Vol. 7, No. 2, May 2006

Books of Note

Best, Joel. 2006 Flavor of the Month: Why Smart People Fall For Fads. California: University of California Press. Best explores the life cycle and role of institutional fads in academia and other professional spheres, mapping the mania for fads to both deeply rooted American values and the influence of consumer culture.

Lanham, Richard A. 2006. The Economics of Attention: Style and Substance in the Age of Information.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Lanham explores the rise of the "information economy,"characterized by surfeit rather than scarcity, and the importance of style in attracting and directing the attention of oversaturated consumers.

Miller, Laura J. 2006. Reluctant Capitalists: Bookselling and the Culture of Consumption.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Miller examines the conflict between chain and independent booksellers in the U.S., and how that relates to different cultural models of consumption.

Schlosser, Eric and Charles Wilson. 2006. Chew on This: Everything You Don't Want to Know about Fast Food.
Boston: Houghton Mifflin. The author of Fast Food Nation serves up a disturbing "behind-the-scenes" look at the production, content and consequences of fast food.