Anti Intellectualism By Richard Hofstadter

1716 WordsApr 11, 20167 Pages
What is Anti-Intellectualism? According to Dictionary.com, Anti-Intellectualism is defined as being hostile toward intellectuals and the modern academic, artistic, social, religious worlds as well as other theories that are associated with them. Although Richard Hofstadter’s Anti-Intellectualism in American Life won the 1964 Pulitzer Prize, it is now almost fifty-fives out of date. Not to mention the ideas within the book are seen as suggesting a type of self-defensive justification rather than an actual deep investigation. Hoftstader used the aftermath of McCarthyism and how there were wide range witch hunts among the academics and progressives and how that is influenced by the reform, socialists and communist movements between the World Wars. Applying McCarthyism, Hoftstader looks at the tension from four different perspectives: religion, politics, business, self-help culture, and education. Taking into consideration the year the book was written, each angle is explored from the colonial period up until the 1950s. Throughout the introduction, Hofstadter makes it clear that the purpose of the book is to shed a little light on our cultural problems. Focusing on the social and political phenomenon of “anti-intellectualism” Hofstadter applies broad abstractions to social issues. He explains how applications of the abstracts presented by intellectuals can ultimately pose a threat to the social and political ambitions of certain and specific individuals. Because of this,
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