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.
"Journalist Pierce delivers a rapier-sharp rant on how the America of 'Franklin and Edison, Fulton and Ford' has devolved into America 'the Uninformed,' where citizens hostile to science are exchanging 'fact for fiction, and faith for reason,' and glutting themselves on 'reality' TV and conspiracy theories. Pierce makes no apologies for his liberal bias, and some conservatives notably evolution opponents and Rush Limbaugh endure a good deal of bashing. Pierce writes that in the U.S., 'Fact is merely what enough people believe, and truth lies only in how fervently they believe it.' He supports his thesis with references to James Madison and other founding fathers, who may have foreseen and rued the emergence of 'cranks' who would threaten the Enlightenment-based nation they were shaping. Although the book is not likely to win any converts from the right wing Pierce so energetically decries, it is an engaging catalogue of those unscientifically verified 'truths' that enthrall and impassion millions of Americans. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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, exploring how a country founded on intellectual curiosity has somehow deteriorated into a nation of simpletons.
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 NPRs Wait, Wait, Dont Tell Me and Only a Game.