"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
Praise for Teaching As a Subversive Activity
“A healthy dose of Postman and Weingartner is a good thing: if they make even a dent in the pious . . . American classroom, the book will be worthwhile.”—New York Times Book Review
“Teaching and knowledge are subversive in that they necessarily substitute awareness for guesswork, and knowledge for experience. Experience is no use in the world of Apollo 8. It is simply necessary to know. However, it is also necessary to know the effect of Apollo 8 in creating a new Global Theatre in which student and teacher alike are looking for roles. Postman and Weingartner make excellent theatrical producers in the new Global Theatre.”—Marshall McLuhan
“It will take courage to read this book . . . but those who are asking honest questions—what’s wrong with the worlds in which we live, how do we build communication bridges cross the Generation Gap, what do they want from us?—these people will squirm in the discovery that the answers are really within themselves.”—Saturday Review
“Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner go beyond the now-familiar indictments of American education to propose basic ways of liberating both teachers and students from becoming personnel rather than people . . . the authors have created what may become a primer of ‘the new education’ Their book is intended for anyone, teacher or not, who is concerned with sanity and survival in a world of precipitously rapid change, and it’s worth your reading.”—Playboy
“This challenging, liberating book can unlock not only teachers but anyone for whom language and learning are not dead.”—Nat Hentoff
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He turns our attention to Goethe, Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot, Kant, Edward Gibbon, Adam Smith, Thomas Paine, Jefferson, and Franklin, and to their then-radical thinking about inductive science, religious and political freedom, popular education, rational commerce, the nation-state, progress, and happiness.
Postman calls for a future connected to traditions that provide sane authority and meaningful purpose -- as opposed to an overreliance on technology and an increasing disregard for the lessons of history. And he argues passionately for specific new guidelines in the education of our children, with renewed emphasis on developing the intellect as successfully as we are developing a computer-driven world.
Witty, provocative, and brilliantly reasoned, Building a Bridge to the Eighteenth Century is Neil Postman's most radical, and most commonsensical, book yet.
From the Hardcover edition.
Deftly marshaling a vast array of historical and demographic research, Neil Postman, author of Technopoly, suggests that childhood is a relatively recent invention, which came into being as the new medium of print imposed divisions between children and adults. But now these divisions are eroding under the barrage of television, which turns the adult secrets of sex and violence into poprular entertainment and pitches both news and advertising at the intellectual level of ten-year-olds.
Informative, alarming, and aphorisitc, The Disappearance of Childhood is a triumph of history and prophecy.
From the Trade Paperback edition.