Is the American Dream Killing You?: How "the Market" Rules Our Lives

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An impassioned argument about the pervasive consequences of an unrestrained free market on the mental, physical, and spiritual health of everyday people explains how market-driven aspects of society may be negatively influencing virtually every element of American life. 25,000 first printing.

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About the Author:

Paul Stiles is the author of Riding the Bull. A consultant on business strategies, he is a graduate of Harvard and a former member of the United States Navy. He lives in Annapolis, Maryland.

From Publishers Weekly:

In this slapdash but passionate and provocative treatise, former Wall Streeter Stiles (Riding the Bull: My Year in the Madness at Merrill Lynch) argues that go-go, unfettered American capitalism "has become the driving force of American decline." The "Market," he writes, now functions like "a financial version of The Matrix, an ethereal boundary that undergirds society" and manipulates social structures to optimize commercial productivity. Thus, the market is to blame for America's ever more demanding cycle of work-buy-work and its attendant cultural problems, from road rage to divorce, "Inhibited Sexual Desire," latchkey kids and an overall decline in spiritual and moral values. To his credit, Stiles reinforces his argument with statistical data that document increasing levels of stress, depression and consumer debt, as well as with examples from his own life. And the book's most original sections outline how the language of patriotism, business and spirituality, including the word "moral," have been manipulated in the media to suit the market's needs. But Stiles's selection of numbers and his delineation of cause-and-effect relationships is often conveniently loose, and his tendency to anthropomorphize the market (as in, "The Market ponders the situation like a general analyzing his battle plans") tends to obscure that real people are the ones choosing to make decisions in favor of financial, rather than social, interests. Nonetheless, this barbaric yawp stimulates and illuminates, if only because it shows how many social ills usually viewed as discrete can be traced back to one underlying principle. Not since Thomas Frank's One Market Under God has there been such an ardent portrayal of the dark side of the free market. (Oct.)Correction: The author of Lennon Revealed (Reviews, Aug. 29) was misidentifed. Larry Kane is American.
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9780060593797: Is the American Dream Killing You?

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2005. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Have you ever questioned the hyperactivity, the stress, and the competition of your daily life? Are you constantly fighting the pressures that surround you: the time demands, the way people relate to one another, the working hours, the long commute?Have you ever wondered if you should be living a different life -- but feel powerless to escape the way things are ? In this groundbreaking work, Paul Stiles puts forth a simple idea with tremendous repercussions. Drawing on a decade of research and incorporating numerous photographs and illustrations, he shows that what we commonly refer to as the market is more than just an economic means of distribution. For the first time, we see the free market not as an unlimited good but as a Jekyll-and-Hyde creature that creates material prosperity at a heavy price. Here, in the unbridled rule of the market over modern life, lies the source of so many of our current ills: the spread of sprawl, widespread environmental damage, the corruption of corporate life, and the polarization of politics. Stiles illustrates how the market constitutes a belief system unto itself, one that, far from being synonymous with America, is actually innately opposed to the traditional foundations of American life. Thus our national creed is no longer equality or opportunity but an obsession with market forces, market principles, market values -- a veritable marketocracy. The market is so pervasive in our thinking that one can even divide politics, as Stiles neatly demonstrates, into market liberals and market conservatives. Stiles shows how this virulent hypermarket explains such diverse phenomena as the growth of mental health problems and obesity, the mass migration of women into the workforce and the subsequent breakdown of the nuclear family, the vulgarization of our culture, and the decline of morality and the rise of the winner-take-all society. Here at last is a single, coherent explanation for the world we live in every day. Seller Inventory # NLF9780060593780

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2005. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Have you ever questioned the hyperactivity, the stress, and the competition of your daily life? Are you constantly fighting the pressures that surround you: the time demands, the way people relate to one another, the working hours, the long commute?Have you ever wondered if you should be living a different life -- but feel powerless to escape the way things are ? In this groundbreaking work, Paul Stiles puts forth a simple idea with tremendous repercussions. Drawing on a decade of research and incorporating numerous photographs and illustrations, he shows that what we commonly refer to as the market is more than just an economic means of distribution. For the first time, we see the free market not as an unlimited good but as a Jekyll-and-Hyde creature that creates material prosperity at a heavy price. Here, in the unbridled rule of the market over modern life, lies the source of so many of our current ills: the spread of sprawl, widespread environmental damage, the corruption of corporate life, and the polarization of politics. Stiles illustrates how the market constitutes a belief system unto itself, one that, far from being synonymous with America, is actually innately opposed to the traditional foundations of American life. Thus our national creed is no longer equality or opportunity but an obsession with market forces, market principles, market values -- a veritable marketocracy. The market is so pervasive in our thinking that one can even divide politics, as Stiles neatly demonstrates, into market liberals and market conservatives. Stiles shows how this virulent hypermarket explains such diverse phenomena as the growth of mental health problems and obesity, the mass migration of women into the workforce and the subsequent breakdown of the nuclear family, the vulgarization of our culture, and the decline of morality and the rise of the winner-take-all society. Here at last is a single, coherent explanation for the world we live in every day. Seller Inventory # NLF9780060593780

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