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Media Unlimited: How the Torrent of Images & Sounds Overwhelms Our Lives

3.57  ·  Rating Details ·  129 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Everyone knows that the media surround us, but no one quite understands what this means for our lives. In Media Unlimited, a remarkable and original look at our media-glutted, speed-addicted world, Todd Gitlin makes us stare, as if for the first time, at the biggest picture of all. From video games to elevator music, action movies to reality shows, Gitlin evokes a world of ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 6th 2003 by Picador (first published 2002)
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Joseph Garraty
Jul 08, 2011 Joseph Garraty rated it did not like it
I'm generally sympathetic to the premise of this book--we're constantly bombarded by imagery and sounds, and some of that experience has the potential to degrade our thinking and the quality of our lives in some way. That being said, this book is intellectually sloppy, poorly written, and ultimately proves nothing it sets out to prove.

Most of the author's discussion of the history of media falls flat. It is nearly all based on the writings of one guy, Georg Simmel, and relies entirely on the pr
May 28, 2013 Rick rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
We have allowed the media power mongers to have control of our entertainment, our news (which is mostly entertainment), our internet, our social lives (Facebook), and our private lives (Facebook, again). We have willingly surrendered to their version of "reality", their editing, their programming decisions. Media controls us; we don't control it. Media, through technological advancements, controls the speed, the content, and the hours of our lives! It has sapped our strength and our minds. It ha ...more
Jun 04, 2012 Ke rated it really liked it
Gitlin has his way with words. I liked how this book was at times poetic and at times sociological. The only reason why I decided not to give the book five stars is that it is a bit outdated, especially in the age of Facebook and Twitter.
Aug 29, 2008 Jessica rated it liked it
Recommends it for: media/journalism students, journalists
Recommended to Jessica by: Prof. Joe Cutbirth, NYU journalism dept
A respected NYU journalism professor suggested I read a book called "The Whole World is Watching" by Todd Gitlin -- but I couldn't find it at the Border's Books in my parents' town, so I bought this one instead.

Only recommended for those few of us who actually think reading about "the media" in general is interesting...I'm a nerd when it comes to that stuff and even I found this book a little dry! Dry, but rather thought-provoking about the psychological reasons Americans have let our media bec
Sep 10, 2012 Amber rated it it was ok
I had to read this for a summer reading project and I would definitely recommend it as an informational read maybe for more adult readers. It uses language that older audiences would understand more than young children. And it is very informational. I really was intrigued, but I have to admit I got extremely bored and fell asleep reading it many times. I think that I could appreciate it later on in life, but right now, it isn't the type of read I would just pick for fun.
Giuliana Chamedes
Sep 10, 2007 Giuliana Chamedes rated it really liked it
a light read, which gives a broad overview of some basic characteristics of our contemporary media-dominated culture. the writing style is fun, the references ecclectic but not unexpected (from simmel to marx to the marx brothers). still on the prowl for a more philosophical and historical approach to cultural imperialism...
Jean Marie Davis
Jun 20, 2009 Jean Marie Davis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sociology, non-fict
So this book effectively changed at least part of my life. Everywhere I go now I see and hear things that I probably wouldn't have noticed otherwise thanks to the awareness Gitlin's book has brought. I study the media in society so this book was right up my alley. It's accessible and scholarly. One would do well to read it.
Oct 04, 2013 Jenny rated it really liked it
Reasonably well argued though some parts made sweeping generalizations that weren't always backed up. The evidence tends to be more anecdotal than anything but I will admit that he definitely offered up a lot of food for thought. Although his writing was a little bulky, there were some nice lyrical lines. Still planning to make a friend read this.
Paul Toth
Jun 07, 2008 Paul Toth rated it really liked it
I've been struggling with my embrace of media overload. This title helped me continue the struggle. However, I don't think there's a solution. Trying to avoid the technosphere is like trying to live in Los Angeles and not breathe smog.
Sep 29, 2009 Sean rated it liked it
Reflections on how the mass media has turned into a "torrent of images and sounds", particularly since the Internet became prominent in our society. Occasionally unfocused, but more than a few trenchant statements can be found. Not essential, but worth reading.
Dec 09, 2007 Graham rated it did not like it
I wish this washed-out hippy would just go the fuck away.
May 04, 2010 Jake rated it it was amazing
After reading Todd Gitlin's book The Sixties I have enjoyed his writing style. This was an insightful book for anyone involved or concerned with how the media shapes our lives.
Frederick Bingham
A rambling, incoherent monologue on the media and its place in the modern world. Written by a professor of culture and sociology at NYU.
Jestertim rated it liked it
Nov 23, 2010
Luke T.
Luke T. rated it it was amazing
Jun 25, 2007
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Jul 10, 2008
Scott rated it it was amazing
Dec 02, 2007
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Oct 01, 2016
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Jun 01, 2014
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Apr 09, 2012
Jessica Casserly
Jessica Casserly rated it liked it
Jan 16, 2012
Blammo31 rated it it was amazing
Jul 20, 2008
Glenda McCarthy
Glenda McCarthy rated it liked it
Dec 20, 2012
Yitong Zhang
Yitong Zhang rated it it was ok
May 20, 2014
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Apr 29, 2007
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Todd Gitlin is an American writer, sociologist, communications scholar, novelist, poet, and not very private intellectual. He is a professor of journalism and sociology at Columbia University.
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