Anti-intellectualism in American Life

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Anti-Intellectualism in American life
AntiIntellectualismInAmericanLife.jpg
First edition
Author Richard Hofstadter
Country United States
Subject Intellectualism
Publisher Knopf
Publication date
1963
Pages 434
Awards Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction (1964)
OCLC 227012080

Anti-intellectualism in American Life is a book by Richard Hofstadter published in 1963 that won the 1964 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction. In this book, Hofstadter set out to trace the social movements that altered the role of intellect in American society. In so doing, he explored questions regarding the purpose of education and whether the democratization of education altered that purpose and reshaped its form. In considering the historic tension between access to education and excellence in education, Hofstadter argued that both anti-intellectualism and utilitarianism were consequences, in part, of the democratization of knowledge. Moreover, he saw these themes as historically embedded in America's national fabric, an outcome of its colonial European and evangelical Protestant heritage. He contended that the American Protestantism's anti-intellectual tradition valued the spirit over intellectual rigour.[1] Furthermore, he also went on to note that Catholicism could have been expected to add a distinctive leaven to the intellectual dialogue, but American Catholicism lacked intellectual culture, due to its failure in developing an intellectual tradition or produce its own strong class of intellectuals.

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