Auto boutiques-francophones Simple and secure cloud storage giftguide All-New Kindle Paperwhite Music Deals Store Kitchen SGG Home, Kitchen and Garden Gift Guide
Buy Used
CDN$ 3.55
+ CDN$ 6.49 shipping
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Very gently used. Tight binding and clean pages.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Private Death/Public D Hardcover – May 22 2002

1 customer review

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
"Please retry"
CDN$ 47.47 CDN$ 3.55

Cyber Monday Deals Week in Books

No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Fitzhenry & Whiteside (May 22 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807004340
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807004340
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 14.7 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  •  Would you like to update product info, give feedback on images, or tell us about a lower price?

Product Description

From Amazon

Why has our culture become increasingly violent? Barry Sanders believes the root of the problem can be traced to a widespread collapse in individuals' "self-sustaining interior lives." Without firm senses of our own identity, the argument runs, we aren't able to relate to other people in a meaningful fashion. He attributes the disintegration of the inner self to a decline in literacy. Literacy, according to Sanders, is what makes critical thinking possible--not merely the ability to read and write but the capability of learning from what one has read and sharing one's insights with others.

The breadth of Sanders's argument is impressive. An exploration of the American cultural attitudes that led to the aggressive support of the 1991 conflict in Iraq, for example, delves into the neoconservative philosophy of Allan Bloom's >The Closing of the American Mind. Sanders can be overly dogmatic in his insistence that computer technology cannot contribute to the type of literacy he champions, as in his claim that writing with a word processor inspires less respect for language than writing directly onto paper. Although he is certainly correct to say that using a word processor is a fundamentally different experience from any other form of writing (a notion Steven Johnson explores thoughtfully in Interface Culture), one simply cannot lump together all other writing technologies, such as pencils and electric typewriters, and say that word processing is the opposite. His assertion that no genuine conversation could occur in cyberspace seems equally harsh.

But Sanders cannot and should not be dismissed as a neo-Luddite. He has clearly given deep consideration to the importance of direct participation in the social discourse, and his call to enrich our inner lives by engaging ourselves in the lives of others is worth hearing out.

From Kirkus Reviews

A sprawling, provocative conversation with loose ends that are the forgivable product of a literate mind grappling with big issues. The various meanings of ``mean'' and its derivatives are the foundation of Sanders's (Sudden Glory, 1995, etc.; English/Pitzer Coll.) exploration of public discourse, and additional touchstones range from Huck Finn to the Berkeley Free Speech Movement. Mostly obituary but part prescription, this volume offers the basic argument that life has turned mean with the draining of meaning from public discourse. The private, interior life rooted in the literacy acquired through reading and writing has been lost through hours of staring at screens; reading a book is a private act, while watching TV blurs the distinction between public and private. Without an interior space offering distance from the immediate moment, reflection, thought, and the potential for meaningful participation in public discourse disappears. Life becomes the mindless pursuit of gratification, and ``gratification knows only one tense, the present.'' In this world the quintessential public spaces where everyone interacts on an equal footing are prisons and casinos, and pseudo-discourse replaces democratic discussion: ``Bluster passes for expansiveness, rant for power.'' The antidote for this depressingly convincing description of American society is a rebuilding of the country, ``a liberation through language.'' To regenerate public discourse, however, people must turn off their televisions and rebuild their inner lives by talking, reading, and writing. Unfortunately, Sanders describes nothing that suggests this will happen. Perhaps there is hope in what is missing: His historical account of the loss of interior life, as well as the connection between literacy and space--terms used metaphorically as well as literally--are not always clear and complete. But there may be an insurmountable problem here, for only those who already read books will read this one. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See the customer review
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Hardcover
The issue, violence, and the solution, literacy, is the same. But Sanders here lays his liberal prejudices too close to the surface, and it unfairly colors or undermines some of his argument. For instance, lumping the New Criticism with Harold Bloom as narrow-minded xenophobes takes an effective tool from the fledgling reader, and reveals Sanders' lack of understanding. Sanders revels in the new conceptual based schools of criticism that abandon the text for some prejudicial dialectic or agenda; and he fails to see how a percept-based criticism, which the New Criticism is, raises literacy to a higher level and integrates it with experience. His criticisms of discarnate technologies is on the mark. It is curious that he does not mention Marshall McLuhan, who sounded the same alarm of violence and changing identities with new technologies thirty years ago in War and Peace In The Global Village.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse