Consumed by Benjamin R. Barber
How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole

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Synopsis

"Powerful and disturbing. No one who cares about the future of our public life can afford to ignore this book."—Jackson Lears


A powerful sequel to Benjamin R. Barber's best-selling Jihad vs. McWorld, Consumed offers a vivid portrait of an overproducing global economy that targets children as consumers in a market where there are never enough shoppers and where the primary goal is no longer to manufacture goods but needs. To explain how and why this has come about, Barber brings together extensive empirical research with an original theoretical framework for understanding our contemporary predicament. He asserts that in place of the Protestant ethic once associated with capitalism—encouraging self-restraint, preparing for the future, protecting and self-sacrificing for children and community, and other characteristics of adulthood—we are constantly being seduced into an "infantilist" ethic of consumption.
 

About Benjamin R. Barber

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Internationally renowned political theorist Benjamin R. Barber is the Kekst Professor of Civil Society at the University of Maryland and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Demos in New York City, where he lives.
 
Published March 17, 2008 by W. W. Norton & Company. 416 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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The consumerism that has infected society, Barber charges, both fosters and requires an “enduring childishness.” Corporations vie for ever younger consumers, and marketers understand that in order to keep people buying things they don’t need, potential consumers must be kept in a state of childis...

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The New York Times

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Barber makes points that need to be made — about the excesses of consumer capitalism, the pernicious effects of creeping libertarianism and the cheapening consequences of omnipresent branding.

Apr 08 2007 | Read Full Review of Consumed: How Markets Corrupt...

The Guardian

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If the liberal Jeremiahs are right and we are heading for new Dark Ages, we will first have to go through a Denaissance.

Jun 03 2007 | Read Full Review of Consumed: How Markets Corrupt...

The Guardian

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Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilise Adults and Swallow Citizens Whole by Benjamin R Barber 406pp, WW Norton, £16.99 George W Bush's infamous response to 9/11 was to order citizens to show their patriotic backbone by getting on with the business of shopping.

Jun 23 2007 | Read Full Review of Consumed: How Markets Corrupt...

Military.com

The simplest way to go green is not to consume, or to consume less, but these people want you to consume their way, because if you stop consuming they don't make any money."

Jun 19 2008 | Read Full Review of Consumed: How Markets Corrupt...

Carlin Romano

McWorld, a study of the tension between tribal and market forces in an increasingly globalized world, that propelled the University of Maryland scholar to national ...

Jun 01 2007 | Read Full Review of Consumed: How Markets Corrupt...

City Journal

As Barber writes of one hypothetical consumer: “The boundary separating her from what she buys vanishes: she ceases to buy goods as instruments of other ends and instead becomes the goods she buys—a Calvin Klein torrid teen .

Jun 18 2007 | Read Full Review of Consumed: How Markets Corrupt...

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