The Violence of Organized Forgetting

The Violence of Organized Forgetting
Thinking Beyond America's Disimagination Machine

"Giroux refuses to give in or give up. The Violence of Organized Forgetting is a clarion call to imagine a different America—just, fair, and caring—and then to struggle for it."—Bill Moyers

"Henry Giroux has accomplished an exciting, brilliant intellectual dissection of America's somnambulent voyage into anti-democratic political depravity. His analysis of the plight of America's youth is particularly heartbreaking. If we have a shred of moral fibre left in our beings, Henry Giroux sounds the trumpet to awaken it to action to restore to the nation a civic soul."—Dennis J. Kucinich, former US Congressman and Presidential candidate

"The book that has had the most impact on me recently is Henry Giroux's The Violence of Organized Forgetting. . . . I can't help but think of [organized forgetting] related to blackness and black history. The willful omitting and minimizing of black accomplishment is a form of violence that is done to us, but that we also do to ourselves. To frame this as violence is pretty deep."––Shola Lynch, director and producer of the film Free Angela and All Political Prisoners

"In terms that are both eloquent and prophetic, Henry Giroux succeeds in raising the ante in the current debate about America's madness. His concept of disimagination captures the emotional as well as the material dimensions of the Western crisis. Beyond economic distress, Giroux paints a far more comprehensive portrait of the alarming descent into violence that afflicts our societies. Yet, as is Giroux's wont, he does not leave us hanging. The final section of the book is a ringing affirmation of hope and struggle for the revival of the radical imagination."—Stanley Aronowitz, author of Taking it Big: C.Wright Mills and the Making of Political Intellectuals

"I can think of no book in the last ten years as essential as this. I can think of no other writer who has so clinically dissected the crisis of modern life and so courageously offered a possibility for real material change."—John Steppling, playwright, and author of The Shaper, Dogmouth, and Sea of Cortez

"A timely study if there ever was one, The Violence of Organized Forgetting is a milestone in the struggle to repossess the common sense expropriated by the American power elite to be redeployed in its plot to foil the popular resistance against rising social injustice and decay of political democracy."—Zygmunt Bauman, author of Does the Richness of the Few Benefit Us All?

"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, chips away at civil rights, and diminishes 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.

More praise for Henry A. Giroux:

"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."

Title The Violence of Organized Forgetting
Subtitle Thinking Beyond America's Disimagination Machine
Publisher City Lights Publishers
Title First Published 21 July 2014
Format Paperback
Nb of pages 280 p.
ISBN-10 087286619X
ISBN-13 9780872866195
Publication Date 21 July 2014
Main content page count 280
Content page count 280
Weight 16 oz.
List Price $15.95

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