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Thursday, Dec. 13, 2007

Turning Back the Clock: Hot Wars and Media Populism

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Umberto Eco is mainly known in America as the engaging, intelligent author of novels such as Foucault’s Pendulum and The Name of the Rose; a smaller audience is familiar with his essays on culture and literature. In his native Italy, Eco is also known as a witty political journalist and incisive commentator on the affairs of the day. Turning Back the Clock collects many recent articles on the state of things in Italy. Although the specifics will be unfamiliar to most American readers, the universal significance is apparent as Eco attacks the erosion of privacy eagerly promoted by corporations and embraced by contemporary consumers, and the decline of intelligent discourse in a media landscape of game shows and “reality” television.
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