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Technological Bluff Hardcover – October, 1990


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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

"A Republic No More: Big Government and the Rise of American Political Corruption"
Various interest groups encamped in the District of Columbia mean we now have a special interest democracy. Find out more
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 418 pages
  • Publisher: Eerdmans Pub Co; 1st edition (October 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080283678X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802836786
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,300,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French

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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By C. A. Foster on November 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a pretty good book for Ellul, with a few of his most common failings. I'll start with those. Written much later in his life (mid-1980s I believe) Ellul is much older, and discernably more crotchety. He complains of "music that is just noise" and that "kids wear their stupid headphones too much!" So sometimes the eloquence of his discourse is interrupted by personal opinion, and here it really hurts some very fine threads he weaves. I am always amazed at how Ellul can start to think on one thing that everyone knows about, describe it, pick at it for a while: then assess it in a startlingly objective way. To me it always comes off not as superhuman intelligence, but as a very passionate desire for understanding. Uh oh, I haven't finished complaining and I got myself all turned around.
Anyway, the other problem is that you won't understand a lot of the examples he uses if you're not French. I don't know what Minitel is, and I have no insight/longing for insight on the French Government's various boards and committees. I just want those good world-encompassing ideas. Of which there are many here, but it takes patience through some of the more obscure stuff.
Books that should DEFINITELY come before this in your readings:
Technological Society
Propaganda
(after those) Conversations with Patrick Troude-Chastenet

Finally, a thing that might prove good about this book (if you think so): in it Ellul disavows some of his earlier ideas. I have used it as somewhat of a guide for what not to read, since this book from his later life has statements like "In the Political Illusion, I was totally wrong when I said..." and so forth. Was he wrong? If he thinks so, then maybe it's not worth studying... but that's up to you!
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