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Meme Wars: The Creative Destruction of Neoclassical Economics [Paperback]

M. Adbusters
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
RRP: £19.99
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Book Description

13 Nov 2012

Over the last twenty years, Adbusters magazine has challenged consumerism, championed the environment and provided a platform for some of our greatest thinkers. In 2011, they instigated Occupy Wall Street, sparking a huge international movement.

Now Kalle Lasn, editor and founder of Adbusters, brings us this thought provoking book, which provides the building blocks, in texts and visuals, for a new way of looking at and changing our world. Illustrated in the distinctive style of the magazine and drawing on a brilliant cast of contributers, Meme Wars debunks many of the assumptions about how we run our societies today.

Placing fresh emphasis on the environmental and human factors that are often left out in discussions of economics and examining alternative economies, Meme Wars is designed to be 'a textbook for the future' - one that brings to light inspiring ideas for positive change.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (13 Nov 2012)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 1846146984
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846146985
  • Product Dimensions: 0.3 x 18.6 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 219,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Adbusters is a not-for-profit, reader-supported, advertising-free, 70,000-circulation magazine that lays bare anticapitalist, pro-environment concerns through incisive philosophical essays, activist commentary, and advertising spoofs. Past and present contributors include Slavoj Zizek, David Graeber, Simon Critchley, Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri, Matt Taibbi, Bill McKibben, Douglas Rushkoff, Jonathan Cook, and Chris Hedges.

Kalle Lasn is the founder of the Adbusters Media Foundation and Powershift Advertising Agency. An internationally known, award winning documentarist, he is the editor of Adbusters magazine who, along with senior editor Micah White and their 90,000-strong global network of activists were the instigators of the first #OccupyWallStreet event on September 17, 2011.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By S. D. Spicer VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Not because you'd necessarily *agree* with what Kalle Lasn has to say. Possibly you wouldn't. But Kalle Lasn has a message that he want you to hear and he tries to do that in way that is accessible and will encourage debate. I think this book is especially thought provoking for younger people who have limited experience of the things he is talking about - I have tried some of it (and the Adbusters magazine from which it is born) on some of my students as a discussion starter.

For all of the graphic devices and he's a designer who has challenged the look as well as the meaning of consumer design, this is a serious book. He thinks, no forcefully, argues that consumerism is a blind alley that eventually cause us grief; that capitalism will only survive by making us consume more and that will be the downfall of the planet. Through his pages he is screaming at us to take a long look at what we are doing, how we are accepting consumer propaganda and how that affects things we can't see; it's a message we need to debate. Lasn's solutions may not be to our liking or even the best solutions - but he wants us to think, and he's in that respect right.

It's aimed at his generation, word bites, if such an expression exists; ideas crisply explained and then moved onto the next one. Perhaps if you are used to more weighty sober tomes then you might skip over this. My suggestion is don't you'll be missing a fire-cracker of a book and one that you will keep returning to.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars read this book :) 17 Nov 2012
Brings together the most important thinking in this area - it's written directed at undergraduate students of economics, which means it's accessible to anyone with an enquiring mind. But at the same time it really doesn't dumb anything down. I found that the art work and graphics draw in younger readers and help to express some of the more complex issues in a simple way. I love this book. Perfectly pitched.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thinking Differently 26 Nov 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Sometimes the thing you notice first is the smell. The fresh, cut grass waft of new, virgin paper. When you open the pages, this smell is gorgeous. Don't get that with a kindle, do you?

The Adbusters stable has done a great many good things to shape and challenge current thinking : whilst not as visible or thus, as successful as others, it has for many years consistently placed a message in the world : to think things through. To understand what is and what isn't, to see what we see, and see it differently, if you can.

This, an inch thick, A4, sharply printed and presented work isn't exactly an academic text, but a series of essays on the nature of finance and economics, accompanied by visual design that juxtaposes history and the current, the rich and the poor, the myriad of lives that are all intersected and ruled by the false power economy of finance as a God. Over the width it reveals an ethos, a thinking, which is powerful but not occasionally lacking in cohesion. And also, implants a healthy doubt in the mind of the usefulness of economic / financial education : it is now seen, and portrayed in this book negatively, as a way of making money, exploiting others, and controlling the world, not about harnessing power to improve the world.

When you read this though, it is aimed at a niche market : the vaguely revolutionary economics student. Whilst immaculately designed and presented, the message as such is blunt, and perhaps obvious. The essays join thematically, but soon enough create a message that an economics student will probably not take to. It's a good book, and, from my perspective being twice the age of the average entry level economics student, obvious and liberal, perhaps not necessarily digestable to the market it aims for. But it is a useful,m and powerful book that explains the role of economics and the battle between how it could be used, and how it is used.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Four Violets VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a remarkable publication. A 400+ page large-format heavy-weight polemic on economics aimed squarely at university undergraduates would not normally rank in an "unputdownable" category, but this does. A total triumph of book design it is an assault on the senses (as someone else has said, it even smells great) - short, well-written and highly thought-provoking articles surrounded by emotive and visually gripping illustrations, it's a book that you feel compelled to open and dip into at random before finding that an hour or two have passed.

The only downside is that it is so squarely aimed at the undergraduate market (and especially the US undergrad market). It repeatedly addresses the reader as an economics student, so that at times the non-student can feel a bit like there are intruding on someone else's party.

However, that aside, it's a book that raises issues and makes the reader think. It's probably rather one-sided, but then it is aiming to counter pretty much every other text that the average student is likely to come across, so maybe that is understandable

Overall, a great buy for anyone seriously interested in the economy and current affairs.
John Birch
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How to undo a way of thinking 17 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The adbuster's method of text and image - very striking and effective - builds up the case for thinking how we might begin to rethink the approach to economics that has dominated the last forty years towards something more nuanced and inclusive.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye Opening and Challenging
It is a long time since a read an economics book, and this is nothing like them...
It is a book you can dip in and out off - reading the different articles. Read more
Published 2 months ago by artemisrhi
5.0 out of 5 stars Revolutionary economics "textbook". A plea to shake up economics.
If only all textbooks were like this. Part coffee table book, part political, anti-authoritarian, polemic and part clinical analysis. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Andrew Dalby
4.0 out of 5 stars a good reader for the first summer before iniversity
In that all important summer before university, it is a great time to influence young minds if you can get them reading. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mr. Stephen Redman
5.0 out of 5 stars How the left was won
First off...this is a big book..literally! It's a A4 sized tome which is produced in an almost comic book style. Large print,lots of full page photos,captions comic style images. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Arthur Dooley
1.0 out of 5 stars The crowd are on the pitch, they think it's all is now!
Fifteen, twenty years ago, we still has a very broad ideological spectrum. There was an alternative to liberal democracy and its economic dog, particularly outside the US. Read more
Published 6 months ago by El Loro
4.0 out of 5 stars Economics presented with a modern style.
The aggressive title makes for sensationalist setting for the author to put forward his thoughts and ideas. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Jack Chakotay
5.0 out of 5 stars Bang on the money.
I would say this book is definitely of the most benefit to those with an academic inclination. Although I'm not studying economics, I found it to be a really though provoking read... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Flickering Ember
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! Subversive! Stimulating!
At once the design of this large format almost-comic-style book reminds me of the thrillingly ambiguous and revolutionary "situationist" publications of the 1960's. Read more
Published 8 months ago by SH_
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read
This book, produced in the distinctive style Kalle Lasn has made famous through his controversial magazine Adbusters, is in the main directed towards economics undergraduates. Read more
Published 8 months ago by B. Bello
5.0 out of 5 stars A Creative Look At Economics
Meme Wars is an original book that looks at Economics in a creative way. It's well illustrated throughout with provocative art and image. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Amé Zine
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