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From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

To check on the news via paper or myriad electronic devices is to raise a shell to our ears and to be overpowered by the roar of humanity, asserts philosopher de Botton. Exploring the media conceit that it brings its readers, listeners, viewers only the facts, de Botton argues that what we need is the truth, something more nuanced than the facts. To make his point, he offers a collage of headlines and news items from various sources and ponders how they fit into the grander scheme of the human condition. His quirky collection touches on economics, geopolitics, violence, celebrities, and disasters. Short and pithy essays drill down beneath the news item to the general absurdity of life and observations of how the media is constantly feeding us information without real context. Interspersed throughout are references to art, literature, and culture and their more enduring messages in contrast to the impression left by the news of a desperate lack of humanity. This is a thought-provoking look at the impact of news on culture and individuals.--Bush, Vanessa Copyright 2010 Booklist