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“In Cheap We Trust”

In CHEAP We Trust: The Story of a Misunderstood American VirtuePlastic cards. Minimum payments. Purchases that exceed one’s limits. The habit of spending money that you don’t have feels inherently American, and it is this value that serves as the basis for Weber’s satisfying examination of American consumption. “In Cheap We Trust: The Story of a Misunderstood American Virtue” challenges the view that Americans were always reckless spenders, by drawing on several figures who championed thriftiness to an extreme during their lifetime: people including Benjamin Franklin, Booker T. Washington, Hetty Green, and Lydia Marie Child. Publishers Weekly says that Weber “provides a rich canvas from which to consider American ambivalence about saving.” But the book is not meant to lecture; the Washington Post writes, “Weber doesn’t scold us, thank God. She just invites us to take a closer look at how we live our financial lives.”

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