Aired: July 28, 2012

Is This Place Great or What?

Brian Ulrich’s (Virginia Commonwealth University) new book Is This Place Great or What is a decade-long photographic study of consumerism in America, post 9-11. His pictures, which were taken across the United States, portray shoppers and employees in “Big Box” stores and small thrift stores. He also documents abandoned shopping malls on the brink of demolition, holding a mirror up to our society’s love of the retail economy. Also featured: The story of America is a story of dreamers and defaulters and of dramatic financial panics that defined the nation and created its political parties. Scott Nelson (College of William and Mary) is the author of A Nation of Deadbeats, a fresh, irreverent look at our addiction to debt and how it has made us what we are today.

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