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Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacleby Chris Hedges
Synopses & Reviews
We now live in two Americas. One—now the minority—functions in a print-based, literate world that can cope with complexity and can separate illusion from truth. The other—the majority—is retreating from a reality-based world into one of false certainty and magic. To this majority—which crosses social class lines, though the poor are overwhelmingly affected—presidential debate and political rhetoric is pitched at a sixth-grade reading level. In this other America,” serious film and theater, as well as newspapers and books, are being pushed to the margins of society.
In the tradition of Christopher Laschs The Culture of Narcissism and Neil Postmans Amusing Ourselves to Death, Pulitzer Prize-winner Chris Hedges navigates this culture—attending WWF contests, the Adult Video News Awards in Las Vegas, and Ivy League graduation ceremonies—to expose an age of terrifying decline and heightened self-delusion.
Pulitzer prize-winner Chris Hedges charts the dramatic and disturbing rise of a post-literate society that craves fantasy, ecstasy and illusion.
Chris Hedges argues that we now live in two societies: One, the minority, functions in a print-based, literate world, that can cope with complexity and can separate illusion from truth. The other, a growing majority, is retreating from a reality-based world into one of false certainty and magic. In this other society, serious film and theatre, as well as newspapers and books, are being pushed to the margins.
In the tradition of Christopher Lasch's The Culture of Narcissism and Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death, Hedges navigates this culture — attending WWF contests as well as Ivy League graduation ceremonies — exposing an age of terrifying decline and heightened self-delusion.
From the Hardcover edition.
In the tradition of Christopher Lasch's "The Culture of Narcissism," Pulitzer Prize-winner Hedges charts the dramatic and disturbing rise of a post-literate America that craves fantasy, ecstasy, and illusion.
A Pulitzer Prize-winning and New York Times best-selling author charts the dramatic and disturbing rise of a post-literate America that craves fantasy, ecstasy, and illusion.
In this New York Times bestseller, Pulitzer Prizewinning journalist Chris Hedges has written a shattering meditation on American obsession with celebrity and the epidemic of illiteracy that threatens our cultural integrity. Reporting on such phenomena as professional wrestling, the pornographic film industry, and unchecked casino capitalism, Hedges exposes the mechanisms used to divert us from confronting the economic, political, and moral collapse around us. Empire of Illusion shows us how illiteracy and the embrace of fantasy have impoverished our working class, allowed for the continuance of destructive public policy, and ushered in cultural bankruptcy.
About the Author
Chris Hedges is a senior fellow at the Nation Institute and the Anschutz Distinguished Fellow at Princeton University. He is the author of the best-selling War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Nonfiction. He currently writes for numerous publications, including Harpers, The New York Review of Books, and Mother Jones. A columnist for Truthdig, he lives in Princeton, New Jersey.
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