Amusing Ourselves to Death  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business (1985), is a book by Neil Postman in which he argues that media of communication inherently influence the conversations carried out over them. Postman posits that television is the primary means of communication for our culture and it has the property of converting conversations into entertainment so much so that public discourse on important issues has disappeared. Since the treatment of serious issues as entertainment inherently prevents them from being treated as serious issues and indeed since serious issues have been treated as entertainment for so many decades now, the public is no longer aware of these issues in their original sense, but only as entertainment. ("Conversations" in the sense here of a culture communicating with itself).

The book originated with Postman's delivering a talk to the Frankfurt Booksellers Convention in 1984. He was participating in a panel on Orwell's 1984 and the contemporary world.

It has been translated into eight languages and sold some 2,000,000 copies worldwide.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Amusing Ourselves to Death" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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