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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 (163 )
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3.9 (141 )
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  •  
    Vargas Minneapolis, MN, United States 09-19-11
    Vargas Minneapolis, MN, United States 09-19-11 Member Since 2010
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    "You Get What You Paid For"

    The title of this book makes it so obvious what you are buying that I can't believe people actually take the time to write reviews bashing it. When I bought this book, I knew I was buying a trashy book that was going to smear Conservatives. That's what I wanted, that's what I paid for, and that's exactly what I got. So, please, if you are a sensative conservative reader, prone to tantrums and an undeserved sense of victimization, then you really should NOT be buying this book (unless of course your only goal is to buy the book cheap so you can not read it, but still bash it in the comments section).

    The Book is a wonderful collection of silliness. Numerous examples of how the Right has attacked everything good and educated in this world, dumbed it down, twisted it into an unrecognizable mass of bitterness and hatred, and then sold it as their own product to Limbaugh's acolytes. From the Creation Museum (terrifying to be sure) to the Conservative take-over of Talk Radio, the book is an fountain of interesting factoids and historical perspective coupled with a very sarcastic wit. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was my traveling companion as I was traveling through Utah, and I would highly recommend this to any Liberal/Progressive reader looking for a giggle inbetween conservative-bashing.

    46 of 50 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Reich Northern, CA 05-24-13
    Chris Reich Northern, CA 05-24-13 Member Since 2005

    Business Physicist and Astronomer

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    "There Is Now Scientific Evidence for..."

    Indeed we are becoming a country of idiots and this book points out many of the really stupid things people in this country believe.

    I personally do not care if people believe that the earth is 6,000 years old. Everyone, myself included, has at least one totally irrational belief in their baggage.

    My objection to the beliefs of others is inflamed when nutty beliefs are taught in schools or guide important political policies. No, a 6,000 year old earth is not a different point of view deserving equal time with evolution; it's nutty. I hate to see kids taught that nonsense by their parents but hey, it's a free country. And that, sadly, is the point.

    So, like me, you'll read this to reinforce what you already believe. Or you will spit nails over your right to believe these nutty things and see it as yet another attack on god-fearing people.

    If you're not in the nut wing, you'll get a few really good laughs and in the end, you'll feel a little sad.

    Go for it. I highly recommend this book.

    Chris Reich, TeachU

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    david brentwood, TN, United States 09-11-11
    david brentwood, TN, United States 09-11-11 Member Since 2010

    my thoughts

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    "Liked it alot!"

    Good book. I believe this book details the decline of America.Side note, Bronson Pinchot is an awesome narrator.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim MOUNT DORA, FL, United States 11-09-11
    Jim MOUNT DORA, FL, United States 11-09-11 Member Since 2008
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    "Hilarious and Insightful"

    Charles Pierce has given us a book citing virtually hundreds of society's foibles and foolish manifestations. It's brilliantly written, astute and very funny. Moreover, it's astute food for thought. It's well worth repeated listenings. Excellent job by Bronson Pinchot as well.
    Jim Carlton

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt United States 04-05-13
    Matt United States 04-05-13 Member Since 2007
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    "Must Listen"

    This should be a must listen for every high school senior. Want to know why the media is a mess? Your answers are here. This book made me mad, bummed me out, and broadened my view.

    The stupidity it points out might bring you down, but this book is important and very good.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jerry Piney Flats, Tennessee, United States 05-16-14
    Jerry Piney Flats, Tennessee, United States 05-16-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Pierce tells it like it is, pulls no punches!"
    What made the experience of listening to Idiot America the most enjoyable?

    A lot of details of American historical figures is revealed, some of which I had not heard before, some of which I heard from other, reliable sources. So, I can't dispute what he says about the people he rants about.


    What other book might you compare Idiot America to and why?

    This is the first such on this subject I have ever tried, and I found it very entertaining.


    What does Bronson Pinchot bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His voice and reading were very expressive and conveyed emotional content very well.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I did listen to it all in one sitting, as I commonly do with most audio books. I am a professional driver and am behind the wheel for extended periods of time. Audio books are perfect for keeping me occupied.


    Any additional comments?

    I wasn't deeply satisfied with the content of the book, the author harps excessively on one particular individual throughout the chapters and this tends to become wearing on my attention. I caught myself wondering why he was obsessed with this one person. But overall, it's a good essay on the Idiot American, and fairly entertaining.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    FjHarty Washington State 05-08-14
    FjHarty Washington State 05-08-14 Member Since 2007

    Frank

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    "A Pretty Good Start"
    What made the experience of listening to Idiot America the most enjoyable?

    To me the examples resonated and were things that some of my more right leaning friends haven't thought through. I think there are many many more examples that make this "Idiot America"


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    Nothing was really "compelling" but is pressed I would have to say the narrators tone at times.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    NO


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ted Nevada 07-08-14
    Ted Nevada 07-08-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Agreed with premise. But tedious writing."
    Any additional comments?

    I agreed with the author's points. But, the organization, the structure, was a disappointment. The author got lost in too many tedious historical stories from the 19th century. Of the last ten audio books I have done, this is the dullest. And most of my books are about history or politics.

    The book could have been more tightly built around more contemporary examples of idiocy in American life. At least it could have started in the 1920's, an era more relevant to us. There is plenty of idiocy material to work with in the last 90 years : -)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig Maull Lewes, Delaware USA 09-01-12
    Craig Maull Lewes, Delaware USA 09-01-12 Member Since 2006
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    "Great read. Humorous and spot on."
    What did you love best about Idiot America?

    I found Idiot America expressed thoughts and feelings I have had on my mind for a long time but could not articulate anywhere nearly as well as Mr. Pierce. His observations are astute and his style of expressing them clear and, at times, hilarious. It made me smile at the prose and sometimes want to weep at the lunicy running roughshod over our country. Bronson Pinchot was a perfect narrator for this work too.


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

    I have heard a few of Bronson Pinchot's narrations and find his amazing flexability a rare treat. He can narrate both the serious and somewhat flippant, the frightning and the funny without ever seeming to have to struggle for just the right way to do it. For Idiot America he was the perfect choice.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    A lot of history is wound up with the timeline of this book. Donnely's Ninenger, Parts of the life of the Founding Fathers as well as the behind the scenes personalities involved in our constitution are brought to light. These are kind of back story, but they are illuminating enough to pique curiosity on the subjects, many of which I had never heard of.


    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Kingston, WA, United States 01-02-13
    John Kingston, WA, United States 01-02-13 Member Since 2001
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    "Good but repetitive"

    This book could have been much shorter. The author makes the same case over and over. It still worth reading.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
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