In this provocative, passionate, and uncompromising brief book, professor of English Gwendolyn Audrey Foster does not mince words: humanity is definitely doomed, and it’s a good thing. The currently unfolding ecological catastrophe is bound to eventually wipe us off the face of the planet, and Foster, a self-described radical environmentalist, hopes that, once depeopled, the earth will be able to eventually heal itself. But before all this comes to pass, it is (presumably) still worthwhile to analyze the cultural foibles of a human civilization on the eve of destruction, and so Foster sets out in this book to examine what she calls the “apocotainment” pervasive in the American(ized) culture that is morbidly, tellingly fascinated with death, suffering, and its own impending demise.

Given the (rather puzzling) absence of an introduction, the first of the book’s five thematic chapters, titled “Disposable Bodies,” begins by briefly...

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