The High Cost of Discount Culture
Publication Date: July 2009
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Atlantic Monthly correspondent Ellen Ruppel Shell uncovers the true cost-in economic, political, and psychological terms-of our penchant for making and buying things as cheaply as possible.
Ellen Ruppel Shell is a correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly magazine and has written about science and medicine for the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post, National Geographic, Time, Discover, the Boston Globe, and dozens of other national publications. She is also the author of The Hungry Gene: The Inside Story of the Obesity Industry, which has been published in six languages. Shell is a professor of journalism at Boston University, where she codirects the graduate program in science journalism. Lorna Raver has been named a Best Voice of the Year by AudioFile magazine and has been nominated for Audie Awards for her readings of Washington Square by Henry James, Nothing with Strings by Bailey White, and Marion Zimmer Bradley's Ravens of Avalon by Diana L. Paxson. She has also received numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards for her narrations. An accomplished stage actress, Lorna has also guest-starred in many top television series, and she stars in director Sam Raimi's film Drag Me to Hell.
In the days since the Industrial Revolution, Americans have put a premium on convenience and low prices. But this obsession with low prices has its consequences. At times, durability, craftsmanship and even social responsibility are sacrificed. Host Liane Hansen talks with Ellen Ruppel Shell, author of the book, Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture. More at NPR.org
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The High Cost of Discount Culture: For its catchy title and relatively few pages, Cheap is a weighty book. Shell reveals the dizzying connections between price and poverty, using statistics, historical accounts, and scientific and sociological explanations. She spent two years doing research, traveling to Sweden, the birthplace of IKEA, and China, "factory to the world."
"Even when you disagree with Ruppel Shell, you'll find yourself learning a great deal and enjoying the experience." ---The Boston Globe