This eye-opening book is for everyone dissatisfied with the state of the news media, but especially for those who think the news actually does inform them about the real world. Read it, and you may never again know the tyranny of reading the daily newspaper or tuning in to the nightly news.
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Customer Reviews for How The News Makes Us Dumb: The Death of Wisdom in an Information Society
Review 1 for How The News Makes Us Dumb: The Death of Wisdom in an Information Society
Date:September 15, 2008
Donald R. Larter
Sommerville's book was a breath of fresh air for me, whom he described quite accurately in the opening pages of his book as "one of those people who doesn't like the news and doesn't exactly know why . . ." (p.11). Having read his book, I now know why! If you, like me, are disillusioned by the news but cannot exactly put your finger on the reasons why, I recommend heartily Professor Sommerville's short, but incisive book. It would provide an excellent basis for discussion in a small group, and while many of Sommerville's assumptions are Bible-based, they are sufficiently toned down to make the book suitable for seekers. Christians and non-Christians alike, especially news "junkies", are affected adversely by the news's hunger for movement, conflict and crisis, with the attendant helplessness and hopelessness these preoccupations engender in people, often without their even being aware. The suggestions Sommerville offers in his concluding chapter, particular those concerning the importance of local communities and the part we all can play in inhabiting our world and not just observing it (p.146), are well taken. Giving up daily doses of news cold-turkey may not be easy, but for Christians looking to make a positive and constructive contribution to the communities in which they live and work and go to church, the sky is the limit as to what we can do by simply picking up a good book and then discussing it with others. Is your church interested in attracting seekers to a non-threatening discussion group where folks can be re-connected to, and perhaps even re-committed to, the great values, ideals, traditions and, yes, biblical wisdom, that have made our country great? I can think of no better springboard for such discussions than C. John Sommerville's book, which has as its subtitle, "The Death of Wisdom in an Information Society".