Empire of Illusion

Empire of Illusion

The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle

By Chris Hedges

Nation Books, Paperback, 9781568586137, 240pp.

Publication Date: October 2010

We now live in two Americas. Onenow the minorityfunctions in a print-based, literate world that can cope with complexity and can separate illusion from truth. The otherthe majorityis retreating from a reality-based world into one of false certainty and magic. To this majoritywhich crosses social class lines, though the poor are overwhelmingly affectedpresidential debate and political rhetoric is pitched at a sixth-grade reading level. In this other America, serious film and theater, as well as newspapers and books, are being pushed to the margins of society.

In the tradition of Christopher Lasch's "The Culture of Narcissism" and Neil Postman's "Amusing Ourselves to Death," Pulitzer Prize-winner Chris Hedges navigates this cultureattending WWF contests, the Adult Video News Awards in Las Vegas, and Ivy League graduation ceremoniesto expose an age of terrifying decline and heightened self-delusion.

About the Author
Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. He spent nearly two decades as a correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa, and the Balkans, with fifteen years at the New York Times. He is the author of numerous bestselling books, including Empire of Illusion; Death of the Liberal Class; War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning; and Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, which he co-wrote with Joe Sacco. He writes a weekly column for the online magazine Truthdig. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.