Book Review: The Steal


The Steal: A Cultural History of Shoplifting

By Rachel Shteir

PENGUIN PRESS

For as long as shopping has existed, so too has shoplifting, from early incarnations in 17th- and 18th-century England (where cutpurses akin to the fictional Moll Flanders filched brocaded silk from London storefronts) to its modern manifestation as a disease (kleptomania), anti-establishment protest (the 1971 cult manual Steal This Book), and vice of the blasé celebrity (Winona Ryder, Lindsay Lohan). Yet through it all, no one has come up with a cure—retail’s “silent epidemic” still costs consumers a small fortune in price increases. In this fascinating and sweeping history, Shteir, a cultural critic, shows how the crime’s persistence reveals “important truths about our markets, our courtrooms, and our identities.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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