Paperback: Consumed, by Benjamin R Barber

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The Independent Culture

"In these paltry times of capitalism's triumph, Shakepeare's seven ages of man are in danger of being washed away by lifelong puerility." This is the stirring opening to a ferocious attack on a global market that targets children and infantilises adults. In a work reminiscent of Vance Packard, Barber describes "a shopping society", where the primary goal of capitalism is "no longer to manufacture goods but needs". Mercifully, several of Barber's targets, including America's two-week annual holiday and "Golden Honey Grail Flavor Spam", have failed to cross the Atlantic. So far, at least.