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

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

4.4 32
by Chris Hedges
 

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The more we sever ourselves from a literate, print-based world-a world of complexity and nuance, a world of ideas-for one informed by comforting, reassuring images, fantasies, slogans, and a celebration of violence, the more we implode. We ask, like the wrestling fans or those who confuse love with pornography, to be fed lies. We demand lies. The skillfully

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Empire of Illusion 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
realdanielrushing More than 1 year ago
I will not belabor this review with tons of details. If you want those, then just buy the book. What I will say is this, and with firm conviction: If there was one book written the in past decade that I could force every American to read, it would be "Empire of Illusion". Not at Christian book, per se, I would recommend every Pastor and Christian Leader to read this book, and then stand behind the sacred desk every Sunday and start tearing down The Empire. I dare you!
VeeW More than 1 year ago
I read this in conjunction with That Used to be Us, and The Speech, both highly recommended. This one has about the scariest statistic I've ever seen - that 42% of college graduates never pick up another book (which I guess makes us the elite 58%, right?) - and a horrifying explanation for the popularity of fast food places - that a number of people who frequent them can't read, and the pictures of the food helps them make a decision. The book starts with a chapter on wrestling as a metaphor for our society, and moves on from there. Great book; I had to put it down from time to time to catch my breath.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If people had paid close attention to Neil Postman's 'Amusing Ourselves To Death,' maybe Christopher Hedges wouldn't had needed to write 'Empire of Ilusion' some 25 years later. How far down the rabbit hole have we gone since those days? How far down will we be if we fail to act now?
ARIBAMANII More than 1 year ago
A public that can no longer distinguish between truth and fiction is left to interpret reality through illusion. Chris Hedges, Empire of Illusion I like Chis Hedges’ writing. I pay attention to Chris Hedges’ writing, not because I enjoy it or always agree, but because his analyses are well researched and sourced, and because his conclusions are humanistic, empathetic, and thoughtful. Americans, and more often now, most Westerners do not get exposed to this unless they search for it. For me there is comfort in the fact that I know where to go when I need to get away from the present madness of our culture to be reminded that others are paying attention to the fact that this is not normal, that yes, it is madness. Society used to revere its members for who deep thought was not only a way of life, but who also shouldered the responsibility of placing that proverbial mirror so that we should look inward at ourselves. Although there are other thoughtful speakers and writers, many of whom Mr. Hedges quotes—Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Bill Moyers, Barbara Ehrenreich—Mr. Hedges is that person for me. The premise of Empire of Illusion is that America not only fits the definition of empire--a major political unit having a territory of great extent or a number of territories or peoples under a single sovereign authority—but that our “sovereign” is capital, and the corporations who control it. Our “literacy” is demonstrated by the antics of the WWE, the narcissistic behavior of our new Gods, celebrities, and reality television. We work out our life’s problems through the illusion that what is said and done by them will someday miraculously make the fact that we can no longer support ourselves and our families a thing of the past. Our illusion of “love” more and more resembles pornography, where violence against women is not only the norm, but those who perpetrate this suffer no consequences. Our illusion of what it means to be educated has no basis in truth anymore, as our venerable institutions of higher education eat the apple of greed one-by-one, and collude with the military and corporations to ravage, through disregard for the environment, through slavery, and through militaristic domination of not only the U. S., but the rest of the world as well. Our illusion of happiness is dictated to us, through media gurus, as a simple matter of positive thinking, and blames us if we fail to survive. Our most destructive illusion, to us and the rest of the world, is that America is exceptional and that all she stands for is good and pure. This, of course, is not even close to being true. The worst of it is that when we look in the mirror, we see purity, strength, utopia, while others have begun to realize that the image is false—just an illusion. The author points out that this state of illusion is no accident of contemporary culture, but is pressed upon us to keep us distracted and benign while the real power is being concentrated by the very few at the top for their comfort and pleasure. Yes, I know that reeks of conspiracy theory, but who believed that one psychopath would conspire to eliminate a whole race of people, and moreover that he would be successful? Who believed that the U.S. government would secretly conspire to monitor not only ordinary citizens’ private correspondence, but also have the gall to do the same to the leaders of other sovereign nations, many of whom are considered allies? CONTINUED
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