Born in Flint, MI; married. Education: Columbia University, bachelor's degree, c. 1993, master's degree, c. 1998.
Jour nalist and writer. Worked in Saint Petersburg, Russia, editing the cultural section of an English-language newspaper, and in the Middle East as a foreign correspondent. Contributor to Marketplace on National Public Radio.
Green with Envy: Why Keeping Up with the Joneses Is Keeping Us in Debt, Warner Business Books (New York, NY), 2006.
Contributor to periodicals, including the New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, Good Housekeeping, and Crain's New York Business. Contributor to online periodicals, including Forbes.com.
Shira Boss is a journalist who was inspired by her own financial problems to write Green with Envy: Why Keeping Up with the Joneses Is Keeping Us in Debt. "Well, basically, we went through a period of financial difficulties," Boss told Jack Cafferty in an interview on CNN.com. "A lot of people do. My husband wasn't working. We were living on one income. And I realized it wasn't—we got really miserable. And it wasn't that we didn't have what we needed, that we didn't have a roof over our head and food and really a comfortable life, but we just started thinking that everybody around us seemed to be doing great and we seemed to be the only ones struggling, and why is that?"
In Green with Envy, Boss presents five cases that reflect her philosophy that trying to keep up appearances with the neighbors leads to personal and financial problems. The author concludes the book by offering tips on how to overcome envy and live within one's financial means. "Boss' book is voyeuristic for sure, but it's nicely backed up with a slew of eye-opening facts," wrote Amy Baldwin in the Charlotte Observer. Several reviewers commented on the author's frank exploration of both her own and others' financial problems and mind-sets. A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that "Boss's case for candor is valuable." Michelle Archer, writing on the USA Today Web site commented: "It's rare to encounter such honesty about the endless financial comparisons people make behind closed doors. It makes for refreshingly juicy reading—especially when Boss gradually learns that things aren't always as they appear on the surface."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Back Stage East, March 16, 2006, "Green with Envy," discusses promotional video for author's book, p. 16.
Charlotte Observer, June 13, 2006, Amy Baldwin, "Out of the Red: Lust for Money Fogs Our Vision," review of Green with Envy: Why Keeping Up with the Joneses Is Keeping Us in Debt.
Publishers Weekly, April 10, 2006, review of Green with Envy, p. 63.
CNN.com,http://transcripts.cnn.com/ (May 28, 2006), Jack Cafferty, "CNN in the Money," interview with author.
Columbia College Today Online,http://www.college.columbia.edu/cct/ (May 12, 2007), "Keeping Up with the Joneses."
Green with Envy Web site,http://www.greenwithenvythebook.com (May 12, 2007).
USA Today Online,http://www.usatoday.com/ (May 29, 2006), Michelle Archer, review of Green with Envy.