In his newbook, perhaps the most cogent expression of his mature thought, JeanBaudrillard turns detective in order to investigate a crime which hehopes may yet be solved: the murder of reality. To solve the crimewould be to unravel the social and technological processes by whichreality has quite simply vanished under the deadly glare of media realtime. But Baudrillard is not merely intending to lamentthe disappearance of the real, an occurrence he recently described as the most important event of modern history, nor even to meditate uponthe paradoxes of reality and illusion, truth and its masks. The Perfect Crimeis also the work of a great moraliste: a penetrating examination ofvital aspects of the social, political and cultural life of the advanced democracies in the (very) late twentieth century. Wherecritics like McLuhan once exposed the alienating consequences of themedium, Baudrillard lays bare the depredatory effects of an oppressivetransparency on our social lives, of a relentless positivity on ourcritical faculties, and of a withering 'high definition' on our verysense of reality.
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