The Assault on Reason by Al Gore

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A visionary analysis of how the politics of fear, secrecy, cronyism, and blind faith has combined with the degration of the public sphere to create an environment dangerously hostile to reason

At the time George W. Bush ordered American forces to invade Iraq, 70 percent of Americans believed Saddam Hussein was linked to 9/11. Voters in Ohio, when asked by pollsters to list what stuck in their minds about the campaign, most frequently named two Bush television ads that played to fears of terrorism.

We live in an age when the thirty-second television spot is the most powerful force shaping the electorate's thinking, and America is in the hands of an administration less interested than any previous administration in sharing the truth with the citizenry. Related to this and of even greater concern is this administration's disinterest in the process by which the truth is ascertained, the tenets of fact-based reasoning-first among them an embrace of open inquiry in which unexpected and even inconvenient facts can lead to unexpected conclusions.

How did we get here? How much damage has been done to the functioning of our democracy and its role as steward of our security? Never has there been a worse time for us to lose the capacity to face the reality of our long-term challenges, from national security to the economy, from issues of health and social welfare to the environment. As The Assault on Reason shows us, we have precious little time to waste.

Gore's larger goal in this book is to explain how the public sphere itself has evolved into a place hospitable to reason's enemies, to make us more aware of the forces at work on our own minds, and to lead us to an understanding of what we can do, individually and collectively, to restore the rule of reason and safeguard our future. Drawing on a life's work in politics as well as on the work of experts across a broad range of disciplines, Al Gore has written a farsighted and powerful manifesto for clear thinking.

About Al Gore

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Al Gore is the cofounder and chairman of Current TV, an Emmy Award-winning, independently owned cable and satellite television news and information network for young people based on viewer-created content, citizen journalism, and investigative reporting. He is also cofounder and chairman of Generation Investment Management, a firm focused on a new approach to sustainable investing. Gore is a partner with the venture capial firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a member of the Board of Directors of Apple, and a senior advisor to Google. He is a visiting professor at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and chairs a nonprofit organization designed to help solve the climate crisis-the Alliance for Climate Protection-to which he is donating 100 percent of his earnings from this book.  Gore was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1976 and then to the U.S. Senate in 1984 and 1990. He was inaugurated as the 45th vice president of the United States on January 20, 1993, and served for eight years. He is the author of the bestsellers Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit, An Inconvenient Truth, and The Assault on Reason and was featured in an Academy Award-winning documentary. He was a corecipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.  Al Gore lives in Nashville, Tennessee. He and his wife, Tipper, have four children and three grandchildren.
Published May 22, 2007 by Penguin Books. 321 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, History, Biographies & Memoirs, Business & Economics. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Assault on Reason

The New York Times

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Al Gore has decided to lay it all on the line with a blistering assessment of the Bush administration.

May 22 2007 | Read Full Review of The Assault on Reason

Open Letters Monthly

Al Gore.

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Granted, there’s a lot of absolute crap on the BBC these days, but that’s more the fault of successive governments forcing them to chase ratings (not to mention the sheer amount of airtime they have to fill with an ever more thinly-spread budget) than any shortcomings in the BBC’s own ethos – ind...

Jul 20 2007 | Read Full Review of The Assault on Reason

Daily Kos

And I - for one - will not forget his cowardice.

May 21 2007 | Read Full Review of The Assault on Reason

Daily Kos

This is about making sure they don't monopolize the camera - or the OpEd pages - and turn a political dialogue on health care into a zombie movie.

Aug 06 2009 | Read Full Review of The Assault on Reason

Daily Kos

Consider the Presidential Records Act, referenced by CREW, whose release - as mentioned above - points to the idea that "to fulfill its statutory obligations under the PRA, the White House email system automatically copies all messages created by staff and sends them to the White House Office of ...

Mar 21 2007 | Read Full Review of The Assault on Reason

Daily Kos

[ Parent ].

Jun 10 2007 | Read Full Review of The Assault on Reason

Daily Kos

His opinion was directed at the emotions of the very conservative audience, not in an attempt to convince them but instead for a 180 degree opposite effect - to rile them up - against liberals.

Jun 24 2007 | Read Full Review of The Assault on Reason

Daily Kos

I think it is time to formulate a means of funding candidates who will actually commit to: impeachment - antiwar measures - and the need for health care reform.

Jun 02 2007 | Read Full Review of The Assault on Reason

Daily Kos

I think she's sincere enough, but she's a poor-to-middlin' public speaker who sometimes gets so awkward that it's painful to listen to, while Obama has a rhetorical gift (he sounds just like The Rock - the best promo man in the business - so much so that I think he should be using "Do you smell w...

Feb 08 2008 | Read Full Review of The Assault on Reason


Leland Waldrip .

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Long before the war in Iraq, Gore was the focus of the first burst of vehement anti-Bush sentiment—as he likes to say when introducing himself, “I used to be the next President of the United States”—and he has now assumed the mantle of a vindicated prophet, ill treated by the public and the pundi...

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