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Baudrillard's American road trip still resonates with P. D. Smith


Writing in the Guardian, PD Smith finds Jean Baudrillard's reflections on his travels through America in the early 1980s to be, "original, memorable and even funny".

Written while Reagan was president, Baudrillard's provocative account of this "obsessional society" remains relevant. From  the "steepling gentleness" of New York's skyscrapers to the "limitless horizontality" of Los Angeles, he explores this New World, where the carpets have an "orgasmic elasticity" and the people are "like shadows that have escaped from Plato's cave.

Orginally published in 1986, the new edition of America comes with an introduction by Geoff Dyer.  Dyer writes that although developments in the USA since the first edition may qualify some of Baudrillard's "more extravagent claims", nevertheless, "wildness is crucial to the book's wit and sparkle, its exuberance and fun".

Visit the Guardian to read the review in full.

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