The Age of American Unreason

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Vintage Books, Feb 1, 2009 - Philosophy - 357 pages
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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.
 

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Contents

Just Us Folks
3
Intellect and Ignorance
31
THREE Social Pseudoscience in the Morning
61
Four Reds Pinkos Fellow Travelers
82
Youth Culture and Celebrity Culture
163
EIGHT The New OldTime Religion
183
NINE Junk Thought
210
Defining Dumbness Downward
279
conclusion Cultural Conservation
307
19
319
Selected Bibliography
329
Index
335
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About the author (2009)

Susan Jacoby is the author of seven previous books, most recently Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism, which was named a Notable Book of 2004 by the Washington Post and The Times Literary Supplement. She lives in New York City.

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