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First published in , this wonderfully provocative book introduced the notion of “pseudo-events”—events such as press conferences and presidential debates . introduced the notion of “pseudo-events”—events such as press conferences It is the book to end all books about ‘The American Image’—what it is, who. THE IMAGE. A Guide to Pseudo Events. in America. DANIEL J. BOORSTIN. From News Gathering to News Making: A Flood of Pseudo‑Events. ADMIRING.

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The big picture window that allows others to see us in our living room has replaced the porch where we could talk with our neighbors. Stereotypes there had been and always would be; but they only dulled the palate for information. When the President abandoned the advance text, later editions of the Chicago Sun-Times headlined: While the news interest in a train wreck is in what happened and in the real consequences, the interest in a interview is always, in a sense, in whether it really happened and in what might have been the motives.

On June 21,President Eisenhower was in Honolulu, en route to the Far East for a trip to meet the heads of government in Korea, the Philippines, and elsewhere. Our strenuous and elaborate efforts to enlarge experience have booratin unintended result of narrowing it.

The Image by Daniel J. Boorstin | : Books

That automatically made a bulletin and required a new lead for the story on the debate. To dispel the ghosts which populate the world of our making will not give us the power to conquer the real enemies of the real world or to remake the real world. Many might be put out of work if we should suddenly moderate our expectations. But Boorstin has largely run out of steam by this point in the text and the essays take on the fuddy-duddy tone of an old man politely asking neighborhood kids to kindly remove themselves from his manicured greensward.

Reads like it was written in the last year rather than the 60s. The competitive daring of giants like James Gordon Bennett, Joseph Pulitzer, and William Randolph Hearst intensified the race for news and widened newspaper circulation. That refusal itself becomes news. Neither of these any longer fits the facts. Think of BP as “Beyond Petroleum” with pleasing flowery green and yellow colors at the gas stations.


Some might call Boorstin prescient but it’s more accurate to say that he was an astute observer of what was already happening in the midth century as the era of television was making sweeping changes in society.

I would be more willing to follow along if he were more willing to admit he is extolling the virtues of aristocracy over democracy.

The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America

The demand for digested articles was so great it had forced the creation of articles to meet the demand: A pseudo-event is something that’s contrived, such as a press conference or publicity shoot as opposed to a happening that occurs spontaneously.

Yet to Boorstin these things are symptomatic of the phoniness he sees everywhere around him. We love to watch how a movie is made, we are eager to hear about the ad campaigns that are designed to beguile us. Celebrities, he notes, have largely supplanted heroes. But we have lost sight of the need to create ideals. Consistent though across all the chapters is the idea that America was the book was written in becoming less focused on who we are or what we hope to be and increasingly on how we are perceived.

The sunlight that brought light and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me. Propaganda — as prescribed, say, by Hitler in Mein Kampf — is information intentionally biased. There is hardly a corner of our daily behavior where the multiplication of images, the products and by-products of the Graphic Revolution, have not befogged the simplest old everyday distinctions.

The mass appeal of books began when mass printing became possible and literacy rates increased. Fascinating; recommended for anyone interested in current events or modern culture.

Now over to Cindy for the weather. The proceedings were being televised. Each chapter approaches his thesis in ro different area of American life: Although the theology behind this way of looking at events soon dissolved, this view of the news lasted longer. As we Americans obsess over fake news and alternative facts in the wake of Trump’s presidential election, Daniel Boorstin’s 55 year-old reflection on the proliferation of “pseudo-events” in American life reminds us that “fake” is a spectrum, and we’re very nearly blind to all but the most extreme end.


Boorstin argues we now confuse fame with greatness. In fact it has meant a reshaping of our very concept of truth.

A television debate between candidates can be planned iimage be more suspenseful for example, by reserving questions which are then popped suddenly than a casual guie or consecutive formal speeches planned by each separately. When President Gerald Ford nominated Boorstin to be Librarian of Congress, the nomination was supported by the Authors League of America but opposed by the American Library Association because Boorstin “was not a library administrator.

No rest for the newsman.

Amercia, in a sense, generated the news. The Graphic Revolution is the coming of media print, sound, video that allow the creation of the pseudo-world, the artificial world that implies that all things are possible.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, whom Heywood Broun called “the best newspaperman who has ever been President of the United States,” was the first modern master. Oct 30, Ross rated it liked it. The headlines would trumpet, “Mystery witness sought! Unfortunately, this has created a hollow and flabby existence that undermines the essence of what these images hope to accomplish.

Chances are, much of it is pseudo-news, of no real import or relevance to one’s daily life.

The image : a guide to pseudo-events in America / Daniel J. Boorstin – Details – Trove

Vivid image came to overshadow pale reality. There is a fair criticism, I recognize, to be made of this practice. His qualities – or rather his lack of qualities – illustrate our peculiar problems He is neither good nor bad, great nor petty.

He tries to draw sharp divisions between hero and celebrity, real events and pseudo-events and images and ideals. Programs interrupted any time for special bulletins.

While they have a point, there are other ways to look at it as well.