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Customer reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

on 10 October 2009
Postman is a fan of the Enlightenment. He is very critical of the post Enlightenment modern world. He never used a typewriter, much less a computer. His critique of television is scathing as is his debunking of postmodernism. I found him both stimulating, informative and yet contradictory. He says modern man had lost a narrative to validate modernity. He has, I would say lost more than the narrative. he has lost not only a unifying world view but the attempt to find one. Postman is a great fan of childhood and of proper education. His writing on the history of childhood is fascinating. His views are sometimes surprising. He would have both evolution and creation science taught in school so the difference between good and bad science could be examined. He also sees that teachers need to know the history of science, and I would add, its limitations. The Enlightenment he says made us question everything, bringing scepticism about authority, critical learning. God has been dethroned. Man is the measure of all things. I am reminded of Connor Cruise O'Brien wring that the Enlightenment got God off our backs. Yet Postman is not a militant atheist. He wants comparative religion taught in schools for he knows religions have formed cultures. He also informs us that some famous Enlightenment figures like Paine were not atheists. This book shows us where the Enlightenment came from and where it brought benefits. he tries to give prescriptions for a return to the great Enlightenment ideas but I fear he does not give us the reasons why the Enlightenment's children have got us into our present mess. His advice is good but only part of what is needed for recovery of our true humanity as people in God;s image. History is his forte. He deserves a critical appreciative reading.
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