9780226314655

Great Brain Suck : And Other American Epiphanies

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780226314655

  • ISBN10:

    0226314650

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2008-10-01
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr

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Summary

More and more information is pumped into our media-saturated world every day, yet Americans seem to know less and less. In a society where who you are is defined by what you buy, and where we prefer to experience reality by watching it on TV, Eugene Halton argues something has clearly gone wrong. Luckily Halton, with scalpel-sharp wit in one hand and the balm of wisdom in the other, is here to operate on the declining body politic. His initial diagnosis is bleak: fast food and too much time spent sitting, whether in our cars or on our couches, are ruining our bodies, while our minds are weakened by the proliferation of electronic devicesTVs, computers, cell phones, iPods, video gamesand their alienating effects. If we are losing the battle between autonomy and automation, he asks, how can our culture regain self-sufficiency? Halton finds the answer in the inspiring visionsdeeply rooted in American cultureof an organic and more spontaneous life at the heart of the work of master craftsman Wharton Esherick, legendary blues singer Muddy Waters, urban critic Lewis Mumford, and artist Maya Lin, among others. A scathing and original jeremiad against modern materialism,The Great Brain Suckis also a series of epiphanies of a simpler but more profound life.

Author Biography

Eugene Halton is professor of sociology at the University of Notre Dame and the author of Meaning and Modernity: Social Theory in the Pragmatic Attitude and Bereft of Reason: On the Decline of Social Thought and Prospects for Its Renewal, both published by the University of Chicago Press.

Table of Contents

Introduction
The Great Brain Suck
Out of the Fifties
Go Man Go
The Hunter-Gatherers' World's Fair
Life, Literature, and Sociology in Turn-of-the Century Chicago
Communicating Democracy: Or Shine, Perishing Republic
Lem's Master's Voice
An American Epiphany in Nashville
The House on Mount Misery
The Art and Craft of Home
Europiphanies
The Last Days of Lewis Mumford
Teleparodies
His One Leg
Acknowledgments
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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