Amusing Ourselves to Death

Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

Ranked #1 in Citizenship, Ranked #1 in Mediasee more rankings.

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... more

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Reviews and Recommendations

We've comprehensively compiled reviews of Amusing Ourselves to Death from the world's leading experts.

Austin Kleon Earlier this year Postman’s son Andrew wrote an op-ed with the title, “My dad predicted Trump in 1985 — it’s not Orwell, he warned, it’s Brave New World.” Postman wrote: “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.” (Source)

Steve Lance Neil Postman took the work of Marshall McLuhan – who was putting out early theories on media – and built on them. However, Postman was far more observant and empirical about the trends occurring in the media landscape. The trends which he identifies in Amusing Ourselves to Death, written in the 1980s, have since all come true. For example, he predicted that if you make news entertaining, then it’s a short slippery slope until you start making entertainment the news and, as we have seen, he was absolutely right on about that. He was also right about the fact that, whilst we were all concerned... (Source)

Kara Nortman @andrewchen Also a great book on the topic - Amusing Ourselves to Death (Source)

Stephen Kinsella @AlanReillyIRL @t0nyyates @WhelanKarl Yes! Fantastic book. So glad you're re-reading it. (Source)

Timothy Burke @ParkerMolloy oh, this is great. I used a lot of this book when teaching Persuasion in Media classes 15 or so years ago. (Source)

Tristan Harris Recommends this book

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