Crass Struggle

Crass Struggle

Greed, Glitz, and Gluttony in A Wanna-have World

Book - 2011
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A critique of the lifestyles of today's ultra rich bolstered by old-fashioned muckraking, Crass Struggle provides a sharp, original, and often humorous commentary on "the bad side of the good life, the underbelly of the potbelly." Taking the reader inside today's luxury trades, R.T. Naylor visits gold mines spewing arsenic and diamond fields spreading human misery, knocks on the doors of purveyors of luxury seafood as the oceans empty, samples wares of merchants offering top-vintage wines (or at least top-vintage labels), calls on companies running trophy-hunting expeditions and dealers in exotic pets high on endangered lists, and much more. What stands out is that so many high-priced items glitter on the outside, but have more than a spot of rot at the core. Through a series of outrageous but all too true stories, Crass Struggle reveals the appalling consequences of consumerism run amok and its links to repetitive financial swindles and the alarming degradation of the biophysical environment.
Publisher: Montréal : McGill-Queen's University Press, c2011.
ISBN: 9780773537712
Branch Call Number: 178 NAY
Characteristics: vi, 487 p. ; 25 cm.


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Jun 03, 2012

Another name might be how to gull, of be gulled, or perhaps, the truths of excessive consumption.
The author flits through various areas: gems( how to fake, using an oven, and some crazy glues like substance)/diamonds (well Glitter and Greed, by Janine Roberts is better) /gold/wines(methylene glycol used to sweeten wines (also in, antifreeze) or orthno-chlorine a direct causal factor in brain cancer, used as a pesticide for grapes; foods, exotic clothing (shawls out of chiru wool (takes 3 dead antelope to make, and 5 for a man's scarf);
fake coins
Well, you get the drift.
The writing is jocular, almost sarcastic, but easy to read, even though one can find the humor one also finds it a bit tedious

debwalker Jun 18, 2011

"R.T. Naylor is economics professor at McGill. More importantly, you might call him a neo-muckraker, a man bent on afflicting the too comfortable (besides a compelling interest in black markets, terrorism and other criminal pursuits). Crass Struggle, as the title suggests, is a passionate, highly researched screed about the excesses, the vast excesses, of the super-rich. And its about the effects of what Naylor clearly sees as an obscene pursuit of wealth. It’s about class and greed and lying and political manipulation and social dislocation and tax evasion and environmental devastation and the endless financial scandals that plague modern capitalist society. And of course, its about how another sort of trickle-down effect, how the lifestyles of the rich and famous are emulated in miniature by wanna-have-mores. That, at least, is Naylor’s thoroughly dispiriting reading of the way we live now."
Globe and Mail June 17 2011

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