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3.7 out of 5 stars18
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 24 December 2003
As a reference book on postmodernism, this is a great. As a piece of art on postmodernism, it is also a triumph. As an introduction, however, it is completely and utterly useless. If you want to begin to understand the ideas in this book, pick up a "Teach Yourself Postmodernism"- far superiour as an introduction, but it misses out the most recent developments, and is not nearly so fascinating. Until then, this book serves an a labrynthine novelty- afterwards, it becomes a very useful and elegant reference book.
Possibly the only book I've ever read to jump from 1 to 5 stars on second reading.
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on 5 September 2000
Despite the excellent illustrations this books is a bit of a struggle for the uninitiated (possible even for the initiated)especially the second section. As an introduction it probably does its job - it left me with a taste for the subject, wanting to know more and a useful list of further reading. The nature of the book is that it is a swift trawl through an extremely complex subject. My preference would have been a less technically complex text with greater sympathy for the layman...but maybe I bought the wrong book! This is the kind of book that needs an associated website to help answer your questions...hey, maybe I've just discovered a new concept for publishers (hint, hint!)
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 26 December 2002
I have the 1995 edition of this book - same cover, same authors, presumably the same text inside, but with the title "Postmodernism for Beginners". I think that title falls foul of the Trade Description Act, but so, I think, does the present one. I know a little about Postmodernism from a much better short book (Christopher Butler's "Postmodernism: A Very Short Introduction", Oxford 2002), and I found particularly the first half of the Appignanesi book absolutely impenetrable. That first half, unlike Butler's, includes Structuralism in Postmodernism; but on Structuralism you would do much better to read John Sturrock's short "Structuralism" (Paladin), which is much more lucid and accessible, even if it doesn't have pictures in it! The second half of the Appignanesi book does at least have some suggestive ideas about the contemporary world.
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on 28 September 2001
I'm an A level art student so i was half expecting this book to be a little beyond me, but my art tutor found it incredibly hard going too. It's a good idea to put all the hard words in bold, but it would be a better idea to actually explain what they mean. On the upside this book has left me wanting to find out a lot more, maybe thats because i now know a lot of the words and don't know what they mean. I hope they make one of the 'dummies guides' to postmodernism soon!
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on 25 November 2011
This book has four creators - three authors and one illustrator. Richard Appignanesi is a Research Associate at King's College, London, and is the 'originating' editor of the 'Introducing' series. Chris Garret works for the Guardian Newspaper as a illustrator, and is responsible for the extensive lined drawings, photographs and illustrative cartoons throughout this presentation. Ziauddin Sardar is a writer, broadcaster and Visiting Professor at Middlesex University. Patrick Curry is a writer and historian. All four participants have worked upon other titles in the 'Introducing' series. Their combined expertise has produced a very concise work, describing the condition of postmodernism.

The paperback 1999) edition contains 138 numbered pages, and consists of an Acknowledgements section, a Further Reading section and a Biographies section - but in true postmodern style, these sections occur at the back of th book, just prior to the Index. There is no 'Contents' section at the beginning of the book. Instead, the book builds logically toward a definition of just what exactly 'postmodernism' is, within a historical, philosophical and artistic context. Each chapter comprises of either '1' or '2' pages of easly accessible information. and the book is separated into three distinct genealogical sections:

Part One: The Genealogy of Postmodern Art.
Part Two: The Genealogy of Postmodern Theory.
Part Three: The Genealogy of Postmodern History.

Modernism is the cultural and political state of being that emerged out of the European Enlightenment (c. 1650-1800), the Industrial Revolution (1750-1850), and the subsequent technological advances achieved therefrom. Modernism created a sense of security developed through the notion of continuos and sustained improvement. It allowed for the creation of an intellectual climate that produced the so-called 'long narratives' - such as Marxism, or Darwinism amongst others - which sort to explain the entirety of human existence in a single theory.

The postmodern contention is that the state of 'modernity' has collapsed, and as a consequence, all the modernistic certainties have dissolved into a state of continuous uncertainty and contingency - this state, as it exist beyond the 'Modern', is called the 'Postmodern'. It is a state where nothing is certain, and all meaning is contestable. Postmodernism, in essence, is a philosophical rebellion against the strictures of modernistic 'truth', emphasising that the apparent 'objective', and thus 'authoritative' truth that emerged through Enlightenment science, is infact a social construct, and in reality, represents only one truth amongst many, continuosly contending truths. This book is a very good over-view of the subject.
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on 22 December 2003
As a student of Sociology, I am always needing sources of reference to help me understand difficult ideas and theories. This book, (and the Introducing Sociology book) is brilliant for helping someone studying, or simply interested, sociology. The knowledge gained from reading this book can also be used in subjects like English, history and geography. It can also be put to use in everyday life.
Just as the rest of the books in this series, Introducing Postmodernism helps break down, simplify and explain the important and relevant issues of the title.
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on 12 April 2013
I bought this book to introduce me to postmodernism before studying it. I read it and it made no sense. I then studied it and read it again, and now it makes perfect sense! This is CERTAINLY not an introduction for beginners but a more advanced book once you already have an understanding of the core beliefs of Postmodernist theory.
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on 11 December 2012
I love this book. It's a work of genius. Taking you on a dizzying, whistle-stop tour of the post-modernist take on 20th century (and early 21st century) philosophy, art, literary theory, linguistics, politics, feminism, science and economics, it is full of great little cartoons and in-jokes (the spoof of Edward Hopper's The Night Hawks was lovely). I knew very little about post-modernism before I read this, although I was familiar with the science, art and economics. I have to say that I don't know much more after reading it, but I sure enjoyed the ride.

This book will leave you wanting to learn more and you'll want to buy other books after reading this, in order to make sense of it. Buy this book for yourself and for anyone with a thirst for knowledge who might appreciate it.
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on 12 March 2013
I bought this as a resource for my design students. It is quite good if you already know a lot about Post-modernism and just want to jog your memory but it is useless for anything else!
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on 18 February 2012
Has been helpful to read and cite in essays and practical work research. Would be suitable for anyone doing anything even remotely art related.
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