The Authenticity Hoax: Why the Real Things We Seek Don't Make Us Happy

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 5/3/2011
  • Publisher: Harpercollins

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What does it mean to be authentic? The demand for authenticity-the honest or the real-is one of the most powerful movements in contempo-rary life, influencing our moral outlook, political views, and consumer behavior. Yet according to Andrew Potter, when examined closely, our fetish for #x1C;authentic#x1D; lifestyles or experiences is actually a form of exclusionary status seeking. The result, he argues, is modernity's malaise: a competitive, self-absorbed individualism that ultimately erodes genuine relationships and true community. Weaving together threads of pop culture, history, and philosophy, The Authenticity Hoax reveals how our misguided pursuit of the authentic merely exacerbates the artificiality of contemporary life that we decry. In his defiant, brilliant critique, Andrew Potter offers a way forward to a meaningful individualism that makes peace with the modern world.

Author Biography

Andrew Potter is the coauthor of the international bestseller Nation of Rebels. A journalist, writer, and teacher, he lives in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter (@jandrewpotter).

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Jargon of Authenticityp. 1
The Malaise of Modernityp. 17
A False Returnp. 50
The Creative Selfp. 76
Conspicuous Authenticityp. 103
Perils of Transparencyp. 136
Vote for Me, I'm Authenticp. 168
Culture Is for Touristsp. 200
The End of Historyp. 233
Conclusion: Progress, the Very Ideap. 264
Acknowledgmentsp. 272
Notesp. 274
Indexp. 284
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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