From Publishers Weekly
Siegel, a controversial former NewRepublic.com blogger and past Slate.com art critic, provides a fascinating look at how the Internet is reshaping the way we think about ourselves and the world. Siegel explores how the Internet affects culture and social life, particularly the psychological, emotional and social cost of high-tech solitude. Arguing that the Internet's widespread anonymity eliminates boundaries, Siegel discusses the half-fantasy, half-realism of online personas. Internet pornography, Siegel intones, collapses public and private, transforming others into the instrument of the viewer's will. By experiencing virtual selves rather than other individuals, a danger arises: people run the risk of being reduced to personas that other Internet users manipulate toward their own ends. Insightful and well written with convincing evidence to support Siegel's polemic, this book is a welcome addition to the debate on the personal ramifications of living in a wired world. (Jan.)
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Acclaim for Lee Siegel
“Mr. Siegel is a zigzagging cultural omnivore…a confrontational enthusiast… an expert demolisher of critical group-think.”
--New York Observer
“One of the country’s most eloquent and acid-tongued cultural critics.”
-Deborah Solomon, New York Times
“To read him is to be reminded of what criticism used to aspire to in terms of range, learning, high standards, and good writing and--dare one say it?--values.”
-- David Rieff
“Savor his vigorous prose, and prepare to be surprised.”
“In every case, Siegel is wildly and satisfyingly unpredictable.”
"One of the heroic few."
-- The Guardian