Magazine article The New Yorker

Buy and Buy

Magazine article The New Yorker

Buy and Buy

Article excerpt

In ancient Rome, artisans sold luxury goods at their clients' homes; during the seventies, Bloomingdale's deliberately confused its customers with disorganized merchandise displays. "For better and worse, it is impossible today to imagine a world without shopping," Thomas Hine argues in I WANT THAT! (HarperCollins). Hine coins the term "buyosphere" to describe the spaces in which we acquire, and he traces the history of shopping back to the quest of Jason who, with the help of the Argonauts, was "trying to get his hands on a valuable object"--the Golden Fleece. "For the hero (as for some shoppers) the struggle of finding is more important than the actual getting," he explains. In these strapped times, every shopper can be a hero. "Indeed," Hine writes, "our economic health depends on shoppers' ceaseless lust for the inessential."

That "ceaseless lust" may explain the success behind John D. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.