In a series of feisty and ultimately hopeful essays, one of America's sharpest social critics casts a shrewd eye over contemporary culture to reveal the worst -- and the best -- of our habits of discourse, tendencies in education, and obsessions with technological novelty. Readers will find themselves rethinking many of their bedrock assumptions: Should education transmit culture or defend us against it? Is technological innovation progress or a peculiarly American addiction? When everyone watches the same television programs -- and television producers don't discriminate between the audiences for Sesame Street and Dynasty -- is childhood anything more than a sentimental concept? Writing in the traditions of Orwell and H.L. Mencken, Neil Postman sends shock waves of wit and critical intelligence through the cultural wasteland.
About the Author
Neil Postman was a University Professor, the Paulette Goddard Chair of Media Ecology, and the chair of the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication, all at New York University. Among his 20 books are studies of childhood (The Disappearance of Childhood); public discourse (Amusing Ourselves to Death); education (Teaching as a Subversive Activity and The End of Education); and the impact of technology (Technopoly). His interest in education was long-standing, beginning with his experience as an elementary and secondary school teacher. He died in 2003.
"Postman is that rare social critic whose commentary on the current state of American culture and education is a funny as it is throughout and well argued...a provocative collection." -- The New York Times Book Review
"Postman uses cogent arguments, sharp needles and gentle humor to challenge readers to change their ways of thinking ... delightful." -- St. Louis Post Dispatch