French post-modernist philosopher, critic, and photographer Jean Baudrillard came from a poor peasant family (he was the first in his family to attend university) to become a significant and controversial theorist on the state of modernity. In more than 50 books, Baudrillard articulated his beliefs on communication, media, reality, signification, war, capitalism, and truth. He is most famous for his theories of hyperreality, a concept based on the idea that Western civilization has moved beyond authentic reality to exist in a state of constant self-reflexive imitations and simulacra. He is (in)famous for claiming that the first Iraq war in 1991 "did not take place," as it was primarily a staged media event.
From the Publisher
In his analysis of the deep social trends rooted in production, consumption, and the symbolic, Jean Baudrillard touches the very heart of the concerns of the generation currently rebelling against the framework of the consumer society. With the ever-greater mediatization of society, Baudrillard argues that we are witnessing the virtualization of our world, a disappearance of reality itself, and perhaps the impossibility of any exchange at all. This disenchanted perspective has become the rallying point for all those who reject the traditional sociological and philosophical paradigms of our age.Passwords offers us twelve accessible and enjoyable entry points into Baudrillard's thought by way of the concepts he uses throughout his work: the object, seduction, value, impossible exchange, the obscene, the virtual, symbolic exchange, the transparency of evil, the perfect crime, destiny, duality, and thought.