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Consuming Splendor: Society and Culture in Seventeenth-Century England Hardcover – Sep 19 2005

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Illuminating look at consumerism, 1600-style March 12 2007
By Rolf Dobelli - Published on
Format: Hardcover
If you think conspicuous consumption is a modern trend, or that globalization and outsourcing are recent phenomena, historian Linda Levy Peck has news for you. In this study, she explains that the English folk of four centuries ago were ever eager to keep up with the Joneses by blowing some of their disposable income on silks, paintings, chocolate and other pricey items that weren't exactly necessities. Indeed, their appetite for the finer things helped pave the way for today's mass materialism and international trade. A taste for fancy goods isn't so new, nor is debate over what shopping means to the structure of society. Levy Peck's professorial prose is dense, but her theme is eye-opening. We recommend this overview to anyone who'd like to understand what motivates consumers now and has motivated them for centuries.