Pierce's thunderous denunciation is also a secret call to action, as he hopes that, somehow, being intelligent will stop being a stigma and that pinheads will once again be pitied, not celebrated. The three Great Premises of Idiot America: Any theory is valid if it sells books, soaks up ratings, and moves units; Anything can be true if someone says it loudly enough; Fact is that which enough people believe. Truth is determined by how fervently they believe it.
|Author:||Pierce, Charles P.|
|Read by:||Pinchot, Bronson|
|Publisher:||Blackstone Audio Inc|
|Publish Date:||Apr 2011|
|Number of Pages:||0|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||0.65|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||6.2 x 1.2 x 6.5|
Pierce (writer-at-large, Esquire) begins by relating his visit to the Creation Museum in Kentucky, during which he sees on display a dinosaur wearing a saddle. That outlandish sight leads him to consider other examples of irrationality taking the place of reason in America, as he examines talk radio, denials of global warming and evolution, the war in Iraq, Sarah Palin, the case of Terry Schiavo, etc. With droll prose and an appreciation for irony, Pierce skewers what he sees as America's lamentable embrace of idiocy, and he illustrates how it has thrown us perilously off balance. He contrasts the ubiquitous ignorance and gullibility of today's body politic with the thoughts of James Madison, who heralded common sense, knowledge, and experience as virtues.
Verdict: Pierce contends that the founding fathers (men of the Enlightenment) properly guaranteed a place in society for cranks to be able to champion eccentric ideas, but now any crank who can draw attention to himself using mass media is viewed as an expert while genuine authorities are not trusted. Intelligence is discounted and gut reactions hold sway, or, as Pierce maintains: "Fact is that which enough people believe. Truth is measured by how fervently they believe it". Recommended.
-Donna L. Davey, NYU Lib.
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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