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Michael Schaffer: America's Going To The Dogs

"Pet fashion shows, Chihuahua social networking, veterinary antidepressants [and] ambulance-chasing animal lawyers" are just the tip of what Philadelphia-based journalist Michael Schaffer says is a kind of pet-obsession iceberg in the lives of the American middle class.

In his new book One Nation Under Dog, Schaffer takes a close look at the $43 billion industry that's grown to help enable that obsession, explaining how that booming market reflects our evolving ideas of consumerism, family, politics and domesticity. But One Nation Under Dog is no dry industry analysis: It's a book, as Schaffer explains on his Web site, that's meant "to say as much about how contemporary humans live as it does about the modern lives of dogs and cats."

Schaffer has worked as a writer and an editor at the Washington City Paper, U.S. News and World Report and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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