Selfishness and greed have been our tools of survival from the very beginning, ever since our earliest forebears climbed down from the trees and set off across the savannah in search of God. Evolution has given us an instinct that is as crucial to our survival as fear or sex but, in the third millennium, greed has become a juggernaut that is steering out of control: · The world's most expensive sandwich = £85, London. · The world's most expensive dinner = £17,563, Bangkok. · A sacked national football coach waiting out his contract = £13,000 a day. The world cannot go on fulfilling the demands we make of it but the juggernaut is showing no signs of slowing down. And yet we can still appreciate the genius of those whose ambitions have created works of art, gourmet food, brilliant technologies . . . Spanning across a whole range of issues including obesity, American evangelism, the Iraq war and GM food, Greed is not just a lament for lost innocence or an assault on the fat cats - it's also a celebration of all that greed has prompted us to achieve. It began as a primitive instinct but greed has become a driving force so powerful it is capable of over-riding everything in its path.
This is its story.
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Some cracking sections . . . there's stuff to make your jaw drop . . . Girling also has a very good ear for the telling quotation. - Daily Mail
In many circumstances, greed . . . is good. Without it, we could say goodbye to most of mankind's finest achievements. However, in the course of his wide-ranging and brilliantly written polemic, which succeeds in throwing new light on subjects as diverse as the obesity epidemic, footballers' wages, looming demographic crises in Europe, the manipulative powers of the International Monetary Fund and the human cost of cheap bananas, Girling demonstrates just why we need to keep the monster firmly on the leash. - Sunday Times
His observations are insightful. - Daily Telegraph
Richard Girling's Greed is a book to curl up with . . . also curling your lip and maybe your fists as well. Beware though, he has one or two surprises in store . . . - Classic FM
Lively and energetic... an enriching exploration into the ways in which greed and its progeny - selfishness, jealousy, and ambition - are essential to our wellbeing, enjoyment and more,and to our success as human beings. - Good Book Guide
Richard Girling is a senior feature writer for the Sunday TimesMagazine. He has been awarded the title Journalist of the Year for two years in a row at the Press Gazette Environmental Press Awards 2008 and 2009. He has also been named Specialist Writer of the Year at the UK Press Awards in 2002 and was also shortlisted for this award in 2005 and 2006. He has been a consultant to the former Department of the Environment and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and author of campaigns for the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE). He is currently a trustee of the Tree Council.