Affluenza (3rd ed.)

How Overconsumption Is Killing Us--and How to Fight Back

by John de Graaf, David Wann,

NEW EDITION, REVISED AND UPDATED

affluenza, n. a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety, and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more.

We tried to warn you! The 2008 economic collapse proved how resilient and dangerous affluenza can be. Now in its third edition, this book can safely be called prophetic in showing how problems ranging from loneliness, endless working hours, and family conflict to rising debt, environmental pollution, and rampant commercialism are all symptoms of this global plague.

The new edition traces the role overconsumption played in the Great Recession, discusses new ways to measure social health and success (such as the Gross Domestic Happiness index), and offers policy recommendations to make our society more simplicity-friendly. The underlying message isn't to stop buying—it's to remember, always, that the best things in life aren't things.
  • Berrett-Koehler Publishers; February 2014
  • ISBN: 9781609949280
  • Edition: 3
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure ePub format
  • Title: Affluenza
  • Author: John de Graaf; David Wann; Thomas H. Naylor
  • Imprint: Berrett-Koehler Publishers

In The Press

Affluenza has easily passed the test of time and become an American classic, the book that raised our crisis of consumption to national awareness.
—Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature and founder, 350.org

“The authors have packed their book with stunning facts, searing insights—and they point out a path forward.”
Fast Company

“Clear, witty and heartfelt.”
Sojourners

“It is not a book that shakes a finger in our faces and reprimands hardworking Americans for wanting a little more comfort, elegance, and enjoyment . . . it creates something of real value—a new way of accounting for true happiness in our lives.”
—Scott Simon, Weekend Edition host, National Public Radio

Affluenza is a sober indictment of the excesses and sheer waste in our increasingly consumer-oriented society. We would all be well served to read the book and pass it on to relatives, friends, and neighbors in the hopes of creating a great public conversation around how to eradicate the affluenza pandemic.”
—Jeremy Rifkin, author of The Third Industrial Revolution

“This witty yet hard-hitting book provides evidence of the social problems caused by the American obsession with acquiring ‘stuff' and proposes solutions for living more sustainably. Highly recommended.”
Library Journal

“Now here is a good reason to go shopping! The wonderful book that made consumerism the issue it should be,
Affluenza, is here in a third, fully updated edition. The story of the Joneses, of ‘keeping up with the Joneses' fame, is itself worth the very modest price you will have to pay to enjoy this classic, now new and improved.”
—James Gustave Speth, author of America the Possible and former director, Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

“If ever there was a right book at the right time,
Affluenza is it. This country needs this book.”
—Lester R. Brown, President, Earth Policy Institute, author of Plan B 4.0 and Full Planet, Empty Plates

Affluenza makes us take a hard look at how the drive to excessive consumerism is personally, socially, and environmentally disastrous and then takes us on an exciting path to deeper happiness and satisfaction. It is a must-read for all who strive to create more healthy, just, and secure communities.”
—Anthony D. Cortese, former Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, and founder, American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment

“De Graaf, Wann, and Naylor have achieved something special with
Affluenza. They take an unflinching look at the train wreck of America's consumer culture and then extricate us from the wreckage by providing practical policies and achievable actions for building a healthier society. Affluenza is also a great read; it contains the hopeful ideas we need to reach a livable future.”
—Rob Dietz, coauthor of Enough Is Enough

“The programs offered at the end of the book work on many levels, from making personal choices to changing the rules of the game to reward all actions moving us toward a thriving, just, and sustainable future. So enjoy! This is a great book about a tough-to-face set of problems.”
—Vicki Robin, coauthor of Your Money or Your Life and author of Blessing the Hands That Feed Us

Affluenza is an engagingly conversational, thought-provoking look at where we have perverted the American dream. Though the nature of books like these is to preach to the converted, Affluenza offers enough support to the arguments and enough depth to the solutions to have a good chance of reaching the unconvinced.”
Detroit Free Press

“You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll cheer. You'll growl. But you'll be challenged and moved by this book.
Affluenza looks at our epidemic of overconsumption and shows how we can live simpler, more meaningful lives. It's a fantastic book—very funny yet deeply serious.”
—Peter Barnes, cofounder, Working Assets, now CREDO

“If you sometimes suspect that American life has become a nightmare but you dare not admit the truth to yourself or talk about it to others, take a peek inside
Affluenza. The way to end a nightmare is to wake up, and this book is an alarm clock. We have created a world that dishonors all that is honorable, good, and meaningful. There is another possibility.”
—Paul Hawken, author of The Ecology of Commerce and Natural Capitalism

“One of the wittiest, most dynamic treatments of the linked problems of our frenetic lives and the destruction of the planet. If you want to feel exhilarated, like jumping up and down and cheering humanity on as we find ways to save the Earth and ourselves, read this book!”
—Cecile Andrews, author of The Circle of Simplicity and Living Room Revolution

“The material basis for the American way of life is not sustainable here and is not replicable elsewhere. Our feverish mindset is burning up the natural systems that support us. Affluenza provides a witty, informed road map out of this unfulfilling dead end and describes sustainable alternatives that are stimulating, healthy, diverse, and fun.”
—Denis Hayes, Chair, Earth Day Network

Affluenza lays out the symptoms, the causes, and (gratefully) the cure. With wit, intelligence, and pizzazz, this trio of authors has brought together a complete guide to the disease that most ails America. Proof of having read the book should be a requirement for opening a charge account, applying for a boat loan, or running a large corporation.”
Yes! Magazine