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

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Penguin Books, 1985 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 184 pages
34 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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User Review  - themulhern - LibraryThing

An extended essay. Lively, but a little slipshod. On the other hand, vigorously written, humorous and full of pithy quotables. Also, it gave me a new enthusiasm for reading Huxley's "Brave New World ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - RobertDay - LibraryThing

A perceptive look at US popular media - predominantly television - dating from 1985, though still relevant more than thirty years later. It takes only a very small adjustment of the imagination to add ... 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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