Reddit meter
all mentions

Amusing Ourselves to Death

208 pages, 2005

economics & politics

economics & politics

987 books

Television has conditioned us to want spoonfuls of entertainment material, the price we pay for which is deriving less satisfaction from dealing with the serious concerns of public affairs. 

In this book, Postman offers insights into how we can better deal with our present situation. Rather than being transfixed by the shallow distractions of television, people must learn to discern between what is real and what is not.

The Impact of Television

Neil Postman explores the idea that television has transformed our society into an entertainment-focused one. He suggests that we've moved from a culture that values thoughtful, printed-word based information to one that prioritizes amusement and entertainment. It's worth taking a look at how this shift has affected our ability to process serious issues.

The Disappearance of Childhood

Postman digs into the concept that childhood, as a distinct stage of life, is disappearing. He argues that television blurs the lines between adult and child content, exposing kids to information traditionally reserved for adults. This is a fascinating perspective to explore, especially for parents and educators.

The Danger of Context-Free Information

One of the key points in 'Amusing Ourselves to Death' is the danger of context-free information. Postman believes that television presents information without depth or context, leading to a superficial understanding of the world. It's a thought-provoking idea to research, especially in the age of social media.

The Decline of Public Discourse

Postman argues that the rise of television has led to a decline in meaningful public discourse. He believes that complex ideas can't be effectively communicated through visual media, leading to oversimplification. This is a compelling reason to check out the book and see how it applies to today's digital age.

The Need for Media Literacy

Finally, 'Amusing Ourselves to Death' emphasizes the importance of media literacy. Postman encourages us to critically evaluate the media we consume and understand its potential effects. This is a crucial skill to develop, making the book a must-read for anyone looking to navigate our media-saturated world.

Quotes 5

Neil Postman's 'Amusing Ourselves to Death' is a prophetic look at what happens when politics, journalism, education, and even religion become subject to the demands of entertainment. It is a dire warning of the potential consequences of living in a culture dominated by television, and while Postman's analysis was arguably more relevant for the culture of his time, his powerful message remains pertinent today.

Roger WatersRoger Waters - Musician, Pink Floyd

Postman's 'Amusing Ourselves to Death' is a chilling and far-reaching indictment of the ways in which television has transformed public discourse in society. It's a book that should be read by anyone interested in understanding the way that media shapes our lives and manipulates our perceptions.

Douglas RushkoffDouglas Rushkoff - Media Theorist, Author

In 'Amusing Ourselves to Death', Postman has written a brilliantly insightful and powerful expose of the damaging effects of the television age. This book is a must-read for anyone concerned about the future of our society.

Sherry TurkleSherry Turkle - Sociologist, MIT Professor

Postman's 'Amusing Ourselves to Death' is a sobering reminder of the way that society's obsession with entertainment has the potential to undermine serious discourse. It's a thought-provoking critique of the way that our culture is evolving.

Marshall McLuhanMarshall McLuhan - Philosopher, Media Theorist

Neil Postman's 'Amusing Ourselves to Death' is a deeply disturbing book about the devastating effects of television, commercialism, and cultural distraction. It's a necessary critique of the way we consume media and the impact it has on our ability to think critically.

Noam ChomskyNoam Chomsky - Linguist, Philosopher
Roger WatersDouglas RushkoffSherry TurkleMarshall McLuhanNoam Chomsky


Tristan Harris

Tristan Harris

Keith Rabois

Keith Rabois

entrepreneurtechnologyventure capitalist
Matt Mullenweg

Matt Mullenweg

entrepreneurtechnologyventure capitalist
Patrick Collison

Patrick Collison

Nat Eliason

Nat Eliason

David Perell

David Perell