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Posted March 1, 2011
Title: The Disappearance of Childhood
Author: Neil Postman
Number of Pages: 177
This is definitely a book someone should read since it brings about a unique perspective, stating that the modern media is changing the process of growing up, thrusting children into an adult world earlier than previous generations. It is organized into two parts. Part 1 discusses where the idea of childhood came from and part 2 discusses why it is difficult to sustain. Postman claims that the idea of childhood began the same time as the invention of the printing press. After this invention adults could control how accessible information was to children. Schooling became necessary since children had to learn to read so that they could gain this information. A gap between adulthood and childhood was established because of the adult control of the information. Adults could provide information if they felt it was appropriate to do so. With the rise of electronic media and the move into the information age, adults have somewhat lost their control over their children's access to information. Thus the gap between adulthood and childhood is getting smaller. Many children are exposed to those 'adult' ideas sooner now because of their access to the information through sources such as today's television programs. He raises concern, but fails to provide any plausible solutions. However, this book is a great read, providing readers with something to think about. Postman is a very credible author, citing sources and direct references throughout the book while making insightful claims. He backs up his points with evidentiary support and traces the developments growing out of the information age with logical reasoning. For the most part the content of this book was able to capture my interest. Part 1: "The Invention of Childhood," was redundant at times, but effectively conveyed its points. However, Part 2; "The Disappearance of Childhood," was much more interesting, concise and relatable to modern times. This book is appropriate for adolescents and adults, as it may be hard for children to comprehend. Overall I liked this book as it was well written and thought provoking.
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Posted January 16, 2012
Posted September 25, 2011
Posted June 4, 2006
Postman provides a brilliantly insightful and extended analysis of both the 15th-century rise, and the 20th-century loss, of childhood innocence. His thesis that childhood became extended by a decade (up to about age 17) as an unexpected result of Gutenberg's printing press is fascinating and compellingly argued, as are his further arguments that the concept of childhood innocence arose concomitantly with the arrival of widespread schooling for literacy, and that such innocence lasted until the 20th century, when television demolished the metaphorical wall guarding the magic garden of childhood innocence. Postman does more than explicate that loss--he mourns it, and hopes against all odds that somehow it can be restored.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 4, 2001
If you are looking for a careful analysis of why our culture exibits much of the social and personal level quirks that it does, you could not start with a better book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 1, 2000
You can either love Postman or hate him. I feel that he has well thought out explainations for what is occuring with electronic media today. However I do not see this as a cause of complete change in children today. I don't believe that the influence child learn by is effected by the electronic media
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Posted November 3, 2014
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