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Audience of One

Nonfiction: Politics & Current Events; Social Science
Unabridged   11 hour(s)
Publication date: 09/10/2019

Earphones Award Winner
Publishers Weekly Best of 2019

Audience of One

Television, Donald Trump, and the Politics of Illusion

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781684573950
Digital Download ISBN:9781684573943


An incisive cultural history that captures a fractious nation through the prism of television and the rattled mind of a celebrity president.

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Product Description

An incisive cultural history that captures a fractious nation through the prism of television and the rattled mind of a celebrity president

In the tradition of Neil Postman's masterpiece Amusing Ourselves to Death, Audience of One shows how American media have shaped American society and politics, by interweaving two crucial stories. The first story follows the evolution of television from the three-network era of the twentieth century, which joined millions of Americans in a shared monoculture, into today's zillion-channel, Internet-atomized universe, which sliced and diced them into fractious, alienated subcultures. The second story is a cultural critique of Donald Trump.

Reaching back to the 1940s, when Trump and commercial television were born, Poniewozik illustrates how Donald became "a character that wrote itself, a brand mascot that jumped off the cereal box and entered the world, a simulacrum that replaced the thing it represented." Viscerally attuned to the media, Trump shape-shifted into a boastful tabloid playboy in the 1980s; a self-parodic sitcom fixture in the 1990s; a reality-TV "You're Fired" machine in the 2000s; and finally, the biggest role of his career, a Fox News–obsessed, Twitter-mad, culture-warring demagogue in the White House.


"Narrator Matthew Josdal's delivery style--low-key, neutral, and occasionally skeptical--makes him the right voice for this fresh perspective on Donald Trump." —AudioFile

“In his stellar debut, Poniewozik demonstrates how Trump, over a period of four decades, “achieved symbiosis” with the TV medium.... His telling analyses of Trump’s appearances on The Apprentice, Fox & Friends, and The Howard Stern Show will come as revelations to readers unfamiliar with those programs...."—Kirkus Starred Review

"Poniewozik’s trenchant, brilliantly witty critique of the cultural archetypes percolating into American politics is one of the best analyses yet of the Trump era.” —Publishers Weekly Starred Review

“This is both a fascinating look at the ways television has changed and shaped the U.S., and a compelling lens through which to look at how we got to November 8, 2016.” —Booklist

Author Bio

James Poniewozik has been the chief television critic of the New York Times since 2015. He was previously the television and media critic for Time magazine and media columnist for Salon. He lives in Brooklyn.