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The News: A User's Manual
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Alain de Botton
The News: A User's Manual by Alain de Botton at Abbey's Bookshop,

The News: A User's Manual

Alain de Botton


Pantheon Books

Journalistic style guides;
Popular culture;
Media studies


268 pages

$49.95  $18.00
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From the author of The Art of Travel, a thought-provoking look at the manic and peculiar position that news has achieved in our lives. 'What does the news do to our brains, our souls, and our views of one another?' We spend an inordinate amount of time checking on it.

It moulds how we view reality, we're increasingly addicted to it on our luminous gadgets, we check it every morning when we wake up and every evening before we sleep - and yet the news has rarely been the focus of an accessible, serious, saleable, book-length study. Until now. Mixing snippets of current news with philosophical reflections, The News will blend the timeless with the contemporary, and bring the wisdom of thousands of years of culture to bear on our contemporary obsessions and neuroses.

There will be illustrations for this book - a shot of Emma Watson having an ice cream, a portrait of Jesus by Duccio (both were playing a similar role in their respective societies, the book will allege) - and examples of news stories will be drawn from across the world. The News ranges across news categories - from politics to murders, from economics to celebrities, from the weather to paparazzi shows - in search of answers to the questions: 'What do we want from this?' and 'Is it doing us any good?'

After The News, we'll never look at a celebrity story, the report on a tropical storm, or the sex scandal of a politician in quite the same way again.

By:   Alain de Botton
Imprint:   Pantheon Books
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 185mm,  Width: 136mm,  Spine: 24mm
Weight:   367g
ISBN:   9780307379122
ISBN 10:   0307379124
Pages:   268
Publication Date:   February 2014
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Alain de Botton is the author of nonfiction works on subjects ranging from love and travel to architecture and philosophy. His best-selling books include How Proust Can Change Your Life, The Art of Travel and The Architecture of Happiness. He lives in London, where he founded The School of Life ( and Living Architecture (

Short and pithy essays drill down beneath the news item to the general absurdity of life and observations of how the media is constantly feeding us information without real context. Interspersed throughout are references to art, literature, and culture and their more enduring messages in contrast to the impression left by the news of a desperate lack of humanity. This is a thought-provoking look at the impact of news on culture and individuals. --Vanessa Bush, Booklist Known for his wide-ranging curiosity and penchant for philosophical musing, the author of How Proust Can Change Your Life, Religion for Atheists , and The Art of Travel has turned his attention to the news. This branch of the media that incorporates everything from war to celebrities getting pizza is almost omnipresent in our lives, and de Botton here examines how that affects us and how much longer the news can get bigger. -- The Millions , Most Anticipated: The Great 2014 Book Preview de Botton examines excerpts of contemporary news, mixing them with philosophical observations about the impact the news has on us, why we rely on it so heavily, and how it impacts the way in which we see the world. -- Huffington Post

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