Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle
We now live in two Americas. Onenow the minorityfunctions in a print-based, literate world that can cope with complexity and can separate illusion from truth. The otherthe majorityis retreating from a reality-based world into one of false certainty and magic. To this majoritywhich crosses... show more
We now live in two Americas. Onenow the minorityfunctions in a print-based, literate world that can cope with complexity and can separate illusion from truth. The otherthe majorityis retreating from a reality-based world into one of false certainty and magic. To this majoritywhich crosses social class lines, though the poor are overwhelmingly affectedpresidential 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 cultureattending WWF contests, the Adult Video News Awards in Las Vegas, and Ivy League graduation ceremoniesto expose an age of terrifying decline and heightened self-delusion.
Publish date: July 14th 2009
Publisher: Nation Books
Pages no: 240
Edition language: English
, Cultural Studies
, Political Science
One word sum up Hedge's Empire of Illusion: autology. If you've ever wondered what the word is that describes something which describes itself (think: "multisyllabic" or "trochee" or "portmanteau" or "sesquipedalian, etc.), it is autological. In a book which so fervently rails against "spectacle" it...
2.5/5 I agree with much of what Hedges has to say (excepting his chapter on Porn, see below) but I don't agree with the way he says it or many of his claims about the "what" that he has identified as destroying the US. Yes, the US is clearly headed for worse times, and this is definitely in part a ...
This book brings up a lot of good criticisms against capitalist societies but it is certainly not without flaws. Hedges' biases are obvious and he seems to have a grudge against those he calls the "elites", that is, the wealthy and powerful capitalists that his book rails against. I get it, money ta...
Hedges vents his considerable anger with America's cultural and intellectual decline, and the penchant for most of our fellow citizens to choose the comforts of distraction and delusion over confronting the challenges of reality. I share his disillusionment.
Chris Hedges’ Empire of Illusion is in part an angry screed, in part a Jeremiad lament, and (in small) part a vision of a better America. With a mixture of raw anger and sharp analysis, he covers a wide range of topics–professional wrestling, brutal pornography, the military-industrial-educational c...