978-0-571-19902-0 / 057119902X

Dreams of Millennium: Report from a Culture on the Brink

by Kingwell, Mark

Publisher:Faber & Faber



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About the book:

The year 2000 is fast approaching and a lot of people are worried about what the future holds. Mark Kingwell, uninterested in prognostication, looks instead to the present and backward to link millennial anxiety to other apocalyptic periods in history. In every previous millennial (and often centennial) finale there has been both a crisis of leadership and a penchant for cross-dressing. Conspiracy theories, distrust of government, renewed religiosity, and sex and gender flux are also symptomatic of end-times throughout recorded history. Kingwell draws on pop culture (body-piercing, angel obsession, psychics fairs, "The X-Files, " "Star Trek, " "The Simpsons, " Pulp Fiction), current events (the Ebola virus, Waco, the Unabomber), and historical parallels (decadence in 1890s Paris, self-flagellation in 1490s Florence, the Crusades) to show how millennial anxiety threatens to extinguish our faith in ourselves.

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