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Anti-intellectualism in American Life

Anti-Intellectualism in American life
File:Richard Hofstadter - Anti-intellectualism in American Life.jpeg
Author Richard Hofstadter
Country United States
Subject Intellectualism
Publisher Knopf
Publication date
Pages 434
Awards Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction (1964)
ISBN ISBN 978-0-394-70317-6
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. Anti-intellectualism and utilitarianism were functions of American cultural heritage, not necessarily of democracy.


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