Who invented rescue dogs? Why are luxury brands losing their cachet? What’s made F. Scott Fitzgerald’s most famous observations about the rich obsolete? The answers are part of a new revolution that’s radically reorganizing the way we view ourselves and others.
Status was once easy to identify—fast cars, fancy shoes, sprawling estates, elite brands. But in place of Louboutins and Lamborghinis, the relevance of the rich, famous, and gauche is waning and a riveting revolution is underfoot. Why do dog owners boast about their rescues, but quietly apologize for their purebreds? Why do people brag about their grinding workweeks? Why are so many billionaires anxious to give (some of) their money away rather than hoard it?
In The Status Revolution, Chuck Thompson—dubbed “savagely funny” by The New York Times and “wickedly entertaining” by the San Francisco Chronicle—sets out to determine what “status” means today and learns that what was once considered the low life has become the high life. In The Status Revolution, Thompson tours the new world of status from a small community in British Columbia where an indigenous artist uses wood carving to restore communal status; to a Washington, DC, meeting of the “Patriotic Millionaires,” a club of high-earners who are begging the government to tax them; to a luxury auto factory in the south of Italy where making beautiful cars is as much about bringing dignity to a low-earning region than it is about flash and indulgence; to a London lab where the neural secrets of status are being unlocked.
“This isn’t a book about designer brands or orgies of overindulgence,” Thompson writes. “Even if I cared about them, the preferences of the rich, famous, and gauche have already been covered more exhaustively than a guy in my tax bracket could ever hope to fake.”
With his signature wit and irreverence, Thompson explains why everything we know about status is changing, upends centuries of conventional wisdom, and shows how the new status revolution reflects our place in contemporary society.