"Henry Giroux says we are inundated with statistics that should shock, and are complacent in the face of information that should make us ashamed. No one has been more passionate or eloquent in trying to rouse us from that torpor. Now, even as the arteries of democracy harden further from the brutalities of our culture and the money-driven mendacity of propaganda and politics, Giroux refuses to give in or give up. Here is another clarion call to imagine a different America--just, fair, and caring--and then to struggle for it."--Bill Moyers
"Giroux is society's teacher and conscience"
--Lawrence Grossberg, University of North Carolina
The Toronto Star has named Henry Giroux "one of the twelve Canadians changing the way we think."
"America has become amnesiac," says Henry Giroux, "a country in which forms of historical, political, and moral forgetting are not only willfully practiced but celebrated." In a series of essays on the intersections of political power, popular culture and new methods of social control, Giroux explores how neoliberal discourse and the ongoing commodification of everyday life constitute an active assault on public memory, chip away at civil rights, and diminish the public's capacity to speak and act in its own interests. Alarmed at the increased authoritarianism creeping into all levels of national experience, Giroux looks to flashpoints in current events to reveal how the institutions of government and business are at work to generate false narratives that promote mass fear, quietism and passivity.
"The Violence of Organized Forgetting" makes visible the untruth of these narratives and the historical, political, economic, and cultural conditions that produce them. Giroux analyzes how various institutions in American society are distracting and miseducating the public. Political and cultural responses to current event--such as the ongoing economic crisis, income inequality, health care reform, Hurricane Sandy, the war on terror, the Boston Marathon bombing, and the Chicago teacher protests--represent flashpoints that reveal a growing disregard for people's democratic rights, public accountability, and civic values. From the inflated rhetoric of the political right to market-driven media peddling spectacles of violence, the influence of these forces in everyday life is undermining our collective security by justifying cutbacks to social supports and restricting opportunities for democratic resistance.
Giroux argues that widespread acceptance of the militarized lockdown of Boston crystalizes the degree to which society has come to accept martial law and mass surveillance as inevitable necessities of contemporary American life. Over-the-top repression of social movements like Occupy reveals an increasing intolerance and suspicion of those who challenge state and corporate power, while the violence marketed to youth as entertainment promotes further disconnection from a sense of cohesive community."The Violence of Organized Forgetting" is a passionate call for public engagement as a means to push back against restrictions on freedom and the passive acceptance of a frightening status quo.
PRAISE FOR HENRY A. GIROUX
“Once again Henry Giroux shows why he is one of the most important public intellectuals in the world today . . . he positively reinforces his commitment to a critical pedagogy that refuses to accept the inevitability of the abuses of power that appear right before our eyes.”
--Brad Evans, Founder/Director, Histories of Violence Project, University of Bristol
“Henry Giroux is one of our most important public intellectuals. Though he vividly describes the privatization of compassion, the rapid decline of higher education's commitment to democracy and shared notions of the public good, the force of Giroux's writings shows us we are not alone and there is power in his arguments of resistance.”
--David H. Price, Professor of Anthropology, St. Martin's University