The Missing Years: Neil Postman and The New English Book Series | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1539-7785
  • E-ISSN: 2048-0717



This essay presents an examination of six English-language education textbooks, targeted to students in Grades 7–12, that Neil Postman either authored or co-authored during the 1960s. The books, which were published as a series entitled The New English, by Holt, Rinehart and Winston, are often overlooked by, and even unknown to, many students and scholars of Postman’s work. This essay seeks to redress the absence of these books in many scholarly treatments of Postman’s work, including and especially treatments focused on the development of his ideas across the span of his career. The essay also presents the claim that these books are of substantial significance in the evolution of Postman’s ideas and writing, in the overall contributions he has made, and in the value they offer to the field of media ecology.


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