If nothing else, the war in Iraq and the 1991 Gulf War have taught us much about media and technology as key players in how war is waged, packaged for public consumption, and exported in real time to the rest of the globe. A critic of the art of technology, Paul Virilio has keenly observed that media images quite often constitute a strategy of war and that accident is becoming indistinguishable from attack. For more than fifty years Virilio has offered incisive and provocative criticism on technology and its moral, political, and cultural implications. Yet until now, much of his work, originally published in French, remains elusive in full English translation.
The Paul Virilio Reader collects for the first time English extracts reflecting the entire range of Virilio's diverse career. The book's introduction demonstrates that Virilio has produced an important-if controversial-"theory at the speed of light" that uncannily illuminates the impact of new information and communications technologies in a world that collapses time and distance as never before. The inventor of "dromology," which views speed as a defining concept for contemporary civilization, Virilio is noted for his proclamation that the logic of ever-increasing acceleration lies at the heart of the organization and transformation of the contemporary world.
Arranged chronologically, the Reader illustrates the development and interconnectedness of Virilio's work. Each extract is prefaced by bibliographical and contextual commentary, and the book includes an innovative guide to reading Virilio.