Blame TV? An analysis of Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death

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American society has become exceedingly trivial, no doubt about that. It may also be true that certain forms of communication contributed to this current state of affairs. However, surely it is overly simplistic to claim, as Neil Postman does in his book, “Amusing Ourselves to Death,” that these forms of communication, namely television and its predecessors, the telegraph and photograph, single-handedly brought about this decline in the quality of public discourse? This essay, then, is …

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…irrelevant whether the cause of this decline in public discourse is TV or to other factors. As a wake up call to Americans the book is very effective, but in attempting to blame TV for society’s ills, it fails miserably. Furthermore, to make such an attractive, yet unsupported, claim distracts from the real sources of our problems, which makes it harder to find real solutions and is, in itself, a dangerous thing to do.