Six 1962 Daniel Boorstin Quotes That Foresaw Events In 2016

In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, media pundits have pinpointed a number of seeming prophets — philosopher Richard Rorty, Supreme Court justice David Souter, the TV show Black Mirror — that anticipated the conditions of the election before they happened. To me, the most salient prognostication of 2016 comes from historian Daniel J. Boorstin’s 1962 book The…

Remixing Reality

Literary criticism/collage essay: In his literary manifesto Reality Hunger, David Shields argues for artistic plagiarism and the end of traditional narrative. Rolf’s response — embedded in a story about getting drugged robbed overseas — appropriates its own flavor of plagiarism to counter Shields’ argument.

Canon Fodder

Essay/Reportage: When allegations surfaced that parts of Greg Mortenson’s memoir “Three Cups of Tea” had been fabricated, reports noted that the book is “required reading” for U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. Various other branches of the military promote titles like “Freakonomics” and “Starship Troopers.” Why is this the case, and what do these non-military books offer to combat-bound soldiers?

Sons of “The Beach”

Literary Criticism: Between 1996 and 2002, a spate of British-authored pulp fiction portrayed self-absorbed 20-somethings trying (and failing) to use travel in Asia as an escape from the superficial, directionless, consumerist lives they lead back home. What did these novels predict about the way travel was changing?

Emanuel Haldeman-Julius at his typewriter, 1925

The Henry Ford of Literature

Media history: How one nearly forgotten 1920s Kansas publisher’s “Little Blue Books” created an inexpensive mail-order information superhighway that paved the way for the sexual revolution, influenced the feminist and civil rights movements, and foreshadowed the Age of Information.

One Man’s Odyssey into Eat, Pray, Love

Book review: For men, reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s book is like traveling the world with a lovely and intelligent girlfriend who can’t stop talking about herself: You’ve come to admire this woman — and you wish the best for her — but you wish she’d stop yapping about emotional minutiae so you could both look out and enjoy the scenery from time to time.

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