cover image BOOB JUBILEE: The Cultural Politics of the New Economy

BOOB JUBILEE: The Cultural Politics of the New Economy

, . . Norton, $24.95 (288pp) ISBN 978-0-393-32430-3

For those who doubted the New Economy would be the answer to mass discrepancies in wealth in this country, or the liberator of the overworked and underpaid laborers of the world, there is nothing so sweet as saying, "I told you so." In this collection of essays previously published in the Baffler, a 15-year-old journal of cultural criticism, the contributors skewer the myth of the omnipotent free market. Rather than regurgitating cold figures, they tell stories to reflect the impact of misguided economic policies. Mike Newirth's "Give the Millionaire a Drink," set in East Hampton, N.Y., takes a cinematic look at the local denizens and channels Fitzgerald in its description of the decadence and superficiality endemic to the late 1990s. In "American Heartworm," a tale of Midwestern desperation that evokes Steinbeck, Ben Metcalf asks of the Mississippi, "What other waterway has been the seat of more shame, or has inspired us to greater stupidity, or has inflected more brutal and embarrassing wounds upon our culture?" Frank, Mulcahey and their colleagues at the influential publication that prides itself on analyzing "business culture and the culture business" have collected some of the better pieces of writing from this unusual period. Along with Studs Terkel's stirring introduction, this is a powerful study of the contemporary American experience. (Aug.)

FYI:Norton published a previous Baffler book, Commodify Your Dissent, in 1997.