Everyone's a Winner (Hardcover)

Life in Our Congratulatory Culture

By Joel Best

University of California Press, 9780520267169, 216pp.

Publication Date: March 7, 2011

Other Editions of This Title:
MP3 CD (8/23/2016)

List Price: 32.95*
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Every kindergarten soccer player gets a trophy. Many high schools name dozens of seniors as valedictorians—of the same class. Cars sport bumper stickers that read “USA—Number 1.” Prizes proliferate in every corner of American society, and excellence is trumpeted with ratings that range from “Academy Award winner!” to “Best Neighborhood Pizza!” In Everyone’s a Winner, Joel Best— acclaimed author of Damned Lies and Statistics and many other books—shines a bright light on the increasing abundance of status in our society and considers what it all means. With humor and insight, Best argues that status affluence fosters social worlds and, in the process, helps give meaning to life in a large society.

About the Author

Joel Best is Professor of Sociology at the University of Delaware and the author of Damned Lies and Statistics, More Damned Lies and Statistics, Flavor of the Month, and Stat-Spotting, all from UC Press.

Praise For Everyone's a Winner: Life in Our Congratulatory Culture

“Clever but never condescending. . . . Best finds something profound in our willingness to treat our world as meaningful. “

— Publishers Weekly

“In this pithy, witty, and wise little book, Best characterizes the college rankings arms race, the new hero, and the self-congratulatory US society. . . . Highly recommended.”

— Choice

“This is a very entertaining read.”

— Bob Walch

“We all want a way of getting the best for ourselves, but also solidity and a firmly grounded moral compass. He [Best] raises the interesting possibility that these ends are at least contradictory, and probably incompatible.”

— Les Gofton

“An enjoyable introduction to cultural sociology. . . . Enjoyable and easy to read writing style.”

— Tristan Kennedy, Flinders University of South Australia

"The way that Best explains how to move from an abstract theoretical concept into the realm of observation and measurement is clear, thorough and powerful."

— Amy E. Singer