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The Sky is Falling!: The Unexpected Politics of Hollywood's Superheroes and Zombies

Peter Biskind

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Penguin
19 November 2019
Film, TV & Radio; Popular culture; Media studies; Political ideologies
Are Batman and 24's Jack Bauer heroic loners defending our way of life - or right-wing vigilantes attacking it? Is Avatar just a National Geographic version of Star Wars or a passionate assault on capitalism? And what about Game of Thrones - sword and sorcery fantasy, or lesson in mainstream politics?

In The Sky is Falling! bestselling cultural critic Peter Biskind takes us on a dizzying ride across two decades of pop culture to show how the TV and movies we love have taught us to love political extremism. Welcome to a darkly pessimistic, apocalyptic world where winter has come, the dead are walking, and ultra violence, revenge and torture are all in a day's work. Welcome to the new normal.
By:   Peter Biskind
Imprint:   Penguin
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm,  Spine: 16mm
Weight:   202g
ISBN:   9780241373873
ISBN 10:   0241373875
Pages:   272
Publication Date:   19 November 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Peter Biskind is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, a writer for Esquire, and the author of the classic bestsellersEasy Riders, Raging Bulls and Down and Dirty Pictures. He lives in upstate New York.

Reviews for The Sky is Falling!: The Unexpected Politics of Hollywood's Superheroes and Zombies

Your book was . . . like a bag of pot, with me saying, 'I'm not gonna smoke.' But I was insatiable -- Quentin Tarantino on EASY RIDERS, RAGING BULLS A bold, witty, and brilliantly argued analysis of the role pop culture has played in the rise of American extremism -- Ruth Reichl The great chronicler of Hollywood in the late twentieth century turns his critical eye to the cinema and television of the twenty first. Essential reading -- Colin MacCabe The only thing better than seeing a good movie is reading what Peter Biskind has to say about it. Who else can explicate the hidden politics of movies and make you laugh out loud at the same time? -- Barbara Ehrenreich A breathless compendium of storylines and audacious analysis ... touching on worthwhile questions about how film and TV shape our sense of history and how the world works. Pop culture has become pulp culture... which superhero will come to our rescue? * Times * Funny, intelligent and frightening ... What happens when pop turns to pulp? When nothing entertains but disaster? When democracy has all but dissolved in the acid rain of money? Read this marvellous book and find the answers -- Michael Wood Peter Biskind's kaleidoscopic deep dive into the symbiotic relationship between the narratives of popular entertainment and our political culture had me talking out loud to myself. You'll never look at your favorite movies and TV shows the same way again. And you shouldn't. -- Steven Soderbergh The Sky is Falling! is not only insanely readable, it demonstrates how the way for Trump and all kinds of fundamentalists was paved years ago by apparently apolitical popular culture. This is a book about the seismic change at the very heart of today's society, and a book for all those who want to know exactly what a mess we're in. -- Slavoj Zizek Biskind's wide-ranging arguments offer considerable food for thought * London Review of Books * Excellent critical writing ... Biskind's pastiche of right-wing paranoia is spot on * Irish Times * Compulsively readable ... a thoughtful, entertaining and occasionally profound critical study of the texts that entertain, move and, sometimes, shape us * Spectator * A Sunday Times Book of the Year * - *


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