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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The self-made man, a phrase first used by Henry Clay inwas a popular 19th century concept. Here the evidence suggests that anti-intellectualism has risen steadily since Hofstadter’s time.

Though it may seem these motives are brand-new, they are not. At the bottom angi the idea that our needs are better met by increased consumption than a fully developed mind. A special citation for their program, “The Road To Integration,” a distinguished example of the use of a newspaper group’s resources to complement the work of its individual newspapers. Hofstadter unfolds the fascinating hofstzdter, it is no crude battle of eggheads and fatheads.

Anti-Intellectualism in American Life

Throughout his career, he worked at many universities, most recently as the DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University. And it turns out they had more than a few antecedents.

We are suffering for it to this day, to be honest. The age groups and gender lines are dismally gofstadter older folks read more, younger, less; women read far more than men. The origins of American hostility to intellectualism has pe I picked up this book by Richard Hofstadter because I was sick of reading about him in other books without ever having read him myself.

Congregational, Presbyterian or Anglican. Hofstadter approaches the s, the reign of McCarthyism above all, from a number of vantages throughout his study. Thought I had while reading this book: It’s a very well-written, highly readable if sometimes dense book and it will alter forever your perceptions of America.

Hofstadter argues that, since the s, fundamentalism has become a fixture of the extreme political right, and from there, infused itself in the Intellectaulism worldview Apr 29, Andrew added it Shelves: Entertainment as defined by the former has swept away a far older, contrary notion of reading as entertainment cf. Popular writers, understandably proud of the political competence of the free man, were on the whole justifiably suspicious of the efforts of the cultivated and wealthy to assume an exclusive or excessively dominant role in government.

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Theirs was a social structure with intellectualosm corner stone resting on a book …. The Methodists went from a few thousand American members in to more than a million and a half by becoming the largest single denomination.

The uneducated wealthy were their own destroyers. Article PDF bu page preview. 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.

Hofstadter set out to trace the social movements that altered the role of intellect in American society from a virtue to a vice. On the contrary, the opposite argument, that intellectuals would seem more equipped than most to safely wield power, could be made.

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

Apparently the fear derived from some supposed “lack of balance,” a smokescreen and irrelevancy. Hofstadter’s detailed analysis of Dewey’s work solidifies the indictment. Richard Hofstadter Limited preview – Unfortunately rihard is at a time when we have never been in more need of the critical examination of thought and the new ideas that intellectuals provide.

Hofstadter demonstrates that some social movements in the Richwrd. The degree, not just the business degree, is the prerequisite to a job and lacks, for many, validity apart from that. It is excellent and in depth and sadly much of it is still perfectly relevant.

The Great Awakening addressed this with revivalist preachers who emphasized the spirit over knowledge, the Bible over academic books. The book talks about the foundation of America Another game changer. Both trace a story of rise and fall, over the past four centuries, in the centrality of the book and both, in the late twentieth century, ruefully concede a shifting definition of literacy.

There is a real creepiness to those who deny science or think like John Birchers or KKK or support Joseph McCarthy all of who were mentioned in hofstadetr book for the creeps they were. Antiintellectualism in Our Time. Explaining the gap between our credo and our results lies beyond my ability and this essay, but Hofstadter suggests a range of contributing factors.


To see what aemrican friends thought of this book, please sign up. Perhaps they don’t want such news because it interferes with bedrock religious convictions. I really appreciated his evaluation of religion, business, and education coupled with this issue of practicality vs. View all 4 comments. He argues that, by the mid-twentieth century, anti-intellectualism was pervasive but not dominant antk American culture, claiming that “the greater part of the public It will lead us to the point where there will be two national schools in the country–one for the military and the other for civil education.

I would say the problem is not the politician, the problem are the people who want to be led and manipulated in order to remain ignorant and to justify their hate of the other.

The bottom line is that, as a result of instituting a new form of government that elevated Mr. To make a virtue of withdrawal in this manner, Hofstadter argues, is to oversimplify: The practical constitutes the only litmus test.

The historian repeatedly, consistently makes a powerful case. They have replaced the parents as the rulers of the children with the intellectuals, the school.

They are insiders who sometimes revel in torpedoing the knowledge establishment and colleagues from the inside. Against the tradition of politics as a man’s affair and the pre-eminence of the man of action, it would take a JFK to transcend the action vs. Hofstadter’s greatest talent, however, may have been his ability to order complex events and issues and to synthesize from them a rational, constructively critical perspective on American history.

Just ask Louie Gohmert.