Mike's Reviews > Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman
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M 50x66
's review
Oct 02, 11

really liked it
Read in September, 2011

The Lincoln/Douglas debates were extraordinarily long and involved, up to seven hours, but the public loved them, turning out in droves to hear the debaters because they considered such events part of their political education. We were a text based society then, and all of those farmers, merchants, and mill workers in the audience possessed the ability to aurally process lengthy and complex sentences to say nothing of their enormous attention spans. Now we are an image based society, taking in our information in fragments, in disconnected images which are only suited for entertainment, not for serious, nuanced discourse. The sociologist Jane Jacobs defines a dark age as The Great Forgetting. Neil Postman’s book, even more relevant today than when it was published a quarter century ago, reveals the process by which we forget!

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