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The Death of Truth
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
From a Pulitzer Prize-winning critic comes an impassioned critique of America's retreat from reason We live in a time when the very idea of objective truth is mocked and discounted by the occupants of the White House. Discredited conspiracy theories and ideologies have resurfaced, proven science is once more up for debate, and Russian propaganda floods our screens. The wisdom of the crowd has usurped research and expertise, and we are each left clinging to the beliefs that best confirm our biases. How did truth become an endangered species in contemporary America? This decline began decades ago, and in The Death of Truth, former New York Times critic Michiko Kakutani takes a penetrating look at the cultural forces that contributed to this gathering storm. In social media and literature, television, academia, and politics, Kakutani identifies the trends--originating on both the right and the left--that have combined to elevate subjectivity over factuality, science, and common values. And she returns us to the words of the great critics of authoritarianism, writers like George Orwell and Hannah Arendt, whose work is newly and eerily relevant. With remarkable erudition and insight, Kakutani offers a provocative diagnosis of our current condition and points toward a new path for our truth-challenged times.
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review
BarbaraTheBibliophage
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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Pickpick

I planned to give up political reads for 6 mos. But after hearing “The Big Lie” a gazillion times, this book started reaching out from my shelf and pulling me towards it. It is small but mighty. Does more to illustrate how we got here than where to go from here. It‘s densely written and packed with history, philosophy, politics, and book suggestions. Definitely worth the effort.

Full review http://www.TheBibliophage.com
#thebibliophage2021

BarbaraTheBibliophage Using this one for #somethingaboutlanguageandwords prompt from #nonfictionchallenge2021 @Riveted_Reader_Melissa — it‘s a bit of a stretch but truth, lies, and language do connect. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @BarbaraTheBibliophage Yes they most definitely do! I don‘t think that‘s a stretch at all. 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Riveted_Reader_Melissa Thanks for the confirmation. It‘s not about language but how we use it—for good or ill. So, that‘s one more ✔️🥳 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @BarbaraTheBibliophage and about deciding which words are “truth” and which are “alternative facts” treated as truth. Which is very important... the whole don‘t believe what your eyes and ears tell you, but believe what we tell you instead. 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Riveted_Reader_Melissa Yes! There are so many examples of that in the book and in real life. I think you would appreciate this book! 2y
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iread2much
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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Pickpick

A fascinating, well written, and compact review of post modernism and how it created the hell we live in today. As an educator and as a faculty member, I feel this is a must read, it helped me examine how I was taught and how I am feeding into the post truth narrative that is destroying my country and the world. Excellent read, 4/5 stars, every one who wants to change our current cultural and political dynamic should read this.

Leftcoastzen I read it awhile back, thought it was excellent! Hugs to your beautiful pooch!🐶❤️ 2y
iread2much @Leftcoastzen thank you! He‘s a happy boy, much lazier than my girl. ❤️ I was super impressed with this book, anyone who can make post-modern thought approachable is pretty impressive. 2y
SamAnne I just took a screenshot so I can remember to put this on my TBR list. 2y
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iread2much @SamAnne 😄 I hope you enjoy it when you get to read it! 2y
RedxoHearts Love your dog! So cute and fluffy 2y
iread2much @RedxoHearts thank you so much! 2y
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blurb
BarbaraTheBibliophage
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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I saw this article in WaPo today. So I got curious about how many books from their graphic I owned and/or have read. (X means read, O means owned but not read yet.) If you‘re not completely burned out on Trump era nonfiction, the article and graphic offer many suggestions.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/10/01/most-essential-books-trump-era...

GingerAntics That looks like A LOT of Trump related nonfiction. I‘m feeling burned out just looking at this list. 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @GingerAntics It is a huge list! And I think feeling burnt out makes a lot of sense, especially given this week. 2y
GingerAntics I swear, he‘s pulling some 🤬 with this hospital thing. No one knows how sick he really is, but he‘s using it to fundraise (saying contributions will help him feel better) and today he left the hospital to drive past his supporters and wave. 🙄 His is a total disgrace. 2y
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa Great graphic! I might be done with Trump specific stuff....but White Trash I started earlier this year and need to go back to, and The Death of Expertise has been sitting on my nightstand for months now. And I was just thinking about Masha Gessen‘s that we got together but I still haven‘t read yet (she was on TV today). 😉 2y
Trashcanman 👁👁 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @GingerAntics He definitely is milking this for all it‘s worth. BTW a lot of books on this list are about the era not the man. 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I have White Trash and want to read it but I need to do my last challenge books more. And yes, the Gessen book(s)!! BTW a lot of books on this list are about the era not the man. 2y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @BarbaraTheBibliophage I know! I really need to work on my challenges so much in the next few months! 😬 2y
britt_brooke Whoa! Thanks for the tag. Gonna have to sift through these. 2y
Megabooks As best I can tell I haven‘t read many. I don‘t read much politics. I got enough of that in undergrad for a lifetime. 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Megabooks Oops. I can never remember the specifics of my NF friends favorite genres! 🤷🏼‍♀️😎 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @britt_brooke Just in case we can manage more ... I also think they left some important ones out of the graphic. It‘s amazing how much has been / is being written about this time. 2y
Megabooks That‘s okay. I tend to read more sociology, essays, and memoirs. I was a poli sci major in college. I enjoyed it then, but stopped enjoying it somewhere in the W administration! 😜 2y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Megabooks I think it‘s the sociology reads that threw me! It‘s funny how involved in politics I am now. Never took a single political science class in college! 2y
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JenniferEgnor
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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Trump often seems like a one-man set of Aesop-like fables with easy to decipher morals like “those who lie down with dogs will get up with fleas” but because he is president of the US, his actions do not simply end in a tag line moral; they ripple outward like a toxic tsunami, creating havoc in the lives of millions.

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JenniferEgnor
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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“Make America Great Again” translates into turning the clock back to the 1950s, before the civil rights movement, before the women‘s movement, before LGBT rights, before Black Lives Matter.

WAY back. Centuries back!

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JenniferEgnor
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic. —Robert A. Heinlein

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JenniferEgnor
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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I liken the attacks on science to turning off the headlights. We‘re driving fast and people don‘t want to see what‘s coming up. Scientists—we‘re the headlights. —Mike MacFerrin

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JenniferEgnor
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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We can‘t control whether our public servants lie to us. But we can control whether we hold them accountable for those lies or whether, in either a state of exhaustion or to protect our own political objectives, we look the other way and normalize an indifference to truth.

Sleepswithbooks Preach!!!! 3y
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coffees
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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Went to the #library with the bingo prompts. I also picked out some new titles that looked interesting and some that I felt I needed to revisit before reviewing, like Death of Truth. I feel like at one point the tone and message shift but because I heard the audiobook, it's hard to double check. So I got the physical copy! #nonfiction #tbrpile #history #politics #environment #food #lgbtq #mentalhealth #analysis

#nfnov @Clwojick @rsteve388

rsteve388 1 pt 3y
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coffees
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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I'm about halfway through this one and while I think it's interesting, there is a major contradiction I'm seeing in the argument. By the looks of it, I might rate this one a 3/5 but let's keep reading! #nfnov #nonfiction

@Clwojick @rsteve388

rsteve388 Interesting! 1pt 3y
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Drocchio03
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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Only a third through and can tell this is a book that needs to be read multiple times to fully appreciate the absolutely frightening time in which we live. It also cries for discussion; strongly recommend reading with a friend or club.

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Christinak
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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“In Orwell‘s language of Newspeak in 1984, a word like “blackwhite” has “two mutually contradictory meanings”: “Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts. Applied to a Party member, it means a #loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this.”

#QuotsyMar19 #31DaysOfNonFiction

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cariashley
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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Pickpick

A good quick listen and the most literary take on recent US politics that I‘ve read so far. #resist 👍👍

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Leftcoastzen
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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Pickpick

A great reminder that in order to even have productive debate you must utilize facts.When expertise is painted as suspect, higher education, vilified, a free press called an enemy of the people, you know lies and propaganda rule the day.Kakutani takes examples from Hitler & the excesses of the Soviet propaganda machine to compare with the Trump dysphoria that is a great danger to Democracy.Please do yourself a favor , read this book!

Blaire Nice!! Will be reading in 2019. 4y
Freespirit Sounds interesting...and relevant! 4y
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Leftcoastzen
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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I‘m only 29 pages in and this book is as sharp as a razor! It also referenced an older book that made a huge impression on me years ago,Anti-Intellectualism in American Life by Richard Hofstadter .

Leftcoastzen She‘s rocking it! Referenced another book I found significant:The Culture of Narcissism by Christopher Lasch.👍 4y
Blaire I was going to say #stacked and then realized I already had! 4y
Blaire Looking forward to your review. 4y
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Lindy
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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Pickpick

“Without truth, democracy is hobbled.”
Midterm election night in the USA is a good time to promote this worthwhile #audiobook. I‘ve got Trump fatigue, but it‘s important to remain accurately informed of what‘s going on in a country that shares about 4,000 miles of border with Canada.
Performed by Tavia Gilbert.

Beckys_Books If you have Trump fatigue just imagine living in the US. We can't get away from him. 4y
Lindy @Beckys_Books You have my deepest sympathy. 4y
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Lindy
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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A majority of Republicans believe that universities have a negative effect on America.

CarolynM 😪 4y
Lindy @CarolynM I knew that the climate of anti-intellectualism was growing in the USA, but I didn‘t realize it had grown this much. 4y
Amiable My husband and I are actually starting to consider looking at retiring overseas. I can't take the rampant regression that we are seeing in the U.S. anymore. It's horrifying and disheartening. 4y
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Lindy @Amiable 🌻 4y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Amiable I would be more likely to consider it, if not for our family being all in PA. Can‘t bring everyone! 4y
Lindy @BarbaraTheBibliophage @Amiable It‘s hard to move far from family and friends. That‘s the reason why I‘m still in snowy Edmonton. (edited) 4y
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Lindy
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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The journalist Anne Applebaum identified an entire group of neo-Bolsheviks—including Trump, Nigel Farage in Britain, Marine Le Pen in France, Jarosław Kaczyński in Poland, and the Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán—who, like Lenin and Trotsky, started out on the political fringes and rode a wave of populism to prominent positions.

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PickingBooks
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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A London Fog, a slice of toast, and a new book! Can‘t ask for a better way to spend a drizzly Saturday afternoon. Photo courtesy of my five-year-old, hence the patronizing smile.

Ye_Mighty_Andy_Spare Could I ask what the thing is on the wall by the window? It looks really interesting 4y
PickingBooks @Ye_Mighty_Andy_Spare It‘s a Dr. Seuss kangaroo bird. It is fun! 4y
Ye_Mighty_Andy_Spare Just googled it. Amazingly cool :-D 4y
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DocBrown ❤️ the 👓! 4y
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2BR02B
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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Mehso-so

Some of her conclusions seemed slightly specious to me (I think Jacques Derrida, for one, would take umbrage with being indirectly blamed for the Trump administration), but I definitely think this is worth reading. One of the most salient points is where Kakutani draws attention to how Trump&Co strategically deploy a constant onslaught of misinformation in order to overwhelm and exhaust their opposition. It's a good reminder to stay engaged, 👇

2BR02B no matter how tempting it is to tune out current events. Your feelings of helplessness are what they're counting on. Don't give it to them. 4y
Leftcoastzen Thank you for your insightful post ✊Stay strong. 4y
Susannah Overwhelm and exhaust indeed. Thank you for the reminder that giving in to it is what they want. 4y
49 likes3 comments
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UrsulaMonarch
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
Pickpick

An excellent book I cannot stop thinking about. Kakutani's explanation of postmodernism and application to current events, and description of its movement from the left to the right, is just fascinating (and terrifying). At times, the book reads like the polemics it derides, which is interesting as well.

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awonderinglife
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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Pickpick

A book I really needed right now!

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Thndrstd
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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Pickpick

Former New York Times book critic Kakutani tackles the era of Trump and the confounding lack of truth in anything he or mass or social media seems to be saying in a well-researched, well-written essay. She references many works of literature (most obviously 1984) to establish how Trump is a symptom of a larger cultural myopia and the repercussions of postmodern thinking, but the book offers little in the way of solutions.

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WanderingBookaneer
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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Pickpick

A must read. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Weaponxgirl
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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Pickpick

This is timely and well written and a pick but I need to be honest. This is so depressing and has left the only thing cheering me up being a video of a Nazi being shouted at by his dad whilst YouTubing live “not in my room!” Whilst knowing what‘s happening and analysing is important, I need right now to know how we effectively fight it?! This won‘t be read by someone who needs it, how do we interact from a common basis?

Weaponxgirl This is probably just my mood right now, but I need something inspirational in its resistance even when things are bleak. 4y
Weaponxgirl This is not a bad review of the book btw, just of the situation 4y
iread2much You might try reading Don‘t Think of an Elephant. It should help answer some of your questions 4y
awonderinglife I totally agree! Loved the book but was also looking for more “solutions” and ideas for what we can actually do about the current situation! 4y
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Jen2
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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Pickpick

So well written!

GingerAntics I need to read this book. I‘ve seen a complete disregard for expertise in my own life, and I‘d love to know if this experience is similar to what this book is pointing out. 4y
Cedricsmom Does he talk about the new Luddite movement—people who say the earth is flat, space doesn‘t exist, stupid crap like that? 4y
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BookishMarginalia
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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All very good questions... #CurrentlyReading

Aimeesue Im currently reading Amy Chua's Political Tribes, which deals with this in a roundabout way. The Kakutani arrived the other day; it's going to be interesting to see how much they overlap. 4y
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reiko
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
Pickpick

Concise and incisive.

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Miss_Kim
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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Such a sweet colour for this very well-researched and important new book! And it matches my morning coffee so I‘m blissful 😊

CareBear Love the mug! 4y
Miss_Kim Thanks! Me too! 💙 4y
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Miss_Kim
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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Timely...

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tholmz
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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Pickpick

I promised myself I wouldn‘t read anything about Trump until it was all over and far in the past, but this. This was so good and so worth it and so infuriating. So, so smart and scary and informative and frustrating.

BarbaraBB Sounds like a must-read 4y
tholmz @BarbaraBB definitely! 4y
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Erin01
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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Erin01
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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Pickpick

started + finished this one today (audio is just under 4 hours). its a great read for the trump era but also for thinking about truth & information more broadly. overall I really enjoyed it & would definitely recommend ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Booksnchill
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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Pickpick

As I sit in a mediation(the#lawyersoflitsy know how dull this can be for long stretches) I finished this book of essays on the post-truth world. Kakutani makes a cogent case for the Trump post truth tactics flowing as an outgrowth of deconstruction- phrases like “many sides” and “multiple ways of knowing” as the formative basis for denial of a “truth” in favor of “perception is reality”. Hitler, Stalin, Lenin and Putin are all there. Read it.4⭐️

wanderinglynn Feel your pain. Hope the mediation goes smoothly and quickly. And I‘m definitely stacking this book. Thanks! 4y
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REPollock
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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Pickpick

I found this book strangely comforting. It lays out context/ perspective on our current cultural moment, pulling together a broad/deep range of references from history, literature, journalism, & the writings of US gvt luminaries including former presidents. Kakutani is an intellect to be reckoned with & a writer whose perspective I'm grateful to have in the Disinformation Age.

This is a quick read bc the last 40% of the book is citations.

2BR02B I love the booth-style furniture. Looks so cozy and private. 😊 4y
REPollock @2BR02B I sat in one of the green booth desks today. It was great! 👍📚🖤 4y
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REPollock
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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She doesn‘t mince words or theories in this book. 📖👍

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BarbaraTheBibliophage
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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I‘m supposed to be emptying out bookshelves because we‘re remodeling a bit. And yet, somehow, these two jumped into my shopping cart on Prime Day. Don‘t they look nice in the empty (😥) shelves?

#remodelshremodel #iregretnothing #thereareotherbookshelvesforthese

Aimeesue I have both of those - The Death of Truth arrived today! 4y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Aimeesue Great minds read alike!! 4y
Aimeesue @BarbaraTheBibliophage That is EXACTLY what Stephen Hawking used to say to me! 😂😂😂 4y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Aimeesue And here I thought I was original! 🤣🤣 4y
Aimeesue 😂😂😂 4y
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tysephine
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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Pickpick

First book of #24in48 finished!
Kakutani does not hold back. I don't know how I feel about what seems to be an indictment of postmodernism (I was taught as a student of history to Question Everything and that there is no such thing Truth) but I can see where she draws the connection between postmodernism and the rise of alternative facts. A very fascinating read.
@24in48 #24in48readathon

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tysephine
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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Not my favorite first line of all time, but a good one nonetheless! #24in48 #hour6challenge #openinglines @24in48

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tysephine
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani

The sun is coming up and I'm now a little over 2 hours into #24in48. I was afraid The Death of Truth would be too dry for 4am reading, but I'm actually very interested in it. How are y'all doing?
@24in48

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tysephine
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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Good morning! I went to sleep as soon as I got home from work so that I could be awake at the very start of #24in48...except that didn't work. But I'm here now at almost 4am! I'm going to try to start with The Death of Truth, but if it's too dry for this time of day I'll switch to Death by Dumpling.
@24in48

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catiewithac
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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Pickpick

Ahhhhh it‘s sooooo good! It‘s short, too. Couldn‘t put this book down. Kakutani‘s writing is shrewd, smart, and a little scary. The book is very up to date. We need to pledge ourselves to truth and civility. “A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or perhaps both.” - James Madison 🗽 #readit

REPollock I read the sample and I‘m sold. Kakutani is such a smart, incisive critic. 4y
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strandbookstore
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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Michiko Kakutani‘s book came out this past Tuesday, and to celebrate she share with us the Best Books she‘s Ever Reviewed! 🔸 @strandbookstore/michiko-kakutani-best-books-ive-ever-reviewed-ee54d7fa2b82" rel="nofollow" target="_top">https://medium.com/@strandbookstore/michiko-kakutani-best-books-ive-ever-reviewe...

ahoffkosik 🙌🏻🙌🏻 The Goldfinch! 🙌🏻🙌🏻 4y
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My_novel_obsession
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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After listening to the news for the last couple of days, can you guess by my #bookhaul today what kind of mood I‘m in?

BarbaraTheBibliophage I just ordered The Death of Truth. 4y
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Booksnchill
The Death of Truth | Michiko Kakutani
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I was first on the library hold list - so ready for this one! OK Michiko, explain it to me PLEASE😱

2BR02B I'm dying to read this one! Looking forward to your review. 4y
BarbaraBB Me too! 4y
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