(The University of Chicago Press) Halton critiques the modern culture of materialism — which he calls “megatechnic America” — and its means of “brain rinsing” citizens into consumers. He argues that consumerism has replaced “self-originated” experiences with “automatic,” or passive, living. He finds the remedy in the organic and more spontaneous life of master craftsman Wharton Esherick, blues singer Muddy Waters, urban critic Lewis Mumford, and artist Maya Lin, among others. Halton is a professor of sociology and American studies at the University of Notre Dame.