The Authenticity Hoax

The Authenticity Hoax

How We Get Lost Finding Ourselves

Book - 2010
Average Rating:
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One of Canada's hippest, smartest cultural critics takes on the West's defining value.

We live in a world increasingly dominated by the fake, the prepackaged, the artificial: fast food, scripted reality TV shows, Facebook "friends," and fraudulent memoirs. But people everywhere are demanding the exact opposite, heralding "authenticity" as the cure for isolated individualism and shallow consumerism. Restaurants promote the authenticity of their cuisine, while condo developers promote authentic loft living and book reviewers regularly praise the authenticity of a new writer's voice.

International bestselling author Andrew Potter brilliantly unpacks our modern obsession with authenticity. In this perceptive and thought-provoking blend of pop culture, history, and philosophy, he finds that far from serving as a refuge from modern living, the search for authenticity often creates the very problems it's meant to solve.
Publisher: Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, c2010
ISBN: 9780771071058
0771071051
Branch Call Number: 306.090511 Pot 3558ad 1
Characteristics: 296 p

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ranXerox
Jan 19, 2016

Another book in the "everything is alright, except the lefties are muddled and wrong-headed" genre.
Rebel Sell is a better book (if you can believe it), possibly because Heath's endless pro-'free-market' meanderings was mitigated by a co-author.
This is the kind of book you'd expect from an egg-head who's cozily esconced in a tenured position, who teaches in the humanities, and scrawls a few 'by-the-book' columns for Macleans and Canadian Business.
There's not a whole lot... wait... nope... make that "Not an ounce" of surprise here; mostly it's a few juicy jibes about liberal hypocrisy. Wow - never heard that one before... (yawn)
I find it a little curious that Potter finds modern life, globalization and cosmopolitanism greatly agreeable, and yet he can't seem to buttress his arguments with any thinker who's not western. You'd think someone who's quite happy with pluralism could at least make an effort to incorporate non-western thinkers, but you'd think wrong.

If you want a serious and far more intelligent critique of liberalism, go with any recent book by John Gray (the political theorist - not the Mars and Venus guy!); Potter's a low-rent Gladwell for conservative middle-brows who don't get out much.
This book isn't very good or insightful.

Kirbs Jul 21, 2011

When "baubles" become far more alluring that basic elements are lost, and the unreal masks as the real — a form of "meta-bullshit" where we may desire the authentic, but have more information as to what it is not than what it is. Valuable reading.

l
lriendeau
Feb 20, 2011

heady read, awesome good points.

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