Saturday, May 31, 2008

Jacoby takes the long view on our current mess

I'd mentioned some time back that I was interested in Susan Jacoby's The Age of American Unreason and yet I wasn't fully prepared to learn that "our nation's eggheads, nerds, bookworms, longhairs, pointy heads, highbrows and know-it-alls have been mocked and dismissed throughout American history." That there's a rather recent fusion of anti-intellectualism and anti-rationalism is perhaps her primary point. Special scorn is likely reserved for fundamentalism given her body of work. I'd add that right wing fat cats and their political operators from the GOP who use those poor fools following their literalism and tribalism to our collective ruin ought to get a mention yet I'm not that far along. I'll suggest the link to Patricia Cohen's Gray Lady review titled Dumb and Dumber: Are Americans Hostile to Knowledge? is worth another link. I'm but halfway through the book yet I'm enjoying ... despite my being a fellow traveler from the curmudgeon class . John Gunn

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