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In the Absence of the Sacred Hardcover – June, 1999

45 customer reviews

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Hardcover, June, 1999
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--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Mander, author of the controversial Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television , thinks that we have too complaisantly accepted the advances of technology. Urging that we understand the benefits and drawbacks of technology before the latter overtake us, he observes that new technologies, always presented in the best possible light, steer society in some sociopolitical direction. Mander examines in turn computer, television, space and genetic technologies, pointing out that they are deployed in the manner most useful to the institutions that gain from them. Mander notes that the only consistent opposition to technology comes from land-based native peoples. This observation leads to a discussion of Indians and other native groups around the world whose cultures are under attack by governments. This lively, provocative argument will interest all readers concerned about our environment and quality of life. QPB selection; author tour.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Mander's book is an angry protest against the uncritical adoption of technology, the expansion of capitalism, and the centralization of political power. He warns that these trends will lead to a New World Order dominated by multinational corporations, resulting in devastation of the earth's natural environment and native cultures. Mander argues that technologies like television and computers extend corporate control in society and promote the uncaring consumption of natural resources. To avoid imminent environmental catastrophe, he contends that we must adopt the values of Native American cultures that regard the earth as sacred. Mander, a former advertising executive, writes in compact, persuasive prose. His book reads like a series of essays. Recommended for academic and large public libraries.
- Randy J. Olsen, Brigham Young Univ. Lib., Provo, Ut.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Peter Smith Pub Inc (June 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0844669512
  • ISBN-13: 978-0844669519
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,189,558 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

88 of 93 people found the following review helpful By Sam Freedom on August 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
The picture Mander paints has a vast, web-like look andfeel to
it, extending from the vastness of the Canadian Northwest Territories,
into the boardrooms of the major oil conglomerates, the programming
chambers of the television studios, the daily lives of
once-free-roaming, nomadic Indian cultures, governmental "Think
Chambers", the back rooms where the exploitation of the moon and
the possible resources of Mars is being planned, and of course, the
burgeoning internet about which many have scarecly a clue as to its
worst and greatest potentials. And, surprisingly, your
bedroom. Highlighting several points won't get the point of the book
across because on any one of them, the reader of this review could
say, "Well, that one doesn't much bother me." or "Well,
I can't do much about that." or "Gee, that's too bad for
those poor indians, but what could I possibly do to change that? I
have so much going on already.", and the important message of the
book would be completely overlooked. ("Well, what's the
point?" you might be asking. Please forgive me. I swore not to
spoonfeed the answers.)
I strongly suggest that you -do not- read
this book if you are living a comfortable lifestyle, or at least hope
to live one. There's no point in upsetting yourself if you're not
willing to be different in order to make a difference in the future of
the world. We might want to be different, or imagine we would be
different if we were certain it would help things, but what this book
speaks of isn't on the level of 'conspiracy theory', it's about what
is actually happening right now...
Again, it doesn't pin down any
one thing.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Barron Laycock HALL OF FAME on October 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
No one could accuse author and scholar Jerry Mander of sitting on the fence regarding his position concerning the so-called "Third Wave' of technological changes cascading through our society and culture. Indeed, this book has been described as a powerfully written broadside against the headlong rush into what Mander terms to be "Megatechnology", which is the combination of a number of particularly dangerous aspects of technological innovation, creating synergistic effect he believes will ultimately will be dangerous to us as individuals, consumers, and citizens. Many of the ideas he uses so effectively here were first broached in an earlier book, "Four Arguments For The Elimination Of Television".

The author uses a variety of examples to show how the public has been deliberately manipulated and misled by a variety of boosters and cheerleaders for technological innovation, ranging from corporations, the media, academics, and even the government. This, he contends, has led to the emergence of several particularly dangerous predominant technologies such as television, genetic and molecular engineering, and computers. What is surprising is the amount of evidence Mander produces showing clearly adverse aspects of each technology, evidence which heretofore has been deliberately omitted from public scrutiny by the aggregated sponsors and cheerleaders of the technology, who obviously have a vested interest in stacking the deck in favor of their particular interest.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 1, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book should be required reading for every American. This book will take years of corporate and government brain-washing out of your newly enlightened skull. The next time our president calls another nation "evil", you may want to take a good look at our nation's past, present, and possible future. Mander describes Indian cultures that base current decisions on how they will effect childred 7 generations from now. Imagine our short sighted, consumption driven society, even attempting this. The book confirms what I already feel, that unless society changes the way we live and view the natural world, our future is grim. The Indians see the errors in our ways. They know our fate. The question is if we will listen to them in time to save our greedy little selves.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By John Kuzava on November 15, 1999
Format: Paperback
I read this book several years ago. It is still with me. I find it creeping into my views at the least likely moments. As a marketing professional myself, I am keenly aware of Mander's tales of how media is routinely manipulated to produce a "world view", compatible with the needs of industry under the pretense of "best case scenarios." Though it is obvious, few people understand that thier views are almost entirely the product of political and media forces that have been working on them since childhood. Invariably, those forces are predisposed to the cause of industry. What, if anything do we actually 'think', that hasn't been funded to be thought about, by one industry or another? What passes for 'good taste' or an 'intelligent viewpoint' didn't get to become that by accident. Given the enormous budget it takes to produce any kind of "share of mind" in this culture, does anyone one really think opposing points of view to those of industry, have any chance whatsoever, of being heard in this society? If you do, I pity your ridiculous, pathetic, humourous delusion. But to catch a glimpse, just look at the garbage you throw out every week if you want to see who you really are. Do you really know where it all goes? Do you really understand why so much waste has to be produced just to get you to buy things? Do you even care?
If perchance, you have even the slightest sense that there is something deeper within you. An indigenous soul lurking somewhere beneath the years of corporate-paid info-strata you've been layering, this book will help fortify the feeling. You still will have miles to go. But this book, for some, could play an essential role in helping to awake from the deep slumber corporations pay so heavily to keep us in.
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