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Savant, novelist, philosopher, Umberto Eco — best known as the author of the international best-seller "The Name of the Rose" — is also a public intellectual, a fount of opinion on politics and society.

His latest book, "Turning Back the Clock: Hot Wars and Media Populism," is a collection of columns written for Italian newspapers since 2001. In it he ventures, among many other views, that history is running backwards, that "in our day, if there is to be a dictatorship, it has to be a media dictatorship and not a political one," and that one of the characteristics of our culture is "the total Carnivalization of life."

This hour, On Point: the great humanist Umberto Eco.
-Jack Beatty

Guest:

Umberto Eco, author of the new essay collection "Turning Back the Clock: Hot Wars and Media Populism." Professor of semiotics at the University of Bologna in Italy, his previous books include "The Name of the Rose," "Foucault's Pendulum," and "The Island of the Day Before."

This program aired on November 15, 2007.

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