Supersizing has become an American way of life. We have XXL cars, homes, and waistlines. We built the world's tallest monument. We get the largest breast implants. We're home to the world's largest retailer, sports stadiums, and office building.Read more...
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Supersizing has become an American way of life. We have XXL cars, homes, and waistlines. We built the world's tallest monument. We get the largest breast implants. We're home to the world's largest retailer, sports stadiums, and office building. But with a deep recession and our nation's leaders urging us to reassess the impact of our daily lives, it has become impossible to ignore the effects on our environment, finances, communities, and psyches of going ever-bigger.
By turns funny and incisive, " Living Large" is a nation-spanning journey into the world of "extreme big," from North Way Christian Community Church in Wexford, Pennsylvania (one of the 1,300 American megachurches), to Bloomington, Minnesota's, Mall of America (4.2 million square feet in size); from the Tiffany flagship store in Manhattan (where in the past two decades the average engagement ring diamond has nearly doubled in size), to Whittier, California (home of America's largest landfill).
Wexler's firsthand reports on going for a breast enlargement consultation, trying to lift the world's largest ball of twine, getting lost in the country's largest hotel, talking shop with members of the Hummer Club of America are complemented by interviews with researchers, economists, business owners, critics, and consumers. "Living Large" offers a fascinating, thought-provoking look at a nation that's been supersizing for centuries but is only now coming to terms with its appetite for more."
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Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2010-08-16
- Reviewer: Staff
Wexler, a staff writer for Allure magazine, spent three years on the road, investigating America's worship at "the Church of Stuff." Wexler dives into America's new normal where bigger is better and our landscape is dominated by starter castles, Barbie boobs, megachurches and megamalls, jumbo engagement rings, mammoth cars, and landfills visible from space. By turns horrified, tempted, incredulous, guilt-ridden, mystified, and captivated by these excesses, Wexler approaches her subject with a compassion born of her own complicity (she's an SUV driver and enjoys her shopping). Though the book covers increasingly familiar postrecession "the party's over" territory with the depth of an extended magazine piece, Wexler brings a friendly first-person perspective to her study of surfeit and of the psychology behind our compulsion to consume and squander, why "living large" is defended by some as our "God-given right as Americans" and in other cases, might be downright unavoidable. (Nov.)