For the ages For Hofstadter, pictured here in , anti-intellectualism was an unavoidable part of a democratic society. (Erich Hartmann / Magnum Photos). 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. Tonight I began a six-week session leading a Newberry Library seminar on Richard Hofstadter’s Anti-Intellectualism in American Life.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. As President he did not anti-intellctualism embrace progressive issues and their intellectual proponents. According to this conviction, positions of power presumably corrupt the intellectual more than others–you know, those regular guys at the bar.

In a certain sense, the suspicious Tories and militant philistines are right: Anti-ingellectualism writers, understandably proud of the political competence of the free man, were on the whole justifiably suspicious of the efforts of the cultivated and wealthy to assume an exclusive or excessively dominant role in government.

German Pietism and English Methodism were similar movements overseas. A liking for ahti-intellectualism, psychology, and radical politics and for reading the new republic are much less auspicious for marital bliss than a liking for YMCA work, bible study and the American magazine. Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now.

Anti-Intellectualism in American Life

At several points in this examination, Hofstadter deals with the love affair Americans have for applied science and technology versus the theoretical. What this book shows us is that anti-intellectualism in America has been around a long time.

With the exception of both Roosevelts and Woodrow Wilson, most of our history since the term of John Quincy Adams demonstrates the primacy of the common man over the intellectual.


The overarching point of the book seems to be that since its inception, America has undergone cycles of anti-intellectual sentiment. At the bottom is the idea that our needs are better met by increased consumption than a fully developed mind.

We face many of the same problems now that we did 50 years ago when this was written, which is really a mind-bogglingly sad fact. Business has long been one of the most popular undergraduate majors, often accounting for fifteen or twenty percent of a student population. American education has been, and continues to be, plagued anti-intellectualims a misunderstanding of “democracy” – having high-achievers and low-achievers does not make a school undemocratic – as well as a very practical “preparation for life” anti-itellectualism which considers theory irrelevant in comparison to practice.

Covering topics ranging from religion which by its nature, must strangle intellectual thought to ensure the masses follow blindlyto education where the humanities are losing funding to the strict business-applicable sciences. He tells a good but familiar history, and it was free from Hoopla and was listenable.

Dunn rated it really liked it Shelves: One of my all-time favorites. Stevenson wasn’t a real leader or man because he had served in the World Wars only as a civilian.

Anti-Intellectualism in American Life | work by Hofstadter |

Yet I shall not spend equal anti-intelleftualism in Hofstadter’s four domains, believing, for instance, that his commentary about public and higher education deserves greater attention. This book is not nearly as snotty as the title makes it sound. The signs are everywhere, and among the most painful of them for me are the consistently dismal scores of American secondary students in virtually every international test I’ve seen over the past decade and more.

Inspired by Your Browsing History. Fundamentalism feeds xenophobia and denies globalism.

He was twice awarded the Pulitzer Prize: That has been the case, more or less, in our local school district. Richard Hofstadter won the Pulitzer Prize in History for this book in and much of what he says is true today. Harvard – Juris Doctor J.


It is excellent and in depth and sadly much of it is still perfectly relevant. Hofstadter demonstrates that some social movements in the U.

Hofstadter concludes his chapter, “The Rise of the Expert,” offering one explanation: Tea rated it it was amazing Shelves: If the myth of the common man’s wisdom explains the marginalization of aanti-intellectualism in most of our federal history, the “mystique of practicality,” which Hofstadter calls “spiritually crippling”explains the traditional polarity between the realm of business and the realm of the intellect.

A generation before the Revolution, American revivalist preachers were already denigrating the university-educated ministers of the New England mainstream as over-intellectualized and therefore closed off to divine inspiration, and in politics the ridicule of the intellectual as too impractical a person to be trusted with the public good goes back to Jefferson at least.

Hofstadter anatomizes the cumulative, mid-twentieth-century resentment over “the constant insinuation of the intellectual as expert in public affairs” The evangelical spirit embraced emotion, the heart over the mind, getting the Bible directly over stilted interpretations.

I know that a great number of people have come to see this as an offensive statement, but I really do think that the wnti-intellectualism qualified anti-intelleectualism should always get the job.

His works include theā€¦ More about Richard Hofstadter. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.