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Download The Age of American Unreason Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Age of American Unreason Audiobook, by Susan Jacoby Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.0014194464159 out of 53.0014194464159 out of 53.0014194464159 out of 53.0014194464159 out of 53.0014194464159 out of 5 3.00 (1,409 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Susan Jacoby Narrator: Cassandra Campbell Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2008 ISBN: 9781400177325
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Combining historical analysis with contemporary observation, Susan Jacoby dissects a new American cultural phenomenon-one that is at odds with our heritage of Enlightenment reason and with modern, secular knowledge and science. With mordant wit, Jacoby surveys an antirationalist landscape extending from pop culture to a pseudo-intellectual universe of "junk thought." Disdain for logic and evidence defines a pervasive malaise fostered by the mass media, triumphalist religious fundamentalism, mediocre public education, a dearth of fair-minded public intellectuals on the right and the left, and, above all, a lazy and credulous public. Jacoby offers an unsparing indictment of the American addiction to infotainment-from television to the Web-and cites this toxic dependency as the major element distinguishing our current age of unreason from earlier outbreaks of American anti-intellectualism and antirationalism. With reading on the decline and scientific and historical illiteracy on the rise, an increasingly ignorant public square is dominated by debased media-driven language and received opinion. At this critical political juncture, nothing could be more important than recognizing the "overarching crisis of memory and knowledge" described in this impassioned, tough-minded book, which challenges Americans to face the painful truth about what the flights from reason has cost us as individuals and as a nation. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Electric with fearless interpretation and fueled by passionate concern...brilliant, incendiary, and, one hopes, corrective. Booklist Starred Review
  • “Smart, well researched, and frequently cogent.”

    New York Times

  • “Forceful…Cogently argued…An intellectual journey of the first order.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Electric with fearless interpretation and fueled by passionate concern…Brilliant, incendiary, and, one hopes, corrective.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Jacoby has assembled an erudite mix of personal anecdotes, cultural history and social commentary to decry America’s retreat into junk thought.”

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 sandy gamble | 5/17/2016

    " telling why we wound consider. a Trump for president. gives a good explanation. of state of our school system. lack of inderstanding our history goverment and traditions. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stewart | 1/25/2014

    " Great list on what's wrong with American society today, and how we ended up here. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Lois Timbes | 1/21/2014

    " A very important book about the dumbing-down of America, the growing gap between the educated "elites" and the grassroots, resistant to anything that challenges their long held prejudices. It's not always easy reading, but chock full of information and the history of intellectualism in this country. Jacoby even addresses the prejudices of Liberals, but for the most part she bemoans the tide of ignorance and anger that is sweeping the country. Good to know but maddening to learn all the same. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura Jennings | 1/9/2014

    " This is a wonderful book about how we have come to celebrate ignorance rather than intellectualism. Why do we want to select a president we want to have a beer with rather than a president who has the best credentials or judgement. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kettie | 12/20/2013

    " I only got to page 23 so I can't fairly rate the book but when I discovered that she deemed believing in God and believing the Bible to be the word of God unreasonable, I lost interest in anything she had to say. Too many books in the world to spend time on this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharon | 12/13/2013

    " susan jacoby has impressed me in the past, and she doesn't disappoint me with this book. jacoby has researched past intellectual trends in america and compared them to recent anti-illectual trends in america. a wonderful voice calling out to stop with the stereotype that being knowledgeable and using that knowledge in speech and decision-making somehow makes you unable to call yourself an ordinary person. my only problem is that jacoby points out the lack of real debate and experiencing of other viewpoints, but fails to note the complete degradation of debate that took place when conservatives decided to start calling liberal ideas traitorous, or unamerican, etc. in my opinion, ann coulter has done more to make debate unappealing and unrewarding than any ignorance-inducing pop culture icon. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Poung | 11/29/2013

    " I always wonder about those people arguing the settled issue of natural selection and the general concept of evolution, the Genesis as word by word facts, and 28% (now still 18%) people think our country heading to the right direction, and proud of our President how to lead our country. This book provided me the explanation and insights of what happen to this country. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dcrogue | 11/4/2013

    " Excellent writing on anti-intellectualism in America. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 10/9/2013

    " She makes a lot of excellent points, but that almost doesn't overcome the dryness of the writing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 jen8998 | 9/13/2013

    " Sometimes I'm in the mood for a good polemic. I chose this one recently and found it to be an indictment of the current intellectual client, in which the author finds little respect for logic and critical thinking. A legitimate complaint marred by the author's digressive and rambling style. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janice | 9/9/2013

    " Culturally conservative but not wrong on so many points. Definitely a must read for anyone interested (as we all should be) in the value of reading and thinking in civilized society. Interesting description of "Middlebrow." I'm still somewhat digesting this book and will write more on my blog soon. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 9/5/2013

    " The never ending struggle !! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Chris Pisarczyk | 8/23/2013

    " The chapter on Junk Thought helped me realize this book is filled with it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jean Marie Davis | 3/14/2012

    " Fantastic. At least someone is going to say it... people are annoyingly low-brow. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bryan Blakeman | 2/18/2012

    " If you are a parent...please read this book. Ms Jacoby points out the paradox of living at a time when all knowledge is so easily referenced (via the internet) and so few people know what it all means. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Toothy_grin | 10/18/2011

    " A thorough analysis of the present state of the know-nothing outlook in America. This book is important. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Danielle Salas | 10/16/2011

    " Good thorough research. Well written and thoughtful. Extremely informative yet easy to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tracy Black | 8/30/2011

    " Another excellent book from Jacoby. It was well researched and well argued. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matthew | 5/24/2011

    " We all need to be on the front line on this one.There is a link between personal responsibility and civic duty.Literacy isn't reading text messages.This book really haunted me with my responsibility as a teacher and a parent. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve | 4/18/2011

    " Good book. Could have been a great book, unfortunately Jacoby, like most extreme fundamentalists (religious or atheist- it really doesn't matter) has an ax to grind that get in the way of her writing. Pity. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachel | 4/8/2011

    " The most important book I've read since Sagan's "Demon-Haunted World."
    A must read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marge | 4/6/2011

    " Jacoby writes really well. I'm sure I loved this book because I agree with every word, but even if you don't, it's a great vehicle to challenge your assumptions. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Douglas | 11/23/2010

    " A well written review of America's ever evolving anti-intellectualism. Alarmingly honest and disturbing but obviously correct, else where did Sarah Pailin come from? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 April | 9/17/2010

    " It made me see the intellectual decline of the present age. An eyeopener. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maturelandscaping | 7/29/2010

    " On modern American culture's allergy to fairminded intellectualism; an indictment of our addiction to "junk thought." "

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About the Author

Susan Jacoby is an independent scholar and the bestselling author of almost a dozen books, including Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism, which was named a Notable Book of 2004 by the Washington Post and theTimes Literary Supplement. Her book The Age of American Unreason was a New York Times bestseller in 2008.

About the Narrator

Cassandra Campbell, Audie Award–nominated narrator and winner of several Earphones Awards, has performed in regional theaters across the country and in several off-Broadway shows at the Public Theater and the Mint Theater. In addition to narrating audiobooks, acting, and directing, she is a commercial and documentary voice-over artist.