Clearly delineates the two figures on the historical horizon: the earlier, "savage" man (or woman - Veblen regards women as those responsible for humanity's progress in food) who labors, admires craftsmanship, and, the later "barbaric" man: the predator who, by force and fraud, seizes and controls the usufruct to the detriment of the underlying population. In the semi-peaceful modern period, the barbarian is the pecuniary (monied)class, the businessmen and vested interests who seek a profit, as opposed to the technologists and laborers in charge of the actual production of goods. The profit comes usually at the sabotage of production, and is a matter of salesmanship, not technological knowledge. In this book Veblen paints the mindset of the pecuniary class: make believe: an anthropomorphic god, gradations in rank, and a showing of status by Not Working: conspicuous liesure, conspicuous waste, so that those who actually do work will find work "irksome" due to an envious comparison with the non-worker. With this book you'll learn why we have lawns rather than urban gardens, why sports and entertainment are so highly valued, why people hunt, why no one picks up garbage in a public place, why stock market crashes are the rule rather than the exception, why women paint their nails and bind their feet, and why there are priests even today. The man who predicted the stock market crash of 1929 and the world war to follow World War One, presents to you his very first book. Also, those who wish to improve their vocabulary and the grammar of an argument could not find a better teacher.