Dumbth: And 81 Ways to Make Americans Smarter

Steve Allen, Author, Norman Cousins, Designed by Prometheus Books $25.95 (359p) ISBN 978-0-87975-539-3
Polymath Allen brings his considerable talents to bear on a phenomenon that is increasingly the concern of critics of contemporary Americans--the ``unprecedented amount of mental incapacitation'' in our society. Coining the word ``dumbth'' to describe common ignorance in significant categories of knowledge, he cites examples and incidents from his experience as an international traveler, citing also commentaries of educators, philosopher and sociologists. Instructive in a pleasing, popular way, he sketches distinctions between ignorance and stupidity, discusses the many aspects of what constitutes intelligence and recommends the teaching of reasoning in early school years. In a panoply of ways to improve the ability to reason, ``rules'' are laid out for readers of various levels, each illustrated with anecdotes and suggestions. Tempering missionary zeal with humor and humaneness, Allen addresses a sorry condition and, better yet, suggests solutions. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
Paperback - 359 pages - 978-0-87975-650-5
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