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Keith Kahn-Harris
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Denial: The Unspeakable Truth

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4.18  ·  Rating details ·  28 ratings  ·  6 reviews
I want to show what denialism seeks to prevent; the exposure of dark desire. It is only when we look directly at this darkness that we can truly grasp why it is so unspeakable.' The Holocaust never happened. The planet isn't warming. Vaccines harm children. There is no such thing as AIDS. The Earth is flat. Denialism comes in many forms, often dressed in the garb of schola ...more
Published (first published September 13th 2018)
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Elite Group
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Deniers of the Holocaust, climate change and that the earth is flat cause untold damage.

I’ve never understood how people could deny that millions of people, mainly Jews, were exterminated in the gas chambers that the Germans built during WW2. Why would one think that it’s all a fabrication? What part of a sickness of the soul must you have to believe that this never took place?

Then there’s climate change. How can we deny that we are carrying on destroying the oceans with tonnes of plastic and o
...more
Dan
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, reviewed, favorites
A beautiful little book which, rather than the pessimism which the author admits in the final pages, rather left me feeling hopeful.

It seems to me that most conspiracy theories of both Right and even Left (where they exist) rely on at least a basic level of denial - of active bad faith and rejection of an established narrative. I set out in my previous ‘United states of paranoia’ review my belief that conspiracies are utilised in order to defend institutions (both social and material), by denyin
...more
Slow Culture Magazine
Mar 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"Keith Kahn-Harris manages here to combine two mechanisms: captivating storytelling and academic style. Reading Denial: The Unspeakable Truth felt a lot like reading Leon Festinger (agreeably quoted in the book) adopting a style that The New York Times wouldn’t deny. This allows the book to breathe when the weight of history illustrating Kahn-Harris’ ideas might start to make the ingenuous reader feel uncomfortable. Humor is not absent, and this gives a lot of credit to the author, who could be ...more
Titus Hjelm
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OK, I generally love Notting Hill Editions books (except when they're bad: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...) and when one is written by a colleague, it's hard to be 'objective'. But this is a really good, balanced take on a timely and fascinating phenomenon. The gap between publicly acceptable language and what the author calls the 'dark desires' of some people is a good focus for talking about denialism. I perhaps missed a more forceful critique of the 'centrist' position, so prevalent ...more
Amy
Jun 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: sociology
Interesting read on why trying to argue with someone who is a denialist feels almost pointless. It is a rather depressing read for the most part, but does highlight some interesting ways to ask a question to get something other than a rote answer. Even though it is a short book (187 pages?), it felt a little drawn out and I would occasionally find my mind wandering.
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“And yet … post-denialism is also more capable of producing an honest admission of desire than denialism. There is an odd duality here: in post-denialism, there is scope for raw, brutal acknowledgement and also wilder fantasies with little hold on reality. It is ‘sincerity’ that persists across this duality. Post-denialism can seem utterly unmoored from reality and violently unpredictable; but it has a strange integrity that means that, for those who practise it, it has a surprising coherence.” 0 likes
“Denialists are not speaking freely: they are speaking under the weight of an unspeakable burden. Restricting denialism is therefore not restricting free speech. By enabling the truly free expression of desire while simultaneously restricting denialism we could make an offer to denialists: either say what you really want or forever be silent.” 0 likes
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