Download Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of by Neil Postman PDF

By Neil Postman

A super strong and critical book....This is a brutal indictment Postman has laid down and, as far as i will see, an irrefutable one. --Jonathan Yardley, Washington submit e-book global.

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Additional resources for Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

Sample text

They believed that democracy, for all of its obvious virtues, posed the danger of releasing an undisciplined individualism. " 4 As a consequence of this exalted view, they believed that law must not be merely a learned profession but a liberal one. " 16 the insistence on a liberal, rational and articulate legal mind was reinforced by the fact that America had a written constitution, as did all of its component states, and that law did not grow by chance but was explicitly formulated. A lawyer needed to be a writing and reading man par excellence, for reason was the principal authority upon which legal questions were to be decided.

S fought back, of course, and when Deism ceased to attract interest, they fought among themselves. Toward the mid-eighteenth century, Theodore Frelinghuysen and William Tennent led a revivalist movement among Presbyterians. They were followed by the three great figures associated with religious "awakenings" in America--Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, and, later in the nineteenth century, Charles Finney. These men were spectacularly successful preachers, whose appeal reached regions of consciousness far beyond where reason rules.

Everything became everyone's business. For the first time, we were sent information which answered no question we had asked, and which, in any case, did not permit the right of reply. We may say then that the contribution of the telegraph to public discourse was to dignify irrelevance and amplify impotence. But this was not all: Telegraphy also made public discourse essentially incoherent.

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