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The Thing Itself: On the Search for Authenticity

Overview

The celebrated literary memoir and chronicle of one man's search for the elusive gift of authenticity.

Troubled by the lack of substance in contemporary life, Richard Todd suspects that much of what we experience is false. In this unique pursuit of the "genuine," Todd examines his search for authenticity in places and objects, in politics and ideas, and in ourselves, and recounts his efforts to understand the desire to be a real person in a ...

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The Thing Itself: On the Search for Authenticity

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Overview

The celebrated literary memoir and chronicle of one man's search for the elusive gift of authenticity.

Troubled by the lack of substance in contemporary life, Richard Todd suspects that much of what we experience is false. In this unique pursuit of the "genuine," Todd examines his search for authenticity in places and objects, in politics and ideas, and in ourselves, and recounts his efforts to understand the desire to be a real person in a real world.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"There is a sweet memoir embedded in this book of cultural criticism, into which Mr. Todd has deftly wrangled the whole gang, from Jean Baudrillard to Lionel Trilling."
-The New York Times

"An arch and eloquent meditation."
-O, the Oprah magazine

"Dazzling, beautifully crafted...A small masterpiece- and 'small' only because of its brevity, not its scope."
-Chicago Tribune

"Provocative and oddly comforting...Refreshing."
-The Arizona Republic

"A fully realized, brave, and movingly honest memoir...[Todd] makes a figure in which to contemplate ourselves."
-Ploughshares

"A splendid book, brimming with wit and original insights...Most pertinent to the way we live now."
-Ward Just, author of Forgetfulness

From the Publisher
"There is a sweet memoir embedded in this book of cultural criticism, into which Mr. Todd has deftly wrangled the whole gang, from Jean Baudrillard to Lionel Trilling."
-The New York Times

"An arch and eloquent meditation."
-O, the Oprah magazine

"Dazzling, beautifully crafted...A small masterpiece- and 'small' only because of its brevity, not its scope."
-Chicago Tribune

"Provocative and oddly comforting...Refreshing."
-The Arizona Republic

"A fully realized, brave, and movingly honest memoir...[Todd] makes a figure in which to contemplate ourselves."
-Ploughshares

"A splendid book, brimming with wit and original insights...Most pertinent to the way we live now."
-Ward Just, author of Forgetfulness

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594483844
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 8/4/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 1,002,608
  • Product dimensions: 5.22 (w) x 8.04 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Todd has spent many years as a magazine and book editor at The Atlantic, New England Monthly, and Houghton Mifflin. His essays and cultural reportage have appeared in The Atlantic, Harper’s, The New York Times, Worth, and numerous other magazines. A member of the MFA faculty at Goucher College, he lives in Western Massachusetts. 

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2012

    The real and the unreal

    Mr. Todd's perspective on the authenticity of objects (as it relates to antiques) drew me in. His views on everything else kept me riveted. My hardcopy of the book is bursting with post-its and filled with penciled comments. It's a cultural bible for our times.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 20, 2010

    Not worth the time or energy

    Strange, how unhappy a soul this author seems. If there is anything joyful in this book, I'm afraid I really didn't see it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

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