Jerry Mander holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Economics, spent 15 years in the advertising business, including five as president and partner of Freeman, Mander & Gossage, San Francisco, one of the most celebrated agencies in the country. After quitting commercial advertising, he achieved national fame for his public service campaigns, leading the Wall Street Journal to call him "the Ralph Nader of adevertising." In 1972 he founded the country's first non-profit ad agency, taking leave of that in 1974. Mander is co-author of The Great International Paper Airplane Book.
Four Arguments for the Elimination of Televisionby Jerry Mander
A total departure from previous writing about television, this book is the first ever to advocate that the medium is not reformable. Its problems are inherent in the technology itself and are so dangerous - to personal health and sanity, to the environment, and to democratic processes - that TV ought to be eliminated forever. Weaving personal experiences through… See more details below
A total departure from previous writing about television, this book is the first ever to advocate that the medium is not reformable. Its problems are inherent in the technology itself and are so dangerous - to personal health and sanity, to the environment, and to democratic processes - that TV ought to be eliminated forever. Weaving personal experiences through meticulous research, the author ranges widely over aspects of television that have rarely been examined and never before joined together, allowing an entirely new, frightening image to emerge. The idea that all technologies are "neutral," benign instruments that can be used well or badly, is thrown open to profound doubt. Speaking of TV reform is, in the words of the author, "as absurd as speaking of the reform of a technology such as guns."
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This book has haunted me since I first read it over 20 years ago. When recent election coverage on TV sent me over the edge, I went in search of it and was delighted to find it available still in this new reprint. A new generation can see Mander's predictions come true in the 24/7 news cycle that so distorts issues of our day and manufactures events for our insatiable consumption. Hauntingly current still, although it would be great for a modern commentator to revise/append it with observations drawn from the past 20 years of TV/media developments.
I downloaded the summary of this book from ParentsDigest.com in order to get a feel for the content before purchasing the book. Honestly, I felt as though the arguments and considerations that the author explores are compelling, and nearly inarguable, but the book itself is tedious, meticulous, and often over simplified.
A fascinating read especially seeing it was written over 20 years ago. This generation is seeing some of Mander's predictions come true. What a better world this would be if we could beat the TV addiction and learn to think for ourselves.
Though published in 1978, Mr. Mander's thoughts are enlightening in respect to today's media culture of reality television.
Jerry Mander's threating, one-sided analysis of the medium of television sent me to bed with nighmares. When I woke, I had an understanding of the poison the mind-draining light box does. Can the human race survive? Yes. But at what costs?