Are you Shoptimistic?

shoptimism.jpgLee Eisenberg is.  And now the former Esquire editor-in-chief and Land's End creative director has written a new book,  Shoptimism, to explore how we're sold products, why we buy them, and ultimately -- in the words of the subtitle -- Why the American Consumer Will Keep on Buying No Matter What.

Interestingly, even in the depths of a recession as our buying behavior has changed forever (or at least we've vowed that it has), Lee isn't rushing to condemn consumerism.  Instead, he's more interested in the "is" than the "ought," and he's done everything from becoming a Target employee (briefly) to researching the neuroscience of shopping in his quest to explain both the sell and the buy.  In the tradition of insightful books like Rob Walker's Buying In and Paco Underhill's Why We Buy, Lee holds up a magnifying mirror to his readers while we shop -- and ultimately reassures us that we don't look fat in that.    

And yes, there's even a descent into the world of counterfeit goods, with your favorite law prof playing Virgil to Lee's Dante for a visit to Canal Street.  (In chapter 15 -- not that you should read that bit first!)