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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Does TV make us numb?, 6 Aug 2009
This review is from: Amusing Ourselves to Death (A Methuen paperback) (Paperback)
This is the central idea of Postman. Three centuries of the press influence are on the verge of being obliterated by TV. The writer supposrts the idea that the way we learn is deeply influenced by the media we use, thus the generations that learnt mainly by reading think in a very different way from the ones that are learning by watching TV. When the book was written computers were not as widespread and internet didn't exist. This however, does not distract from the power of the book. It actually creates an interesting dialectic between what we read and what we think the writer would say if he knew about internet.
I think it is good reading for anyone interested in the media, educators and parents too. It is also written with a great sense of humour, a fact that makes it easy to read and never boring or heavy.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Television's Effect on Culture, 23 Jan 2003
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With plenty of humour, Postman describes the evolution of the media from manuscripts in caves to modern television sets, emphasising the variety of effects each medium has on the society.
The mostly discussed medium is the television and how the rapid expansion of its influence has changed in less then half century the way we see important topics in our society such as religion, politics and education.
The book is coherent, easy to read and there are many visible parallels to the world we live. Particularly relevant for US readers, since many examples involves American TV programmes, bussiness man, politicians and superstars.
The arguments presented by Postman against TV are very persuasive and the book will DEFENITELY make you consider watching less TV and reading more books.
It is a well written book and deserves the attention of everyone who studies social sciences.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only TV instruction manual you'll ever need!, 7 Feb 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Amusing Ourselves to Death (A Methuen paperback) (Paperback)
This book is essential reading for anyone in need of a paradigm shift. Somebody once said 'we recognise the poet as the man who makes us poets' and thats exactly what Postman does here. He doesn't make us aware of anything other than what we already knew, but through the use of historical anecdote and a genuine wit of his own he brings the subject into the serious context it deserves whilst sustaining the readers attention throughout its hundred and eighty or so pages. To put it in short, if there were more books like this, we wouldn't want for TV.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perceptive commentary on impact of TV on the way we live, 17 Jan 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Amusing Ourselves to Death (A Methuen paperback) (Paperback)
Anyone doubting that TV has transformed the way we think and speak, live and die should read this book. It helps you to understand the subtle effect of television on everyday living.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars modern media, 12 Jan 2010
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Mrs. Carolyn C. Baker (Leeds England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Amusing Ourselves to Death (A Methuen paperback) (Paperback)
If anyone wishes to understand the modern media, Neil Postman's book - 'Amusing ourselves to Death' is a must.
First published in 1985 it is as relevant today as it ever was.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unplug your TV and read this book!, 25 Sep 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Amusing Ourselves to Death (A Methuen paperback) (Paperback)
This book argues that television rots individual minds and shreds social ties. The argumentation is excellent, the examples compelling, the conclusions... chilling.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read: don't judge the book by the cover..., 22 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Amusing Ourselves to Death (A Methuen paperback) (Paperback)
This is a history book that explains how America descended from astonishingly high levels of literacy and intellectual interest, to its current lamentable state, reflected certainly in Britain's educational standards. It is well and succinctly written, and shows the disastrous effect that unlimited quantities of useless, unverifiable information have on people. Consider the debating societies, the vocabularies of best-selling novels, and see what people prefer today... I have bought copies for friends, and the cover has put some off, for Reagan is long gone, but the text of full of insights and relevant quotes and statistics. Unfortunately the process of ever more trivial, non-stop entertainment, the tidal wave of shallow distraction, goes on growing. Beware, be aware, and read this excellent book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, 1 Sep 2009
This review is from: Amusing Ourselves to Death (A Methuen paperback) (Paperback)
Very accurate assessment of what is unconsciously happening to all our minds in this modern TV obsessed world.
Mental transformations we should all give credence to and try to insulate ourselves from. Protect ourselves from this insidious brain degradation. Well written. Easy to read. Thought provoking. I would go so far as to say every intelligent, perhaps even every unintelligent, person should give it a go. Should actually be taught in all schools. - Whilst there is still time.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Startling, Intriguing, COMPELLING, 1 July 2004
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PureSymmetry (london) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Amusing Ourselves to Death (A Methuen paperback) (Paperback)
A phenominal piece of work. Neal Postman deconstructs television as a valuable means of entertainement. Postman gives numerous example throughout history of the intelligence of humanity and how it has degraded, citing concrete, not incedental, examples, with the clear focus being on tv's effect on ourselves, our children, our families and ultimately our societies. The consequences of the 'immediate gratification culture' and the loss of the ability to think are explored in depth.
Now with terrifying evidence being forged with TV and ADHD/ADD, this piece of work has even more relevance.
What you have is a concise and effective argument against TV and its detrimental effects. BUY THIS BOOK, but most importantly READ IT!
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars something special, 18 Dec 2003
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Mb Awan "abiriax" - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Amusing Ourselves to Death (A Methuen paperback) (Paperback)
I read this book a while back and I was impressed. The historical backdrop/narrative woven by Postman is sublime and the arguments put forward are well structured and hard to argue with. The only thing that prevents me from giving this five stars is the limp-wristed conclusion. I mean why bother going to all the trouble of pointing out the trouble with television and resign yourself to the conclusion that you can't be bothered to do anything about it?
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Amusing Ourselves to Death (A Methuen paperback)
Amusing Ourselves to Death (A Methuen paperback) by Neil Postman (Paperback - 12 Feb 1987)
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