Camden Theological Library

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The News: A User’s Manual

Posted on 17 December 2014 Gavin Glenn

The news is everywhere and we check it constantly – but what is it doing to our minds?

The news occupies the same dominant position in modern society as religion once did, but we rarely consider its impact on us. In this dazzling new book, Alain de Botton, the bestselling author of Religion for Atheists, takes twenty-five archetypal news stories – from an aircrash to a murder, a celebrity interview to a political scandal – and submits them to unusually intense analysis.

He raises questions like: how come disaster stories are often so uplifting? What makes the love lives of celebrities so interesting? Why do we enjoy politicians being brought down? Why are upheavals in far-off lands often so…boring?

De Botton has written the ultimate manual for our news-addicted age, one sure to bring calm, understanding and a measure of sanity to our daily (and sometimes even hourly) interactions with the news machine.

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