Empire of Illusion

Empire of Illusion

The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle

Book - 2009
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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 Lasch's The Culture of Narcissism and Neil Postman's 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.

Publisher: New York, NY : Nation Books, c2009
ISBN: 9781568584379
Branch Call Number: 302.23 HED 2009 22
Characteristics: vii, 232 p


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May 27, 2017

I will read more by Chris Hedges.

Oct 10, 2015

Once upon a time, I would have given this book a rating that was much higher. I found the book to be insightful and compelling and quote jarring in its ability to cut through to the beating heart of our cultural problems. I have since read about Hedges and the repeated and well supported arguments of persistent and pervasive plagiarism on his part. This leaves me wondering if in fact it was Hedges writing or somebody else's writing who moved me so deeply. And given the books themes, that suspicion undermines much of my respect for the work.

Oct 03, 2015

The commenter below, shawnrichardlindsay, is sooo completely off the mark. Hedges is simply hardhitting and scathingly on target. The last time I heard Mr. Hedges in public was at a Town Hall-type stop on his book tour, and the limousine neoliberals or pseudo-liberals in the audience, chortled and twittered when a young questioner asked about Hedges' opinon of Julian Assange [those twittering clowns evidently believing the Bonnier-family-Swedish-press propaganda about Assange].
Chris was most biting in his response -- directed at the chortling clowns -- that WikiLeaks was about the last possibility or hope of a free press, and that the elites were out to bury Assange.
With the mass of Americans believing in magic and displaying magical thinking, oblivious to anything analytical or aritmetical in the way of thought, Hedges' demeanor is right on the money!

Aug 18, 2015

Highly biased, but still persuasive.

Hedges is so completely lacking in self-awareness, sophistication, and respect for his readers' intelligence, one can't help but wonder whether he means to demonstrate his thesis rather than essay it. The Empire of Illusion is to cultural criticism what Starbucks is to coffee. Look on these pages and despair!

Mar 06, 2015

Empire of Illusion is a book that most people in our nation (and much of the world) will hate indeed because the entertainment media has become their religion. It’s a religion that author Chris Hedges lashes out mercilessly to the point of making me agree with feminists when covering the pornography industry. This wasn’t that impressive, though. What was really bold was his coverage on the college industry; especially the worshipped Ivy League that didn’t fare much better.
How on Earth can Chris Hedge stay on business in a time and place like now?

LRS1969 Feb 03, 2015

What Mr_Pear said!

Jan 26, 2014

This book is Mr. Hedges polemic against American Society. Though eloquently written with many varied topics, unfortunately it is backed up with little fact. There are too many times where the author uses quotes to justify his opinion but these are just other peoples opinion. Though I might share the author's distaste in WWE, violent pornography and reality TV, I think to draw a conclusion that all of America is doomed because ten million people ( out of 300 million, less then 3.5%) watch crap instead of reading a book is a little far fetched. The author, though he tries to disabuse his false view of an America of the past which glows in his mind is wrong. There never has been a "Golden Age", human nature has not changed.

Jan 05, 2014

the sky is falling, and we've let it happen, shame on us, in a final chapter Hedges argues, utterly convincingly, that our only salvation, though it might sound corny, is indeed love, what could you recommend better, or even else

Dec 18, 2013

This book is nakedly honest and poweful. Must read.

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May 30, 2013

Mr_Pear thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

Aug 30, 2010

boz1117 thinks this title is suitable for 19 years and over


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