In today's consumer-driven society, extolling the virtues of thrift
might seem like a quaint relic of a bygone era. Americans have
embraced the ideas of easy credit, instant gratification, and
spending as a tool to combat everything from recessions to the
effects of natural disasters and terrorist attacks. In David
Blankenhorn's new compendium, "Thrift: A Cyclopedia," he reminds
readers of a time when thrift was one of America's most cherished
cultural values.Gathering hundreds of quotes, sayings, proverbs,
and photographs of Blankenhorn's vast personal collection of thrift
memorabilia, this handsome book is a treasure trove of wisdom from
around the world and throughout the ages. Readers will find
insights from such varied sources as the Bible, the Qur'an, William
Shakespeare, Karl Marx, Oscar Wilde, J. C. Penney, and Warren
Buffett. Entries are serious, inspiring, occasionally humorous, and
they will go a great way toward expanding the narrow perception of
thrift as simple penny pinching; replacing that myopic view with
one of a broader thrift--one that, as William H. Kniffen puts it,
earns largely and spends wisely and leads to a life of independence
and comfort well into old age.Educators and parents will find ample
wisdom to pass on to the next generation about the value of hard
work, saving for the future, and generosity. Historians will
delight in the glimpses into the U.S. thrift movement of the 1920s.
Those seeking encouragement and inspiration will find much material
here for reflection on the ideals of good stewardship, diligence,
and sound financial planning. As our society ails from
wastefulness, growing economic inequality, indebtedness, and
runaway consumerism, there could be no stronger cure than this
powerful little word, thrift, which finds its root meaning in the
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