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction, history
Recommended to Sandra by: library staff
Recommended for: this is a good, quick read
Read from June 06 to 13, 2010 , read count: 1

I thought this was a fun book to read. I am not sure de Botton connected his original thesis about culture, snobbishness, and status, but he did take me on a delightful historical, anthropological romp thru the ages, with examples culled from the arts, religion and science. He demonstrates how our feelings for the poor and impoverished continue to change, and revert, over time as well as in different cultures. Lots of examples. Early in the book he describes Nixon visiting Russia in the 60's. "Propaganda!", "Taj Mahal!" shouts Khrushchev, upon viewing a full scale replica of a post WW11 home.

Further explaining how the "average" American lived (31 million owned a home, 56 million TV's were owned, 9 new dresses a year were bought, 14 new pairs of shoes a year were bought........", Khruschev mouths "Nyet! Nyet! and under his breath adds "Eb' tvoyu babushky" (go fuck your grandmother.)

The last chapter is titled "Bohemia". Perhaps de Botton is suggesting we should ascribe to living with less. Voluntary simplicity is nice, but I would miss my Cuisinart.


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