Rathje: Rubbish! The Archaeology of Garbage. Paperback.

  • Rubbish! The Archaeology of Garbage
  • William Rathje; Cullen Murphy
  • Paperback, 272 pages, illustrations, 216 x 140 mm

It is from the discards of former civilizations that archaeologists have reconstructed most of what we know about the past, and it is through their examination of today's garbage that William Rathje and Cullen Murphy inform us of our present. Rubbish! is their witty and erudite investigation into all aspects of the phenomenon of garbage.

Rathje and Murphy show what the study of garbage tells us about a population's demographics and buying habits. Along the way, they dispel the common myths about our "garbage crisis"—about fast-food packaging and disposable diapers, about biodegradable garbage and the acceleration of the average family's garbage output. They also suggest methods for dealing with the garbage we do have.

A mother lode of valuable information . . . There ain't no flies on this book.

—Wall Street Journal

It demolishes myths that hamper our ability to act sensibly; as a nice bonus, it entertains as it goes about its business.

—Los Angeles Times Book Review

Readers will be impressed by Rathje and Murphy's delightfully fresh take on the human foibles and the garbage heaps of history.

—Washington Post Book World

A lucid and provocative book.

—New York Times Book Review

An almost joyous iconoclasm about a vexatious subject.

—Boston Sunday Globe