What happens when media and politics become forms of entertainment? As our world begins to look more and more like Orwell's 1984, Neil's Postman's essential guide to the modern media is more relevant than ever.
"It's unlikely that Trump has ever read Amusing Ourselves to Death, but his ascent would not have surprised Postman.” -CNN
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 control of our media, so that they can serve our highest goals.
“A brilliant, powerful, and important book. This is an indictment that Postman has laid down and, so far as I can see, an irrefutable one.” –Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post Book World
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
Definitely see where it fits in today
I enjoy educational books such as this. I’ve red multiple of Malcolm Gladwell’s books for instance and enjoyed them greatly. This however is abysmal. This is the most boring thing I think I have ever read. If I hadn’t of paid for this I would have stopped reading it. I’m attempting to finish the book, but oh my god it’s like torture.
Well written judgement.
it's not that television is bad. It's here to stay. It's how we use it and how we easily lose ourselves with the fast paced nonsensical flow of irrelevant images designed to capture our attention for a few moments and then the, "now... This".
I'm a realist. Tv is here to stay. It's not about the bad things it's how you decide to watch it and what you decide to watch. Above everything remember the majority of content is about entertainment from politics to education.
Great read. I'll probably read it again.