The Librarian is reading...

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


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.

"The worse reality becomes, the less a beleaguered population wants to hear about it and the more it distracts itself with squalid pseudo-events of celebrity breakdowns, gossips, and trivia. These are the debauched revels of a dying culture"

In the tradition of Christopher Lasch's The Culture of Narcissism and Neil Postman's Amusing 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.

About the Author:

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.


Disclaimer: Not all of the books featured in the "The Librarian is reading..." entries will be available through Western Libraries, and some of these featured books will be personal copies of the librarian.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Denise Horoky published on September 8, 2009 9:12 AM.

CMEC's "Learn Canada 2020" was the previous entry in this blog.

People We Know: Mark Anderson and W. Rod Dolmage is the next entry in this blog.

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