Mass media -- Influence. Because the early United States got its information from print, people were more prepared to share thoughts about important topics. Almost anyone could read and had access to books, regardless of their social status. A country's founding circumstances inform its development and sense of identity. Neil Postman - Amusing Ourselves to Death. Its basic thesis is that television has negatively affected the level of public discourse in contemporary America, and it considers media in a larger context to achieve that. Here’s his line of argument in 3 lessons: The 19th century was the age of reading. Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business |. Course Hero. Postman's point is that print and spoken word based on print encourage traits vital to critical, independent thinking. Their spoken dialogue will be clearer and more formal, for example. And Postman argues that print played a crucial role when the young country decided what it wanted to be. Print had a monopoly on the media. “A brilliant, powerful, and important book. Though recovery is usually a positive development, Postman takes the opposite stance. As print replaced oral storytelling, the epic gradually disappeared. Test. Language: english. Postman sees the pamphlet's popularity as evidence colonists wanted a voice in the political process. I’ve actually read much more than this post will cover. Retrieved January 18, 2021, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Amusing-Ourselves-to-Death-Public-Discourse-in-the-Age-of-Show-Business/. Telegraphy and photography stripped information from its context. Match. He knows the value of entertainment to a culture. Citizens had never known anything but a print-centric culture. It allows thoughts to be preserved in history so later generations can read them. Amusing Ourselves to Death: Chapter 3 Summary & Analysis. In the late 17th century, American settlers started to develop their own literature separately from the English tradition. America was found by intellectuals – this rarely occurs in history. Save for later . They can abuse logic and over-generalize, they can lie and become confused. The meaning of this fact may be appreciated when one adds that these books were intended for consumption by approximately 75,000 people then living in the northern colonies.The modern modern equivalent would be ten million books. Although, Postman continues by showing how this belief is quite contrary. 17 May 2019. Even when people weren't learning, Postman emphasizes, their brains were working. Amusing Ourselves to Death Summary Amusing Ourselves to Death is a work that aims to both explore complicated ideas and market itself to the general public. The Age of Exposition began to pass toward the end of the nineteenth century, and the early signs of its replacement could be recognized, it’s replacement was the Age of Show Business. The problems come when we try to live in them.” author. The name Postman gives to the period of time which the American mind submitted to the sovereignty of the printing press is the Age of Exposition. About this shift, Lewis Mumford writes, “More than any other device the printed book released people from the domination of the immediate and the local; … print made a greater impression than actual events…. Print, unlike television, forced writers to express their ideas in a linear fashion. Amusing Ourselves to Death, Chapters 1-3. It is likely that most of the first fifteen presidents would not have been recognized in the street, the same is true for the best scientists, lawyers, and ministers of that era. Reading wasn't associated with a wealthy upper class. - Shuffle Off to Bethlehem Chapter 9. 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