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In CHEAP We Trust

The Story of a Misunderstood American Virtue

Regular Price $18.99

Regular Price $23.99 CAD

Regular Price $18.99

Regular Price $23.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around October 11, 2010. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

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On Sale

Oct 11, 2010

Page Count

336 Pages

ISBN-13

9780316030298

Description

Cheap suit. Cheap date. Cheap shot. It’s a dirty word, an epithet laden with negative meanings. It is also the story of Lauren Weber’s life. As a child, she resented her father for keeping the heat at 50 degrees through the frigid New England winters and rarely using his car’s turn signals-to keep them from burning out. But as an adult, when she found herself walking 30 blocks to save $2 on subway fare, she realized she had turned into him.

In this lively treatise on the virtues of being cheap, Weber explores provocative questions about Americans’ conflicted relationship with consumption and frugality. Why do we ridicule people who save money? Where’s the boundary between thrift and miserliness? Is thrift a virtue or a vice during a recession? And was it common sense or obsessive-compulsive disorder that made her father ration the family’s toilet paper?

In answering these questions, In Cheap We Trust offers a colorful ride through the history of frugality in the United States. Readers will learn the stories behind Ben Franklin and his famous maxims, Hetty Green (named “the world’s greatest miser” by the Guinness Book of Records) and the stereotyping of Jewish and Chinese immigrants as cheap.

Weber also explores contemporary expressions and dilemmas of thrift. From Dumpster-diving to economist John Maynard Keynes’s “Paradox of Thrift” to today’s recession-driven enthusiasm for frugal living, In Cheap We Trust teases out the meanings of cheapness and examines the wisdom and pleasures of not spending every last penny.

What's Inside

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Praise

"An entertaining, wide-ranging - and very timely - exploration of thrift."—O, The Oprah Magazine
"Lessons steam up from this terrific book about the history of thrift (and spending) in our great country." Washington Post
"A defense of thrift, but a sincere, inquisitive one."Slate.com
"A fascinating account of our nation's binge-and-purge cycle of spending and sacrifice."Fast Company
"What's the fine line between thrift and stinginess, self-control and compulsion, purpose and obsession? Lauren Weber's fresh take on the quirky side of saving and spending couldn't be timelier."
Sylvia Nasar, author of A Beautiful Mind
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