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

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Penguin Books, 1985 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 184 pages
35 Reviews
Television has conditioned us to tolerate visually entertaining material measured out in spoonfuls of time, to the detriment of rational public discourse and reasoned public affairs. In this eloquent, persuasive book, Neil Postman alerts us to the real and present dangers of this state of affairs, and offers compelling suggestions as to how to withstand the media onslaught. Before we hand over politics, education, religion, and journalism to the show business demands of the television age, we must recognize the ways in which the media shape our lives and the ways we can, in turn, shape them to serve out highest goals.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ElOsoBlanco - LibraryThing

Although the world Postman writes about is a little dated, the book is still very thought provoking. I would highly recommend this to anyone who is interested in media's effect (and especially television) on society. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - clmerle - LibraryThing

It's amazing how well this book has stood the test of time. We are still amusing ourselves to death, though now we have a new medium, the Internet. Our world is even more fragmented, more information ... Read full review

Contents

II
3
III
16
IV
30
Copyright

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About the author (1985)

Born in Brooklyn, New York, and educated at the State University of New York and Columbia University, Neil Postman is a communications theorist, educator, and writer who has been deeply involved with the issue of the impact of the media and advanced communications technology on American culture. In his many books, Postman has strongly opposed the idea that technology will "save" humanity. In fact, he has focused on the negative ways in which television and computers alter social behavior. In his book Technopoly, Postman argues that the uncontrolled growth of technology destroys humanity by creating a culture with no moral structure. Thus, technology can be a dangerous enemy as well as a good friend. Postman, who is married and has three children, currently is a professor of media ecology at New York University and editor of Et Cetera, the journal of general semantics. In addition to his books, he has contributed to various magazines and periodicals, including Atlantic and The Nation. He has also appeared on the television program Sunrise Semester. Postman is the holder of the Christian Lindback Award for Excellence in Teaching from New YorkUniversity.

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