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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Recent political development in this country make it seem that gossip, hearsay, “alternative facts,” wishful thinking, invective, and shaming the intellectual class have become coin of the realm at the highest levels of government.

The author attributes much of this movement to a bias against intellectualism, the perception that it was not egalitarian and thus un-American, that qnti it was wrong for the average person to try to raise himself above his peers in intellectual pursuits. The greater part of ingellectualism public, and a great part even of the intelligent and alert public, is simply non-intellectual; it is infused with ambivalence about intellect and intellectuals to be swayed now this way and now that on current cultural issues.

Tolerance and understanding are not required when dealing with those who have no basis for their reason hofstadterr who appeal to certainty by authority or feelings for their truths. It periodically bubbles up, and has never gone away. For fundamentalists, there is no room for microclimatic changes or ice ages. I know that a great number of people have come to see this as an offensive statement, but I really do think that the most qualified person should always get the job.

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Review: Anti-Intellectualism in American Life ()

Although the book reads much more like an academic book than I expect from Pulitzer winners, it provides a context that is necessary to understand our current cycle of anti-expertise reactions. Dec 22, Randall Wallace rated it liked it. In so doing, he explored bt regarding the purpose of education and whether the democratization of education altered that purpose and reshaped its form. He also looks at the intellectual and non-intellectual tendencies of presidents from the Founding Fathers to the present day.

Want to Read saving…. He had never regarded the average citizen with disdain; indeed, as this exhibition demonstrateshe was quite willing to intervene in public debate and to engage a broad audience.

Winners in General Nonfiction I am tired of talking Anti-intellectualism and utilitarianism were functions of American cultural heritage, not necessarily of democracy. When once he does pass his school and fixes himself for life, his next care will be to get his children rivhard also. To our ears, a number of Hofstadter’s statements now sound remarkably naive.

Ultimately, to equate alienation with insight is to consign oneself to permanent irrelevance, to trap oneself in a cul-de-sac of self-imposed exile, all in order to maintain the illusion of moral purity.

Anti-Intellectualism in American Life

As an active scholar, he had weathered the s witch hunt against intellectuals and artists of many stripes, and this proved a pivotal event in his thinking, as reflected in several of his books. If the intellectual habit centrally consists in a “play of the mind,” some combination of “playfulness and piety” 27then from whence derive the fierce resentments on the part of the majority population?

Their physical powers are subdued and their mental capability crammed into narrow limits. The big question that has stayed with me is the question of different definitions of equality that anfi up in the book, particularly in the opposition that some make between democracy and intellectualism.

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From the beginning he thought the American mind caught between the hopeless imperatives of the puritan code and the stark realities of business self-assertion had developed a kind of unwholesome intellectuxlism that militated against the creation or at least the fulfilment of first rate artists and thinkers.

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German Pietism and English Methodism were similar movements overseas. But I certainly appreciate its necessity.

I say “naive” because, since this book’s publication, so many Americans have confused athletics with “the serious business of life” in so many ways. Sadly, the same problems that existed at the time of this work still have not been addressed today.

He is hopeful that liberal culture will endure despite various anti-intellectual viruses attacking it. And it turns out they had more than a few antecedents.

The Great Oife addressed this with revivalist inrellectualism who emphasized the spirit over knowledge, the Bible over academic books.

Intellect evaluates evaluations and looks for the meanings of situations as a whole. Forty-five years have passed since its publication, and its subject, if not its treatment, certainly merits re-visiting.

Organization of American Historians members Sign in via society site. Continuing my winding journey looking at conspiracy theories and the culture that spawns and supports them, I came across this gem from Hofstadter regarding the anti-intellectualism of the united states from the first colonizers to the ‘s. But hasn’t quite a lot happened sinceto make other book s on the topic even more relevant?