Reality Isn't What It used to Be

Reviewed by Gillian Denny, SOF NZ Newsletter #5, December 1993.

Despite the title and rather lurid cover, this little book is an excellent overview of the post-modern world. It is easy to read (not always the case with American authors!) and shows a breadth of scholarship and knowledge of the modern world that marks the author as a 'generalist' in the best sense of that word.

Walter Anderson attempts to show how reality is a social construction by looking first at how societies created and maintained realities in the past. He then describes how post-modern ideas reveal the workings of the reality creating machine, and how new realities are created by our cultural and political worlds.

Describing himself as a 'constructivist'- one who holds the world is an ever changing social creation—he ranges across science, literature, politics and religion to contrast his position with what he describes as the 'objectivist' position.