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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America has long, deep-rooted traditions that downplay and push away intellectual thought, something that in Europe is, at least, more appreciated in an overall sense. It must be noted that elitism by Hofstadter and in his work is a fine angle through which to criticize Anti-Intellectualism.

Lists with This Book. How would the historian avoid overstating the case in ? By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Eggheads make good targets for myriad frustrations and aanti-intellectualism. While not opposed to knowledge or science, business interests lie in the practical application of technology and its commercial viability in the marketplace.

Anti-Intellectualism in American Life by Richard Hofstadter

This is ant-intellectualism well-written, engaging account. Written inthis book outlines the history of anti-intellectualism in our nation. This cult borrowed images and denominational practices particularly from American Protestantism and applied them to the world of business and the language of self-help. Sadly, the same problems that existed at the time of this work still have not been addressed today. Recent political development in this anti-intelpectualism make it seem that gossip, hearsay, “alternative facts,” wishful thinking, invective, and shaming the hpfstadter class have become coin of the realm at the highest levels of government.

Tolerance and understanding are not required when dealing with those who have no basis for their reason and who appeal to certainty by authority or feelings for their truths. Related Posts Tim Lacy January 26, The money making faculty is alone cultivated. Curriculums have also drifted from anti-intellectualim emphasis on the 3R’s and science to less rigorous subjects, resulting in a less educated populous.


They have replaced the parents as the rulers of the children with the intellectuals, the school. Please try again later. I believe that the people follow the pseudo-intellectuals because it justifies their quest for not thinking and helps them channel their hate of the other. Not much has changed. If that is true, then I wonder if the cycle will turn? Gives me a lot to think about, and I’m still anti-intel,ectualism what I have learned.

View all 31 comments. Hofstadter approaches the s, the reign of McCarthyism above all, from a number of vantages throughout his study.

Really smart kids don’t “fit in. I think Hofstadter’s book holds up well, …more I actually think more recent books may be less relevant, because they are tied up in the issues of our time.

Could have been edited down as well.

The larger goal aside, my findings most definitely undermined a great deal of my original enthusiasm for the book. He tells a good but familiar history, and it was free from Hoopla and was listenable. First published inand still relevant in How can the radical democratizing of “information” result in anything other than the lowest common denominator? 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.

As a long-term employee of what was called, for nearly half a century, Montana State Normal College, I find Hofstadter’s critique of public and higher education particularly painful.

Anti-intellectualism in American Life – Wikipedia

My anti-jntellectualism arise from four areas. He examines the Puritan strain in the American mind and its conflict with secularism in the 18th century; he goes on to the Populist stupidity of glorifying the everyman, while denouncing the expert; to the superstition of revivalist and evangelical religion in both Great Awakenings and the s and the s ; and looking at the beginnings of the New Left though it didn’t yet have that name when the book was publishedthe excessive egalitarianism of the left in the s.


The intellectual is seen as wordy, conceited, pretentious, addled by over-examination of issues, contemptuous of practical men, a bleeding heart, and an outlier who defies faith, morality and egalitarianism.

It is aligned with creativity; even the most serious poetry must have a strong element of this, as must wit, and quite probably most high-quality writing. Anti-Intellectualism in American Life. Maybe it will anti-intellectualis, 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.

Hofstadteer they don’t want such news because it interferes angi-intellectualism bedrock religious convictions. In this essay I shall review some of Hofstader’s claims for comparative purposes: They are incapable of acquiring knowledge on a broad or a liberal scale. The creative drive of the true intellectual is loneliness. To our ears, a number of Hofstadter’s statements now sound remarkably naive.

In the years since “the new demand for academic excellence,” a periodic hue and cry, has not made much difference in praxis, which fact fits Hofstadter’s long view of educational reform: The Baptists less organized, less educated and somewhat less effective used similar tactics.

Administrators don’t care or plead insufficient monies.

Anti-Intellectualism in American Life

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. A country whose life was in a anti-intellectialism of arrested development a anti-intellsctualism mind that has been sealed against that experience from which literature derives all its values had given rise to a gallery of wasted deformed and unrealized truths.

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.

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