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 recent campaign, most frequently named two Bush television ads that played to fears of terrorism.
We live in an age when the 30-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 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 explains, we have precious little time to waste.
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.
Listen to more by Gore.
©2007 Al Gore; (P)2007 Penguin Audio, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc.
"Soon the political world will be buzzing about Gore's new book...about the assault on reason. It will be a call to action against the politics of radical ideology, fear and greed that have led America into an unwise war and Washington into an era of scandal that has only begun to unfold." (The Hill)
After listening to this book, I am very disappointed that VP Gore did not run again in 2004. I truly believe that he could have soothed the wounds of the nation after 9/11. Instead, with all of his knowledge of the Bush White House goings-on, he stood on the side lines. A lot of this information died before it saw the light of day. I guess he did not have to worry about being deported to Gitmo. Will Patton did a wonderful job, as always.
Reader And Listener
I had listened to this before, soon after its release, on CD. It's disconcerting at first hearing a familiar actor's voice reading Al Gore's words but the actor comes accross as believing the words he reads. Though I never really got used to it I soon learned to tune out the oddness. The book itself is extremely well reasoned, and well presented. I will probably listen to it again in a year or two,
Since all the info is out there about the trove of crimes committed and nothing has been done, then what was the point? Gore made money on the book and no one did anything. No longer are we a nation of laws.
Would rather have my money back.
I'm an avowed fan of Al Gore's but I was impressed on how apolitical this book was. I'd recommend everyone to read this one, from the political junkie to those who choose to avoid the subject of politics entirely.
Great thesis about the shift from scientific realism and elightenment to manipulating opinion and facts to fit what you want. Then 8 hours of why Bush is such a loser. Then some incoherent stuff about how the internet will change things....duh. I would have liked to know what Al would do. Well read by Patton.
This book was very well written and did a good job explaining to me why Al Gore feels that the political process could use an overhaul. It wasn't about the "assault on reason" as much as I figured it would be, but was good nonetheless. Gore's resentment about losing the presidency showed sometimes, but not so much that it felt like a bunch of complaining. He showed a good deal more restraint than I would have if I were in his shoes.
Very good book, however Mr Gore forgets to include those elements which make good arguments great: the retort to potential attacks against his claims weren't addressed as much as one would expect. He also neglects to mention possible counter arguments toward the reliance on the internet for reliable information.
Mr Gore presents well documented evidence that, under the administration of George W Bush, our democracy is in jeopardy of losing its most fundamental entitlements. These entitlements include the expectation of privacy and the rule of law and the assumption that Congress will have oversight of Presidential power and conduct reasoned debate within their representative positions.
While sometimes wordy and repetitive-tho I found the repetition helpful-Mr Gore makes a persuasive argument for why Americans have placidly gone along with the status quo. The more I listened, the more I found myself outraged by the deferral of the public interest to cronyism and self-interest. Politically motivated appointments, intimidation of scientists and their research which contradicts official party line and political self-interest, intentional ignorance of critical security data in favor of the visions of ideologues, the use of demagoguery and fear to manipulate public opinion and intimidate opposition - all of these examples point to a corrupt and inept administration ready to water down our democracy, empower the executive and silence opposition.
Mr Gore ably points out that our nation is in dire need of Reason. Fear has immobilized the general public, which is engaged in a mass inertia, self-victimized by the lies that have promulgated anxiety and misinformation. Ordinary citizens, who lack the means of mass advertising and it’s coercive properties, have very little influence these days on the course of events.
Mr Gore sets his hopes for the future on the democratizing promise of the Internet and it’s many products (blogging, Wiki’s and its current state of “net neutrality”) vis-a-vis economic and social equality.
I encourage this listen as a powerful indictment of, and solution for, public apathy and a source of motivation to anyone who feels helpless against the power-mongers and “deciders” of the nation.
Sometimes the best thing a partisan can do is just start spewing the truth. Gore's ideals are indeed just that; he didn't achieve them in his vice-presidency as often as he'd have liked, but after reading this book, I wish that Gore had been the frontman instead of Clinton.
That said, how does someone who has every right to be bitter get away with attacking the candidate that beat him? The bludgeoning hammer of truth and fact. These aren't all partisan shots; these are fundamental challenges to philosophy that deserve to be aired. Gore generally stays above the fray, though not always, and points out the evidential flaws that have existed in the Bush administration from Day 1, and lays them out to the jury of the citizens.
Not only does he get away with it; he nails it.
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