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

By Neil Postman
Read by Jeff Riggenbach

4.80 Hours 04/01/1994 unabridged
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    ISBN: 9781538462263

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    ISBN: 9781441767370

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    ISBN: 9781441767387

In this eloquent and persuasive book, Neil Postman examines the deep and broad effects of television culture on the manner in which we conduct our public affairs, and how “entertainment values” have corrupted the very way we think. As politics, news, religion, education, and commerce are given less and less expression in the form of the printed word, they are rapidly being reshaped to suit the requirements of television. And because television is a visual medium, whose images are most pleasurably apprehended when they are fast-moving and dynamic, discourse on television has little tolerance for argument, hypothesis, or explanation. Postman argues that public discourse—the advancing of arguments in logical order for the public good, once a hallmark of American culture—is being converted from exposition and explanation to entertainment.

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Summary

Summary

In this eloquent and persuasive book, Neil Postman examines the deep and broad effects of television culture on the manner in which we conduct our public affairs, and how “entertainment values” have corrupted the very way we think. As politics, news, religion, education, and commerce are given less and less expression in the form of the printed word, they are rapidly being reshaped to suit the requirements of television. And because television is a visual medium, whose images are most pleasurably apprehended when they are fast-moving and dynamic, discourse on television has little tolerance for argument, hypothesis, or explanation. Postman argues that public discourse—the advancing of arguments in logical order for the public good, once a hallmark of American culture—is being converted from exposition and explanation to entertainment.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“A brilliant, powerful, and important book…This is a brutal indictment Postman has laid down and, so far as I can see, an irrefutable one.” Washington Post Book World
“A lucid and very funny jeremiad about how public discourse has been degraded.” Mother Jones
“[Postman] starts where Marshall McLuhan left off, constructing his arguments with the resources of a scholar and the wit of a raconteur.” Christian Science Monitor
“A sustained, withering, and thought-provoking attack on television and what it is doing to us…Postman goes further than other critics in demonstrating that television represents a hostile attack on literate culture.” Publishers Weekly
“This is a ‘must listen’ for anyone who hopes to understand what the new ‘information society’ might be like. A well-produced effort for serious listening.”  Library Journal

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Neil Postman

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.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction
Runtime: 4.80
Audience: Adult
Language: English