Slow Culture and the American Dream: A Slow and Curvy Philosophy for the Twenty-First Century (Hardcover)
Is the USA hospitable to the slow movement? The land of fast food, get-rich-quick schemes, and 24/7 news feeds? In Slow Culture and the American Dream: A Slow and Curvy Philosophy for the Twenty-First Century, Mary Caputi argues that the slow movement has much to teach the United States at this moment in time. Although slow philosophy is in many ways opposite to the prevalent American Dream, the current cultural setting demands that we heed its teachings. The climate crisis should make us rethink our fast-paced, ever-accelerating lifestyle so that we can lighten our carbon footprint and decelerate--if not reverse-- the damage done to the planet. Equally important, however, is the movement's mandate that we slow down and savor life, focusing on quality, beauty, and calm rather than quantity and speed. Slow Food, Cittaslow (slow cities), slow fashion, slow travel, and slow parenting are examples of a philosophy that seeks to shift our focus away from "progress" as currently understood and revalue quality-of-life issues. Drawing deeply on her involvement with Slow Food and Cittaslow, the author advocates mainstreaming the philosophy of slow and thus reprioritizing the American Dream in ways that sustain the planet and teach Americans to develop a more refined aesthetic principle.
Mary Caputi is professor of political theory at California State University, Long Beach.