This book goes beyond Baudrillard's writings on consumer objects, the Gulf War and America, to identify the fundamental logic that underpins his writings. It does this through a series of close readings of his main texts, paying particular attention to the form and internal coherence of his arguments. The book is written for all those who want a general introduction to Baudrillard's work, and will also appeal to those readers who are interested in social theory, but who have not yet taken Baudrillard seriously.

Introduction: Reading Baudrillard in His Own Terms

Introduction: Reading Baudrillard in his own terms

One of the world's major thinkers sits at a desk on stage in a casino some thirty miles south of Las Vegas. After being introduced to the audience, he waits for the applause to die down then leans over into the microphone and begins to read. He is there as part of a giant New Age festival entitled Chance: Three Days in the Desert, described as a ‘rave and summit meeting between artists and philosophers, chaosophists and croupiers, mathematicians and musicians’ (Hultkrans 1997: 21). About sixty-five years old, he is short, stocky, bespectacled, balding. A commentator at the event will even wonder, with his ‘diminutive height, wine-and-cheese paunch, nose and self-rolled cigarettes’, ...

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