Books in the vein of Adam Curtis?
March 16, 2007 11:21 PM   Subscribe

I've been on a (scary and depressing) kick of the Adam Curtis documentaries (Century of the Self, The Power of Nightmares). What non-fiction books does MeFi recommend in a similar vein?

Anything tying in psychoanalysis, propaganda, focus groups, politics, mass manipulation, and whatever else that will make me lose sleep is more than welcome. Bonus points go to books having a similarly ominous, overwhelming, "fact me 'till I fart" sort of feel, if that makes any sense.
posted by Sticherbeast to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Try Douglas Rushkoff.
posted by cgc373 at 12:18 AM on March 17, 2007

A slightly related question: are there book versions or transcripts of these documentaries available?

I read fast but don't have much time to watch long documentaries.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 1:29 AM on March 17, 2007

I've been reading R. D. Lang - The Divided Self after hearing about it is the new Curtis documentary - The Trap. It is a case study book on schizophrenia.
posted by laukf at 3:33 AM on March 17, 2007

Thats odd.. I've been watching those very same Curtis docu's... very cool stuff.

You could watch the trailer for the upcoming movie "Maxed Out" , its pretty scary :)
posted by jmnugent at 8:28 AM on March 17, 2007

If you want to read about schizophrenia - and if you can find it - may I suggest Operators and Things, an autobiography of schizophrenia by Barbara O'Brien. I thought about it while watching The Trap, as it ties her breakdown very clearly to working in a corporate climate. She spontaneously recovers, too, which is very unusual.
posted by Grangousier at 3:19 PM on March 17, 2007

The London Review of Books reviews Planet of Slums by Mike Davis and says:
Davis’s books are great evidential engines. Planet of Slums howls with figures. Copious examples drawn from around the globe are stacked up to illustrate a single point; comparative tables drive it home. This constant production of numbers – and a seamless access between continents – offers us the world as a single, intelligible place defined by the universal laws of accumulation and deprivation. Any sense that slum cultures and slum cities might have a specific character, beyond the common lot of misery, is tenuous. No book will give readers the impression of covering greater distances, even if they will feel by the end as though they’d been cooped up in a narrow, featureless room. Homogeneity, Davis would argue, is what late capitalism does: already a billion people live in roughly the same extraordinary way in roughly similar environments. Vast, contiguous slums are the habitat of the future for even larger numbers, yet the future looks more and more like it did the day before yesterday.
Could be what you're looking for.
posted by cgc373 at 8:14 PM on March 17, 2007

Adam Curtis is depicting the behavior of pathological narcissists in power.

Sam Vaknin's Malignant Self Love, Narcissism Revisited and the FAQs about the nature of pathological narcissists.

On this page, if you scroll to the bottom, is information about narcissism in political leaders and in culture: Narcissistic Leaders, Collective Narcissism, The Psychology of Torture, Narcissism in the Boardroom, Serial Killers as a Cultural Construct. New Narc City: Sam Vaknin and the Narcissism of Wall Street. By Tim Hall. World in Conflict and Economies in Transition.

The Corporation
as narcissistic bully ie sociopath, Part 1. Part 2. "The Corporation is a 2003 Canadian documentary film critical of the modern-day corporation, considering it as a class of person and evaluating its behaviour towards society and the world at large as a psychologist might evaluate an ordinary person."
posted by nickyskye at 10:47 AM on August 1, 2007

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