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Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Freeby Charles Pierce
Synopses & Reviews
The Culture Wars Are Over and the Idiots Have Won
A veteran journalist's acidically funny, righteously angry lament about the glorification of ignorance in the United States.
In the midst of a career-long quest to separate the smart from the pap, Charles Pierce had a defining moment at the Creation Museum in Kentucky, where he observed a dinosaur. Wearing a saddle.... But worse than this was when the proprietor exclaimed to a cheering crowd, “We are taking the dinosaurs back from the evolutionists!” He knew then and there it was time to try and salvage the Land of the Enlightened, buried somewhere in this new Home of the Uninformed.
With his razor-sharp wit and erudite reasoning, Pierce delivers a gut-wrenching, side-splitting lament about the glorification of ignorance in the United States, and how a country founded on intellectual curiosity has somehow deteriorated into a nation of simpletons more apt to vote for an American Idol contestant than a presidential candidate.
With Idiot America, Pierce's thunderous denunciation is also a secret call to action, as he hopes that somehow, being intelligent will stop being a stigma, and that pinheads will once again be pitied, not celebrated.
An acerbic assessment of what the author terms the "glorification of ignorance" in the United States traces how uneducated buffoonery became popular to the point of representing American culture, in a call to action that expresses the author's hope that the nation will eventually value intellect more than reality television.
About the Author
CHARLES P. PIERCE has been a writer-at-large for Esquire since 1997 and is a frequent contributor to American Prospect and Slate. His work has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, The Nation, The Atlantic, and the Chicago Tribune, among other publications, and he is a regular on NPR’s Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me and Only a Game.
Table of Contents
pt. 1. The American way of idiocy. The Prince of Cranks ; The war on expertise ; Beyond Atlantis ; The Templars in town — pt. 2. Truth. Radio nowhere ; God and Judge Jones — pt. 3. Consequences. A woman dies on Beech Street ; How we look at the sea ; The principles of automatic pilot — pt. 4. Mr. Madison's library. Torture in New Hampshire ; Mr. Madison's library.
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