If you've never read any of the works of Rich Hofstadter, you should. You need'nt be a history/poli sci/sociology major to benefit from his works. The Daily Beast has a review of one of my favorite books of his: Anti-Intellectualism in American Life. Best known for his essay in the Atlantic The Paranoid Style in American Politics, Hofstadter's essay took account of the surging Goldwater populists with their love of the Gold standard, non-fluoridated water and other trappings now so common on Infowars. Anti-Intellectualism traces the history of the outright contempt many Americans have for those who live the life of the mind. I won't summarize it here, but it really provides insight in to the origin of the beliefs of modern day populists.
The book illustrates a way of thinking that is diametrically opposed to Arendt's Life of the Mind. Whereas Arendt stresses the need for those who think simply for the sake of thinking, Hofstadter's subjects believe thinking without practice is useless. Art and many of the Humanities are eschewed as wastes of time that add nothing. There is also an unspoken effeminacy associated with the pursuit of anything deemed impractical.
In my opinion, the Beast review is a little late. Since many of us were preaching this back in 2012 when W started bowing to the populists and America started to become the Southern Fried country it now is.
And now let's go to the
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