adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $17.49

Buy for $17.49

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

We now live in two Americas. One - now the minority - functions in a print-based, literate world that can cope with complexity and can separate illusion from truth. The other - the majority - is retreating from a reality-based world into one of false certainty and magic. To this majority - which crosses social class lines, though the poor are overwhelmingly affected-presidential debate and political rhetoric is pitched at a sixth-grade 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 culture - attending WWF contests, the Adult Video News Awards in Las Vegas, and Ivy League graduation ceremonies - to expose an age of terrifying decline and heightened self-delusion.

©2009 Chris Hedges (P)2018 Tantor

What listeners say about Empire of Illusion

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    154
  • 4 Stars
    37
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    6
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    131
  • 4 Stars
    40
  • 3 Stars
    17
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    3
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    135
  • 4 Stars
    30
  • 3 Stars
    17
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    6

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Chris Hedges

Hedges consistently brings sharp analysis to U.S. society, the corporate state and imperialism. Excellent book!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Graphic language describing violence & pornography

The premise that Americans are distracted by illusion, celebrity status, and trivia is correct. The information could have been delivered without the repeated detailed graphic depictions & statements from porn stars and the descriptive violence regarding wrestling. I wanted the information but it was a painful & disturbing listen. The narrator did not convey that he was disturbed by the graphic reading.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

For hating Spectacle so much, he sure revels in it

I really didn't enjoy this book. I'm fact, I quit reading about two-thirds of the way through. The author flogged readers with evidence that we are disgustly banal and mindless in our willingness to be entertained. I didn't need endless, detailed, nearly microscopic evidence this was the case. In many ways he makes a gratuitous case for his point, proving that he is susceptible to being entertained by Spectacle, too. Wrestling, sex, etc. all provide detailed fodder for his case. I was looking for insight. Perhaps some notion of how we could change culture a little. If it's there, the author saved it completely until the end. Me? I was convinced of his case before I started. I was hoping for hope. I didn't find any.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Reality Narration

I was only able to make it three hours in. So far, more than half of the book is just the narration of scripted wrestling events, reality TV shows and porn scenes. I'm sure he's just trying reinforce his point on consumerism and American culture, but it's tedious and mind numbing to have to wade through. There are some good underlying points, but maybe get the real book and pass the filler by.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing

While depressing this book is a must read given the current state of affairs. Must purchase

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I think if more people read Chris Hedges..

The world would be a better place. No author has impacted me more than he has. This is my favorite book of his. I just finished it and I think it just changed my life. It's so powerful. His ability to diagnose society is impeccable

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great listen, but not when the kids are in the car

interesting insight and almost crystal balling life in 2021. Went a bit overboard with the porn stories, but was still a great listen.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

A lot of Hype

The author is quite graphic in unnecessary details. He almost derives a sadistic pleasure from using references from the pornography industry. This section of the book was far over done to make a point that could have been made in many other was. He lost all credibility with me during this chapter and never won me back. There are better books out there. Skip this one.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

A superficial tirade

Although I agree with everything Chris Hedges wrote, I found this book tiresome and silly. The author attacks the easy targets, such as pornography, American universities, political liberalism and conservatism. The book becomes a very long tirade stating the obvious, lacking depth and courage to broach the fundamental issues that brought about the end of the American culture.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Required reading...

...for anyone wondering where it all went wrong (from a cultural perspective) for the US.

Unsurprisingly, Chris Hedges (once again) exceeds all expectations in all areas with this fantastic addition to his body of work. His impeccable research, dedication to journalistic integrity, thoughtful storytelling, attention to pacing and overall layout makes for an especially immersive, thought-provoking, and deeply interesting listen/read... despite the difficult and often weighty subject matter and individual personal stories.