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

Book review by Deane Barker tags: critical-thinking, society

This is a book about how we don’t like reality anymore. We like the illusion of reality. As a society, we’re addicted to farce.

It’s almost hilarious that this was written in 2009. If only the author had seen what was coming.

He talks about “the illusion of literacy,” by contrasting it against contemporary entertainment, and professional wrestling in particular. He talks about “the illusion of love” by contrasting it to pornography.

I’m not sure what the point of the book is. It’s just kind of a polemic about how far we’ve fallen as a society, though I’m always skeptical of those claims, but take an era and you’ll find superficiality at some level. The author is just arguing that it’s worse now.

Also, there are no offered solutions. The author is just pissed. It makes for an interesting read, but not really a constructive one.

Book Info

Chris Hedges
231

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