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Publisher's 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.
©1985 Neil Postman (P)1994 Blackstone Audio Inc.
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Critic 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)
"[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)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By chaoticmuse on 03-17-11

Excellent Content Read at Warp Speed

As another reviewer noted the reader on this book goes way too fast for listening comfort. It's like he had someplace he needed to be. The content is the kind the calls for careful listening and I became frustrated with the speed reading approach. Even slowing down the delivery with my ipod didn't help because he was going so fast that the slower version came across as broken and with abnormal pauses. I ended up getting the book and reading it thoughtfully.

The content is dated only in its mention of particular shows/celebrities/current events and I would love to know what Mr. Postman would say about computers and all the new inputs. The argument is still completely relevant today and makes for fascinating study.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

By Lonnie on 11-27-07


This is the first book I have ever rated or commented on at Audible, and I only do so because I feel the need to commend the author and tell others to read it as well.

He has many other books on this subject that I would also recommend reading, but I HIGHLY recommend this book to any and everyone living in todays culture. If we're to make a difference, we must first understand the land of which we live...

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By discerning reader on 03-14-17

Brilliant book read far too fast

Great ideas but they need to be digested. The fastest reader I have yet heard. I probably missed 70% of it

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By A. Smithson on 02-16-17

Brilliant writing at breakneck speed

An essay full of insight into how public discourse is shaped by the media form it's delivered in. It gives you some insight into the history of how we came to a place where a US presidential campaign can be won via Twitter. Written at a time when television dominated the home, it's given me cause to consider that how we think has changed in the decades following this book. What would Postman think of Twitter and Instagram? I would like to think that he could have seen these visual and intellectually trivial formats and thought up himself, 'yup, that's the way I thought we would go'. My review loses a star as the narration is far too fast, but if you can keep up, it's time will spent.

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