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Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

Author
Neil Postman; Andrew Postman;  
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Catalog
Social Science > Media Studies
Technology & Engineering > Television & Video
Publisher
Penguin (Non-Classics)
ISBN-13
9780143036531
ISBN-10
014303653X
Publish
2005-12
Pages
184
Unit
Size
1.8 * 19.3 * 12.7
Format
Paperback
Version
20 Anv

Product Description

Originally published in 1985, Neil Postman’s groundbreaking polemic about the corrosive effects of television on our politics and public discourse has been hailed as a twenty-first-century book published in the twentieth century. Now, with television joined by more sophisticated electronic media—from the Internet to cell phones to DVDs—it has taken on even greater significance. Amusing Ourselves to Death is a prophetic look at what happens when politics, journalism, education, and even religion become subject to the demands of entertainment. It is also a blueprint for regaining controlof our media, so that they can serve our highest goals.

About the Author

Neil Postman (1931–2003) was chairman of the Department of Communication Arts at New York University and founder of its Media Ecology program. He wrote more than twenty books. His son Andrew Postman is the author of five books, and his work appears in numerous publications.

Review

A brilliant, powerful and important book. -- Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post Book World

From AudioFile

This McCluhanesque diatribe begins by observing that our present and future resemble the predictions in Brave New World more than those of 1984. Technology, in particular television, has shaped our politics, news, religion, education, every aspect of our world. Rigginbach's reading is a little too fast-paced for this material; furthermore, the material is not suited to an audio format. Why did the author allow his thought to be corrupted by allowing their promulgation through non-print media. In addition, the examples he cites are ten years old; this week's television better supports his conclusions. The message is valid, but the medium through which it's presented is flawed. S.F.W. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

From Publishers Weekly

From the author of Teaching as a Subversive Activity comes a sustained, withering and thought-provoking attack on television and what it is doing to us. Postman's theme is the decline of the printed word and the ascendancy of the "tube" with its tendency to present everythingmurder, mayhem, politics, weatheras entertainment. The ultimate effect, as Postman sees it, is the shrivelling of public discourse as TV degrades our conception of what constitutes news, political debate, art, even religious thought. Early chapters trace America's one-time love affair with the printed word, from colonial pamphlets to the publication of the Lincoln-Douglas debates. There's a biting analysis of TV commercials as a form of "instant therapy" based on the assumption that human problems are easily solvable. Postman goes further than other critics in demonstrating that television represents a hostile attack on literate culture. October 30
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.