Bread & Circuses

Bread & Circuses

By Patrick Brantlinger
Book Description

Lively and well written, Bread and Circuses analyzes theories that have treated mass culture as either a symptom or a cause of social decadence. Discussing many of the most influential and representative theories of mass culture, it ranges widely from Greek and Roman origins, through Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Ortega y Gasset, T. S. Eliot, and the theorists of the Frankfurt Institute, down to Marshall McLuhan and Daniel Bell. Brantlinger considers the many versions of negative classicism and shows how the belief in the historical inevitability of social decay.

Table of Contents
  • Bread & Circuses
    • Contents
    • Preface
    • 1. lntroduction: The Two Classicisms
    • 2. The Classical Roots of the Mass Culture Debate
    • 3. "The Opium of the People"
    • 4. Some Nineteenth-Century Themes: Decadence, Masses, Empire, Gothic Revivals
    • 5. Crowd Psychology and Freud's Model of Perpetual Decadence
    • 6. Three Versions of Modern Classicism: Ortega, Eliot, Camus
    • 7. The Dialectic of Enlightenment
    • 8. Television: Spectacularity vs. McLuhanism
    • 9. Conclusion: Toward Post-Industrial Society
    • Index
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