The Hunger for More

Laurence Shames, Author, Jonathan Segal, Editor Crown Publishers $18.95 (291p) ISBN 978-0-8129-1656-0
Shames ( The Big Time ) defines salient features of the dominant ethic of the 1980s: worship of money and people who have money, treating one's job or career with the utmost seriousness, a selfish credo of self-interest, leisure as a form of recuperation. But as society fractures into a workaholic, moneyed elite and the underpaid or underemployed masses, it is becoming clear, he argues, that ``America has gotten about as rich as it's going to get.'' Swinging between sharp insights and glib generalizations, this breezy, journalistic epitaph for the '80s suggests that a new ethic of service and humane values may ``fill the bubble'' created by the swelling poverty of the so-called middle class. Former ethics columnist for Esquire , Shames is adept at skewering the much-touted entrepreneurial boom, workaholics, ``academic vocationalism'' and the ``sleaze wave'' of questionable business deals and government scandals. He is less successful at explaining how a new ethic might work, and why peole would adopt it. First serial to Financial Enterprise, New York Times and Best of Business; author tour. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
Paperback - 978-0-679-73328-7
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