Anti-Intellectualism in American Life by Richard Hofstadter

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Anti-Intellectualism in American Life was awarded the 1964 Pulitzer Prize in Non-Fiction. It is 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 something about what the intellectual is, and can be, as a force in a democratic society.

About Richard Hofstadter

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DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University from 1959 until the time of his death, Richard Hofstadter was one of the most influential historians in post--World War II America. His political, social, and intellectual histories raised serious questions about assumptions that had long been taken for granted and cast the American experience in an interesting new light. His 1948 work, The American Political Tradition, is an enduring classic study in political history. His 1955 work, The Age of Reform, which still commands respect among both historians and general readers, won him that year's Pulitzer Prize. A measure of Hofstadter's standing in literary and scholarly circles is the honors he received in 1964 for Anti-Intellectualism in American Life (1963)---Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction, the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize of Phi Beta Kappa, and the Sidney Hillman Prize Award. Hofstadter's greatest talent, however, may have been his ability to order complex events and issues and to synthesize from them a rational, constructively critical perspective on American history.
Published January 4, 2012 by Vintage. 465 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel. Non-fiction

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Thanks to Columbia University's Richard Hofstadter we have at last a fresh, forceful, fluent look from "the nether end" at various aspects of anti-intellectualism in America, past and present, and although it is self-styled a fragmentary rather than a formal study, the work is far-ranging, artful...

Oct 13 2011 | Read Full Review of Anti-Intellectualism in Ameri...


In a study published in Psychological Science in August 2013, researchers “found that individuals with high IQ show high environmental influence on IQ into adolescence (resembling younger children), whereas individuals with low IQ show high heritability of IQ in adolescence (resembling adults), a...

Mar 22 2015 | Read Full Review of Anti-Intellectualism in Ameri...

Review (Barnes & Noble)

While the true political mind accepts conflict and compromise, recognizing that there are no final victories but only temporary periods of balance and equipoise, the fundamentalist mind, says Hofstadter, "is essentially Manichean: it looks upon the world as an arena for conflict between absolute ...

Sep 24 2012 | Read Full Review of Anti-Intellectualism in Ameri...

Daily Kos

Too many thought the ratcheting up of violent political speech was all about electoral politics - when it was about the rise of a very powerful faction on the right that no longer wants you out of power - but out of its country.

Aug 23 2010 | Read Full Review of Anti-Intellectualism in Ameri...

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