Since posting links to an excerpt and review of Rob Walker’s book Buying In on Monday, two more reviews have come to my attention–both more in depth than the first and both terrific. One is from Salon, and was published on Tuesday, so you can understand why it wasn’t included in the original post. The review from TIME Magazine? Well… I just plain missed that when it was published in May, but it’s well worth the read if you missed it as well. In it, TIME‘s Andrea Sachs describes the book succinctly in the second paragraph:
With a compelling blend of cultural anthropology and business journalism, he makes us fess up about our dependence on brand-name products and explains our nearly irresistible urge to use what we buy to broadcast our identities.
Sachs’ article also has brief reviews of Good Guys and Bad Guys by New York Times‘ columnist John Norcero and the latest in HBSP’s “Memo to the CEO” series, High Performance with High Integrity.
Witty and insightful, Laura Miller’s review in Salon shows that she really grasps the material, especially near the end of the article when she contrasts Walker’s book with Snoop, a book with a similar theme of less caliber. While looking through future releases a few months back to see what we should be looking forward to, a coworker and I made the same connection and distinction between the books. It’s not that Snoop is bad, it’s that Buying In is that good (it probably helps that Walker writes for a living, while Snoop author Sam Gosling is a psychology professor).
If you’d like some samples of Rob’s writing before picking up the book, you can read an original essay at Powells.com, a manifesto at ChangeThis, and an excerpt from the book itself from FastCompany. You can also find the archive of his work for The New York Times Magazine at his blog, which, you know, you can also read.