Empire of Illusion : The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 10/5/2010
  • Publisher: Perseus Books Group

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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. 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.

"Remarkable, bracing and highly moral, Empire of Illusion is Hedges' lament for his nation."- Maclean's

"Each chapter of Empire of Illusion makes a strong case for how different illusions of literacy, love, wisdom, happiness taken together are destroying the American mind, culture and the nation itself."- National Post

"Each chapter torches one of our cultural illusions."- The Globe and Mail

"Hedges is a fan of big ideas, and in Empire of Illusion, he draws upon the culture of professional wrestling and pornography, the elite university, positive psychology and the financial crisis to fashion a social theory of everything."- Winnipeg Free Press

Author Biography

Chris Hedges is a senior fellow at the Nation Institute and the Anschutz Distinguished Fellow at Princeton University. He is the author of the best-selling War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Nonfiction. He currently writes for numerous publications, including Harper’s, The New York Review of Books, and Mother Jones. A columnist for Truthdig, he lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

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Customer Reviews

A Wake-Up Call that I hear loud and clear! April 27, 2011
Empire of Illusion is kind of another view and amplification of Chris Hedges' American Fascists. By focusing on a laundry list of American social characteristics we find our country taken over by illusion and instant gratification. I would strongly recommend that anyone that feels unsettled about this modern American life read this textbook! I am grateful to Mr. Hedges for this cheap and informative textbook.
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Empire of Illusion : The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle: 5 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.

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