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The Age of American Unreason: Defining Dumbness Downward

March 12, 2008
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

The Sweet House
254 E. Fulton
Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States

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Organized by:
Jennifer Beahan
Phone: 616-698-2342 x801
Email: jbeahan@centerforinquiry.org


We are excited to have Susan Jacoby returning to CFI Michigan to speak on her newly published book: The Age of American Unreason

In her presentation Susan will be discussing the major factors contributing to the rise of a toxic combination of anti-rationalism and anti-intellectualism in American culture and politics. The major elements include: the domination of the culture by infotainment media, the resurgence of religious fundamentalism, and a massive failure of public education. She will relate her findings to the current political climate and the role that ignorance is playing in the current presidential campaign.

Copies of her new book will be available for purchase at the event, and Susan will be available for a book signing following her presentation.

In her book, The Age of American Unreason, 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 anti-rationalism. 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.

For more on The Age of American Unreason visit: www.susanjacoby.com.

Meetings are open to the Public

After the meeting, join us at Vitale’s Restaurant, 834 Leonard NE, Grand Rapids, MI to socialize. View Map

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About Susan Jacoby


Susan Jacoby is the author of ten books, including New York Times bestsellers: The Age of American Unreason (2008) and Alger Hiss and The Battle for History (2009). Her most recent book is entitled The Great Agnostic: Robert Ingersoll and American Freethought (2012). Jacoby is an independent scholar whose work focuses on American intellectual history. She has been a contributor for more than 25 years, on topics including law, religion, medicine, aging, women’s rights, political dissent in the Soviet Union, and Russian literature. Her articles and essays have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Washington Post Book World, Los Angeles Times Book Review, Newsday, Harper’s, The Nation, Vogue, The American Prospect, Mother Jones, and the AARP Magazine, among others. Susan has also been the recipient of many grants and awards, from the Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and Ford Foundations, as well as the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2001-2002, she was named a fellow at the Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library.