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April 08, 2005

Rich is Beautiful: A Very Personal Defence of Mass Affluence - Richard D. North

Posted by Michael Mosbacher

Rich Is Beautiful: A Very Personal Defence of Mass Affluence
by Richard D North
Pp. 311. London: Social Affairs Unit, 2005
Hardback, 20
Publication Date: 22nd April 2005

At last: a feel-good book about Western consumer culture.

On Friday 22nd April the Social Affairs Unit will be publishing Rich is Beautiful: A Very Personal Defence of Mass Affluence by Richard D. North, the first defence of "neo-Liberal" economic life which shows how capitalism is culturally and socially rich and rewarding.

This is a ground-breaking book which systematically argues that Westerners are lucky to be rich, that they enjoy being rich, and that the societies which produce modern wealth are free, cheerful and cultured.

This book draws on much more than data and numbers. Richard D North, who has covered all kinds of waterfronts in a long journalistic career, now cites films, TV shows and much else to discuss how the fashionable nay-sayers misread modern life and mores so badly.

Richard D. North specifically takes on Professor Lord Richard Layard, Will Hutton, Naomi Klein, George Monbiot, Joseph Stiglitz, John Gray, Barry Schwartz, Madeleine Bunting, and many others who decry the "Neo-Liberal", "Anglosphere", model of economic life.

Update 3rd April: Rich is Beautiful is discussed by Allister Heath in The Business in his column: Money alone cannot buy happiness - but it's a start.

Update 10th April: Richard D. North is interviewed today by Amanda Craig about Rich is Beautiful in the Sunday Times: Get rick quick...it's doing everyone a favour.

Update 18th April: Richard D. North was a guest today on BBC Radio 4's Start The Week to discuss Rich is Beautiful. For those who missed the programme, it can now be downloaded from the Start The Week website.

Update 24th April: Rich is Beautiful has been reviewed by Bryan Appleyard as the lead review in the Sunday Times.

Update 14th May: Rich is Beautiful has been reviewed by Sir Samuel Brittan as the lead review in the Financial Times. (The piece can also be read on Sir Samuel Brittan's own website).

Update 21st May: Rich is Beautiful has received a short review in The Guardian.

Update 1st June: Rich is Beautiful has been very favourably reviewed by Leo McKinstry in the June 2005 issue of the Literary Review (no web link available).

Update 1st November: Edited excerpts from Rich is Beautiful are published as the lead item in the November/December 2005 edition of the Cato Institute's Cato Policy Report.

Update 21st November: Rich is Beautiful is today reviewed by Detmar Doering in the leading German paper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.


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