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Lead Us Into Temptation the Triumph of American Materialism

by James B. Twitchell

  • ISBN: 9780231115186
  • ISBN10: 0231115180

Lead Us Into Temptation the Triumph of American Materialism

by James B. Twitchell

  • List Price: $95.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Columbia Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 06/01/1999
  • ISBN: 9780231115186
  • ISBN10: 0231115180
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Description: James B. Twitchell's acclaimed book Adcult USA challenged the notion that we are controlled by advertising. Now in an equally engaging and penetrating follow-up, Twitchell challenges the self-help movement, the recycling craze, Yuppie Guilt, and Oprah to reveal the heart of consumerism and what it tells us about ourselves.

Sharp and irreverent, Twitchell sets about discovering what Americans buy, why they buy it, and why they buy so much of it, stopping along the way to dismantle the last twenty years of academic thought on the subject. Where the prevailing wisdom dictates that the consumer is the hapless victim of advertising demons, Twitchell asserts that we get what we want and that, refreshingly, what we want is not necessarily a bad thing: "We call them goods, not bads."

In exploring the nature and importance of advertising lingo, packaging, fashion, and "the Meaning of Stuff, " Twitchell reveals the purchase and possession of things to be the ultimate self-identifying acts of modern life. Not only does the car you drive tell others who you are, it lets you know as well. The consumption of goods, according to Twitchell, provides us not only with tangible everyday comforts but also with crucial inner security in a seemingly faithless age. That we may need to find our peace and sense of self through buying material objects is among the chief arguments of contemporary scholars indicting our culture as being transitory and false. To Twitchell, however, "There are no false needs."

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