New York Times pays tribute to Harvard-educated sociologist and Santa Cruz resident

July 1, 2013

Philip Slater, a Harvard-educated writer and sociologist, died last month at his home in Santa Cruz.

Slater was the author of 1970′s “The Pursuit of Loneliness,” which critiqued American culture, arguing that despite widespread affluence, Americans were “generally an unhappy and dissatisfied people, but did not understand the source of that unhappiness,” according to Wallace Baine of the Santa Cruz Sentinel. 

Slater moved to Santa Cruz a few years after the book’s publishing, and remained here until his death on June 2o at the age of 86 from non-Hodgkinson’s lymphoma.

The New York Times published its obituary for Slater this past weekend.

A snippet:

“He gave up his car, learned to live on one-fourth the income he was used to and began pursuing a life he would describe in a 1980 book, “Wealth Addiction,” as “voluntary simplicity.”

“It was not all pleasant,” he said in a 2002 interview with The Dallas Morning News, which described him as a “slender, handsome, active” 75-year-old living on Social Securityand renting a 350-square-foot efficiency apartment in Santa Cruz. “Yet I hadn’t lost anything precious. I’d lost money. I’d lost security.”

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