The news is everywhere—and we can't stop constantly checking it, now that it's on our computer screens—but what is this doing to our minds? The author of How Proust Can Change Your Life and The Architecture of Happiness, Alain de Botton explains here that we are never really taught how to make sense of the torrent of news we face every day, even though it has a huge impact on our sense of what matters and of how we should lead our lives. Through 25 archetypal news stories—including an airplane crash, a murder, a celebrity interview, and a political scandal—he submits them to unusually intense analysis, raising such instructive questions as: Why are disaster stories often so uplifting? What makes the love lives of celebrities so interesting? Why do we enjoy watching politicians being brought down? And why are upheavals in far-off lands often so boring?
"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."—Booklist