Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue of the Land of the Free

Charles P. Pierce, Author . Doubleday $24.95 (293p) ISBN 978-0-7679-2614-0

Journalist Pierce delivers a rapier-sharp rant on how the America of “Franklin and Edison, Fulton and Ford” has devolved into America “the Uninformed,” where citizens hostile to science are exchanging “fact for fiction, and faith for reason,” and glutting themselves on “reality” TV and conspiracy theories. Pierce makes no apologies for his liberal bias, and some conservatives—notably evolution opponents and Rush Limbaugh—endure a good deal of bashing. Pierce writes that in the U.S., “Fact is merely what enough people believe, and truth lies only in how fervently they believe it.” He supports his thesis with references to James Madison and other founding fathers, who may have foreseen and rued the emergence of “cranks” who would threaten the Enlightenment-based nation they were shaping. Although the book is not likely to win any converts from the right wing Pierce so energetically decries, it is an engaging catalogue of those unscientifically verified “truths” that enthrall and impassion millions of Americans. (June)

Reviewed on: 03/30/2009
Release date: 06/01/2009
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