Past Events

Friday, March 10th at 7PM

Professor Eric Cheyfitz

(American Indian and Indigenous Studies at Cornell University)

will discuss his new book:

The Disinformation Age:

The Collapse of Liberal Democracy in the United States


The Disinformation Age, beginning in the present and going back to the American colonial period, constructs an original historical explanation for the current political crisis and the reasons the two major political parties cannot address it effectively. Commentators inside and outside academia have described this crisis with various terms — income inequality, the disappearance of the middle-class, the collapse of the two-party system, and the emergence of a corporate oligarchy. While this book uses such terminology, it uniquely provides a unifying explanation for the current state of the union by analyzing the seismic rupture of political rhetoric from political reality used within discussion of these issues. In advancing this analysis, the book provides a term for this rupture, Disinformation, which it defines not as planned propaganda but as the inevitable failure of the language of American Exceptionalism to correspond to actual history, even as the two major political parties continue to deploy this language.

“The Disinformation Age should be read by everyone concerned with the obscurantism that has taken hold of US politics. Cheyfitz argues convincingly that promises of the American Dream or claims to US exceptionalism have gone beyond mere ideological rhetoric to “disinformation” which has no relationship to reality—akin to Orwell’s “doublespeak” or more bluntly, a “confidence game.” The study derives its power from the author’s rereading of seminal historical texts that reveal “disinformation” as an abiding feature of US capitalism that has reached its culmination over the last few decades. If it is to be overcome, we will need to step outside the system to search for alternatives among which indigenous visions provide the most promising. An engaged and engaging study”. -Arif Dirlik, Independent scholar, Eugene, OR, USA

“The Disinformation Age contains the brilliance, insight and originality we’ve come to expect from Eric Cheyfitz. This historical analysis also sheds light on the difficulties of the present moment as well. However, Cheyfitz isn’t satisfied with describing and theorizing the path of the crisis of US Capitalism and the failure of the language of American exceptionalism – he also proposes alternatives to be found in the theory and praxis of Indigenous Peoples. This is an urgent and necessary text.” -Farah Jasmine Griffin, William B. Ransford Professor, English & Comparative Literature & African American Studies, Columbia University

If you would like to purchase The Disinformation Age20% from Routledge