Tracing the cultural evolution of shopping from outdoor bazaars to suburban malls, this brazen look at the history and psychology of one of humankind’s oldest pursuits considers the variety of reasons (and excuses) that drive the impulse to buy. An opulent collection of shopping places are described, including ancient markets, covered arcades of 18th-century France, gallerias of 19th-century Italy, and megamalls of 1950s America. Examples from literature and other sources explore the historically conflicted attitudes about shopping?it seems that fashionistas have always fought over the trendiest hemlines and hats. The development of buying options is detailed, from mail order catalogs and Internet stores to retail districts and massive supermarkets.
About the author
Laura Byrne Paquet is the author of The Urge to Splurge: A Social History of Shopping. Her articles have appeared in more than 70 publications in Canada, the U.S., and Europe, including National Geographic, Traveler, Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel, enRoute, Chatelaine, Canadian Living, and The Ottawa Citizen. Between her globe-trotting adventures, she finds time to write romance novels from her Ottawa home.