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Crass Struggle: Greed, Glitz and Gluttony in a Wanna-Have World
by R.T. Naylor
A critique of the lifestyles of today's ultra rich bolstered by old-fashioned muckraking, Crass Struggle provides a sharp, original, and often humorous commentary on "the bad side of the good life, the underbelly of the potbelly." Taking the reader inside today's luxury trades, R.T. Naylor visits gold mines spewing arsenic and diamond fields spreading human misery, knocks ...more
Hardcover, 494 pages
Published April 5th 2011 by McGill-Queen's University Press
(first published January 1st 2011)
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Mar 19, 2012 Tracy rated it really liked it
I just finished reading this book this morning over coffee. It had a huge amount of research in it and the author has a witty and engaging writing style considering how dry the subject matter is. My only disappointment with the book is that the author seems content merely listing the activities of the countless forgers, poachers, liars, and criminals (both petty and organized) with little connection shown between the producers and the consumer. Only the preamble and the coda offer much analysis. ...more
I first encountered a reference to this book in Rick Salutin's column in the Toronto Star and was interested enough to seek it out. The book is amazing: an endless cornucopia of fact, story and statistical detail outlining the just plain crazy quest of the rich to collect, own and savor what they deem the best of our world. In the process, environmental laws are flouted, art is corrupted and products are misrepresented, destroyed and poisoned. I will not look at my fish dinner or goblet of wine ...more
Absolutely devastating indictment of the pain, impoverishment and eco-disaster caused by the pursuit of luxury from gold & diamonds, to art & antiques, to rare animals and exotic foods. Along the way we learn how the luxury trade in art, antiques, safari hunting, cigars, fine wine, caviar, etc are delivered to the conspicuous consumer though fraud, money laundering, slavery, theft, murder and large scale brutalization of people and animals. Fakes and forgery are de riguer.