Review: The Age of American Unreason

The Age of American Unreason
The Age of American Unreason by Susan Jacoby
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Back in 2007, I went to Thanksgiving with Mom to the home of a Philosophy professor. The professor’s father discoursed on why United States presidents should only be intellectuals. His arguments made sense. Someone able to understand the options, determine risk, and plan for contingencies will likely do a better job than someone who cannot. (Most PotUS surround themselves with those capable of doing this, but at the time, the PotUS had political sycophants rather than intellectuals.)

The most spectacular portion of the book was the discourse on Junk Thought, which is what Jacoby calls pseudoscience, since she uses Junk Thought to bash it.

Really, I agree with 90% of the conclusions made in this book. My issues with the book rests with how the arguments link together in odd leaps that seem to rely more on faith than evidence. Plus, it is easy to tell who the author dislikes with the ad hominems used to discuss them.

The United States does need a well educated, well read, and actively engaged electorate to ensure our elected representatives possess the highest caliber. Books like this hurt that conversion instead of aiding us to somehow navigate the issues to achieve it.

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