>From Barnes and Noble Editors
If holiday shopping or a spurt of impulse buying has you dreading the arrival of your next credit card bill, it may be of some small comfort to you to know that you're not alone. In Credit Card Nation: The Consequences of America's Addiction to Debt, sociologist Robert D. Manning traces the growth of the credit industry and explores our personal -- and societal -- attitudes toward and reliance upon credit card debt, including the strain that the pursuit of "the good life" puts on those perhaps least able to achieve it, the elderly and the young.
>From the Publisher
Credit Card Nation is the first comprehensive look at an ongoing social and economic crisis -- America's escalating dependence on credit. By locating consumer debt within the context of corporate and governmental debt, Manning explains how the deregulation of financial services in 1980 paved the way for larger and larger numbers of American consumers to become dependent on credit cards and other forms of borrowing for basic financial survival. Credit Card Nation combines original research, tracking the cumulative effects of public and private debt over the last twenty years, and extensive consumer interviews to tell the complete story of American indebtedness.
>From the Critics
>From Washington Monthly
While Robert Manning acknowledges in Credit Card Nation that over consumption plays a role in the mounting piles of debt consumers are shouldering, he doesn't just fault individuals. Manning's comprehensive approach to the causes of credit-card debt is far more compelling than the simple notion that aggressive marketing campaigns and solicitations alone have propelled the trend of credit-card-based lifestyles.
The story of unsustainable spending, paltry savings, and mounting debt is not a simple one. Manning does justice to the intracacies of the causes. But after reading 300 pages on the topic, one is left feeling that the reader deserves at least the suggestion of a comprehensive solution.
>From Business 2.0
In Credit Card nation: The Consequences of America's Addition to Credit, Robert D. Manning lays out a compelling and comprehensive history of credit and consumption in the United States that conveys the danger of being an "indebted society".
>From Washington Monthly
Manning's comprehensive approach to the causes of credit-card debt is far more compelling than the simple notion that aggressive marketing campaigns and solicitations alone have propelled the trend of credit-card-based lifestyles.... Manning does justice to the intricacies of the causes.
Through extensive interviews with consumers, Manning (economic sociology, U. of Houston) describes the real-life consequences of indebtedness across all strata of US society, including the failure of many people to take part in the recent economic upswing due to credit card interest rates that outpace even the recent increases in annual household income. As so often, he says, the system is set up so that the poor pay exorbitant interest to subsidize lower rates for the better off.
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