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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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Oct 30, Ross rated it liked it. We are removed from the real and constantly exposed to reflections of our own expectations. In order to justify the numerous editions, it was increasingly necessary that the news constantly change or at least seem to change.

Photographic journalism was then still in its infancy. But my job had not finished. I have trouble understanding why we would want idealized heroes rather than human ones. The solution, Boorstin argues, is that we must develop a practiced discontentedness with society as we know it, and need to stop trying to solve ameroca issues by compounding them–an advertising campaign to rehabilitate the image of advertising is beside the point, he argues.

We have “progressed” to the point where pseudo-events are presented as news and covered as such. Why should they not seem so to others? It will liberate us and sharpen our vision. Within the last tje years, however, and especially in the twentieth century, all this has changed. We meet ourselves coming back. 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.

This book was written in and, though the celebrities mentioned are from the ‘s to the ‘s, Boorstin’s thesis holds true today.

The deluge of media and pseudo events that now largely make up our screenspace these days. Fascinating; recommended for anyone interested in current events or modern culture. Slavery and Indian removal belied the promise of American ideals in the period before the Graphic Revolution. Second, Boorstin’s lamentation that the decline of American blorstin is responsible for cultural and civic decline ignores the historical events of the period preceding the Graphic Revolution.


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

I get the sense that B longs for the good old days of America, before the Fall, when it was still in its pristine “idealistic” state. By the end of the book, that fatalism feels well founded.

Our seeming ability to satisfy our exaggerated expectations makes us forget that they are exaggerated. One leaves the book wondering – how does one escape the world of illusion? By confusing heroes with speudo-events “we deny ourselves the role-models pseudo–events heroes, truly great individuals.

Neither Douglass or Tocqueville are directly or indirectly alluded to in the text, or listed in the index. How much had the President revised the draft given him by his speech-writing team? Instead they themselves built up images. This is hard because so many movies being made today guidr books first. Although the theology behind this way of looking at events soon dissolved, this view of the news lasted longer. Then the reporter went straightway to Senator Knowland to get him to knock down the suggestion.

The Image begins by noting that Americans have “extravagant expectations” when it comes to their news consumption.

The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America

We expect to be rich and charitable, powerful and merciful, active and reflective, kind and competitive. No rest for the newsman. I would love to read Boorstin’s take on travel in a world of Tripadvisor and flights cheaper than he could have imagined, while the studio system for creating Hollywood stars was likely more fascinating to readers in than it is today.


If there is a crime of deception being committed in America today, each of us is the principal, and all others are only accessories. By contrast, Daniel Boorstin writes in the straightforward manner of an American traditionalist. The Image recounts trends that are so familiar now that we barely notice them but that was just getting underway in the midth century, such as the staged quality of presidential campaigns and debates and celebrity product endorsements.

However, many of these criticisms are based on a historical argument that Boorstin draws. NSA officials were unavailable for comment.

Boorstin deconstructs how we travel these days – how often we seek to find, if not expect, the comfortable and familiar in places tha I loved reading it and have been enjoying talking about it. Understanding them, through texts like this, is the first step in doing so. These things, I believe, pseudo-event all just as true now as they were then–and probably more so. Alright there will always be sports news which are real news, but otherwise there is a paucity of news.

Second, that the people tend to prefer reality to sham, that if offered a choice between a simple truth and a contrived image, they will prefer the truth.

He taught at the University of Chicago for 25 years. The root of the problem he addresses is we demand and expect far more than real life can give, thanks to the illusions that the Graphic Revolution presents to us.

These pseudo-events, however, are often mistaken for real news. No wonder we become confused about what is spontaneous, about what is really going on out there!