Susan Jacoby – The Age of American Unreason

June 13, 2008

Susan Jacoby is the author of Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism. A prominent public intellectual, she frequently appears in publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Free Inquiry. Her latest best selling book is The Age of American Unreason.

In this conversation with D.J. Grothe, Susan Jacoby explores recent trends that she argues have led to the “age of American unreason,” including religious fundamentalism, mass media consumption and “video culture,” and multiculturalism. She addresses how fundamentalism feeds anti-intellectualism in America, and how not only fundamentalism can be blamed for it. She details both the upside and the downside of the internet, the perils of too much TV viewing, and the effect of such over-consumtion on the cultural literacy of average Americans. She addresses criticism that she is merely “elitist” or a “luddite,” and ends with specifics on how people can work to challenge the Age of American Unreason.

Sign up for the Point of Inquiry Newsletter

New POI episodes sent straight to you. Just type in your email. We don't share your email or send unnecessary spam. Just news and updates about the show!