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Michael Rosen brings intoxicating erudition and an elegant if elusive prose style to crack—or pulverize—one of the most venerable chestnuts of social theory, the theory of ideology. For Rosen, the two central elements of that theory are (1) that societies are self-maintaining systems and (2) that they produce false consciousness in their members precisely because it helps to maintain society. And for Rosen, the theory is, well, a spectacular mess. Despite the efforts of such analytical Marxists as G. A. Cohen, he urges, no such view can be reconstructed in ways that begin to comport with our ordinary standards for reasonable scientific explanation.