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The Age of American Unreason
The Age of American Unreason | Susan Jacoby
13 posts | 8 read | 10 to read
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. 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. 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. From the Trade Paperback edition.
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review
InfernoAGoGo
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Pickpick

An excellent and sadly topical choice for #bowiebookclub

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Ferihearted
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GatheringBooks
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#AdelesMayMashUp Day 11: This book would most likely be the poster child for #NobodysPerfect. This was Sunday lunch prepared by the husband - olive oil and garlic with homemade garlic chips, pine nuts, and scallops.

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Yum!!!!!! Looks delicious 😋 5y
tammysue That‘s sweet, and it looks delicious! 😊 5y
vkois88 Wow!!! That's an awesome meal 5y
83 likes3 comments
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GatheringBooks
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So, Duncan Jones, who is hosting the #BowieBookClub has just announced the title for May: "The Age Of American Unreason" by Susan Jacoby. Here is the link - found it in Book Depository! http://bit.ly/americanunreason

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lauralovesbooks1
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Pickpick

Very interesting read about the rise of anti - rationalism in America. Jacoby made good arguments, although at times her personal bias came through in ways that diminished some of her effectiveness. This would be an excellent book to read and discuss as a group - particularly since it was written in 2009.

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Gwen1980
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Pickpick

I decided to start #LitsyAtoZ and it happens that my most recent read gives me the letter #A!

I have a few minor differences with Jacoby, but clearly, her premise is valid. Nothing in American life operates based on reason; as a group we make decisions not according to logic, but to religious faith or political ideology. Her examination of the way this cultural attitude developed over the past 50 years is fascinating, depressing, and relevant.

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lauralovesbooks1
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"The greater accessibility of information through computers and the Internet serves to foster the illusion that the ability to retrieve words and numbers with the click of a mouse also confers the capacity to judge whether those words and numbers represent truth, lies, or something in between."

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lauralovesbooks1
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"In today's America, intellectuals and nonintellectuals alike, whether on the left or right, tend to tune out any voice that is not an echo." -- written almost 10 years ago, this intro is pulling me in.

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Kathrin
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Mehso-so

In light of the current political developments, this book was my attempt to get a better understanding how the political mindset of the American people has developed. I do think that the author provided an extensive view of the historical development of anti-intellectualism and how it results in the political landscape that we have, though it was published in 2008 and therefore is not including Obama's presidency. Continued in comments 👇👇👇

Kathrin Unfortunately, in the end only a so-so rating, because I feel like some points could have been made sharper and the book would have benefited from more critical editing. 6y
20 likes1 comment
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GoneFishing

Throughout the nation, the American tendency to value education only in terms of its practical results—a phenomenon as old as the republic—reasserted itself strongly in the “no frills” decisions of many local and state school boards. That the eliminated frills had once provided children with some exposure to a higher culture than pop was a matter of little concern to the public.

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KimHM
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Gwen1980 These were the parts of the book that were most fascinating to me. The way politicians used to speak was so . . . Grammatically correct. And they assumed the public could be reasoned with. FDR asked Americans to follow along on a map so he could explain the problems the military faced, and people went out and bought maps. Now we demand that politicians prove they're NOT smarter than the average Joe, lest their "elitism" alienate people. 5y
KimHM Indeed, @Gwen1980 , and now we're trapped in this hellish paradox in which the least reasonable have the most power. 5y
Gwen1980 The whole time I was reading I was thinking, "oh my god, if she said this ten years ago what would she say now??" It's terrifying to read her words and know that it's so much worse than the book even knew. 5y
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KimHM
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Lecturing and grading and preparing (i.e. teaching) and writing have not left me much time for reading, but this campaign is so excruciatingly embarrassing that I need some bracing and analysis and Jacoby is just the writer to provide both.

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catieohjoy
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books + politics: a small selection from a vast collection (can you guess my political leanings??) #thesenatorfromMassachusetts #politics

45 likes1 comment