Just How Stupid Are We?

Just How Stupid Are We?

Facing the Truth About the American Voter

Book - 2008
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Levees break in New Orleans. Iraq descends into chaos. The housing market teeters on the brink of collapse. Americans of all political stripes are heading into the 2008 election with the sense that something has gone terribly wrong with American politics. But what exactly? Democrats blame Republicans and Republicans blame Democrats. Greedy corporate executives, rogue journalists, faulty voting machines, irresponsible defense contractors-we blame them, too. The only thing everyone seems to agree on, in fact, is that the American people are entirely blameless . In Just How Stupid Are We? , best-selling historian and renowned myth-buster Rick Shenkman takes aim at our great national piety: the wisdom of the American people. The hard truth is that American democracy is more direct than ever-but voters are misusing, abusing, and abdicating their political power. Americans are paying less and less attention to politics at a time when they need to pay much more: Television has dumbed politics down to the basest possible level, while the real workings of politics have become vastly more complicated. Shenkman offers concrete proposals for reforming our institutions-the government, the media, civic organizations, political parties-to make them work better for the American people. But first, Shenkman argues, we must reform ourselves.
Published: New York : Basic Books, c2008.
ISBN: 9780465077717
Branch Call Number: 320.973 SHE
Characteristics: xii, 210 p. ;,22 cm.


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Feb 19, 2016

Overall I agree with the author, although not that comfortable with anyone who appears on Fox Non-news; also agree with Publishers Weekly: // they have become increasingly ignorant of politics and world affairs--and dangerously susceptible to manipulation \\.
Certainly, if they read Jane Mayer's book, Dark Money, and David Talbot's book, The Devil's Chessboard, and Bill Press' book, Buyer's Remorse, and Erin Arvedlund's book, Open Secret, they might be a bit more clued in, but reaL democracy requires work, and we haven't had a real democracy or legitimate government since 1963, but then I am relatively highly informed by comparison!

Chapel_Hill_KenMc Dec 13, 2014

I'm a bit uncomfortable with some of Shenkman's arguments, though he is at heart a liberal and argues for increased voter education, as opposed to less democracy! It's hard to deny the overwhelming ignorance he documents here, but I still tend to blame the media industry rather than "The People" themselves.


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