Post image for Neil Postman AMUSING OURSELVES TO DEATH 1985


by Ethan Russell

Few books I have read on the effects of technology on culture have stood the test of time as well as Amusing Ourselves to Death.

“It may be true, as Charles Beard wrote, that the primary motivation of the writers of the United States Constitution was the protection of their economic interests. But it is also true that they assumed that participation in public life required the capacity to negotiate the printed word.

To them, mature citizenship was not conceivable without sophisticated literacy, which is why the voting age in most states was set at twenty-one, and why Jefferson saw in universal education America’s best hope. And that is also why, as Allan Nevins and Henry Steele Commager have pointed out, the voting restrictions against those who owned no property were frequently overlooked, but not one’s. inability to read.”

(Excerpt from “Amusing Ourselves to Death” by Neal Postman. Get it here.)

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

ckk527 November 4, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Eerily prescient commentary and warnings, gathered together and presented to us courtesy of the late Dr. Postman. See current efforts to reduce government funding of public education; to neuter public servants’ bargaining rights; to resuscitate voter suppression tactics; to suffocate a woman’s right to decide for herself the healthcare she is entitled to receive; and to restructure a taxation system that favors those with advantage (read “property”). To paraphrase the title of one of Postman’s seminal works, “Teaching [is] a Subversive Activity” and a tremendously important one at that.


ethan russell May 24, 2011 at 11:03 am

ethan from ipad


admin April 10, 2011 at 7:52 am

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