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

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







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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  • Trevor

    This really is a book that needs to be read. I’m going to start with the quote that got me to read this book:“We were keeping our eye on 1984. When the year came and the prophecy didn't, thoughtfu...

  • s.penkevich

    ‘What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one.'The modern era is an age of ...

  • Jennifer

    As I sit down to write this, President Trump has just described Frederick Douglass as "someone who has done a terrific job that is being recognized by more and more people." (February 1, 2017).Frederi...

  • David

    Well, yes, Mr Postman. You're undoubtedly right in much of your analysis. And I suppose it was prescient of you to be so right way back in 1985 when you wrote this book.But having said that, I'm not s...

  • Hadrian

    Amusing Ourselves to Death is a doom-and-gloom prophecy about the dangers of television and the hazardous effects of passively receiving information instead of critically engaging with it. All other f...

  • booklady

    I think this was my introduction to Postman and I read this book in a day; it's 163 pages. Yes, I like to read, but even so back then with two little kids, I rarely read that much in month much less a...

  • Joseph

    If someone held a gun to my head and asked for a precise and concise definition of irony (it could happen!), I would say only this: Neil Postman died two days before Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected ...

  • Rickeclectic

    Disappointing. Read it if you have to (it is considered to be an "important" book for media folks), but otherwise, just read the following and skip the book. Mr. Postman is obviously a well read perso...

  • Jon

    "This book is about the possibility that Huxley, not Orwell, was right." - Neil PostmanIn 1854 Stephen A. Douglas presented a three-hour speech against Abraham Lincoln's ideas, and in return, on that ...

  • Anne

    There's a good feeling you get when you read a book that accurately criticizes something that needs it. If you've ever felt like watching TV was a waste of time, this book will impart such a feeling.N...