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The Unknowers
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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Power to Ignore 1. Narrow History 2. Seeing Ignorance Differently 3. Elite Agnotologists 4. The Murdoch Strategy 5. Suspicious Attention 6. Know-it-all Epistocrats 7. Conflict Blindness 8. Masters of Industry, Masters of ignorance 9. The Ostrich Instruction 10. Good Experts 11. The Pretense of Ignorance Conclusion: The Great Enlargement

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An intriguing investigation, shattering the hackneyed notion that knowledge is power.

About the Author

Linsey McGoey is full Professor of Sociology, University of Essex, UK, where she directs the Centre for Research in Economic Sociology and Innovation (CRESI). She has held visiting positions at LSE and Sciences Po, and is on the Advisory Board of the Centre for Study of Contemporary Solidarity, University of Vienna. Her writing has appeared in the Guardian, Jacobin, Fortune, Open Democracy, and the Spectator.

Reviews

Ours is an era where truth-telling, leadership and authority have an increasingly feeble relationship. Linsey McGoey picks apart how strategic ignorance is a dastardly ploy that enables society's elites to avoid responsibility for their rampant pursuit of self-interest. Essential if we are to resist what is one of the most dangerous tendencies of the new normal in global politics. * Carl Rhodes, co-author of CEO Society: The Corporate Takeover of Everyday Life *
i>'The Unknowers is a landmark study of the myriad ways in which ignorance infuses our social, political and economic lives. Linsey McGoey deftly weaves social thought and empirical analysis to rethink how the power to draw the boundaries between knowledge and ignorance can radically transform society and democracy. * Claudia Aradau, King's College London *
What is most compelling about this book are the ways in which McGoey builds bridges between knowledge and ignorance practices, on the one hand, and processes of political and economic domination, on the other. * Clemence Pinel, Critical Policy Studies *
i>'The Unknowers is a fascinating exploration of the many ways in which our societies are built on strategic lack of knowledge. * Joshua Newman, Counterfire *
In this timely book, McGoey tells us how deliberate and willful ignorance are used in politics, law, media, health and especially economics, to get and keep power. And she tells us what we might do about it. * Lynne Pettinger, University of Warwick *
The definitive book for our times on what makes strategic ignorance so 'strategic' in the hands of the powerful. If the truth can set us free, then it is only once we have taken back ignorance. * Steve Fuller, author of Post-Truth: Knowledge as a Power Game *
This is McGoey at her absolute best. And what a tour de force The Unknowers is. Each chapter weaves its way backward and forward between events and evidence, past and future making, to offer original insights into how strategic ignorance and deliberate uncertainty keep those at the top in power. * Susan L. Robertson, University of Cambridge *

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