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  • Published: 19 November 2019
  • ISBN: 9780241373873
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $26.00

The Sky is Falling!

How Vampires, Zombies, Androids and Superheroes Made America Great for Extremism




A bestselling cultural journalist takes us on a wild ride through pop culture, showing how it paved the way for today's extreme politics

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.

  • Published: 19 November 2019
  • ISBN: 9780241373873
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $26.00

Praise for The Sky is Falling!

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

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 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

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

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

A bold, witty, and brilliantly argued analysis of the role pop culture has played in the rise of American extremism

Ruth Reichl

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

Compulsively readable ... a thoughtful, entertaining and occasionally profound critical study of the texts that entertain, move and, sometimes, shape us

Spectator

Excellent critical writing ... Biskind's pastiche of right-wing paranoia is spot on

Irish Times

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

Biskind's wide-ranging arguments offer considerable food for thought

London Review of Books

A Sunday Times Book of the Year

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