Quantcast The Value of Nothing: Why Everything Costs So Much More Than We Think by Raj Patel
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The Value of Nothing

Why Everything Costs So Much More Than We Think


 On Sale: 21/12/2009
 Formats:     Hardback | Trade paperback | E-Book
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Book Description


As retirement funds shrink, savings disappear and houses are foreclosed on, now is a good time to ask a question for which every human civilization has had an answer: why do things cost what they do? The Value of Nothing tracks down the reasons through history, philosophy, neuroscience and sociology, showing why prices are always at odds with the true value of the things that matter most to us.
      Damien Hirst’s diamond-encrusted skull sold for a record $100 million at auction. But if we account for the possibility that blood diamonds were used (as many suspect), the human cost is even greater. A Big Mac might seem like the best deal in these economic times, but after analyzing the energy to produce each burger, from field to Happy Meal, Patel argues the real price tag is a whopping $200. But it is easiest to see the gap between price and value by looking at things that are so-called free. Examining everything from Google to TV, from love to thoughts, The Value of Nothing reveals the hidden social consequences of our global culture of “freedom.”


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Critical Praise for The Value of Nothing

“With great lucidity and confidence in a dazzling array of fields, Patel reveals how we inflate the cost of things we can (and often should) live without, while assigning absolutely no value to the resources we all need to survive. This is a deeply thought-provoking book about the dramatic changes we must make to save the planet from financial madness -- argued with so much humor and humanity that the enormous tasks ahead feel both doable and desirable. This is Raj Patel’s great gift: he makes even the most radical ideas seem not only reasonable, but inevitable. A brilliant book.”
—Naomi Klein, author The Shock Doctrine

ISBN: 9781554686223; ISBN10: 1554686229; Imprint: HarperCollins Canada ; On Sale: 21/12/2009; Format: Hardback; Trimsize: 5 x 7 3/4; Pages: 208; $26.99; Ages: 1 and Up

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For those with enough money—and that’s most of us in wealthier countries—life is good. We can eat almost anything we want, regardless of where it comes from, what season it is or how much it costs. The world is our dish, laden with more foods than we’ve ever seen in history...