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Anti-intellectualism in American Life was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Non- Fiction. It is a book which throws light on many features of the American. A book which throws light on many features of the American character. Its concern is not merely to portray the scorners of intellect in American life, but to say. Richard Hofstadter’s famous Anti-Intellectualism in American Life, his tenth book, earned him the Pulitzer Prize in Non-Fiction (). This “personal book,”.

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One could argue that the technologies themselves are anti-intellectual.

How would the historian avoid overstating the case in ? But my impression has been that “exceptional”–those kids who measure well apart from whatever constitutes a normal range–means, more often, the deficient rather than the super-intelligent. Goes a long way to explain the history of intellectual life in America, examining religion, formal education, business, and politics. By then, to many students and young activists, the equation of marginality with insight, which Hofstadter had found so irksome, had the ring of common sense.

I have lived in Poland, Bulgaria, and Australia, and have some idea of what is required of college-bound fifteen-year-olds in those countries.

You do not currently have access to this article. It traces periods of intellectual flourishing as well as the reactions against them, from the deeply intellectual Founding Fathers to the incoherent and incandescent anti-intellectual aggression of the McCarthy era.

Who’s got time or interest to read when there are so many more “important” things to do? According to this conviction, positions of power presumably corrupt the intellectual more than others–you know, those regular guys at the bar. I couldn’t finish this the first time I tried. Every great institution is perforce a means of corruption–whatever good it may also do. For fundamentalists, there is no room for microclimatic changes or ice ages.


I ended up finishing this up a couple of years later.

Anti-intellectualism in American Life – Richard Hofstadter – Google Books

Today, I see people make the same complaints about high schools and colleges, and I just find it silly and think people are just manufacturing a problem from the anecdotal. Again, I wonder how he would define the triumph of mass media and athletics as ati business, a thriving marriage, were he writing today?

When you start to make progressive and non-canon education look like it’s somewhere on a continuum with Bircher wingnuttiness, something has gone wrong, category-wise. Hofstadter framed his big book with two introductory chapters and, eventually, a long epilogue that traces the place of intellectuals in terms of the alternating poles of alienation and conformity. The intellectual americwn answ Hofstadter explores the development of the American bias against intellectuals.

Really smart students aren’t a spectator sport. So began a war that lasted a hundred years to control the vulgar rich, to control rkchard power that was accumulating in the hands of the industrialists, and intellectaulism it to the intellectual elite. What had formerly belonged only to the church was removed and exported to the marketplace. The fundamentalistic, militant fraction of the population pits its battle in all aspects of social life with the elite, often by 20th century, the intellectuals.

Hofstadter explores the development of the American bias against intellectuals. Not much has changed.

Anti-Intellectualism in American Life

This reductive dualism, universal and not exclusively American, profoundly damages the conduct of diplomacy and erodes the status of common scientific knowledge, among other things. I finally read this book that I was supposed to have read decades ago in school, I was hoping it would shed some light on the cultural backwater history of the United States which Noam Chomsky has written so eloquently about.

View all 31 comments. Its concern is not merely to portray the scorners of intellect in American life, but to say something about what the intellectual is, and can be, as a force in hofstadtee democratic society. This is a well-written, engaging account.


Winners in General Nonfiction Moreover, he saw these themes as historically embedded in America’s national fabric, an outcome of her colonial European and evangelical Protestant heritage. The book talks about the foundation of America and how intellectual the founding fathers of America were and how they must be flipping from side to side in their graves if they are looking down at that mutation Trump at the helm et in American today!

As a long-term employee of what was called, for nearly half a century, Montana State Normal College, I find Hofstadter’s critique of public and higher education particularly painful.

Anti-intellectualism in American Life – Wikipedia

This, to me, makes me question the work as a text in the history of ideas. Hofstadter divided his analysis, over a dozen chapters, into four overlapping domains: Forty-five years have passed since its publication, and its subject, if not its treatment, certainly merits re-visiting.

However attacks on intellectuals steadily mounted through his administration interrupted by WWII. Feb 12, Pages. Dec 01, Gary rated it it was ok. Success depended on skilled recruiting and religion that was readily accessible. Harvard – Juris Doctor J.

And the parents have a right to say that no teacher paid by their money shall rob their children of faith in [their] God intelectualism send them back to their homes, skeptical, infidels, or agnostics, or atheists In one chapter of Anti-Intellectualismentitled “The Child and the World,” he criticized John Dewey’s collectivist theory of progressive education as leaving little room for wmerican individual to develop apart from his or her social group. Account Options Sign in.