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No Future for You
There’s never been a better time to be outside the consensus—and if you don’t believe it, then peer into these genre-defining essays from The Baffler, the magazine that’s been blunting the cutting edge of American culture and politics for a quarter of a century. Here’s Thomas Frank on the upward-falling cult of expertise in Washington, D.C., where belonging means getting the major events of our era wrong. Here’s Rick Perlstein on direct mail scams, multilevel marketing, and the roots of right-wing lying. Here’s John Summers on the illiberal uses of innovation in liberal Cambridge, Massachusetts. And here’s David Graeber sensing our disappointment in new technology. (We expected teleportation pods, antigravity sleds, and immortality drugs. We got LinkedIn, which, as Ann Friedman writes here, is an Escher staircase masquerading as a career ladder.)
Packed with hilarious, scabrous, up to-the-minute criticism of the American comedy, No Future for You debunks “positive thinking” bromides and business idols. Susan Faludi debunks Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg’s phony feminist handbook, Lean In. Evgeny Morozov wrestles “open source” and “Web 2.0” and other pseudorevolutionary meme-making down to the ground. Chris Lehmann writes the obituary of the Washington Post, Barbara Ehrenreich goes searching for the ungood God in Ridley Scott’s film Prometheus, Heather Havrilesky reads Fifty Shades of Grey, and Jim Newell investigates the strange and typical case of Adam Wheeler, the student fraud who fooled Harvard and, unlike the real culprits, went to jail.
No Future for You offers the counternarrative you’ve been missing, proof that dissent is alive and well in America. Please be warned, however. The writing that follows is polemical in nature. It may seek to persuade you of something.
Copublished with The Baffler.
Chris Bray, Mark Dancey, Barbara Ehrenreich, Susan Faludi, Thomas Frank, Ann Friedman, James Griffioen, David Graeber, A. S. Hamrah, Heather Havrilesky, Chris Lehmann, Rhonda Lieberman, Anne Elizabeth Moore, Evgeny Morozov, Jim Newell, Rick Perlstein, John Summers, Maureen Tkacik
About the Editors
John Summers is an editor of The Baffler.
Chris Lehmann is an editor of The Baffler.
Thomas Frank is an editor of The Baffler.
"The collection serves as a powerful summation of the systemic challenges we face as a nation, and a welcome reminder that we need strong, dissenting voices like The Baffler more than ever."—Michael Patrick Brady, The Boston Globe
"Eye-opening and irascible, hopeful but not optimistic, this collection offers a clear-eyed perspective on post-recession America and pays readers the ultimate compliment of being able to think for themselves."—Publishers Weekly
"Every age has a magazine that matters. For our age, it’s The Baffler. Feeling left behind? Here’s your chance to catch up."
—Andrew J. Bacevich
"The Baffler embodies, with its internationalist outlook, the most vital tradition of American dissent. In an age marked by avid intellectual logrolling, it has never seemed more imperative."
"Did our system ever work? Will it ever? The fact that it is not working right now is rendered sadder by our knowledge of the U.S. Constitution. If you want to feel sadder still, read The Baffler."
—William T. Vollmann