Empire of Illusion by Chris Hedges
The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle

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Synopsis

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.

 

About Chris Hedges

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Chris Hedges was a foreign correspondent for the New York Times and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting, and his War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Nonfiction. Hedges is a senior fellow at the Nation Institute, a columnist for Truthdig, and the Anschutz Distinguished Fellow at Princeton University. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.
 
Published July 14, 2009 by Nation Books. 242 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Empire of Illusion

BC Books

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Hedges argues that Harvard, Princeton, Yale and the like create the next leaders of corporations and government;

Sep 07 2009 | Read Full Review of Empire of Illusion: The End o...

Macleans

The U.S. is in a death spiral, he believes, inextricably trapped in other nation’s lives and in “a culture of illusion that is, at its core, a culture of death—it will die and leave little of value behind.” Remarkable, bracing and highly moral, Empire of Illusion is Hedges’ lament for his nation.

Jul 28 2009 | Read Full Review of Empire of Illusion: The End o...

Daily Kos

The real reason that there are sizable economies around celebrity crap or pornography or academic "sales" or happytalk psychobabble is that the capitalist economy can no longer improve its fortunes through real industry, and so new "industries" must be invented to separate people from their money...

Jun 09 2010 | Read Full Review of Empire of Illusion: The End o...

truthdig

Right before the war broke out officially in 1939, the National Air Raid Precautions Animals Committee published a widespread warning titled “Advice to Animal Owners.” In short, the pamphlet encouraged pet owners to send their animals away, leave them in the hands of trustworthy neighbors, or “ha...

Oct 15 2013 | Read Full Review of Empire of Illusion: The End o...

truthdig

Perhaps less often - - ?.

Dec 08 2010 | Read Full Review of Empire of Illusion: The End o...

truthdig

By Douglas Chalmers, November 14, 2007 at 11:48 pm Link to this comment.

Nov 13 2007 | Read Full Review of Empire of Illusion: The End o...

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