Thorstein Veblen: Victorian Firebrand

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Now, after more than 60 years of myths and misinformation concerning the man who coined the expression conspicuous consumption, and commemorating the 100th anniversary of the publication of his Theory of the Leisure Class (1899), the authors have written a definitive biography, reflecting newly released archival information.

During his thirty-year career early in this century, economist and sociologist Thorstein Veblen tweaked the sensibilities of his time with unrelenting criticism of American business culture. He also attacked other sacred American institutions: religion, sports and games, the traditional views of the role of women, the class system, the credit system, and certain aspects of academic life. His ideas on society, however, were often dismissed because of his reputation as an eccentric and a womanizer.

In this fascinating new biography, the authors present Veblen as a sensitive, brilliant, passionate, and sometimes foolishly chivalric man. They culled material primarily from letters written by Veblen, his relatives and colleagues, including most of the intellectual luminaries of the first quarter of this century whose lives intersected with that of Veblen. This is a biography of Veblen that not only presents a balanced reconstruction of his life, but also corrects a great deal of mythology about Veblen and his works. Arthur Vidich, the New School University

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THORSTEIN VEBLEN: Victorian Firebrand

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A conspicuously flawed biography about the subversive economist who coined the term "conspicious consumption.— Veblen (1857—1929) wore out welcomes at Cornell, the University of Chicago, Stanford ... Read full review


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