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The Culture of Make Believe

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2006

    Hate is exposed

    This book stretched my mind more than I thought possible. It outlined the most important things in our culture, hurting others. Jensen opened my eyes to the situations that are often hid. Chapter after chapter he incorporates new issues concerning hate. He begins with focusing on simple examples rape, murder, ethics, then he quickly moves in to a more abstract idea of what hate is. One example is Jensen¿s explanation of unethical cooperation¿s, here in the United States. It made me sick. Hearing of stories of employees being underpaid, overworked, sick from working conditions, and sometimes dead made me realize that I contribute to the death of others too. Discrimination is also presented in a truly fresh way in this book. Jensen describes situations where discrimination is not evident (like the percentage of blacks in the US jail system). The incorporation of the Holocaust served as a comparison to the hatred in our world today. And this comparison shows that nothing has changed. Taking the time to read this book showed me what our basic decisions are doing to our world. Jensen is an amazing author who is capable of showing the truth in an effective and life changing way. The 600 pages are well worth every minute.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2003

    loved it

    I can't say its enjoyable... as the saying goes truth hurts. I agree it should be required high school reading. The book is also very reader friendly, forget the size. It really makes you feel, as well as think... even though I think I'd be happier not knowing quite a few things that book imparted. definitely a enlightening book...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2002

    Required Reading

    Like Carl Sagan's 'Demon-Haunted World', Derrick Jensen's works should be required reading for all American high-school students (their parents, teachers, siblings, etc.). Don't let the size of this book (600+ pages) intimidate you. Once begun, it reads as quickly as a book a fraction of its size and leaves you changed forever!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2002

    Wake Up To The Current Holocaust

    Derrick Jensen continues his deep examination of our dysfunctional civilization from his previous two beautifully powerful works, A Language Older Than Words and Listening to the Land, delving deeper still into the horror of man¿s (yes, gender specific) inhumanity to man. In this compelling mammoth volume, The Culture of Make Believe, Jensen bombards the reader with historical and contemporary accounts of atrocity after atrocity of our own destructive culture, until we can no longer look away with a blind eye or deaf ear. We can no longer ¿make believe¿ that the American Dream comes without cost to our own shared humanity and the planet. Starting by exploring and defining the hate crimes of racism and rape, Jensen continues, chapter after chapter, to prove that the ultimate hate crime is towards ourselves. He successfully weaves meticulously-researched historical accounts, statistics and interviews, with his own personal deep ecological commentary. Jensen delves deeply, sociologically and psychologically, into the perpetuation of violence, hatred, exploitation and domination of non-white cultures from the beginnings of colonial America, through the slavery and genocide of African slaves, Native Americans and immigrants, to other crimes of power and exploitation by early American capitalists, and now, the modern prison system and globalizing corporations. Jensen continues relentlessly to confront the connection between capitalism, war and the profiting from hate crimes of past and present, resulting in our civilization¿s continued legacy of genocide. The power of this book is not in the facts themselves (as convincing and important as they are), but rather, in Jensen¿s courage to not be afraid to point out the obviously insane state of the world that we continually deny: that Western Industrial Civilization is causing the greatest mass extinction in the history of the planet. He reminds us that the Holocaust by the Nazis in the last century was not the only holocaust; we must wake up to the current holocausts against the forests, the salmon, the soil, the water, the Earth -- of Life itself. But most poignantly and effectively, what Jensen emphasizes is the meaning of Ecocide -- that this hatred and distruction, this ongoing Holocaust, this annihilation of Life itself, is ultimately against ourselves. And the question is: whether the cultural urge to convert living things to dollars is stronger than the will to survive. This question dangles precariously over our conscience like a rope left tied for hanging ourselves, as we blindly and deafly go about our daily lives of consumption and alienation from the Other. Ultimately, Jensen asks us to question our own obedience to this cultural dysfunctionality, to speak out vehemently against it. And the reader cannot ignore this call. By the end, at the thirty-first chapter, we sit convinced, exhausted, and yet, motivated to stand up and revolt. The solution he offers is simply a return to our humanity. He asks us to bravely tell our own stories, to simply tell the truth, and simply not to fight the reality of the despair. We must question, question, question; we must dismantle this civilization and rebuild one based on the power of interconnectedness, not alienation. Jensen¿s passionate words are powerful weapons themselves, and it is about time that they were fired. He is not afraid to speak the truth; this book is a brilliantly articulate incantation of revolution of not only thought but action that is so desperately needed in this time of wasted power, fear, illusion, fascist censorship and paramount distruction. The audience of this book is not just historians, economists or sociologists of slavery and racism, war and politics. Neither is it just for social and environmental activi

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

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