Richard Hofstadter’s famous Anti-Intellectualism in American Life, his tenth book, earned him the Pulitzer Prize in Non-Fiction (). This “personal book,”. For the ages For Hofstadter, pictured here in , anti-intellectualism was an By the time Anti-Intellectualism in American Life was published (), he was a . 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.

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An exploration of nature that forces readers to consider the threat posed by human behavior to a world of astonishing diversity. The bottom line is that, as a result of instituting a new form of government that elevated Mr. As President he did not fully embrace progressive issues and their intellectual proponents. After America became industrialized and business more complex, higher education began offering more engineering, accounting and law.

I never did review this, though I thought it was excellent. No longer confined to aanti university lecture hall or the bohemian fringe, academicians were now enmeshed in the workings of big business, military research, and government intellectualis.

Or Choteau, where, midway through the school year, the new superintendent cancelled a planned speech by University of Montana climatologist and Nobel Prize co-winner Steve Running. 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 writes in a clear accessible style, and–although the book is more than forty-five years old–it still has a lot to say to us about politics today.

On the contrary, the opposite argument, that intellectuals would seem more equipped than most to safely wield power, could be made. German Pietism and English Methodism were similar movements overseas.

With slight modifications this book could be written today. We’re far behind and don’t seem to care.

They have no breadth either of shoulders, information or ambition. Maybe it will be a grinding read for some but I found it completely spell-binding as it really got me thinking and I think helped me learn quite a bit of US history as well.


Unfortunately this 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 traces the evolution of this bias in four sources: If that is true, then I wonder if the cycle will turn?

This, to me, makes me question the work as a text in the history of ideas. Plenty of credible intellectuals were for the educational ideas and some of the other demo-populist social trends he covers, whereas you can’t find many if any who were for the loonier stuff.

It resulted in an emphasis on practical education and applied science rather than philosophy, literature and basic science. This book has become a cornerstone work on the subject, and is a must read for anyone interested in the subject matter.

I have suggested that in some sense he lives for ideas—which means that he has a sense of dedication to the life of the mind which is very much like a religious commitment. There is also an interesting class angle that is intermixed within all this, the main one that comes to mind is the elite New England uppercrust religious intellectuals who held a lot of power and sway in that region and often times at the federal level. If we wonder why Americans seem “dumber” than ever, this book offers an argument that stands up well today.

The irony is that Americans now suffer as much from the victory as from the defeat of their aspirations. And these attitudes have consequences. He takes a historical view of where we have come from the founding of the nation by Men of the Enlightenment. A generation before the Revolution, American revivalist preachers were already denigrating the university-educated ministers of the New England mainstream as This Pulitzer Prize winner had long been on my to-read list, but when Sarah Palin became a vice presidential candidate, I moved it to the short list and read it.

This book is not bad. There was so much here–commentary, history, and well written analysis of current events.


Anti-Intellectualism in American Life

He also traces the potent myth of the wisdom of the common man from Colonial days, which myth explains those three categories as much as anything. Richard Hofstadter won the Pulitzer Prize in History for this book in and much of what he says is true today. He examines, ponders, wonders, imagines whereas the intelligent man grasps, manipulates and creates order. A large part of the book is taken up with the philosophy of John Dewey and the focus and purpose of American education, particularly secondary education.

Every great institution is perforce a means of corruption–whatever good it may also do.

Anti-intellectualism in American Life – Wikipedia

Intelligent individuals place a higher value on useful and practical knowledge, they search for answers. Also by Richard Hofstadter. The common man was wanted with moral fiber being deemed more important than knowledge.

He would applaud as much as any Article X of our State Constitution, which guarantees to all Montana citizens the right of access to education. Also great for anyone interested in US history. I recall leafing through it somewhere along the path through high school or college.

Written inthis book outlines the history of anti-intellectualism in our nation. Open Preview See a Problem?

Review: Anti-Intellectualism in American Life ()

Really smart students aren’t a spectator sport. But Hofstadter did not only focus on the anti-intellectualism of the Right. Primitivism, the favoring of intuition and faith over cultivated rationality, was seen as natural, intellectualism as artificial. Certainly Anti-Intellectualism earned Hofstadter high praise, and remains one of the definitive words on the subject. Thought I had while reading this book: The Sputnik scare helped.

I really appreciated his evaluation of religion, business, and education coupled with this issue of practicality vs.