Fofo’s #CBR4 Review #23: Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman
Profile: Non-fiction, Epistemology, Sociology
Non-fiction is never easy to review. An informed author should be an authority on the subjects he or she is writing about, so it can be difficult to confront the author’s logic unless the reviewer is an expert too. The problem is magnified with time. Even if I were an authority on epistemology and education today, would those perspectives really be able to critique the ideas put forth thirty years ago? I may be able to analyze writing style and form, but a critique of content is difficult at best and always extremely subjective.
Still, after reading Amusing Ourselves to Death, I cannot help but disagree with a few of Postman’s arguments. Some of what he is saying has been made obsolete by time, but a few of his attacks on our television culture are just wrong or ill-formed. There is an extremely valid criticism of the modern news broadcast here, but a few pieces of Postman’s argument are contradictory or flawed enough to bring the whole book into question.
Fofo’s blog moved! Check out the new website – Deconstructive Criticism