Love, Inc. (Paperback)

Dating Apps, the Big White Wedding, and Chasing the Happily Neverafter

By Laurie Essig

University of California Press, 9780520300491, 256pp.

Publication Date: February 12, 2019

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (2/12/2019)

List Price: 26.95*
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The notion of “happily ever after” has been ingrained in many of us since childhood—meet someone, date, have the big white wedding, and enjoy your well-deserved future. But why do we buy into this idea? Is love really all we need?  
Author Laurie Essig invites us to flip this concept of romance on its head and see it for what it really is—an ideology that we desperately cling to as a way to cope with the fact that we believe we cannot control or affect the societal, economic, and political structures around us. From climate change to nuclear war, white nationalism to the worship of wealth and conspicuous consumption—as the future becomes seemingly less secure, Americans turn away from the public sphere and find shelter in the private. Essig argues that when we do this, we allow romance to blind us to the real work that needs to be done—building global movements that inspire a change in government policies to address economic and social inequality. 

About the Author

Laurie Essig is Professor and Director of Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies at Middlebury College. She is the author of American Plastic: Boob Jobs, Credit Cards, and Our Quest for Perfection. Essig has written for a variety of publications including the New York Times, the Washington Post, Salon, and the Chronicle of Higher Education, and she blogs regularly for Ms. Magazine.

Praise For Love, Inc.: Dating Apps, the Big White Wedding, and Chasing the Happily Neverafter

“Perversely, this masochistic barb is built into the ideology of romance itself, and as Essig observes throughout the book, it complements and parallels the dream of capitalism. . . .The situation has to be very bad before it gets better, so a precarious position is no deterrent for destiny. On the contrary, struggle calls forth fortune’s favour. Cinderella must sleep in the ashes for a time, Bill Gates must labour in a garage before he can reap his billions, and aspiring lovers have to keep joylessly swiping as they chase the dragon of coupled bliss.”

— Times Literary Supplement