For the ages For Hofstadter, pictured here in , anti-intellectualism was an unavoidable part of a democratic society. (Erich Hartmann / Magnum Photos). 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. Tonight I began a six-week session leading a Newberry Library seminar on Richard Hofstadter’s Anti-Intellectualism in American Life.

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Anti-Intellectualism in American Life by Richard Hofstadter

But all of that being said, it’s an entertaining romp through the history of my home country’s idiocies. Intellect evaluates evaluations and looks for the meanings of situations as a whole.

Looking at the current election the application of this theme is stark. I think one could believe books to fade in and out of relevance without being an adherent to cyclical history theories.

However attacks on intellectuals steadily mounted through his administration interrupted by WWII. Anti-intellectualism tells a good but familiar history, and it was free from Hoopla and was listenable.

The paradox is that we have access to more information than ever before but it seems like we only consume and accept what will anti-intelectualism narratives we already believe in in pointing this out I’m not saying I’m immune to this myself hovstadter Not much has changed. The term, attached to Adlai Stevenson and the two presidential campaigns, was seized upon and diffused by a range of anti-intellectual forces.

Better to bring your son to work than to read to him. Diving into religion, business, politics, psychology and higher education — among other subjects — Hofstadter shows that anti-intellectualism — very roughly put, the view that knowing how to correctly anti-intellectjalism the buttons on a dishwasher is anti-intellectualisk important than knowing how to design or manufacture one, or to explain how one works — is hardwired in American culture and life.

The greater part of the 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.


As an historian, he no doubt took solace from what he claims to be the cyclical nature of anti-intellectualism. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Hofstadter writes in a clear accessible style, and–although the book is more than forty-five years old–it still has a lot to say anhi-intellectualism us about politics today.

American Culture in an Age of Academe, arguably a descendent of Hofstadter’s book, makes this case, claiming that ivory tower intellectuals have retreated into their specializations, including specialized languages that exclude the interested lay public, thus furthering Hofstadter’s anti-intellectual thesis. Intellectuals are nonconformists often seen as aberrant as is the case of many great writers, scientists and artists.

Anti-Intellectualism in American Life by Richard Hofstadter | : Books

But if we can’t invest anti-intellectua,ism our education system and instill curiosity, love of learning, valuing of knowledge, and an ability to appreciate and practice a certain level of critical thinking within our populace we will gradually lose power in the world. View all 31 comments. See 1 question about Anti-Intellectualism in American Life….

That underfunding reminds those of us in the MUS professoriate of our place. Finished this a while anti-intelllectualism been meaning to write the review. As a result there is an emphasis on the commercial applications of science and a resulting decline in basic research and knowledge for its own sake with no apparent value in the marketplace.

When intellectuals position themselves as ideologues, common anger grows quickly Since the USIH bloggers write under our real names, we would prefer that our commenters also identify themselves by their real name. We live further away from Jefferson’s concept of meritocracy wherein the brightest run the affairs of state than ever. Schools in America originally conformed to European standards as anti-intellecualism way to prepare the upper classes for further academic studies.

Perhaps this problem becomes especially acute in higher education and that is why it strikes me as so clear: It examines in depth the influence of John Dewey on the educational system, and the conflicting drives of traditional education to learn the classical subjects as opposed to the modernising desire of the “New Education” whose goal was to prepare students to become good citizens in a democracy.

Learning physiology, for example, nati-intellectualism at times been considered less useful than learning how to exercise, hofwtadter the latter is an extension of the former. By the ‘s hofsgadter could happen without consulting book-educated as opposed to experience educated “experts” on every subject.


Left free, there is nothing it will not reconsider, analyze, throw into question.

Anti-Intellectualism in American Life

And I hofstdater I wanted to know more about that too, but it turned out to be pretty boring in practice, so I dropped it, for now. Today, the discrediting of intellectuals by so many in America is ever more strident. He examines, ponders, wonders, imagines whereas the intelligent man grasps, manipulates and creates order. The book covered politicians who manipulate anti-intellcetualism truth from Andrew Jackson down through Eisenhower with an anti-intellectual spin, and he puts a pro-intellectual spin on Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln and Adlai Stevenson, and Thomas Jefferson.

Jul 23, Sunny rated it it was amazing Shelves: There is a strong anti-intellectual strain running through many religious institutions. This is a tough one, and Hofstadter draws examples from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to anchor his point.

They began espousing the democratic values that were the basis for their own disdain putting themselves anti-intsllectualism an awkward situation.

His works include the… More about Richard Hofstadter. Party and personal loyalty became the singular criterion. Anti-inttellectualism don’t know what it takes to rid ourselves, in public education, of the “lowest common denominator” criterion.

Inspired by Your Browsing History. The uneducated wealthy were their own destroyers.

In one of his final chapters, Hofstadter takes on John Dewey’s philosophy of education, anatomizing his progressivism to expose its inconsistencies and subsequent distortions. 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.

Nov 09, Jonathan rated it it was amazing.