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Download Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business Audiobook, by Neil Postman Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.32 out of 54.32 out of 54.32 out of 54.32 out of 54.32 out of 5 4.32 (25 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Neil Postman Narrator: Jeff Riggenbach Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2017 ISBN: 9781538462263
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In this eloquent and persuasive book, Neil Postman examines the deep and broad effects of television culture on the manner in which we conduct our public affairs, and how “entertainment values” have corrupted the very way we think. As politics, news, religion, education, and commerce are given less and less expression in the form of the printed word, they are rapidly being reshaped to suit the requirements of television. And because television is a visual medium, whose images are most pleasurably apprehended when they are fast-moving and dynamic, discourse on television has little tolerance for argument, hypothesis, or explanation. Postman argues that public discourse—the advancing of arguments in logical order for the public good, once a hallmark of American culture—is being converted from exposition and explanation to entertainment.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A brilliant, powerful, and important book…This is a brutal indictment Postman has laid down and, so far as I can see, an irrefutable one.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “A lucid and very funny jeremiad about how public discourse has been degraded.”

    Mother Jones

  • “[Postman] starts where Marshall McLuhan left off, constructing his arguments with the resources of a scholar and the wit of a raconteur.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “A sustained, withering, and thought-provoking attack on television and what it is doing to us…Postman goes further than other critics in demonstrating that television represents a hostile attack on literate culture.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “This is a ‘must listen’ for anyone who hopes to understand what the new ‘information society’ might be like. A well-produced effort for serious listening.” 

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dennis Wales | 2/11/2014

    " This is the best book on television's impact on Western society ever. It should be a "must read" for every teacher at any level, and it wouldn't be a bad idea to make students read it during high school as well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jamie | 1/30/2014

    " A bit dated at this point but interesting theory. Not sure how much the critique of TV's (or computers) role in ensuring that entertainment permanently displaces print / discourse holds up in an age when TV viewership is declining and media like Twitter, blogs, etc. are ascendant. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 1/16/2014

    " A real eye-opener about the change in how we see and interpret our world since visual information exchange has begun to supercede written information. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Todd | 1/13/2014

    " A work of social criticism about our show business culture, Amusing Ourselves to Death powerfully shows how technology and the media have radically changed social discourse such that serious argumentation is no longer considered to be desirable. Postman points out a number of interesting consequences, mostly unattractive and damaging, of this change. The book has its faults: it's hard to make sense of some of Postman's arguments, and the way he uses the word "epistemology" is very strange to the ears of an epistemologist (I suppose that Postman is trying to use the term in ways that sociologists use it, not that I pretend to understand what that is). Still, it is very successful in highlighting some negative features of contemporary society that one might never think about on one's own. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim | 11/15/2013

    " Pretty heady, but I really liked it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kent | 9/8/2013

    " great book.. a very disturbing, yet awakening, analysis of the damage wrought by electronic media. postman makes the subject matter highly readable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Catherine | 9/1/2013

    " Read this book. You won't regret it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elimoore | 8/24/2013

    " Loved this book. Written in the 80s but such a prophetic indictment of the culture we live in. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pants McConnell | 7/13/2013

    " I was literally scared to watch television for a good while after reading this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 eliza | 11/26/2012

    " The title says it all. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 10/20/2012

    " Very prescient. Very scary. I've been saying all along that we live in a dystopian society in this country, and Postman's book gives me more proof. Fantastic read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tahseen | 7/25/2012

    " The perils of reducing our culture to pure entertainment. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marja | 5/9/2012

    " This type of reading is usually incredibly dry to me. Neil Postman does a great job of keeping those of us who mainly love fiction interested in what are, I consider, profound ideas about the society in which we live. It's not only good; it's important. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Luther | 2/20/2012

    " Everyone should be required to read this book multiple times. Neil Postman was a genius. He understood how the human mind works. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 J.E. | 2/8/2012

    " This should be taught in every high school in America. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cathy Baker | 10/12/2011

    " This was used as a textbook for a class. It was good and though it was written in the mid-eighties it is more relevant today. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brandy | 5/13/2011

    " I knocked off a star because my loyalty to television dictates I must, but this is one thought-provoking book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lyndon | 4/27/2011

    " "For America is engaged in the world's most ambitious experiment to accommodate itself to the technological distractions made pos-sible by the electric plug." What, if anything, has changed since Postman first penned these words? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tbookman | 4/20/2011

    " Well-thought, well-presented, and serious discourse on the effect TV and media has on our collective intellect and communications. Read it! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jay | 4/5/2011

    " I was meh at the time I read it in the 80s and would probably be more meh now. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marie | 3/30/2011

    " If you are a Communication major, you NEED to read this book it is like the Bible of Communications, literately. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 3/26/2011

    " while I liked it, I thought it was on point, I have to believe we,as a people, are able to see through the superficiality described in this book. But there are a few eye openers. worth the time to read "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erin | 3/25/2011

    " Originally had to read this for a class in college. It's fantastic! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Juliana | 3/25/2011

    " Amazing book but not that easy to read. It is in an essay format and when i read it as a junior in high school it was torture. But, it's message is relevant and i find myself referencing it in thoughts enough that i have never forgotten what i learned. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jb | 2/21/2011

    " "Media as epistemology" - The medium through which we receive our news dictates what news we receive, and how we think about / "know" it. What's newsworthy on a TV show is different from what's newsworthy in print. Very interesting. "

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About the Author
Author Neil Postman

Neil Postman (1931–2003) was chairman of the Department of Communication Arts at New York University and founder of its Media Ecology program. He wrote more than twenty books. His son Andrew Postman is the author of five books, and his work appears in numerous publications.

About the Narrator

Jeff Riggenbach has narrated numerous titles for Blackstone Audio and won an AudioFile Earphones Award. An author, contributing editor, and producer, he has worked in radio in San Francisco for the last thirty years, earning a Golden Mike Award for journalistic excellence.