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A visionary analysis of how the politics of fear, secrecy, cronyism, and blind faith has combined with the degration of the public sphere to create an environment dangerously hostile to reason
At the time George W. Bush ordered American forces to invade Iraq, 70 percent of Americans believed Saddam Hussein was linked to 9/11. Voters in Ohio, when asked by pollsters to list what stuck in their minds about the campaign, most frequently named two Bush television ads that played to fears of terrorism.
We live in an age when the thirty-second television spot is the most powerful force shaping the electorate's thinking, and America is in the hands of an administration less interested than any previous administration in sharing the truth with the citizenry. Related to this and of even greater concern is this administration's disinterest in the process by which the truth is ascertained, the tenets of fact-based reasoning-first among them an embrace of open inquiry in which unexpected and even inconvenient facts can lead to unexpected conclusions.
How did we get here? How much damage has been done to the functioning of our democracy and its role as steward of our security? Never has there been a worse time for us to lose the capacity to face the reality of our long-term challenges, from national security to the economy, from issues of health and social welfare to the environment. As The Assault on Reason shows us, we have precious little time to waste.
Gore's larger goal in this book is to explain how the public sphere itself has evolved into a place hospitable to reason's enemies, to make us more aware of the forces at work on our own minds, and to lead us to an understanding of what we can do, individually and collectively, to restore the rule of reason and safeguard our future. Drawing on a life's work in politics as well as on the work of experts across a broad range of disciplines, Al Gore has written a farsighted and powerful manifesto for clear thinking.
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. As scathing as it is meticulous, Gore's treatise on reason juggernauts its way through the Bush administration, never even needing to include the controversial nature of Bush's presidential elections. He identifies the growing concentration of power in the executive branch virtually ignored by mainstream media. Drawing on the great political philosophers of history and his lengthy career in government, Gore contends that the loss of a genuine public forum in the age of radio and television has led to the decay of democracy. He delivers a serious critique of the United States tempered by hope and faith in the restoration of checks and balances. The articulated venom of Gore's words can be heard in Patton's voice as he narrates. He reads with an intensity that makes this already engaging prose compelling. Patton maintains a distinct smooth and edgy voice, but maintains a cadence that reminds listeners of Gore's own speaking mannerisms. In quoting historical figures, Patton's voice is distinct but not haughty or pompous. The combination of Patton's performance and Gore's words make this an impressive audiobook.
Copyright ® Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
""This book shows a fiery, throw-caution-to-the winds Al Gore, who . . . has decided to lay it all on the line with a blistering assessment of the Bush administration and the state of public discourse in America.""--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
""Gore's faith in human nature is braver and sharper than (the cynics). . . . This book isn't about him; it's about the republic whose freedoms depend on increasing reasoned debate and reducing intimidating noise.""--The Boston Globe
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
- ISBN: 9781594201226