Disposable Futures makes the case that we have not just become desensitized to violence, but rather, that we are being taught to desire it.
From movies and other commercial entertainment to "extreme" weather and acts of terror, authors Brad Evans and Henry Giroux examine how a contemporary politics of spectacle--and disposability--curates what is seen and what is not, what is represented and what is ignored, and ultimately, whose lives matter and whose do not.
Disposable Futures explores the connections between a range of contemporary phenomena: mass surveillance, the militarization of police, the impact of violence in film and video games, increasing disparities in wealth, and representations of ISIS and the ongoing terror wars. Throughout, Evans and Giroux champion the significance of public education, social movements and ideas that rebel against the status quo in order render violence intolerable.
"Disposable Futures poses, and answers, the pressing question of our times: How is it that in this post-Fascist, post-Cold War era of peace and prosperity we are saddled with more war, violence, inequality and poverty than ever? The neoliberal era, Evans and Giroux brilliantly reveal, is defined by violence, by drone strikes, 'smart' bombs, militarized police, Black lives taken, prison expansion, corporatized education, surveillance, the raw violence of racism, patriarchy, starvation and want. The authors show how the neoliberal regime normalizes violence, renders its victims disposable, commodifies the spectacle of relentless violence and sells it to us as entertainment, and tries to contain cultures of resistance. If you're not afraid of the truth in these dark times, then read this book. It is a beacon of light."--Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination
"Disposable Futures confronts a key conundrum of our times: How is it that, given the capacity and abundance of resources to address the critical needs of all, so many are having their futures radically discounted while the privileged few dramatically increase their wealth and power? Brad Evans and Henry Giroux have written a trenchant analysis of the logic of late capitalism that has rendered it normal to dispose of any who do not service the powerful. A searing indictment of the socio-technics of destruction and the decisions of their deployability. Anyone concerned with trying to comprehend these driving dynamics of our time would be well served by taking up this compelling book."--David Theo Goldberg, author of The Threat of Race: Reflections on Racial Neoliberalism
"Disposable Futures is an utterly spellbinding analysis of violence in the later 20th and early 21st centuries. It strikes me as a new breed of street-smart intellectualism moving through broad ranging theoretical influences of Adorno, Arendt, Bauman, Deleuze, Foucault, Zizek, Marcuse, and Reich. I especially appreciated a number of things, including: the discussion of representation and how it functions within a broader logics of power; the descriptions and analyses of violence mediating the social field and fracturing it through paralyzing fear and anxiety; the colonization of bodies and pleasures; and the nuanced discussion of how state violence, surveillance, and disposability connect. Big ideas explained using a fresh straightforward voice."--Adrian Parr, author of The Wrath of Capital: Neoliberalism and Climate Change Politics
The time for radical social change has never been so urgent, since the fate of an entire generation of young people, if not democracy itself, is at stake. Giroux argues that challenge gives new meaning to the importance of resistance, the relevance of pedagogy, and the significance of political agency.
Reflecting on a wide range of social issues, Giroux contrasts Donald Trump's America with Sandra Bland's to understand who really benefits from politically fueled intolerance for immigrants, communities of color, Muslims, low-income families, and those who challenge state and corporate power. A passionate advocate for civil rights and the importance of the imagination, Giroux argues that only through widespread social investment in democracy and education can the common good hope to prevail over the increasingly concentrated influence of extreme right-wing politicians and self-serving economic interests.
Praise for America at War with Itself:
"This is the book Americans need to read now. No one is better than Henry Giroux at analyzing the truly dangerous threats to our society. He punctures our delusions and offers us a compelling and enlightened vision of a better way. America at War with Itself is the best book of the year."—Bob Herbert, Distinguished Senior Fellow at Demos and former Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times
"In this current era of corporate media misdirection and misinformation, America at War with Itself is a must read for all Americans, especially young people. Henry Giroux is one of the few great political voices of today, with powerful insight into the truth. Dr. Giroux is defiantly explaining, against the grain, what's REALLY going on right now, and doing so quite undeniably. Simply put, the ideas he brings forth are a beacon that need to be seen and heard and understood in order for the world to progress."—Julian Casablancas
"In America at War with Itself, Henry Giroux again proves himself one of North America’s most clear-sighted radical philosophers of education, culture and politics: radical because he discards the chaff of liberal critique and cuts to the root of the ills that are withering democracy. Giroux also connects the dots of reckless greed, corporate impunity, poverty, mass incarceration, racism and the co-opting of education to crush critical thinking and promote a culture that denigrates and even criminalizes civil society and the public good. His latest work is the antidote to an alarming tide of toxic authoritarianism that threatens to engulf America. The book could not be more timely."—Olivia Ward, Toronto Star
"America at War with Itself makes the case for real ideological and structural change at a time when the need and stakes could not be greater. Everyone who cares about the survival and revival of democracy needs to read this book.”—Kenneth Saltman, Professor, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Author of The Failure of Corporate School Reform
Henry A. Giroux's most recent books include The Violence of Organized Forgetting and America's Addiction to Terrorism. A prolific writer and political commentator, he has appeared in a wide range of media, including the New York Times and Bill Moyers.
We are fortunate to have these ideas expressed so clearly and in one place. It is a very useful book. . . .
Offers educators ways for reflecting critically on their own practices and the relationship between schools and society. The Educational Digest
"Henry Giroux has accomplished an exciting, brilliant intellectual dissection of America's somnambulent voyage into anti-democratic political depravity. His analysis of the plight of America's youth is particularly heartbreaking. If we have a shred of moral fibre left in our beings, Henry Giroux sounds the trumpet to awaken it to action to restore to the nation a civic soul."--Dennis J. Kucinich, former US Congressman and Presidential candidate
"Giroux lays out a blistering critique of an America governed by the tenets of a market economy. . . . He cites French philosopher Georges Didi-Huberman's concept of the 'disimagination machine' to describe a culture and pedagogical philosophy that short-circuits citizens' ability to think critically, leaving the generation now reaching adulthood unprepared for an 'inhospitable' world. Picking apart the current malaise of 21st-century digital disorder, Giroux describes a world in which citizenship is replaced by consumerism and the functions of engaged governance are explicitly beholden to corporations."--Publishers Weekly
In a series of essays that explore the intersections of politics, popular culture, and new forms of social control in American society, Henry A. Giroux explores how state and corporate interests have coalesced to restrict civil rights, privatize what's left of public institutions, and diminish our collective capacity to participate as engaged citizens of a democracy.
From the normalization of mass surveillance, lockdown drills, and a state of constant war, to corporate bailouts paired with public austerity programs that further impoverish struggling families and communities, Giroux looks to flashpoints in current events to reveal how the forces of government and business are at work to generate a culture of mass forgetfulness, obedience and conformity. In The Violence of Organized Forgetting, Giroux deconstructs the stories created to control us while championing the indomitable power of education, democracy, and hope.
Henry A. Giroux is a world-renowned educator, author and public intellectual. He currently holds the Global TV Network Chair Professorship at McMaster University in the English and Cultural Studies Department and a Distinguished Visiting Professorship at Ryerson University. The Toronto Star has named Henry Giroux “one of the twelve Canadians changing the way we think."
More Praise for Henry A. Giroux's The Violence of Organized Forgetting:
"I can think of no book in the last ten years as essential as this. I can think of no other writer who has so clinically dissected the crisis of modern life and so courageously offered a possibility for real material change."--John Steppling, playwright, and author of The Shaper, Dogmouth, and Sea of Cortez
"A timely study if there ever was one, The Violence of Organized Forgetting is a milestone in the struggle to repossess the common sense expropriated by the American power elite to be redeployed in its plot to foil the popular resistance against rising social injustice and decay of political democracy."--Zygmunt Bauman, author of Does the Richness of the Few Benefit Us All? among other works
Prophetic and eloquent, Giroux gives us, in this hard-hitting and compelling book, the dark scenario of Western crisis where ignorance has become a virtue and wealth and power the means of ruthless abuse of workers, of the minorities and of immigrants. However, he remains optimistic in his affirmation of radical humanity, determined as he is to relate himself to a fair and caring world unblemished by anti-democratic political depravity."--Shelley Walia, Frontline
As white supremacy, ultra-nationalism, rabid misogyny and anti-immigrant fervor coalesce, a new and uniquely American form of fascism looms. Could our current moment actually bring about the end of democracy in the United States? Are Americans willing to surrender their freedom and dignity, along with their ongoing struggle for equality, justice and mutual respect in the face of the rising tide of political and ideological extremism?
In this provocative collection of essays, Henry Giroux warns of the consequences of doing too little as Trump and the so-called alt-right relentlessly attack critics, journalists, and target the hard-earned civil rights of women, people of color, immigrants, the working class, and low-income Americans. As we face down the frightening reality of living under a system that serves only the interests of the wealthy few, Giroux makes a passionate call for ordinary citizens to organize, educate, and resist by all available means.
Praise for American Nightmare:
"In this current era of corporate media misdirection and misinformation . . . Henry Giroux is one of the few great political voices of today, with powerful insight into the truth. Dr. Giroux is defiantly explaining, against the grain, what's REALLY going on right now, and doing so quite undeniably. Simply put, the ideas he brings forth are a beacon that need to be seen and heard and understood in order for the world to progress."—Julian Casablancas, lead vocalist for The Strokes
"In frightening times like these, what is desperately needed is an informed and wise voice that speaks clearly and with conviction about the situation we are in, and what can be done. Henry Giroux is one of the great public intellectuals of our times, and American Nightmare is exactly the book for people grappling with how to understand the Trump era and how to proceed. This is precisely the book that needs to be shared with friends and acquaintances. It will provoke hard thinking, bring clarity, and stimulate much needed conversation and action."—Robert W. McChesney, co-author of People Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy
"We have no greater chronicler of these dystopian times. Giroux's critique cuts to the crux of today’s authoritarian crisis, yet his voice remains of one hope that the people may collectively regain control. Even while living though systemic efforts to privatize hope, Giroux’s critique enacts the sort of shared resistance that can effectively challenge authoritarianism. American Nightmare demonstrates how we can resist the normalization of hate, authoritarianism and alienation in Trump’s America. He shows us that not only are we not alone, but we are among a majority who oppose the cruelties of American social policies."—David H. Price, author of Cold War Anthropology: The CIA and the Growth of Dual Use Anthropology
"At a moment when the news cycle presents the dangers of Trumpian authoritarianism through disjointed and discrete hottakes, Giroux's wide-reaching analysis accounts for our current American nightmare with necessary historical context, and in so doing creates an aperture for resistance more meaningful than a hashtag."—Natasha Lennard, contributing writer for The Intercept, co-editor of Violence: Humans in Dark Times