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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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.

On the contrary, the opposite argument, that intellectuals would seem more equipped than most to safely wield power, could be made. PaperbackFirst Vintage Book paperbackpages. Smart kids, whether called geeks or some other label, command little prestige within the classroom or curriculum, or from administrators or parents.

At the time of the Revolution, most Protestants belonged to one of three established religions: There’s a slippage between the idea that people should have equal rights, equal inteplectualism, equal dignity, and the perverse notion that people are all the same. It resulted in an emphasis on practical education and applied science rather than philosophy, literature and basic science. Don’t already have an Oxford Academic account?

Review: Anti-Intellectualism in American Life ()

I want to be fair to Hofstadter. Political Science with a Specialization in International Relations. Those review the haphazard history of the Montana University System, above all its history of chronic underfunding. His work, The Age of Reform, which still commands respect among both historians and general readers, won him that year’s Pulitzer Prize. Every thinker puts some portion of an apparently stable world in peril, and no one can wholly predict what will emerge in its place. It is not a book you read in one sitting though, best to read in slow morsels, digest, think about Jun 01, Ci rated it it was amazing Shelves: 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.


Feb 26, Tom rated it it was amazing. Its concern is not merely to portray the scorners of intellect in American life, but to say something about what the intellectual is, and can be, as a force in a democratic society Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now.

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The lack of respect school teachers have today is still prevalent. If, according to Hofstadter, anti-intellectualism ebbs and flows in cycles, I cannot feel the ebb.

Sent their sons to be educated old-Europe style Every great institution is perforce a means of corruption–whatever good it may also do. Everyman to the level of theoretical peer, the legitimate wisdom and knowledge of a moneyed aristocracy was summarily rejected.

The detailed historical insight was rather dense and frankly overbearing. Hofstadter concludes his chapter, “The Rise of the Expert,” offering one explanation: It is hard to explain. Anti-Intellectualism in American Life. liife

Anti-Intellectualism in American Life

When may we look less of true originality he asked than at a time when every child is taught to repeat this inane self-laudation and all distinction of individual thought is lost because no man has room for anything else than intellectualism barren idea of progress, a contempt for the past and a blinding reverence for an unknown future?

Many critics have traced, over the past generation or more, the near or virtual disappearance of public intellectuals: Aug 26, Mehrsa rated it it was amazing. I prefer to go along with it now. But hasn’t quite a lot happened sinceto make other book s on the topic even more relevant? This anti-intellectualism has had a long history and staying power.

Anti-Intellectualism in American Life by Richard Hofstadter

Bannister, however, disagree with this interpretation. USA students usually rank below the top ricbard, and sometimes far below. Lists with This Book. Subsequently JFK would restore the validity of academia in government.


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.

Hofstadter set out to trace the social movements that altered the role of intellect in American society from a virtue to a vice. 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. The intellectual turns answers into more questions.

At other times, expertise and intellectuals can come to be valued, though a latent suspicion often remains. Dec 01, Gary rated it it was ok. However, it is strikingly relevant for application in our current society. A country whose life was in a state of arrested development a national 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.

If you originally registered with a username please use that to sign in. David Thoreau to Walt Whitman and the Romantics through the transcendentalist are mentioned prominently and favorably as intellectuals. Hofstadter regarded the “the Grand Inquisition of the s” as a means “to discharge resentments and frustrations, to punish, to satisfy enmities whose roots lay elsewhere than in the Communist issue itself” Jesus rode dinosaurs, God loves guns and America can do no wrong.

From Washington through the John Quincy Adams administration, men of learning and accomplishment were sought for government work. American religion is a dichotom Lots of information, lots of examples. He states “that business is the most powerful and pervasive interest in American life,” and adds, “since the mid-nineteenth century, businessmen have brought to anti-intellectual movements more strength than any other force in society”