Consumer Survival
An Encyclopedia of Consumer Rights, Safety, and Protection
by Wendy Reiboldt and Melanie Horn Mallers, Editors
November 2013, 986pp, 7x10
2 volumes, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-59884-936-3
$189, £140, 158€, A270
eBook Available: 978-1-59884-937-0
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Ralph Nader’s Unsafe at Any Speed indirectly led to the creation of the NHTSA.

Designed to empower readers to advocate for themselves and others, this wide-ranging encyclopedia reveals a surprising range of resources and options that consumers have at their disposal.

The only book of its kind, this two-volume, alphabetically arranged reference covers a broad array of topics related to consumer rights, including those of interest to often-overlooked populations such as older adults, veterans, and the homeless. Specific entries address critical areas including food and product safety, housing, health care, the financial industry, the automobile industry, and telecommunications. The encyclopedia reviews the historical development of the consumer movement, examines beliefs and values that drive the movement, and identifies agencies and laws intended to safeguard consumers.

Expert contributors discuss key current issues as well as those likely to arise in the future. Vignettes and case studies are used throughout, and various, sometimes contrasting viewpoints are shared to help readers better understand the content. Related topics are easily discovered through a “see also” list, and additional readings are provided at the end of each entry.


  • Traces the background, history, and chronology of the consumer movement
  • Presents A–Z entries on key events and individuals, government agencies, watchdog groups, and products
  • Provides balanced coverage of controversial topics to encourage critical thinking
  • Offers readers immediate opportunities to put concepts into practice and improve their quality of life
Wendy Reiboldt, PhD, is professor of consumer affairs and chair of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences at California State University, Long Beach. Her published works include Consumer Economics: The Consumer in Our Society, as well as refereed journal articles in Family and Consumer Sciences, Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect, and Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, among others. Reiboldt holds a doctorate in consumer economics from The Ohio State University.

Melanie Horn Mallers, PhD, is assistant professor in the Department of Human Services and the Masters in Gerontology Program at California State University, Fullerton. Her published works include refereed journal articles in Archives in Gerontology and Geriatrics and Developmental Psychology, as well as numerous book chapters and conference proceedings related to the health and wellbeing of individuals. She is coauthor of the upcoming An Overview of Human Services. Mallers holds a doctorate in family studies and human development from the University of Arizona, Tucson.


"This well-written, easily understandable set will appeal to a general audience. . . . Highly recommended." —Choice, May 28, 2014

"This two-volume work covers the contextual history, emerging issues, people, laws, and agencies related to consumer rights, safety, and protection. . . . Given the title’s scope, its comprehensive index is particularly welcome. . . . This unusual, ambitious reference guides researchers and lay readers alike into the multifaceted world of consumer affairs."—Library Journal, April 1, 2014

"This set serves as a good starting place for those seeking consumer information. . . . [T]his encyclopedia is recommended for high school and academic libraries."—Booklist Online, February 26, 2014

"The contributors use vignettes and case studies throughout to illustrate key points and provide insight into contrasting points of view. This will provide students with the opportunity to use their critical thinking skills. See also references are used throughout to guide readers to related entries. This work will be a useful addition to public and academic libraries."—ARBA, January 1, 2014

"High-school students, undergraduate students and general readers would benefit from this unique resource. It is easy to use and covers all aspects of consumer rights, safety and well-being thoroughly without using field-specific jargon. This resource is well suited to both academic and public libraries and is highly recommended."—Reference Reviews, August 1, 2014
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