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

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Knopf Canada, Jul 8, 2009 - Social Science - 240 pages
32 Reviews
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’sThe Culture of Narcissismand Neil Postman’sAmusing 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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - liso - LibraryThing

Polemic wrapped in non sequitur garnished with glimmers of insight. This topic has potential that was not realized by the author. The leaps in logic (Most psychologists belong to the APA, the APA is ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - greeniezona - LibraryThing

How to review this book? The idea is certainly true -- or at least deeply resonant with me at the moment. We as a culture have become addicted to illusion and spectacle. Prominent examples from the ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Chris Hedges, the author of the bestselling War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, is currently a senior fellow at The Nation Institute and the Anschutz Distinguished Fellow at Princeton University, and writes for many publications including Foreign Affairs, Harper’s, The New York Review of Books, Granta and Mother Jones. He is also a columnist for Truthdig.com.

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