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Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and…
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Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (original: 2009; edição: 2009)

de Chris Hedges (Autor)

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1,1034118,711 (3.71)18
Chris Hedges argues that we now live in two societies: one, the minority, functions in a print-based, literate world, able to cope with complexity and to 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," comforting, reassuring images, fantasies, slogans and a celebration of violence push reality, complexity and nuance 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, gossip and trivia. These are the debauched revels of a dying culture.--From publisher description.… (mais)
Membro:ToniHD
Título:Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle
Autores:Chris Hedges (Autor)
Informação:Nation Books (2009), Edition: First Edition, 232 pages
Coleções:Living Room, Case 3, Shelf 2
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:L3.2

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Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle de Chris Hedges (2009)

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Mostrando 1-5 de 41 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
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 takes over for morals, corporations are destroying America (and the rest of the world by extension) due to their unbridled thirst for profit, and our society is flooded with slick images selling ideology that may hurt us rather than help us. He paints a very dark image of present day America with his messages of doom.

But what about the people themselves? There is no discussion of individual agency, no sympathy or understanding towards the people or the elites that govern them; instead Hedges chooses to rant about how much he hates capitalism and the entertainment industry. He obviously thinks the general public is too stupid so it's up to him to tell them that they're being duped. And then confusingly, in the last two or three pages, Hedges says that it is human love that will save us.

While I don't think his complaints are wrong, this book is hardly a critical look at the problem. It reads more like a rant against a few specific things that Hedges dislikes (non-print media, porn, elitism, positive psychology), which are all examples/symptoms of a much bigger issue that he never quite addresses directly. I am also surprised and curious as to why he hasn't mentioned the works of theorists such as Guy Debord and Jean Baurdillard, who have written what can be considered seminal works on the the same topics. Hedges was definitely onto something in this book but he executed it poorly. ( )
1 vote serru | Oct 6, 2022 |
Eerily prophetic. Chris Hedges saw the writing on the wall 10 years ago. ( )
  BibliophageOnCoffee | Aug 12, 2022 |
This was a sometimes interesting screed against all that has gone wrong culturally in the US, from the TV obliteration of literary culture, to the pornography industry, to the educational systems, to the gimmickry of happiness salesmanship, to the incestuous collapse of the halls of governance in the embrace of Wall St, corporate America, and the mass media.

Sounds like it would be right down my alley, but the author lives in a left-wing bubble that dwarfs in density the bubble I operated in 20 years ago. His world's biggest problem seems to be "corporations". He mentions at points that sometimes even Democrats make bad moves (i.e. act like Republicans). If I were to tell this guy that the problems he mapped out with American culture almost exactly aligned with the problem set identified by Sarah Palin - except that her explanations and proposed mitigations are far more subtle and intelligent, I'm sure his head would explode. Just sayin…

I maybe should have given this session a D grade, since I don't know if I could recommend the book, but it was haunting in parts.

*Was a library borrow at the time: late summer, 2013* ( )
  johnwgillis | Mar 30, 2022 |
I find myself really taken with the idea that society has gone to dogs, and so I love reading all this stuff about how we really are living in the Kali-yuga. Effective illiteracy is a very real phenomenon, most literate people really don't read anymore. And porn of course is really magnifying the worst aspects of their sexuality for most men. I am yet to read the last chapter on America, I might not read it though, it seems to be too narrow in scope to be applicable to me.
  Sebuktegin | May 25, 2021 |
Chris Hedges has done the impossible. He has breathed on the embers of my interest in Federal politics. I would have never believed a Harvard seminarian could speak to me so directly. This book is so piercing; I have to believe ANY world weary political road kill will feel they are not alone. He argues the generation spanning "political/social/economic A.D.D."(my quotes) is not only a by-product of the Military/Industrial Complex, but an actual GOAL.
In my mind this book is a primer for a new truly "united" States. It is not so much a call to arms but a call for recognition of the responsibility that the dwindling Literati have to their fellows.

If you know:
The two party system has been bought and paid for by big corporations.
That reading is considered static and boring by the majority of Americans and consequently they have little or no exposure to the tools of analytical thought necessary to expose "Treasonous Greed"(my quotes).
That we have reached rock bottom in the disparity between the Illusions of the American Way and our actions:
Buy this book. Give copies to the readers in your life. Speak out. Organize. ( )
  064 | Dec 29, 2020 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 41 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
While Hedges isn't the first to posit that the biggest threat to America is Americans .. his may be the most compelling argument yet. .. Citing everyone from Socrates to Steinem, Hedges manages to ratchet up the terror factor by several degrees per chapter so that, by the end, the reader is at least exhausted, if not completely defeated.
adicionado por WeeklyAlibi | editarWeekly Alibi, Michael Henningsen (Nov 17, 2011)
 
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Chris Hedges argues that we now live in two societies: one, the minority, functions in a print-based, literate world, able to cope with complexity and to 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," comforting, reassuring images, fantasies, slogans and a celebration of violence push reality, complexity and nuance 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, gossip and trivia. These are the debauched revels of a dying culture.--From publisher description.

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