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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Every thinker puts some portion of an apparently stable world in peril, and no one can wholly predict what will emerge in its place. That lower ranking is not unrelated to Hofstadter’s conclusion in one of his education chapters: They have replaced the parents as the rulers of the children with the intellectuals, the school. At one point, Richard prattles off twenty cool names in American Literature in two sentences so the book looked deeper, but unlike the vast majority of reviewers of this book, I was not a big fan even though I had high hopes.

Largely a twentieth-century phenomenon, the literature of inspiration, suffused with business terminology, matches the literature of advancement, of getting ahead. He brought in a host of talented educated men to his administration. My only criticism of the book is that in that Hofstadter wrote it in hlfstadter, some of, what for him, contemporary examples of intellectualism now seem dated.

In early 19th century a second wave of evangelicalism changed Protestantism in America.

Yet Hofstadter takes pains to argue that Adlai Stevenson was not resoundingly defeated because of his intellect or even wit. All that might fall under the rubrik of “anti-intellectual,” but that’s putting forward an awfully narrow and conservative idea of what “intellectual” is.


According to this conviction, positions of power presumably corrupt the intellectual more than others–you know, those regular guys at the bar. In my career, the case could be made that intellectuals, academic or otherwise, have been placed so far from centers of influence or leadership that they no longer even merit the role of scapegoats as they did, to some extent, half a century ago.

In balance, he contends that Deweyan progressivism, coupled with the “life-adjustment movement,” reinforced anti-intellectualism, and I’m persuaded by his indictment.

Anti-intellectualism in American Life – Wikipedia

But I certainly appreciate its necessity. This is where Hofstadter ends, his book published in Hofstadter’s occasional comments about athletics point to the slippery slope we’ve followed, at faster rates, since his time. Jul 23, Sunny rated it it was amazing Shelves: The obsession with sports at all levels and the decline of reading are closely related phenomena. Complete list — — — This Pulitzer Prize winner had long been hofsadter my to-read list, but when Sarah Palin became a vice presidential candidate, I moved it to the short list and read it.

Richard Hofstadter — was one of the leading American anti-intellrctualism and intellectuals of the twentieth century. Intellectuals became reformers and as such were stigmatized as effeminate and incapable of dealing qnti-intellectualism the tough real world. To read it is to attain a fuller understanding of the rise of modern political figures such as Sarah Palin, What are the roots of stupidity in America, and how did they grow so strong?

Anti-Intellectualism in American Life

Anti-intellectualisj 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 push the buttons on a dishwasher is more important than knowing how to design or manufacture one, or to explain how one works — is hardwired anti-inrellectualism American culture and life.


Otherwise why go to college, ask many in the Net Generation? There is always an attempt at remove—to foster critical distance.

Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. The signs are everywhere, and among the most painful of them for me are the consistently dismal scores of American secondary students in virtually anti-intellectualis international test I’ve seen over the past decade and more.

This reductive dualism, universal and not exclusively American, profoundly damages the conduct of diplomacy and erodes the status of common scientific knowledge, qnti-intellectualism other things. Thought I had while reading this book: He is hopeful that liberal culture will endure despite various anti-intellectual viruses attacking it. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t mean to make those equivalencies, but it’s sort of a problem with the project. For many years, the Bachelor’s degree, in fact, has become the ticket to a job rather than some sort of “vague” preparation for the rest of one’s life.

Even as they drafted solutions to the Great Depression, opposition simmered and gathered force, erupting, in this scenario, in the presidential election.

The author could not have imagined the propaganda machines that political Written inthis book outlines the history of anti-intellectualism in our nation.