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Generation Wealth

4.49  ·  Rating details ·  210 ratings  ·  40 reviews
A highly anticipated monograph from the internationally acclaimed documentary photographer and filmmaker

Lauren Greenfield: Generation Wealth is both a retrospective and an investigation into the subject of wealth over the last twenty-five years. Greenfield has traveled the world - from Los Angeles to Moscow, Dubai to China - bearing witness to the global boom-and-bust
Hardcover, 504 pages
Published May 15th 2017 by Phaidon Press
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Average rating 4.49  · 
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 ·  210 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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David Schaafsma
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lauren Greenfield is an amazing woman, a documentary photographer and filmmaker. I read this (well, not every word of the large 515 page book), in anticipation of her new documentary film Generation Wealth. In a sense, this book/film/series of exhibitions is the culmination of her work of more than 25 years, which I might summarize as an examination of consumer culture, of the drive to wealth that consumes especially this country, though it is clearly also a worldwide phenomenon. She joins many ...more
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful photos, each one horrifying for different reasons.
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Lauren Greenfield has compiled the most captivating photography book on: wealth, pop culture, and consumerism. Her subjects range from Hollywood elite to gang members. The photos are captivating and the interviews add an additional dimension. I never spent even 100th the time on any other type of photography book EVER! I missed her show in earlier summer in LA and was happy to buy this book because it is a compilation of all her work (which is amazing). I normally would swing in the library and ...more
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: revisit, non-fiction
Generation Wealth is beautiful, hideous, disturbing, and completely captivating. Lauren Greenfield accurately captures the ethos of consumer capitalism and the way it warps human behavior. The first thought that entered my mind after closing the book is the Bible verse, " For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
help this is my favorite book! i'm editing this just to emphatically recommend it to everyone but esp. rachel & lisa. "I read the federalist papers. If I want to work 100 hours a week and destroy my relationships that's my perogative." This book was good for my mental health because it answered a few nagging questions of mine, "What's wrong with everyone?" "How come they seem to be having so much more fun than me?" "Why is everything easier for so-and-so?" You'll have to read this book to ...more
Dec 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
After reading this, you'll need a shower to wash the patina of human greed and stupidity (second-hand, of course) from your skin... it's that powerful.
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wow, this was a worthwhile read! I requested the book from my local library and when I went to pick it up I thought, "Holly 💩--this book is ridiculously big!!" I think that was kind of the point, though. It's excessively large--but it's a book about wealth, and enough never being enough. So how big is too big? How rich is too rich?

I loved the photography, but I really enjoyed reading the interviews with the people in those photos. It was fascinating to see how even the super rich were
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I came to this book not knowing how much I already liked Ms. Greenfield's work on The Queen of Versailles and the "Like a Girl" ad she shot for Always. I admire her analysis of our current society of consumption, and while I don't always agree with her points, I fear for our society in general after reading the book. I am also particularly glad that we know that we won't be raising our son in LA, as the level of consumption there is particularly scary.
Jill Meyer
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Lauren Greenfield has published a coffee table book compilation of her photograph and video work done since the late 1980's. She has followed the idea of wealth - who has it, who wants it, who earns it, who inherits it - for the past 30 or so years. Her work has been displayed in museums and art galleries and on film. Perhaps her most famous piece is a movie called "The Queen of Versailles", a grotesque but strangely charming look at a couple who is building their "dream home" in Florida. The ...more
Jacob Williams
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I lugged a copy of this home from the library after reading a review in Current Affairs magazine. I planned to just glance through the book briefly, but ended up totally hooked. Its alternately depressing and infuriating, but thoroughly fascinating. ...more
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Our economy is so fucking bizarre
Brandon Forsyth
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An absolute masterpiece. This is a true lifes work from one of our most brilliant cultural examiners that will force you to examine your own ideas around money, ambition, and capitalism. A piece of investigative photojournalism, a brilliant artistic statement, and a series of deeply empathetic character studies, this is one of the best books Ive ever read. Run, dont walk, to pick this up. ...more
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful, comprehensive look at greed, overspending, wealthy one-upsmanship. Both astounding and nauseating. Society values money over everything else... and this is the result. Money money money....
Helen Geng
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is an important book, more for content than for artistic style.
The author also turns her lens on herself(in the photo where she's very pregnant) & her son.
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: photography-art
Wow. Fascinating, illuminating, alarming.
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
A hard book to read. Reading about this type of consumption is sobering. A good book to reflect on my own trajectory.
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book weighs a ton and took me a month to finish. I really pored over every image and the accompanying text. Its like a guide to what happened to us. Chilling. ...more
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
With images and interviews this shares youths who have been exposed to wealth at an early age and it may have altered their sense of reality. Swearing and bare skin. Surreal. Famous faces appear.
Julia Fitzsimmons
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! This book, like no other, helps me understand the dysfunction that materialism creates in American culture. The pictures are amazing and unforgettable. I read the preface to every chapter and every caption. I also saw the documentary, and was deeply affected by it. If you have children, please read this book. It will help you understand the pressures on our kids. Thank you, Lauren Greenfield, for your excellent work.
Michelle Tackabery
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating retrospective of Greenfield's work, with an insightful foreword. Greenfield's full biography and a timeline of her artistic work, publications and shows is included, as well as an essay in which she explains how she stumbled onto the path of filming the wealthy as well as those privileged by status and the appearance of prosperity, whether or not they were actually in possession of actual financial wealth.

Unlike most monographs, this is a true "book" in the sense that her work is
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lauren Greenfield has directed two of my favorite documentaries Thin and Queen of Versailles, which both deal with class, wealth, consumerism, and the chasing the American Dream. The lens with which she views her subjects is not one of provocation and exploitation, but rather empathetic and normalizing. I loved this book. It was one of my favorite purchases from 2017. The images of extreme wealth and others trying to emulate it and risk everything to achieve it; made me reflect on my own ...more
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Incredible book!
Greenfield does such a comprehensive job of examining the role of money, big money, that I was really shaken.
She connects excessive materialism, work, sex, corruption, and their effects on several generations, levels of society, and cultures far more effectively than any source I've ever seen, because she does it through pix and interviews.
Near the end, she talks to uber-rich people who've seriously questioned their addiction to wealth (mostly after they've spent time in jail
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a heavy book, both physically (it weighs over 7 lbs) and psychologically. It's a compilation of photographs and interviews taken by Greenfield over the past 3 decades as a social study of different aspects of wealth. Conspicuous consumption, body image, aging, the cult of celebrity and gender are a few of the sections explored, along with the human cost of capitalism, greed and narcissism worldwide. I found it equally fascinating and disturbing. Although it's weight makes it a challenge ...more
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
After seeing the show at International Center for Photography, I decided to get the book, which offers more content, more images, more complexity. Teaching Visual Culture, I made my students attend this show and they were blown away. The book will be an ongoing resource about this moment in time when the American Empire lost all perspective and with a self-inflated ego destroyed the American dream.
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fascinating and disgusting. Points toward LA as the epicenter of all that is wrong with Americas greedy, me first culture, and shows its spread to the world. The introductory text, which examines this books subjects, also seems to explain how Trump got elected. Photos of people whose goal is nothing but personal satisfaction and excessive accumulation, fixated on physical beauty and/or ostentatious displays (and whose commentary often reveals them to be sad and unsatisfied). ...more
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well documented account of excess. Disgusting.
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
incredible & sobering
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Huge book, but love the concept of showing the different views of wealth and how some people are way to wealthy compared to others who are living on the street.
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was so engaging I carried all 500+ pages around with me on public transit multiple times this week. Excellent photos, fascinating and candid interviews.
Fon Goni
Nov 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Library Journal book review (10/1/17) Greenfield, Lauren. Generation Wealth. Phaidon. May 2017. 504p. photos. ISBN 9780714872124. $75. PHOTOG

Photographer Greenfield (Girl Culture) has devoted years to a project that she describes as a 25-year inquiry into the influence of affluence. She emphasizes that her Generation Wealth exploration does not depict affluent one-percenters as such, but rather the aspiration for wealth that has taken Americans and others across the globe of all social classes
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Lauren Greenfield is an American artist, documentary photographer, and documentary filmmaker. She has published three photographic monographs, directed four documentary films, exhibited in museums, and published in magazines and other publications.

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