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Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are By Rob Walker Random House; 291 pages

So there you are, sitting in your favorite armchair, smugly clicking the remote for your TiVo, sure that you've outrun those pesky advertisers. But have you? Despite all the ways Americans try to skip over ads and get to the good part, "we live in a world defined by more commercial messages, not fewer," proclaims Walker, the New York Times Magazine Consumed columnist and author of this fascinating new book. What's worse, he argues, most of us are unwitting participants in...

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