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In Building a Bridge to the Eighteenth Century Neil Postman revisits the Enlightenment, that great flowering of ideas that provided a humane direction for the future -- ideas that formed our nation and that we would do well to embrace anew.
He turns our attention to Goethe, Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot, Kant, Edward Gibbon, Adam Smith, Thomas Paine, Jefferson, and Franklin, and to their then-radical thinking about inductive science, religious and political freedom, popular education, rational commerce, the nation-state, progress, and happiness.
Postman calls for a future connected to traditions that provide sane authority and meaningful purpose -- as opposed to an overreliance on technology and an increasing disregard for the lessons of history. And he argues passionately for specific new guidelines in the education of our children, with renewed emphasis on developing the intellect as successfully as we are developing a computer-driven world.
Witty, provocative, and well reasoned, Building a Bridge to the Eighteenth Century is Neil Postman's most radical, and most commonsensical, book yet.
"[Postman's] most ambitious attempt yet to help America survive the future." -- The New York Observer
"[A] critique of the claims made on behalf of technology, along with a defense of old-fashioned liberal humanism."--The New York Times Book Review
"A refreshing antidote to the current mania for starry-eyed futurism. . . . Reminds us that Goethe and Voltaire . . . might be better guides into the twenty-first century than Bill Gates or Alvin Toffler." --Utne Reader