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Turning Back the Clock: Hot Wars and Media Populism

Turning Back the Clock: Hot Wars and Media Populism
Author: Umberto Eco
ISBN 13: 9780156034210
ISBN 10: 156034212
Edition: 1
Publisher: Mariner Books
Publication Date: 2008-09-22
Format: Paperback
Pages: 384
List Price: $15.00

"The spirit of enlightenment breathes through the writings of Umberto Eco... [he] is an urbane, genial writer who brings calmness and clarity to every subject he treats."—Los Angeles Times

The time: 2000 to 2005, the years of neoconservatism, terrorism, the twenty-four-hour news cycle, the ascension of Bush, Blair, and Berlusconi, and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Umberto Eco’s response is a provocative, passionate, and witty series of essays—which originally appeared in the Italian newspapers La Repubblica and L’Espresso—that leaves no slogan unexamined, no innovation unexposed. What led us into this age of hot wars and media populism, and how was it sold to us as progress? Eco discusses such topics as racism, mythology, the European Union, rhetoric, the Middle East, technology, September 11, medieval Latin, television ads, globalization, Harry Potter, anti-Semitism, logic, the Tower of Babel, intelligent design, Italian street demonstrations, fundamentalism, The Da Vinci Code, and magic and magical thinking.

The famous author and respected scholar shows his practical, engaged side: an intellectual involved in events both local and global, a man concerned about taste, politics, education, ethics, and where our troubled world is headed.

Publishers Weekly

Internationally renowned novelist and philosopher Eco (Foucault's Pendulum; The Name of the Rose) delivers a provocative and enlightening ride in this collection of essays first published in two leading Italian newspapers. He delves deeply into such subjects as Mideastern and European politics, myth, prejudice, globalization, The Da Vinci Code, magical thinking, rhetoric, religion, intelligent design and Harry Potter. The friction between his imagination, interpretation and reflection makes for pyrotechnic prose, springing from abundant facts and carefully constructed theories. He dissects war as a bloody game where "we did everything possible to ensure that our adversaries did not achieve their goals," proclaiming that "neowars" like those in Afghanistan and Iraq cannot be won by the military. While the flow of his reasoning can be serpentine, Eco challenges us to reconsider the power of the media, the right of privacy, the sometimes disturbing manners of foreigners, the poison of anti-Semitism and September 11. The resulting book details fresh approaches to wrestling with some of the most complex issues of our time. (Nov.)

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