Neil Postman





Neil Postman


Born
in New York, New York, The United States
March 08, 1931

Died
October 05, 2003

Genre

Influences


Neil Postman, an important American educator, media theorist and cultural critic was probably best known for his popular 1985 book, Amusing Ourselves to Death. For more than four decades he was associated with New York University, where he created and led the Media Ecology program.

He is the author of more than thirty significant books on education, media criticism, and cultural change including Teaching as a Subversive Activity, The Disappearance of Childhood, Technopoly, and Building a Bridge to the Eighteenth Century.

Amusing Ourselves to Death (1985), a historical narrative which warns of a decline in the ability of our mass communications media to share serious ideas. Since television images replace the written word, Postman argues that
...more

Average rating: 4.07 · 19,463 ratings · 2,150 reviews · 27 distinct worksSimilar authors
Amusing Ourselves to Death:...

by
4.15 avg rating — 12,233 ratings — published 1985 — 40 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
Technopoly: The Surrender o...

3.86 avg rating — 2,662 ratings — published 1973
Rate this book
Clear rating
The End of Education: Redef...

3.95 avg rating — 1,225 ratings — published 1995 — 11 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
The Disappearance of Childhood

3.97 avg rating — 1,036 ratings — published 1984 — 16 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
Teaching as a Subversive Ac...

by
4.20 avg rating — 946 ratings — published 1969 — 11 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
Building a Bridge to the 18...

3.85 avg rating — 444 ratings — published 1999 — 12 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
How to Watch TV News

by
3.72 avg rating — 422 ratings — published 1991 — 8 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
Conscientious Objections: S...

4.10 avg rating — 240 ratings — published 1988 — 8 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
Teaching As A Conserving Ac...

3.90 avg rating — 73 ratings — published 1979 — 4 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
Soft Revolution

by
3.95 avg rating — 40 ratings — published 1971 — 2 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
More books by Neil Postman…
“We were keeping our eye on 1984. When the year came and the prophecy didn't, thoughtful Americans sang softly in praise of themselves. The roots of liberal democracy had held. Wherever else the terror had happened, we, at least, had not been visited by Orwellian nightmares.

But we had forgotten that alongside Orwell's dark vision, there was another - slightly older, slightly less well known, equally chilling: Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. Contrary to common belief even among the educated, Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy the same thing. Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley's vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.

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. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions." In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we desire will ruin us.

This book is about the possibility that Huxley, not Orwell, was right.”
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

“Americans no longer talk to each other, they entertain each other. They do not exchange ideas, they exchange images. They do not argue with propositions; they argue with good looks, celebrities and commercials.”
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

“When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience, and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; culture-death is a clear possibility.”
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

Topics Mentioning This Author

topics posts views last activity  
Karl and Clayton'...: What Hath God Wrought 8 66 Jul 11, 2010 08:53AM  
Book Nook Cafe: Favorite quotes - Thread #1 616 321 Apr 21, 2012 11:19AM  
Literary Exploration: The Hard Challenge - 2013 198 339 Dec 24, 2013 01:51AM  
Literary Exploration: The Insane Challenge - 2013 385 485 Dec 30, 2013 07:32PM  
Reading with Style: This topic has been closed to new comments. RwS Completed Tasks - Fall 2014 1039 146 Nov 30, 2014 09:04PM  
The Seasonal Read...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Fall 2014 Completed Tasks: Do Not Delete Posts 4668 1076 Dec 01, 2014 08:53AM