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Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle

Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (Hardback)

£14.99
Unavailable. Replaced by new version by new supplier.
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Synopsis

A Pulitzer prize-winning and "NYT" bestselling author charts the political, social and cultural consequences of the dramatic and disturbing rise of a post-literate America that craves fantasy, ecstasy and illusion. The "New York Times" bestselling author of "American Fascists" travels in Empire of Illusion to the ringside of professional wrestling bouts at Madison Square Garden, to Las Vegas to write about the pornographic film industry, and to academic conferences held by positive psychologists - who claim to be able to engineer happiness - to chronicle our terrifying flight as a culture into a state of illusion. Hedges exposes the mechanisms used to divert us from confronting the economic, political, and moral collapse around us. He attacks the absurd idea that we can always draw on inner resources and strengths to have everything we desire. Reality, we are assured, is never an impediment to human wishes. It can always be overcome. The future will always be glorious. And held out to keep us amused are spectacles and celebrities who have become idealised versions of ourselves and who, we are assured, we can all one day become.

The cultural embrace of illusion, and the celebrity culture that has risen up around it, have accompanied a growing system of casino capitalism, with its complicated and unregulated deals of turning debt into magical assets to create fictional wealth for us, and vast wealth for our elite. Corporations, behind the smoke screen, have ruthlessly dismantled and destroyed our manufacturing base and impoverished our working class. The free market became our god and government was taken hostage by corporations, the same corporations that entice us daily with illusions through the mass media, the entertainment industry, and popular culture.

Philosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesCultural StudiesPopular culture Publisher: Avalon Publishing Group Publication Date: 14/07/2009 ISBN-13: 9781568584379  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
Availability: Unavailable. Replaced by new version by new supplier.  

Chris Hedges is currently a senior fellow at The Nation Institute and a Lecturer in the Council of the Humanities and the Anschutz Distinguished Fellow at Princeton University. He has reported from more than 50 countries, and worked for The New York Times, where he spent fifteen years. He currently writes for numerous US publications including Foreign Affairs, Harper's magazine, The New York Review of Books, Granta and Mother Jones.

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