America Needs Its Nerds By Leonid Fridman

Decent Essays
Would you rather be a bigger nerd or a better athlete? I bet the majority of you said athlete because that is what American culture is rooted in. However, in his article “America Needs Its Nerds” (1990) Leonid Fridman proposes that “For America’s sake the anti-intellectual values that pervade our society must be fought.” By first spelling out how the meaning of the terms geek and nerd are derogatory, and secondly, explaining how at prestigious colleges “nerds are ostracized while athletes are idolized” and third, describing how other countries treat the intellectually serious– hold them and teachers above athletes– Fridman accomplishes his task. Through his utilization definition, rhetorical question, and contrast, Fridman seeks to…show more content…
[Fridman contrasts the ideals of the nerd and of American culture by seeing how they stand up at one of the most prestigious academic institutions: Harvard.] Fridman proclaims that even at Harvard “there is a minority of undergraduates for whom pursuing knowledge is the top priority” (lines 15-17). Many Americans see Harvard as the college attended by the best of the brightest and would expect it to have a nerdy atmosphere, however this is not the case. It is a shocking revelation for Americans to learn how the anti-intellectual culture has seeped into every part of an American’s life: from kindergarten to college. Therefore, Fridman manipulates these perplexed and shocked emotions to prompt Americans to agree with him through his statement “enough is enough,” (line 29). Furthermore, he does this to demonstrate how Americans do not want to learn for the sake of learning and only desire to attend college so they can get a better job and make more money than valuing the education they are receiving. [At the end of the article, Fridman exercises a series of rhetorical questions to draw an extra emphasis on how nerds keep America a world superpower.] During paragraph eight Fridman proposes the question “How long can America
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