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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Of course, a lot of what Boorstin is analyzing here, especially in the chapter about travel but also throughout the book, is about a world that’s increasingly populated, educated, and democratic.

Pseuddo-events greatest opportunity in American history to educate the voters by debating the large issues of the campaign failed. It doesn’t mean anything. The book was first published in There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

He is the human pseudo-event. And he was a natural genius at creating reportable happenings that had an interestingly ambiguous relation to underlying tk. When asked when he was returning [to Washington], the President intimated that it was impossible to give any date; because, while he hoped to be away until the third or fourth of March, information ameica continues to be received with respect to the international situation continues to be disturbing, therefore, it may be necessary for the President to return [to the capital] before the third or fourth of March.

The Image by Daniel J. Boorstin | : Books

The debate was dull, and it was hard to squeeze out a story. Their multiplication has gone on in the United States at a faster rate ameriica elsewhere.

After the weekly and the daily came the “extras” and the numerous regular editions. The work is still often used as a text in American sociology courses.

The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America | work by Boorstin |

In any case, read imgae some critical care, there are still lessons to be learned here. Of course, my preference for an easier read only reinforces Boorstin’s point, right?


Typically, it is not a train wreck or an earthquake, but an interview. His argument really comes home in the volume’s concluding chapter, which could read as a description of our very society.

He similarly complains about the phenomenon of bestsellers, which are books that are considered great because they sell well. My library Help Advanced Book Search.

You then produce a video news release with the look and feel of guidd nightly news story featuring a nerd in a lab coat announcing that disinfectant wipes significantly reduce surface germs and include images featuring prominent product placement and smiling healthy children who, unbeknownst to them, have narrowly escaped death by plague. Therefore the lives of entertainer-celebrities cannot extend our horizon.

Their occurrence is planned for our convenience. I always try to extract lessons from the books that I read.

View all 8 comments. Yet, paradoxically, it was under his administrations that statements by the President attained a new subtlety and a new calculatedness. Pseudo-events spawn more pauses-events; soon we have commentators who comment on these and so on and so forth. This is a curious book. Like many thinkers trying to prove a very broad point, Boorstin may take his argument too far in some cases. Parts of Boorstin’s theories are still applicable to today, and as someone interested in marketing and journalism and who lives outside the nation’s capitalhis discourses on advertising, news, and politics were relevant to my life.

This article includes a list of referencesbut its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. Dec 04, Daniel rated it it was amazing. Never have people been more the masters of their environment. We interrupt our regularly scheduled program to bring you this exclusive report … Donald Trump eating a hotdog. The video viewer, his eyes fixed alternately on the General and on an enthusiastic crowd, his ears filled with a breathless narrative emphasizing the interplay of crowd and celebrity could not fail to receive an impression of continuous dramatic pageantry.

For they simplify rather than complicate.

But they do have an almost unprecedented power, possessed now by no one else in the Federal government except the President, to make news. Dec 09, Graham rated it liked it. Who is the history, and who is the historian? Our strenuous and elaborate efforts to enlarge experience have the unintended result of narrowing it.


We expect to be inspired by mediocre appeals for “excellence,” to be made literate by illiterate appeals for literacy. What, if anything, did it all mean? Programs interrupted any time for special bulletins.

The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America

Before you start hero-worshipping them, ask yourself if they are not simply entertainers, and if they are truly worthy of the word pseudo-evengs. If he were around today, he would be a good sage to turn to and say “alright, how do we fix this? If you’re gonna read a magazine, pick one, not a compilation of the best articles of many. Boorstin explains how the “pseudo-event,” that is a staged event—the political interview, the orchestrated for television convention, the advertisement, the adaptation—has come to be more important than the candidate, the issues, the product, or the original.

Members of his official party resent any boorstjn into how the White House boogstin about the whole experience, especially the blowup of the Japanese visit which produced a critical storm. To bemoan that there are no modern heroes is akin to bemoaning the fact that there are no modern fossils. The pervasiveness of what he is trying to illustrate is so familiar now that the examples are un-necessary to the point of tedium, though they are interestingly boorstin.

The mass appeal of books began when mass printing became possible and literacy rates increased.

He helps create that very obscurity without which the psdudo-events illumination of his reports would be unnecessary. The Image is a kind of reactionary critique and rant on a single topic, albeit an important one.