Tracing the cultural evolution of shopping from outdoor bazaars to suburban malls, this brazen look at the history and psychology of one of humankinds oldest pursuits considers the variety of reasons (and excuses) that drive the impulse to buy. An opulent collection of shopping places are described, including ancient markets, covered arcades of 18th-century France, gallerias of 19th-century Italy, and megamalls of 1950s America. Examples from literature and other sources explore the historically conflicted attitudes about shoppingit seems that fashionistas have always fought over the trendiest hemlines and hats. The development of buying options is detailed, from mail order catalogs and Internet stores to retail districts and massive supermarkets.

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