Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic by John de Graff, David Wann, and Thomas H. Naylor gives an in-depth analysis of America’s consumption issue, and provides solutions for how best to address the problems such rampant consumption causes.
I enjoyed reading Affluenza–it was equal parts disturbing and motivating to me. The tidbits about society’s obsession with over-consumption and how that impacts the environment were particularly striking to me, and made me want to strive to be more cognizant of my environmental impact. Since I place family in high importance, I was also struck by how much of a (negative) impact our current level of consumption have on American family life.
I read the second edition (as did Ronnica), but despite the dated information, I doubt the overall trend has changed. The biggest takeaway for me was that we as a society consume far more than is healthy.
In an unusual twist, this book came out after two documentaries of similar names and content. Since I enjoyed the book so much, I hope to check out the films in the near future.
Reading the 2005 edition of Affluenza makes me realize that this disease of over-consumption has been with us much too long.
I love the issues this book raised, but to be honest, I struggled through the book. I found the framing concept of the “affluenza” disease clever, but a bit cumbersome. I kept wanting the book to go deeper, but that’s just not what it was.
Still, Affluenza does a good job of linking together the disparate symptoms of our over-consumption and how it is harming us.
We can all benefit from examining our consumption, taking a step back and simply being thankful for what we already have.