Media Unlimited: How the Torrent of Images and Sounds Overwelms Our Lives

Media Unlimited: How the Torrent of Images and Sounds Overwelms Our Lives

by Todd Gitlin
     
 

Everyone knows that the media surround us, but no one quite understands what this means for our lives. In Media Unlimited, a remarkable and original look at our media-glutted, speed-addicted world, Todd Gitlin makes us stare, as if for the first time, at the biggest picture of all. From video games to elevator music, action movies to reality shows, Gitlin

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Overview

Everyone knows that the media surround us, but no one quite understands what this means for our lives. In Media Unlimited, a remarkable and original look at our media-glutted, speed-addicted world, Todd Gitlin makes us stare, as if for the first time, at the biggest picture of all. From video games to elevator music, action movies to reality shows, Gitlin evokes a world of relentless sensation, instant transition, and nonstop stimulus. He shows how all media, all the time fuels celebrity worship, paranoia, and irony; and how attempts to ward off the onrush become occasions for yet more media. Far from signaling a "new information age," the media torrent, as Gitlin argues, encourages disposable emotions and casual commitments, and threatens to make democracy a sideshow.

Both a startling analysis and a charged polemic, Media Unlimited reveals the unending stream of manufactured images and sounds as a defining feature of our civilization and a perverse culmination of Western hopes for freedom.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Excellent, arresting . . . Gitlin covers vast reaches of terrain with exceptional skill and daring." —Los Angeles Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805072839
Publisher:
Picador
Publication date:
01/06/2003
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.46(w) x 8.32(h) x 0.80(d)

Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from Media Unlimited by Todd Gitlin. Published by Henry Holt/Metropolitan/Owl Books. All rights reserved.

For all the talk, and the talk about the talk, the big story about the media slips through our fingers. The huge, obvious but weird and hard-to-grasp reality is that living with the media is today one of the main things human beings do. The most important truth about the communications we live among is not that they deceive (which they do); or that they broadcast a limiting ideology (which they do); or emphasize sex and violence (which they do); or convey diminished images of the good, the true, and the normal (which they do); or corrode the quality of art (which they also do); or reduce language (which they surely do), but that with all their lies, skews, and shallow pleasures, they surround and seep into our way of life with a promise of feeling-always there, speeding forward, flashing out of large screens and small, gushing forth in living rooms, or sliding back into the background of life, but always beckoning, always coursing onward.

Meet the Author

Todd Gitlin is a professor at New York University and the author of eight previous notable books, including Inside Prime Time, The Sixties, and The Twilight of Common Dreams. He lives in New York City.

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