• by Steven Quartz, Anette Asp
  • Narrated by James Patrick Cronin
  • 10 hrs and 0 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A bold argument that our "quest for cool" shapes modern culture and the global economy. Like it or not, we live in an age of conspicuous consumption. In a world of brand names, many of us judge ourselves and others by the products we own. Teenagers broadcast their brand allegiances over social media. Tourists flock to Rodeo Drive to have their pictures taken in front of luxury stores. Soccer moms switch from minivans to SUVs to hybrids while hip beer connoisseurs flaunt their knack for distinguishing a K├Âlsch from a pilsner. How did this pervasive desire for "cool" emerge, and why is it so powerful today that it is a prime driver of the global economy? In Cool, the neuroscientist and philosopher Steven Quartz and the political scientist Anette Asp bring together the latest findings in brain science, economics, and evolutionary biology to form a provocative theory of consumerism, revealing how the brain's "social calculator" and an instinct to rebel are the crucial missing links in understanding the motivations behind our spending habits. Applying their theory to everything from grocery shopping to the near-religious devotion of Harley-Davidson fans, Quartz and Asp explore how the brain's ancient decision-making machinery guides consumer choice. Using these revolutionary insights, they show how we use products to advertise ourselves to others in an often unconscious pursuit of social esteem. Surprising at every turn, Cool will change the way you think about money, status, desire, and choice.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

People Were Cool Before 1950?

The authors make it clear that "cool" has been around a lot longer than most of us think, thousands of years before James Dean and Marlon Brando. Mankind's search for it is well documented here, and there are many lessons to be drawn from the conclusions presented. The only uncool part was the kind of pathetic plea against climate change at the end, as if man's puny efforts could make any difference one way or the other. Otherwise, this was a fine book.
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- KellysHero718

Any darn fool can make something complex...

it takes genius to make something simple. By that standard, this book was absolutely not written with genius. The book was narrated well, but the contents smelled like some Master's thesis and not a book meant for actual reading. I kept waiting for the good part, but it never came. Save your time and money, get a different book. Despite the title, this book is a total square.
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- Aaron Danielson

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-18-2015
  • Publisher: Audible Studios