• The Assault on Reason

  • Our Information Ecosystem, from the Age of Print to the Age of Trump - 2017 Edition
  • By: Al Gore
  • Narrated by: Will Patton
  • Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 04-20-07
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio
  • 4 out of 5 stars (1,028 ratings)

Regular price: $28.00

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Publisher's Summary

Now with a New Preface and Conclusion: "Post-Truth: On Donald Trump and the 2016 Election"

What has happened to our country and how can we fix it?

We are in the midst of a deepening crisis for our democracy. After the strangest election cycle in modern American history, it is important that we address the grave threats to our way of life that were glaringly revealed in this campaign. In The Assault on Reason, Nobel Peace Prize winner and former Vice President Al Gore examines how faith in the power of reason - the idea that citizens can govern themselves through rational debate - is in peril. Our democracy depends on a well-informed citizenry and a two-way conversation about ideas, but our public sphere has been degraded by fake news and the politics of fear, partisanship, and blind faith. Now updated to investigate the rise of Trump and post-truth politics, The Assault on Reason is a call to rebuild the vitality of American democracy by restoring the nation's information ecosystem so that we can start making good decisions again.

Listen to more by Gore.
©2007 Al Gore (P)2007 Penguin Audio, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc.

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Walter
  • San Diego, CA, USA
  • 10-08-07

Partisan but Valuable

I mostly agree with Al Gore's criticism of the Bush administration (and I am not a registered Democrat). That said, the book is distinctly partisan. Never do the Democrats come in for any meaningful criticism in the book, notwithstanding that there is much to critisize. They were not the innocent, uninformed bystanders they claimed to be on the Iraq war. The voted for the war because they thought it was politically expedient to do so. At one point Gore criticizes a Republican Congress for holding up Clinton's judicial nominees, but neglected to mention that the Democrats did the same thing to Bush. So, if neutral analysis is what you want, this may not be your book. But if you want to read (or listen to) a book that raises a number of fair concerns about the Bush administration, then I think you will find it worthwhile.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • George
  • Bryan, OH, USA
  • 05-30-07

A Must-Read for every thinkiing American

Gore pulls no punches. He outlines why our society is faced with the curent loss of civil liberties and prestige in the world. He presents a solid case for the lack of citizen involvement and lays out suggestions and ideas that we all need to consider to take control of our democracy back from the power-money elite that are stripping our nation of its prestige, wealth, civil liberties and democracy. Well read and highly recommended.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tom G
  • Montreal, Canada
  • 05-11-08

Fantastic but for the narrator.

It's too bad Al Gore himself didn't read it. He's a much more credible speaker when the material is intellectual in nature. The narrator sounded like a actor from a wise-guy film or a detective from a pulp fiction novel. He also had that annoying tendency to prounounce Iraq with the "I" raq sound instead of the correct "E"raq enunciation.

The arguement itself was very well developed, with Gore taking us through the founding of the nation and educates the listener on the principles behind which the US was founded. His version could use a few clarifications, such as the fact that the US constitution borrowed so much from the French, but that can be forgiven. His ending message returns to the environment, but it is not necessary for a listener to be an environmental activist to be interested in this book. An interest in the new developments in terms of political power in the US is sufficient. Overall, a remarkable achievement for a politician.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Required reading for everyone

An extraordinary book. Part research text, part civics lesson, part critique, Vice-President Gore goes back to the views of our founding fathers when they drafted our constitution and applied modern social science research in today's era to show how our government has become what it now is, or more accurately, how we as a people let our government become what it is today.

Gore doesn't spare feelings. Like your therapist, he points out the good and bad in crystal clear language backed up with the research of today. Some of the research Gore alludes to may toughen the read for some, but it's built carefully to drive home the points he so clearly makes:

1) Modern communication has lost it's two-sidedness and in doing so, prevented the debate of our issues in order to come to the best solutions to our problems.

2) Unscrupulous individuals, gaining power, have exploited this situation to put in place their own agendas for their and their friends own benefit.

3) How to fix? Reestablish this two-way communication (he suggests internet communication) and go back to our founding fathers' premise that we are a nation of laws, not of individuals, and no one from you and me up to the President himself is above the law.

Regarding the recording, the reader is a bit sloppy at times in his phrasing, the music at the end is a bit much, and the chapter breaks don't always match the actual breaks. But overall, it is a good presentation.

This should be required reading for everyone.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Required Reading

Although Gore sits on the opposite side of the political spectrum, he has approached this critique from an objective and academic perspective. Both conservative and liberal will gain from pondering the points made here. Excellent use of the written/spoken word to awaken the populace from its slumber.

15 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Worth A Listen

I have always been a conservative republican. But, the older I get, the more I realize that the opinions I have are not my own. They have been instilled in me by others, especially my parents. At this point in my life I prefer to listen to as many diverse opinions as possible before considering if I should form my own... In most cases I now find it pointlessly stupid to even bother with an opinion... They are not who I am... But excuse me please... the book... It's not half bad... Quite a bit of Bush bashing..as expected..but overall I would still recomend it. Gore touches on many unexpected issues and Will Patton is a good narrator...

9 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kathy
  • Ketchum, ID, USA
  • 12-20-07

America's Missing Saviour

This is the civics lesson that could save America. If all the voting adults who were not sufficiently educated by our failing system were to read this book it would transform politics and probably lead, in the short time we have left, to the nomination of Al Gore to lead our nation out of this mess. The former VP's towering intellect and hope-filled heart are just what we don't have. His communication skills - the care with which he selects his words - are what it takes to fix clearly in our minds what a tragic mistake it was to elect George Bush, and how urgent it is, with still more than a year of such "leadership" ahead, to sweep the wrongheaded "values" away and restore our ideals. Will Cather is the ideal reader, too; you can hear Gore's sincerity, pain and passion. It's a masterpiece, but of course that's why those who need to hear it would never bother. What a shame!

11 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Scott
  • woodbury, MN, United States
  • 11-13-07

Critisism without solutions

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.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Not bad

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.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Andy
  • Westport, CT, United States
  • 06-10-07

inside his head

This book was a great way to get into Gore's head....and to better understand not only where he is on the key issues, but what his guiding philosophies are.
Although he has an ax to grind, it's a pretty clear and straight on treatise on where his head is at versus Dubya.
My only disappointment was that Gore did not narrate the book.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful