Summary of Against Thrift
Copyright © 2011 by James Livingston
Published by Basic Books, a subsidiary of Perseus Books LLC
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Talk about taking the contrarian view! In his book, history professor James Livingston revels in debunking what he considers misguided examples of common sense. Frugality is the path to prosperity, right? Wrong, Livingston argues; thrift is a surefire way to anemic growth and a concentration of wealth. And isn’t advertising an anti-intellectual tool of greed and conformity? Nope; ads are powerful forces for morality and freedom, he says. Livingston is so incessantly ornery in this essay that the reader is tempted to wonder if he really believes all his arguments. Yet he manages to produce a thought-provoking, though sometimes dense, read that raises a number of worthy questions about conventional wisdom. getAbstract recommends this analysis to readers who enjoy a skeptical perspective on economic theory.
In this summary, you will learn
- Why the conventional wisdom about frugality is wrong and
- How advertising and consumerism are forces for good.
About the Author
James Livingston, a professor of history at Rutgers University, is the author of four previous books on economics and culture.
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