Age of American Unreason

ISBN-10: 1400096383
ISBN-13: 9781400096381
Edition: N/A
Authors: Susan Jacoby
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Description: Combining historical analysis with contemporary observation, Susan Jacoby dissects a new American cultural phenomenon--one that is at odds with our heritage of Enlightenment reason and with modern, secular knowledge and science. With mordant wit,  More...

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Book details

List price: $16.95
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 2/10/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 384
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.858
Language: English

Combining historical analysis with contemporary observation, Susan Jacoby dissects a new American cultural phenomenon--one that is at odds with our heritage of Enlightenment reason and with modern, secular knowledge and science. With mordant wit, she surveys an anti-rationalist landscape extending from pop culture to a pseudo-intellectual universe of "junk thought." Disdain for logic and evidence defines a pervasive malaise fostered by the mass media, triumphalist religious fundamentalism, mediocre public education, a dearth of fair-minded public intellectuals on the right and the left, and, above all, a lazy and credulous public. Jacoby offers an unsparing indictment of the American addiction to infotainment--from television to the Web--and cites this toxic dependency as the major element distinguishing our current age of unreason from earlier outbreaks of American anti-intellectualism and anti-rationalism. With reading on the decline and scientific and historical illiteracy on the rise, an increasingly ignorant public square is dominated by debased media-driven language and received opinion. At this critical political juncture, nothing could be more important than recognizing the "overarching crisis of memory and knowledge" described in this impassioned, tough-minded book, which challenges Americans to face the painful truth about what the flights from reason has cost us as individuals and as a nation. From the Hardcover edition.

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