The Authenticity Hoax: Why the 8220;Real8221; Things We Seek Don8217;t Make Us Happy

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9780061251351: The Authenticity Hoax: Why the 8220;Real8221; Things We Seek Don8217;t Make Us Happy
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“A totally real, genuine, authentic book about why you shouldn’t believe any of those words. And it’s genuinely good.”
— Gregg Easterbrook, author of Sonic Boom

Exploring a number of trends in our popular culture—from Sarah Palin to Antiques Roadshow, organic food to the indignation over James Frey’s memoir—Andrew Potter follows his successful Nation of Rebels with a new book that argues that our pursuit of the authentic is fraught with irony and self-defeat. Readers of The Paradox of Choice or Bowling Alone will find many enlightening insights in The Authenticity Hoax, which is, in the words of Tom de Zengotita (Mediated), “the kind of criticism that changes minds.”

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From the Back Cover:

What does it mean to be authentic?

The demand for authenticity—the honest or the real—is one of the most powerful movements in contempo-rary life, influencing our moral outlook, political views, and consumer behavior. Yet according to Andrew Potter, when examined closely, our fetish for “authentic” lifestyles or experiences is actually a form of exclusionary status seeking. The result, he argues, is modernity's malaise: a competitive, self-absorbed individualism that ultimately erodes genuine relationships and true community.

Weaving together threads of pop culture, history, and philosophy, The Authenticity Hoax reveals how our misguided pursuit of the authentic merely exacerbates the artificiality of contemporary life that we decry. In his defiant, brilliant critique, Andrew Potter offers a way forward to a meaningful individualism that makes peace with the modern world.

About the Author:

Andrew Potter is the coauthor of the international bestseller Nation of Rebels. A journalist, writer, and teacher, he lives in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter (@jandrewpotter).

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9780061251337: The Authenticity Hoax: How We Get Lost Finding Ourselves

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ISBN 10:  006125133X ISBN 13:  9780061251337
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9780771071058: The Authenticity Hoax: How We Get Lost Finding Ourselves

McClel..., 2010
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