Meme Wars: The Creative Destruction of Neoclassical Economics

Kalle Lasn and Adbusters. Seven Stories, $29.95 (400p) ISBN 978-1-60980-473-2
This self-consciously stylized anticapitalist textbook offers a tour through alternative economics targeted toward college students and those encountering anarchist or radical politics for the first time. Lasn is both the founder of Adbusters Magazine and the mind behind the Occupy Movement, which has earned his culture-jamming ethos an extended moment in the sun. This latest text marries these two cultural phenomena, driven equally by the glitzy subversion of '90s culture jamming and the broad-ranging ideological concerns of Occupy protestors, environmental and social justice concerns prime among them. The book is rich with enlightening interviews with mainstream and radical economists as well as tours through historic economic development and paradigm-shifting concepts. However, the reliance on a '90s style of faux-ads and fraught, frenetic imagery—familiar to anyone who has browsed an old Adbusters—feels dated, while the constant attempts to subvert the textbook genre come across more often as cheesy than radical. For those committed to the read, the core content of the book, including contributions by Herman Daly and Margaret Atwood, still manages to convince and inspire, even while the stylized design borders on a patronizing tone that risks turning off the very audience it addresses. Color illus. (Nov)
Reviewed on: 12/24/2012
Release date: 11/01/2012
Hardcover - 400 pages - 978-1-60980-432-9
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