THE HARRIED LEISURE CLASS by Staffan B. Linder
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THE HARRIED LEISURE CLASS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

What precious commodity is the rarest element on earth, cannot be stored or saved, is no more abundant for the rich man than the poor, and is paradoxically ever more scarce in an increasingly affluent society? That old devil Time of course that waits for no man, and for the modern mentality anxious to put every moment to good use, there are just too many things to do. Stockholm economist Staffan Linder, whose book has already shaken up the Swedes, argues with scholarly sophistication but popular appeal that added leisure time has not created idyllic idleness or the problem of finding things to do; with so many mass-produced pleasure items, good-time services, and amusement activities competing to fill those extra hours, the harried consumer is overwhelmed to the point of ""pleasure blindness,"" and leisurely enjoyment is becoming a lost art. With gentle sarcasm and telling accuracy, Linder derides follies like eating and making love on the run (""less time is devoted to both preparation and saw oring""), and laments the time-saving substitution of mapping pictures for absorbing a scene, of large banquets and cocktail parties for intimate get-togethers, and of convenient early marriages for the time-consuming process of extended search. And in case you think Linder is just talking-off the cuff, take a look at the mathematical appendix, where the main arguments are formalized in some ""simple"" mathematical models.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1969
Publisher: Columbia University Press