Now available in English for the first time, Jean Baudrillard's classic text was one of the first to focus on the process and meaning of consumption in contemporary culture. Originally published in 1970, the book still makes a vital contribution to current debates on consumption. Many of the themes which would make Baudrillard famous appear here for the first time. The book includes Baudrillard's most organized discussion of mass media culture, the meaning of leisure and anomie in affluent society. A chapter on the body demonstrates Baudrillard's extraordinary prescience for flagging vital subjects in contemporary culture long before others. This English translation begins with an introductory essay by George Ritzer.