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In his seminal 1846 tract The Present Age, SØren Kierkegaard ("the father of existentialism"New York Times) analyzes the philosophical implications of a society dominated by mass mediaa society eerily similar to our own. A stunningly prescient essay on the rising influence of advertising, marketing, and publicity, The Present Age is essential reading for anyone who wishes to better understand the modern world.The first book ever to explore the popular culture created by new media technologies (in this case, newspapers), The Present Age is shockingly relevant despite being written more than 100 years ago. Kierkegaard´s prescience in predicting a public that consumes the lives of media stars speaks for itself: "The public ... this indolent mass ... is on the look-out for distraction and soon abandons itself to the idea that everything that anyone does is done in order to give it something to gossip about." The Present Age does a better job of describing the manipulation of mass opinion by the media than anything written since the rise of television, and contains Kierkegaard´s cutting wit and nimble prose, to boot.