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Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free | [Charles P. Pierce]

Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free

The culture wars are over and the idiots have won. This is a veteran journalist’s caustically funny, righteously angry lament about the glorification of ignorance in the United States. The three Great Premises of Idiot America: · Any theory is valid if it sells books, soaks up ratings, or otherwise moves units; anything can be true if someone says it loudly enough; "fact" is that which enough people believe. And "truth" is determined by how fervently they believe it.
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Publisher's Summary

The culture wars are over and the idiots have won. This is a veteran journalist’s caustically funny, righteously angry lament about the glorification of ignorance in the United States.

The three Great Premises of Idiot America: · Any theory is valid if it sells books, soaks up ratings, or otherwise moves units; anything can be true if someone says it loudly enough; "fact" is that which enough people believe. And "truth" is determined by how fervently they believe it.

Charles Pierce has led a career-long quest to separate the smart from the pap, and now it’s time to try and salvage the Land of the Enlightened, buried somewhere in this new Home of the Uninformed. With his razor-sharp wit and erudite reasoning, Pierce delivers a gut-wrenching, side-splitting lament about the glorification of ignorance in the United States and how a country founded on intellectual curiosity has deteriorated into a nation of simpletons more apt to vote for an American Idol contestant than a presidential candidate.

With Idiot America, Pierce’s thunderous denunciation is also a secret call to action, as he hopes that, somehow, being intelligent will stop being a stigma and that pinheads will once again be pitied, not celebrated.

©2009 Charles P. Pierce (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“A raucous rant against the armies of the right…. Pierce is at his scathing, insightful best.” (Boston Globe)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (203 )
5 star
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3.7 (182 )
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4.0 (178 )
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  •  
    Trenton Tampa, FL, United States 06-25-14
    Trenton Tampa, FL, United States 06-25-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Didn't care for it"

    3 stars is generous and I'm only giving it three stars because I listened about 25% and decided that I had listened to enough.

    I prefer objective factual information, this book did not have enough of it to support it's points. I just felt like he took a bunch of cheap shots at conservatives the whole way through, inflating outlier events/people that he mentions as if they were an accurate representation of the entire conservative community.

    I just felt like there was too much subjectivity in his criticisms, too much appeal to the emotion rather than to logic. So, I wouldn't recommend this book, had I listened to >25%, I am relatively sure that I would feel justified in going down to one star.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David PASADENA, CA, United States 05-27-14
    David PASADENA, CA, United States 05-27-14 Member Since 2010

    Started audiobooks years ago. Now instead of pop music on my ride to work or walk around the neighborhood I get enriched and smarter.

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    "I am not encouraged"
    What did you like best about Idiot America? What did you like least?

    We actually get a historical look at the dumbing down of America. How certain trends started and grew way out of control.


    If you’ve listened to books by Charles P. Pierce before, how does this one compare?

    Have not read any others.


    Have you listened to any of Bronson Pinchot’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not heard any of his other performances, but this wwas nice. Just the right amount of sarcasm and condescension.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    This is the prequel to Idiocracy.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tyler St. Louis Park, MN, United States 09-29-11
    Tyler St. Louis Park, MN, United States 09-29-11 Member Since 2008
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    "Sooo, WHY are we talking about this now?"

    This is what was going through my head the entire audiobook. Although I agree with his premise and most of the points he makes, the flow of the book is a complete and utter mess. One minute he's talking about Glenn Beck, then about James Madison, and I really have no idea why. Once he gets on a topic (Terri Schiavo for example) the flow of the details and the descriptions are really great. It's just that he jumps from topic to topic without really any rhyme or reason.

    7 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom Mississauga, Ontario, Canada 04-07-14
    Tom Mississauga, Ontario, Canada 04-07-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Clever phraseology, boring narrative"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would not. The title promises more than is delivered. The author's attempts at crafting a lens by which "Idiot America" has evolved and responds is clouded by irrelevant rants devoid of any argument deconstruction, and a chronology that wantonly skips back and forth over the last 200 years like your mother's big band records.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Charles P. Pierce again?

    No


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Did not have one.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    It's non-fiction - this is a stupid question. Maybe Idiot America is alive and well.


    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew 12-13-14
    Andrew 12-13-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Interesting info, but slap-in-the-face rude"

    This book sounded very interesting, I thought it would be dealing with the decline of science education in America.
    However really the book seemed to be a rant, and the basic premise is that anyone who believes in any sort of higher power must be complete and total idiot. This is less well researched social critique and more diarrhea of the mouth rant.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom RED OAK, TX, United States 04-23-11
    Tom RED OAK, TX, United States 04-23-11 Member Since 2009
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    "I wanted to like this..."

    I don't disagree with the author's basic premise,.. unfortunately, this turns into a far-left 'hit piece' pretty quickly.

    If you are on the far left,.. this book is for you.

    17 of 46 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Neil Stamford,CT. USA 02-12-15
    Neil Stamford,CT. USA 02-12-15 Member Since 2007
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    "Wow, a real stinker!"
    What disappointed you about Idiot America?

    I was hoping for an unbiased piece on educational/cultural values but what the author seems preoccupied with is that if you don't think like him...your an idiot!


    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Moose Bristol, VA USA 07-09-14
    A. Moose Bristol, VA USA 07-09-14 Member Since 2013

    WDW Moose

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    "The cranks now are in charge of Idiot America"
    Where does Idiot America rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Most of the book's I read are mysteries, so this book was a great change of pace. I really did enjoy listening.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Not a character book, but I really did enjoy learning about the "cranks" of America's past.


    Which character – as performed by Bronson Pinchot – was your favorite?

    Not really answerable.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric B. MO, USA 08-22-13
    Eric B. MO, USA 08-22-13 Member Since 2008
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    "Great Concept poorly Executed"

    A bunch of disconnected, un-ordered gibberish, never making a solid point, at least not in the first three hours, at which point I turned off the book. The author writes as if he is in love with the sound of his own pen. He jumps all over the place never really making a point. Desperately needed an editor, author sound like he is love the sound of his own writing. Given the book summary I expected at lot more, I expected to laugh as he points out various points that are too obvious and far too true about how media has warped our opinions and brainwashed the masses. I didn’t expect to be enlighten, just entertained and maybe given a few points of view of that I had not thought of, like discussing state of politics with a good friend with whom you share many views, but now all. Instead I felt like I was listening to a lecture by a arrogant professor that is in love with his own voice and loves to show off his intelligence.

    3 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Grosser San Antonio, TX United States 03-25-12
    Carol Grosser San Antonio, TX United States 03-25-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Politically Confused and Rural Bashing!"

    This is really a very hard book to follow because the listener never knows when the reader, Mr. Pinchot, is quoting in the text another author and when he is back to reading the author, Mr. Pierce. Other readers pause or use other verbal cues to indicate the end of a quote, but this reader fails us in that respect.

    Additionally being from the rural South I really disliked Mr. Pierce's putdown of rural people and their lack of intelligence in one way or another throughout. Even his political views were confused--sometimes he sounded more like a rabid conservative than a person who might question dominant fairy tales like 911 the result of some men in a plane where overwhelming scientific minds of highly reputable repute have differed. It is almost like he wants us to believe he is an original thinker and not an idiot where most of his views indicate otherwise.

    In his beliefs on Kennedy, he does not state whether the lone nut job is true or not to his mind, but he says if as indicated most Americans believe it is not a lone nut job, then he states, Americans should do something about it! The overwhelming power that government now has over its people and had even in the 1960s and 1970s (the shootings at Kent State being evidence of that) means that Americans can't do anything about anything government does, short of a 100% sitdown strike, which really doesn't happen at any time in history until the masses face starvation or rebellion. Being shot in the head in a strike or dying from starvation, the shot in the head is probably the best way to go. As long as government somehow manages to convince a few of the "stupid" rural people that Pierce runs on about to grow corn or potatoes, there will be enough empty calories of one sort or another to ward off stomach pains and therefore desperation.

    9 of 32 people found this review helpful

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