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VEBLEN, Thorstein.

The Theory of the Leisure Class.

An Economic Study in the Evolution of Institutions.

New York: The Macmillan Company; Macmillan & Co, Ltd, London, 1899 Stock Code: 129325
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Conspicuous consumption

First edition of the Norwegian-American professor's first published book, his most successful work. Veblen's thesis was a serious economic analysis of contemporary America, but after William Dean Howells gave the book a rave review as a social satire, it became a best-seller. "Into it he poured all the acidulous ideas and fantastic terminology that had been simmering in his mind for years. It was a savage attack upon the business class and their pecuniary values, half concealed behind an elaborate screenwork of irony, mystification and polysyllabic learning" (DAB). "The treatise is essentially an analysis of the latent functions of 'conspicuous consumption' and 'conspicuous waste' as symbols of upper-class status and as competitive methods of enhancing individual prestige. Veblen's term 'conspicuous consumption' has become part of everyday language" (IESS). Modern economists identify Veblen goods, those whose desirability decreases with their price and availability.

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Octavo. Original green cloth, spine lettered in gilt, triple gilt rules at spine ends continued in blind to covers, top edge gilt.


Light rubbing around extremities, spine ends a little rubbed and frayed at foot, some surface wear to covers, a few pages lightly creased in the gutter, shallow round indentation to first few leaves. A very good copy, partly unopened.


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