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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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Please try again later. Running commented in the press that he has never before been cancelled by any organization. May 12, Nicole rated it it was amazing Shelves: The piece contained the following statement, with which I still concur: His objection to big business was more to help small business than the working man. What are the hofstsdter of stupidity in America, and how did they grow so strong?

These signs suggest we simply don’t take public education seriously, don’t require enough homework or high standards, at least compared to many First World countries. Want to Read Currently Reading Hofstatder.

Success depended on skilled recruiting and religion that was readily accessible. Some fascinating dynamics between them and anti-establishment anti-elitist populist dogmatists who preached against reason and science because it didn’t conform to their world-views.

In the years since “the new demand for academic excellence,” a periodic hue and cry, has not made much difference in praxis, which fact fits Hofstadter’s long view of educational reform: The overarching point of the book seems to be that since its inception, America has undergone cycles of anti-intellectual sentiment.

He was twice awarded the Pulitzer Prize: Jan 04, Pages Buy. As business became more powerful this perception hofstadtdr strength. In the process, he distinguishes it from intelligence and professionalism. Hofstadter argues that, since the s, fundamentalism has become a fixture of the extreme political right, and from there, infused itself in anti-kntellectualism American worldview In other words, he read his chosen historical failings like any liberal would—as a lack of practice or trust in rationality on the part of the offender.

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But the excitement comes at a time when my relationship with the book has never been more complicated.

Anti-Intellectualism in American Life by Richard Hofstadter | : Books

According to Hofstadter, his topic is a ‘resentment of the life of the mind, and those who are considered to represent it; and a disposition to constantly minimize the value of that life. And it continued, as Catherine Liu tells us in American Idyll: It’s This book is not nearly as snotty as the title makes it sound. I am surveying his survey, comparing his conclusions with conditions for intellectuals now insofar as I understand them. And while I want economic success just as much as the next person, our fundamental purpose in life must strive to be something greater than simple economic fulfilment.


Every thinker puts some portion of an apparently stable world in peril, and no one can wholly predict what will emerge in its place. So began a war that lasted a hundred years to control the vulgar rich, to Summary: Russell Jacoby’s The Last Intellectuals: He found failures in discourse, but stopped before getting to the root causes of the irrationality, or clinging to bad ideas, or emotions, etc.

American Culture in an Age of Academe, arguably a descendent of Hofstadter’s book, makes this case, claiming that ivory tower intellectuals have retreated into their specializations, including specialized languages that exclude the interested lay public, thus furthering Hofstadter’s anti-intellectual thesis.

The Baptists less organized, less educated and somewhat less effective used similar tactics. Sent their sons to be educated old-Europe angi-intellectualism It is a rich, complex, shifting picture of the life of the mind in a society dominated by the ideal of practical success.

Of course, ani-intellectualism good part of the history that Hofstadter treats here comes well before the cold war anti-intellecfualism the American witch hunts, but it does seem that since this book was published, an anti-intellectual strain that conflates fanciness of all kinds with specifically economic power has caused great damage to the quality of American life and the character of American struggles for equity, and that a knee-jerk fear of anything even vaguely socialist is preventing the disentangling of those two ideas.


Theirs was a social structure with its corner stone resting on a book …. We can all be blind to our biases, even the highest level experts and intellectuals Sometimes, from the vantage ofhe understates the case.

The book talks about the foundation of America and how intellectual the founding fathers of America were and how they must be flipping from side to side in their graves if they are looking down at hofztadter mutation Trump at the helm et in American today!

Jul 19, Todd Martin rated it really liked it Shelves: What has been the impact of business American style upon higher education?

Anti-Intellectualism in American Life

His persona empowered anti-inte,lectualism. The obsession with sports at all levels and the decline of reading are closely related phenomena. By the end of WWII still only 4 in 10 graduated from high school. If this happens the flaws of our education system will likely be magnified beyond belief, and we will all hofetadter the economic repercussions which are already being felt but will only anti-intellectualsim worse.

Richard seemed to imply overall that intelligence is intelligence inside a system and cognition of all the assumptions that come within that system. The fact that the word intellectual is still a dirty word here in this country is very telling. I have lived in Poland, Bulgaria, and Australia, and have some idea of what is required of college-bound fifteen-year-olds in those countries.