Empire of Things: How We Became a World of Consumers, from the Fifteenth Century to the Twenty-First

Category: Nonfiction


Posted on 2020-07-30, by books_lover.

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Empire of Things: How We Became a World of Consumers, from the Fifteenth Century to the Twenty-First “Empire of Things isn't just an insightful and surprisingly entertaining read, but a crucial one.”—NPR What we consume has become a central—perhaps the central—feature of modern life. Our economies live or die by spending, we increasingly define ourselves by our possessions, and this ever-richer lifestyle has had an extraordinary impact on our planet. How have we come to live with so much stuff, and how has this changed the course of history? In Empire of Things, Frank Trentmann unfolds the extraordinary story of our modern material world, from Renaissance Italy and late Ming China to today’s global economy. While consumption is often portrayed as a recent American export, this monumental and richly detailed account shows that it is in fact a truly international phenomenon with a much longer and more diverse history. Trentmann traces the influence of trade and empire on tastes, as formerly exotic goods like coffee, tobacco, Indian cotton and Chinese porcelain conquered the world, and
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