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The Gulf War Did Not Take Place

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3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  263 ratings  ·  21 reviews
In a provocative analysis written during the unfolding drama of 1992, Baudrillard draws on his concepts of simulation and the hyperreal to argue that the Gulf War did not take place but was a carefully scripted media event a "virtual" war.

Patton s introduction argues that Baudrillard, more than any other critic of the Gulf War, correctly identified the stakes involved in t
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Paperback, 96 pages
Published October 22nd 1995 by Indiana University Press (first published September 23rd 1991)
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Barney
a precarious argument from the onset. kept imagining baudrillard smugly grinning and patting himself on the back as he wrote psuedo-meaningful sentences such as 'hard war and soft war go boating' - got annoyed.
Michael Palkowski
What is vitally important to understand regarding Baudrillard's thesis was that it wasn't a literal denial of the war. Instead the media presented images of the war which told a very specific narrative of the events unfolding, it simulated a reality which didn't take place on the battlefield and censored the images of the actual reality which was unfolding which was the bloodshed, despair and suffering. This basically presented a clear instantiated example of hyper-reality for the events unfoldi ...more
Spoust1
Three essays: "The Gulf War Will Not Take Place," "The Gulf War Is Not Taking Place," "The Gulf War Did Not Take Place." Baudrillard argues that the First Gulf War was a media construction - not that it did not take place, exactly, but that it did not exist for us at all except through the media, which packaged it to us falsely, depicting it as a "war." What happened was a travesty, simple imperialist brutality, masquerading as a war - that is what he's saying. Baudrillard's argument is coldly i ...more
Adam
Thought provoking examination about what war is designed to accomplish in the post-Cold War world. Those who have no patience for letting an argument develop might have a knee jerk reaction against this book, so let me give you a reason why you ought to keep an open mind. What Baudrillard means when he says that "the Gulf War did not take place" isn't to imply that people didn't die, acts of courage did not happen or that the war didn't do any good. What he means is that whatever objective the w ...more
Joe
I may just be easy to please, as I haven't read much philosophy, but Baudrillard just does not leave me disappointed. His almost poetic writing style is the perfect form of delivery for this type of novel, as it is articulate and clear, yet ironic and suspenseful.

My favorite quote:
"Saddam the hysteric. Interminable shit kicker. The hysteric cannot be crushed: he is reborn from his symptoms as though from his ashes. Confronted by a hysteric, the other becomes paranoid, he deploys a massive appar
...more
goodreads
A really really great book that went sailing straight over the head of many American critics who wondered how someone could deny that a war had taken place.

Baudrillards' thesis runs something like; a war did not take place in that, firstly there are usually two sides in a war, capabale of having one. Secondly the war that did take place was completely removed from the standard notion of a war. A war as a media event, a spectacle created to support a sense of a palpable enemy and a just cause.

Wh
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Luís Garcia
(lido em Koh Samui, Tailândia)
Nunca tinha lido uma tão evidente concentração de pseudo-intelectualismo, desconversa e uso de "palavras caras" sem conexão alguma em tão poucas páginas (94). Este senhor crítica uma coisa e o seu inverso, e os críticos das 2 coisas em simultâneo, e acaba por dizer coisa nenhuma. Uma boa parte do livro é inclusive ininteligível, quase uma piada de mau gosto contra quem procura ler bons livros e que viu no título da obra um bom indício... Pelo menos nesta obra, Jean
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Mike
The title refers to the U.S. invasion of Iraq under Bush I.

War as videogame distraction from the suffering it inflicts. Combat as a media event.

Please note, the title is not "Nobody Suffered in Iraq" or "What You Experienced in Iraq Didn't Happen". There is good reason for that.

Oddly enough I recently came across a not-too-bad, positive review of this book in the National Review. Go figure.
Anna
Apr 03, 2008 Anna added it
Shelves: philosophy
Baudrillard’s discussion of the (first) Persian Gulf War and how, in its planning and presentation, the war was not really “real.” His writing is rather poetic, perhaps at the expense of clarity, and I think I read the book from about 12 to 2 AM, which probably didn’t help my comprehension. Still, some provocative ideas.
Andrew Childers
Definitely interesting. Baudrillard made a couple of solid points in an un-solid manner; it seemed that the author of the introduction explained Baudrillard's points better than himself.
David
The Emperor has no clothes. If you boil off the seemingly non-sensical claims (like, y'know, the title) the book's alleged insights are, while not wrong, deeply and utterly banal.
Justin Gerhardstein
I don't know whether this piece by crazy French theorist Jean Baudrillard (Died recently)is faulty in its logic or if I am just not capable of comprehending what the hell he is trying to say. He wrote 3 lengthy articles for a French publication and a few years later they were translated by a University of Wisconsin proffessor and compiled into a 100 page book. Obviously, the title assumes something that is just not so, meaning, the gulf war DID take place. When a Kuwaiti friend of mine saw the b ...more
Tom Douglas
The idea that a war can occur as a purely visceral, mental experience is super cool. That's the summary.
David Daugherty
A little hard to follow for a layman, but nonetheless a fascinating look at what effect the media has on the reality of modern "warfare".
Nativeabuse
Neat concept, bad execution. I liked reading about the topic of this book and philosophical ideas behind it better than reading the actual book. Which is a real shame.

These are essays originally published to be stand alone in magazines, so they read really awkwardly.

Overall not a very pleasant experience to read.
Archit
Excellent read; at times, felt similar to an account of molestation.
Omnipotent Dystopian Now
The Trojan War Will Not Take Place. The Apocalypse: is it really taking place? We do not have the means to re-establish the truth.
Blake Gladfelter
Baudrillard is completely full of shit, but full of shit on a wildly impressive scale.
Alison
Ugh! I'm sure I was supposed to get more out of this than I did, but really...
Daria
Baudrillard is a genius. A postmodern prophet.
Dean
Mar 20, 2012 Dean added it
Post-modern thinking at its finest.
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Jean Baudrillard (27 July 1929 – 6 March 2007) was a French sociologist, philosopher, cultural theorist, political commentator, and photographer. His work is frequently associated with postmodernism and post-structuralism.

Jean Baudrillard was also a Professor of Philosophy of Culture and Media Criticism at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, where he taught an Intensive Summer S
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More about Jean Baudrillard...
Simulacra and Simulation America The System of Objects  Simulations (Semiotext(e) / Foreign Agents) Seduction

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“Just as the waste of time nourishes the hell of leisure, so technological wastes nourish the hell of war. Wastes which incarnate the secret violence of this society, uncoerced and non-degradable defecation.” 0 likes
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