In the Absence of the Sacred: The Failure of Technology and the Survival of the Indian Nations

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In his critically acclaimed Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television, author and social critic Jerry Mander proclaimed that television, by its fundamental nature, is dangerous—to personal health and sanity, to the environment, and to the democratic process. With In the Absence of the Sacred, he goes beyond television to critique our technological society as a whole.
In this provocative work, Mander challenges the utopian promise of technological society and tracks its ...

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1992-08-11 Paperback New 0871565099 Ships Within 24 Hours. Tracking Number available for all USA orders. Excellent Customer Service. Upto 15 Days 100% Money Back Gurantee. Try ... Our Fast! ! ! ! Shipping With Tracking Number. Read more Show Less

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None San Francisco 1992 Soft cover 1st Paperback Edition New. No Jacket Issued Book CONDITION: UNREAD 1992 Sierra Club large trade paperback, second printing. Short diagonal ... crease bottom front cover corner tip and a "near-crease" bottom back cover corner. Interior perfect. No illustrations. CONTENT: In his critically acclaimed Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television, author and social critic Jerry Mander proclaimed that television, by its fundamental nature, is dangerous-to personal health and sanity, to the environment, and to the democratic process. With In the Absence of the Sacred, he goes beyond television to critique our technological society as a whole. In this provocative work, Mander challenges the utopian promise of technological society and tracks its devastating impact on native cultures worldwide. The Western world's loss of a sense of the sacred in the natural world, he says, has led us toward global environmental disaster and social disorder-and worse lies ahead. Yet models for resto Read more Show Less

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Overview

In his critically acclaimed Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television, author and social critic Jerry Mander proclaimed that television, by its fundamental nature, is dangerous—to personal health and sanity, to the environment, and to the democratic process. With In the Absence of the Sacred, he goes beyond television to critique our technological society as a whole.
In this provocative work, Mander challenges the utopian promise of technological society and tracks its devastating impact on native cultures worldwide. The Western world’s loss of a sense of the sacred in the natural world, he says, has led us toward global environmental disaster and social disorder—and worse lies ahead. Yet models for restoring our relationship with the Earth exist in the cultures of native peoples, whose values and skills have enabled them to survive centuries of invasion and exploitation.
Far from creating paradise on Earth, technology has instead produced an unsustainable contest for resources. Mander surveys the major technologies shaping the “new world order”—computers, telecommunications, space exploration, genetic engineering, robotics, and the corporation itself—and warns that they are merging into a global mega-technology, with dire environmental and political results.

Mander goes beyond television (which he proclaimed as being dangerous to personal health and sanity in Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television) to critique our technological society as a whole, challenge its utopian promises, and track its devastating impact on native cultures worldwide. "Will interest all readers concerned about our environment and quality of life."-- Publishers Weekly.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Mander, author of the controversial Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television , thinks that we have too complaisantly accepted the advances of technology. Urging that we understand the benefits and drawbacks of technology before the latter overtake us, he observes that new technologies, always presented in the best possible light, steer society in some sociopolitical direction. Mander examines in turn computer, television, space and genetic technologies, pointing out that they are deployed in the manner most useful to the institutions that gain from them. Mander notes that the only consistent opposition to technology comes from land-based native peoples. This observation leads to a discussion of Indians and other native groups around the world whose cultures are under attack by governments. This lively, provocative argument will interest all readers concerned about our environment and quality of life. QPB selection; author tour. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Mander's book is an angry protest against the uncritical adoption of technology, the expansion of capitalism, and the centralization of political power. He warns that these trends will lead to a New World Order dominated by multinational corporations, resulting in devastation of the earth's natural environment and native cultures. Mander argues that technologies like television and computers extend corporate control in society and promote the uncaring consumption of natural resources. To avoid imminent environmental catastrophe, he contends that we must adopt the values of Native American cultures that regard the earth as sacred. Mander, a former advertising executive, writes in compact, persuasive prose. His book reads like a series of essays. Recommended for academic and large public libraries.-- Randy J. Olsen, Brigham Young Univ. Lib., Provo, Ut.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780871565099
  • Publisher: Sierra Club Books
  • Publication date: 8/28/1992
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 458
  • Product dimensions: 5.92 (w) x 9.04 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Jerry Mander is a nationally known social commentator, critic, and author of the best-selling Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television, as well as co-editor of The Case Against the Global Economy. He lives and works in San Francisco.
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2002

    Terrific Exploration Of Eco-Crisis!

    No one could accuse author and scholar Jerry Mander of sitting on the fence regarding his position concerning the so-called "Third Wave' of technological changes cascading through our society and culture. Indeed, this book has been described as a powerfully written broadside against the headlong rush into what Mander terms to be "Megatechnology", which is the combination of a number of particularly dangerous aspects of technological innovation, creating synergistic effect he believes will ultimately will be dangerous to us as individuals, consumers, and citizens. Many of the ideas he uses so effectively here were first broached in an earlier book, "Four Arguments For The Elimination Of Television". The author uses a variety of examples to show how the public has been deliberately manipulated and misled by a variety of boosters and cheerleaders for technological innovation, ranging from corporations, the media, academics, and even the government. This, he contends, has led to the emergence of several particularly dangerous predominant technologies such as television, genetic and molecular engineering, and computers. What is surprising is the amount of evidence Mander produces showing clearly adverse aspects of each technology, evidence which heretofore has been deliberately omitted from public scrutiny by the aggregated sponsors and cheerleaders of the technology, who obviously have a vested interest in stacking the deck in favor of their particular interest. While he sometimes strains the reader's patience with arguments that use of a technology such as computers benefits the rise of corporate globalism more than it does individuals, Mander still manages to prove why we must be more aware of the meaning of these technologies in terms of our own self-interest, and in the interest of the community at large. At base, what the author is really arguing for is a return to greater personal responsibility through the restoration of more traditional attitudes and values about our connection to the wider community and to an ethic of social responsibility. To the degree we allow ourselves to continue to be isolated and segregated from the community and its human-oriented interests, the more we play into the hands of forces that wish to fragment this orientation in order to better control resources, social patterns, and participation in the global economy by more forcefully orienting us toward lives as material consumers. Indeed, Mander argues, every aspect of the so-called "New World Order" is designed to acquaint and socialize us into adopting a new orientation that defines citizenship ever more exclusively as enthusiastic consumerism. If Mander sometimes seems a bit shrill and even romantic in his approach, urging us to return to more traditional orientations in small human communities, moving toward more sustainable lifestyles, he counters by reminding us that having the degree of faith evident in contemporary society regarding the outcome of the hell-bent thrust toward economic globalism is also quite a romantic orientation, especially given our almost medieval understanding of just what this new technologically-oriented corporate-ascendant society would look like, or what it would be like to have to live in a world where corporate economic imperatives significantly influence every aspect of our lives. Given the events of the last year with Enron, Tyko, Global Crossing, and other corporate conglomerates, who can have much faith in either their vision or their integrity? Thousands lost their life savings due to nothing less than unbridled corporate greed! This is hardly the pedigree one wants to recommend for our collective futures. We would do well to heed his warning and to each become much better informed. This book can help! Enjoy!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    One of the Best, Most Thoughtful Books I've Read

    You've probably seen those "Top 20 Stories That Didn't Make the Mainstream News"-type titles. This unforgettable book by Jerry Mander goes way deeper and wider, both historically and culturally, up to the present time. With well over a billion people on the earth living very similar to their indigenous/native ancestors, we all have a lot to learn from each other. I read this book before reading "The Poisonwood Bible" - I really appreciated Mander's explanation of the consensus model of decision making - the level of dialogue, listening and understanding it takes to get everyone on board with an idea. There's so much else I remembered, and Mander's predictions about the negative effects of technology are eerily coming true. A book for everyone, for all ages.

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    Posted March 5, 2010

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    Posted February 23, 2010

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