The Age of American Unreason

Vintage - Sparing neither the right nor the left, Jacoby asserts that Americans today have embraced a universe of “junk thought” that makes almost no effort to separate fact from opinion. These include the upsurge of religious fundamentalism, with more political power today than ever before; the failure of public education to create an informed citizenry; and the triumph of video over print culture.

. A cultural history of the last forty years, the Age of American Unreason focuses on the convergence of social forces—usually treated as separate entities—that has created a perfect storm of anti-rationalism.

Anti-Intellectualism in American Life

Vintage - It is a rich, complex, shifting picture of the life of the mind in a society dominated by the ideal of practical success. Robert peel in the Christian Science Monitor . Hofstadter unfolds the fascinating story, it is no crude battle of eggheads and fatheads. Winner of the 1964 Pulitzer Prize in Non-Fiction.

In this award-winning classic work of consensus history, Richard Hofstadter, author of The Age of Reform, examines the role of social movements in the perception of intellect in American life. As Mr.

Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free

Anchor - National bestsellerthe three great premises of idiot america:· any theory is valid if it sells books, soaks up ratings, or otherwise moves units· Anything can be true if someone says it loudly enough· Fact is that which enough people believe. But his thunderous denunciation is also a secret call to action, as he hopes that somehow, and that pinheads will once again be pitied, being intelligent will stop being a stigma, not celebrated.

Truth is determined by how fervently they believe it With his trademark wit and insight, veteran journalist Charles Pierce delivers a gut-wrenching, side-splitting lament about the glorification of ignorance in the United States. Pierce asks how a country founded on intellectual curiosity has somehow deteriorated into a nation of simpletons more apt to vote for an American Idol contestant than a presidential candidate.

Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free - . Erudite and razor-sharp, a cutting cultural critique, Idiot America is at once an invigorating history lesson, and a bullish appeal to our smarter selves.

Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism

Metropolitan Books - It is they, jacoby shows, who have led the struggle to uphold the combination of secular government and religious liberty that is the glory of the American system. An authoritative history of the vital role of secularist thinkers and activists in the united States, from a writer of "fierce intelligence and nimble, unfettered imagination" The New York TimesAt a time when the separation of church and state is under attack as never before, Freethinkers offers a powerful defense of the secularist heritage that gave Americans the first government in the world founded not on the authority of religion but on the bedrock of human reason.

In impassioned, elegant prose, celebrated author Susan Jacoby paints a striking portrait of more than two hundred years of secularist activism, beginning with the fierce debate over the omission of God from the Constitution. Moving from nineteenth-century abolitionism and suffragism through the twentieth century's civil liberties, allied with liberal and tolerant religious believers, civil rights, and feminist movements, Freethinkers illuminates the neglected accomplishments of secularists who, have stood at the forefront of the battle for reforms opposed by reactionary forces in the past and today.

Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism - Rich with such iconic figures as thomas jefferson, elizabeth cady Stanton, Abraham Lincoln, and Clarence Darrow—as well as once-famous secularists such as Robert Green Ingersoll, "the Great Agnostic"—Freethinkers restores to history generations of dedicated humanists.

The Way We Live Now: from The Age of American Unreason in a Culture of Lies A Vintage Short

Vintage - At today's critical political juncture, facts, tough-minded work challenges Americans to face the painful truth about what the flight from intellectualism, in which boastful ignorance has infected public discourse at the highest levels  of government and throughout ordinary social media,   this impassioned, and truth have cost us as individuals and as a nation.

A vintage Shorts Selection. An ebook short. In this selection from her searing cultural history of the last half century, radio broadcast, television, Susan Jacoby chronicles the menacing surge of anti-rationalism in contemporary American life and the degradation of public speech in presidential rhetoric, and internet media where homogenized language and thought reinforce each other in circular fashion.

What Is Fascism?: from The Anatomy of Fascism A Vintage Short

Vintage - A vintage Shorts Selection. An ebook short. Based on a lifetime’s worth of research, esteemed historian Robert Paxton explores what fascism is and how it has come to have a lasting and continued impact on our history. In the concluding section of his authoritative book, the anatomy of fascism, and conservative political view are lacking, nationalist, Paxton makes the convincing and radical case that existing definitions of the popular, and offers up his own brilliant explication—drawn from concrete historical actions—thus transforming our understanding of this dangerous ideology and of why it takes hold when and where it does.

The Death of Truth: Notes on Falsehood in the Age of Trump

Tim Duggan Books - The wisdom of the crowd has usurped research and expertise, and we are each left clinging to the beliefs that best confirm our biases. How did truth become an endangered species in contemporary America? This decline began decades ago, and in The Death of Truth, former New York Times critic Michiko Kakutani takes a penetrating look at the cultural forces that contributed to this gathering storm.

. And she returns us to the words of the great critics of authoritarianism, writers like George Orwell and Hannah Arendt, whose work is newly and eerily relevant. With remarkable erudition and insight, Kakutani offers a provocative diagnosis of our current condition and points toward a new path for our truth-challenged times.

The Death of Truth: Notes on Falsehood in the Age of Trump - New york times bestseller new york times editors' choicefrom the pulitzer prize-winning critic comes an impassioned critique of America’s retreat from reasonWe live in a time when the very idea of objective truth is mocked and discounted by the occupants of the White House. Discredited conspiracy theories and ideologies have resurfaced, proven science is once more up for debate, and Russian propaganda floods our screens.

In social media and literature, and politics, science, Kakutani identifies the trends—originating on both the right and the left—that have combined to elevate subjectivity over factuality, academia, television, and common values.

The Monarchy of Fear: A Philosopher Looks at Our Political Crisis

Simon & Schuster - Although today’s atmosphere is marked by partisanship, and the inability of two halves of the country to communicate with one another, divisive rhetoric, Nussbaum focuses on what so many pollsters and pundits have overlooked. While this politics of blame is exemplified by the election of Donald Trump and the vote for Brexit, Nussbaum argues it can be found on all sides of the political spectrum, left or right.

Drawing on a mix of historical and contemporary examples, from classical Athens to the musical Hamilton, The Monarchy of Fear untangles this web of feelings and provides a roadmap of where to go next. From one of the world’s most celebrated moral philosophers comes a thorough examination of the current political crisis and recommendations for how to mend our divided country.

The Monarchy of Fear: A Philosopher Looks at Our Political Crisis - For decades Martha C. Blame of immigrants. Blame of cultural elites. Globalization has produced feelings of powerlessness in millions of people in the West. She sees a simple truth at the heart of the problem: the political is always emotional. Blame of Muslims. Nussbaum has been an acclaimed scholar and humanist, earning dozens of honors for her books and essays.


Penguin - Through incompetence, dereliction of duty and sheer perversity, the border ends up running through the middle of the small town of Puckoon. Houses are divided from outhouses, husbands separated from wives, bars are cut off from their patrons, churches sundered from graveyards. Puckoon is spike milligan's classic slapstick novel, reissued for the first time since it was published in 1963.

Pops with the erratic brilliance of a careless match in a box of fireworks' Daily MailIn 1924 the Boundary Commission is tasked with creating the new official division between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. Born in india in 1918, he served in the Royal Artillery during WWII in North Africa and Italy.

Puckoon - . And in the middle of it all is poor dan Milligan, our feckless protagonist, who is taunted and manipulated by everyone including the sadistic author to try and make some sense of this mess. Until his death in 2002, he had success as on stage and screen and as the author of over eighty books of fiction, plays, memoir, poetry, cartoons and children's stories.

. Bursts at the seams with superb comic characters involved in unbelievably likely troubles on the Irish border' Observer'Our first comic philosopher' Eddie IzzardSpike Milligan was one of the greatest and most influential comedians of the twentieth century. At the end of the war, sketch-show writer and performer, he forged a career as a jazz musician, before joining forces with Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe to form the legendary Goon Show.

Why Do They Vote That Way?: from The Righteous Mind A Vintage Short

Vintage - A vintage Shorts Selection. An ebook short. From one of our keenest dissectors of moral systems, Why Do They Vote That Way? explains how deeply ingrained moral systems have estranged conservatives and liberals from one another while crossing the political divide in a search for understanding the miracle of human cooperation.

To understand what drives the rift that divides our populace between liberal and conservative, authority, care, fairness, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt has spent twenty-five years examining the moral foundations that undergird and inform two differing world views: the political left and right place different values of importance on order, loyalty, and liberty.

The Death of Expertise: The Campaign against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters

Oxford University Press - These societal gains, however, have also helped fuel a surge in narcissistic and misguided intellectual egalitarianism that has crippled informed debates on any number of issues. Technology and increasing levels of education have exposed people to more information than ever before. Paradoxically, the increasingly democratic dissemination of information, rather than producing an educated public, has instead created an army of ill-informed and angry citizens who denounce intellectual achievement.

An update to the 2017breakout hit, the paperback edition of The Death of Expertise provides a new foreword to cover the alarming exacerbation of these trends in the aftermath of Donald Trump's election. Judging from events on the ground since it first published, The Death of Expertise issues a warning about the stability and survival of modern democracy in the Information Age that is even more important today.

The Death of Expertise: The Campaign against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters - All voices, demand to be taken with equal seriousness, even the most ridiculous, and any claim to the contrary is dismissed as undemocratic elitism. Tom nichols' the death of expertise shows how this rejection of experts has occurred: the openness of the internet, and the transformation of the news industry into a 24-hour entertainment machine, the emergence of a customer satisfaction model in higher education, among other reasons.

When ordinary citizens believe that no one knows more than anyone else, democratic institutions themselves are in danger of falling either to populism or to technocracy or, in the worst case, a combination of both. Today, everyone knows everything: with only a quick trip through WebMD or Wikipedia, average citizens believe themselves to be on an equal intellectual footing with doctors and diplomats.