Increasingly, America is being defined by its most extreme factions, whose controversial ideas often divide society against itself. The center, or mainstream, seems unable to withstand the fractures produced by radicals of both left and right. The Age of Extremism, with its combination of exact jourmalism and lively criticism, is the first book to define the culture and evolution of extremism that now pervades all aspects of society, from art and science to politics and religion.
With its lucid examination of contemporary culture, The Age of Extremism discusses such persons as Bret Easton Ellis, author of the sadomasochistic American Psycho; artist Damien Hirst and his formaldegyde sharks; and Quentin Tarantino, whose films glorify violence in a manner unlike any other in major media.
Does anything unite these disparate and extreme voices in our society? All practice a vigorous and often violent rejection of the mainstream. Their common enemy is the center, which each in turn attacks from its specific angle of assault.
Once we understand why these groups exist and how they operate, we are left with a resounding question: Is this extremism a permanent condition of postmodern society or merely a temporary result of the upheaval that occurred with the transition of postindustrial society? This book arrives at a startling conclusion.
If ever there was a book for our times, The Age of Extremism is it.