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Books & Magazines June, 30 2011

“The Steal: A Cultural History of Shoplifting” Book

The NYT wrote about it yesterday and Boing Boing picked it up today… Rachel Shteir’s The Steal: A Cultural History of ShopliftingThe Steal: A Cultural History of Shoplifting Booklooks to be a fascinating study into what some consider a to be an addiction or a misunderstood behavior in children. It clearly is much more than that. The key line from the publisher’s note say it all: “Just as experts can’t agree on why people shoplift, they can’t agree on how to stop it.”

The StealThe Steal: A Cultural History of Shoplifting Book begins when shoplifting entered the modern record as urbanization and consumerism made London into Europe’s busiest mercantile capital. Crossing the channel to nineteenth-century Paris, Shteir tracks the rise of the department store and the pathologizing of shoplifting as kleptomania. In 1960s America, shoplifting becomes a symbol of resistance when the publication of Abbie Hoffman’s Steal This BookThe Steal: A Cultural History of Shoplifting Book popularizes shoplifting as an antiestablishment act. Some contemporary analysts see our current epidemic as a response to a culture of hyper-consumerism; others question whether its upticks can be tied to economic downturns at all. Few provide convincing theories about why it goes up or down.”

Available from AmazonThe Steal: A Cultural History of Shoplifting Book.

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