The Assault on Reason
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The Assault on Reason

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3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  4,886 ratings  ·  610 reviews
A visionary analysis of how the politics of fear, secrecy, cronyism, and blind faith has combined with the degration of the public sphere to create an environment dangerously hostile to reason

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...more
Hardcover, 273 pages
Published May 22nd 2007 by Penguin Press HC, The (first published 2007)
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Manny
Nov 14, 2011 Manny rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Anyone who's worried about what's happening to the US
Point

Al Gore Tells You What's Wrong With The US, And How To Fix It

Most Americans agree that their country's on the wrong track, but what exactly is the problem? It's easy to blame it all on Dubya - no one except a few true believers would say he's blameless. But surely there's more to it than that? Al Gore has thought deeply about the issues, and his analysis makes sense. The real strength of the US is in its system of government, but a democracy is only as strong as its citizens. If they aren't...more
Andrew
This book was a very easy read, and as a pretty liberal individual, my views are very well in line with Al Gore's. I know there must be hundreds of anti-Bush books published by now, but if you just read this one, you should get a pretty good sense for the numerous abuses of this current administration. Gore cites many good examples ranging from Katrina to the War on Terror to Global Warming. The entire middle of the book is dedicated to this and eventually, I just wanted to browse through it sin...more
Jerzy
This didn't turn out to be the book I was expecting, but I'm quite glad I read it.

I think the biggest moment of insight for me came when I read these lines (and of course all the context around them):
"Respect for our president is important. But even more important is respect for our Constitution."
Indeed!
Many Republicans have denounced Bush-opposers as unpatriotic. Well now, folks, I agree it's important to respect our leaders, but NOT when they blatantly disrespect our Constitution the way the B...more
Patrick
Really, I probably would give this book a 3.75 stars, but this system only allows whole digits in its ratings.

This book is great and terrible at the same time. The start and end of this book hit it right on the mark - there is a crisis in how information about our Democracy is being shared. It is clearly being manipulated by corporations and government entities. I whole-heartedly give two-thirds of this book a might big thumbs up.

But there are flaws. A minor one is Gore's understanding of commun...more
Peter
Oct 25, 2007 Peter rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: anyone who cares about AMERICA
Gore begins by lamenting the nature of politics in the post-modern United States:

..."Why do reason, logic and truth seem to play a sharply diminished role in the way America now makes important decisions?"

American democracy is now in danger—not from any one set of ideas, but from unprecedented changes in the environment within which ideas either live and spread, or wither and die. I do not mean the physical environment; I mean what is called the public sphere, or the marketplace of ideas....


Gore...more
Elizabeth  Fuller
The idea that TV is rotting our brains is nothing new, but the idea that TV and the modern American system of politics by television has completely ruined our democracy is a bit more novel, and that is the main point of this book. Several other things struck me as I was reading this, however: 1. This book, which very bluntly calls out myriad ways in which the current Bush administration has disregarded, denied and dismantled our constitution and historical tradition, could never have been writte...more
Joshua
It's a shame that the people who should read this book never will. Al Gore's critique of the current state of media, politics and democracy in America is thoughtful and thought provoking. His writing is methodical and intelligent, if slightly repetetive and not always clearly structured. The book points out Gore's perspective that our country has fallen into a slump of disinterested, uninformed decision-making. He says one of the major factors contributing to this state is the ubiquitous nature...more
Travis Kirk
After reading this book my sentiment is that Al Gore could be a modern day Abraham Lincoln. His work demonstrates his knowledge of the human condition both through science and scholarship. His book looks at decline reason in Society. Gore quotes many frightening prophecies from men like Thomas Jefferson to show us that the alarm bells have been ringing only we're too ignorant to know what to listen for because we (me included) have never read Jefferson or Thomas Payne. I didn't quite know of his...more
Peter Namtvedt
Feb 08, 2009 Peter Namtvedt rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: nobody
Al Gore is an example of men who fail in their quest for the highest office despite very clear intelligence and seeming lack of cynicism. I may disagree with his 2006 book, An Inconvenient Truth, but this book The Assault on Reason, seems well argued but hardly deep. It is a fair compendium of Democrat propaganda.

Gore is partly right about the war in Iraq. However, the real problem is not merely that there really was no case for it based on weapons of mass destruction: the right reason to take...more
Lamia Al-Qahtani
مؤلف الكتاب هو آل جور السياسي الأمريكي ونائب الرئيس الأمريكي بيل كلينتون في فترتيه الرئاسيتين وهو ناشط معروف في مجال الحفاظ على البيئة والطاقة وقد قدّم فيلما وثائقيا عن هذا الموضوع وحاز على الأوسكار عام ٢٠٠٧ ، وحاز آل جور على جائزة نوبل للسلام لنشاطه في مجال التغيير المناخي.
هذه المقدمة عن المؤلف ضرورية لفهم هذا الكتاب الذي شن فيه هجوما على الرئيس جورج بوش الابن وإدارته وسياسته في إدارة الحرب وهجومه على العقل في تسعة فصول هي: سياسات الخوف - تضليل المؤمنين - سياسات الثروة - أكاذيب محبوكة - هجوم عل...more
Steph Fisher
Jul 24, 2007 Steph Fisher rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: one and all
Gore confronts the Bush administration on issues of policy, ideology, and ethics in a rational manner, and lays out his argument that television and a lack of transparency in the government is causing the trend of an apathetic, cynical public. At first I was skeptical of his argument railing against TV, because it seems like such an easy thing to attack. But it is hard to deny the way television, as the primary source of most American's news and information, has contributed to a lack of civic di...more
Melissa
Mar 24, 2008 Melissa rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Every Single American (and Every Single Non-American while we're at it)
Recommended to Melissa by: Professor Kathleen Iannello
THIS BOOK SHOULD BE REQUIRED READING FOR EVERY AMERICAN! This book lays out what exactly our government is doing, and how we are letting them systematically destroy "our democracy" and turn it into a Theocracy. It lays out flat how every single report the admin. has gone on to justify our wars has been a lie, often ignoring true reports from independent sources and going with biased reports from interest groups. How they are deleting, re-classifying, and covering up documents on the war, the env...more
Andrea Hagen-Arndt
This is a must read in an election year. Gore outlines how television, a cool medium, has reduced political discourse to sounds bites. He pleads to a return to reasoned discourse, perhaps through the internet and blogs. The analysis is outstanding and disturbing. His solutions are not fully formed. Is there a way out of being observers back into being participants. He's doing a good job of it himself.
Mary Godwin
Over the top! Outstanding! The best read regarding my life as a U.S. citizen I've had since reading Thomas Friedman's The World is Flat. For more from me bout this book, I refer you to "Body Electric" where I've written extensively.
Bethany
can you imagine a world in which a man was president who knew to translate philosophers of the public sphere into readable prose--in addition to winning the Nobel??? it's enough to make my cry.
John
Would Al Gore be Al Gore now if he had been sworn in as the President he was elected to be? I don't know, but I really like the current Gore, and I can see why many want him back in pubic office.
Greg
The book focuses mostly on the idea that reason is no longer employed to make educated and responsible decisions in life, particularly in regards to our political discourse and policy. Gore spends the first part of the book talking about technology and how we get our information. He talks about radio and television and how their one way nature in communicating information affected us not only from a psychological standpoint but from a neuroscience standpoint as well(how information from these so...more
Kat
If I had read before the holiday this year my whole Republican family would have gotten a copy for Christmas. It´s a book you have to love and hate. Gore is the man, and we will lament his loss and praise his sense, but we are made to feel a little stupid for these last 8 years.

Just picturing Bush sending back the CIA report telling them to make a connection to Iraq after they already said there was no connection never will quite match his innocent/child-like expressions and poor locution. Perha...more
Erma Aker
Feb 05, 2008 Erma Aker rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Rob, Jenn, Bob, Laurie
Excellent book, although you could really start with Chapter 4. The first 3 chapters are a prelude to and set up for the rest of the book. Details the many ways are personal liberties have been curtailed and destroyed under the Bush/Evangelical administration. This book makes you hear things in the news differently and gives a context to the usual 30 second sound bites we get through the media. Very scary though, to think we already have the "disappeared" in America-people who have been declared...more
Sergio Flores Niklitschek
Es un libro súper interesante que habla de cómo la sociedad se vuelve poco a poco más ignorante y tolera a gobernantes que no utilizan la razón como mecanismo para gobernar, sino los intereses propios. Un poquito lento a ratos y con un espíritu 'Nosotros, los estadounidenses, ejemplo mundial y salvación para la humanidad', pero es bueno al fin y al cabo por el mensaje que trata de transmitir (o, si nos ponemos escépticos, el mensaje que finge transmitir)
David
Al Gore has written a well-reasoned critique of the Administration's leadership (or lack of same). He draws on Chomsky and other progressive critics. This book is surprisingly direct for a practicing politician. Of course, the environmental parts are the hardest-hitting.
If the conservative coup in 2000 had been prevented, this country, under Gore, would have had liberty and justice for all, not just the superrich.
David
Gore presents his disagreements with his opponents as evidence of their mental inferiority. Even though his critiques of their policies are reasonable, by framing them as a question of smart (him) and dumb (them), he alienates anyone whom he might want to convince of his position. And massively annoys those who are already on his side.
Sarah Walton
Sep 27, 2007 Sarah Walton rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Everyone
It's hard as hell to read, but my god. I feel like we all should. It's amazing the damage that has been done. If we don't know about it, and we don't talk about it, then it will just get worse.

Read it.
Steve
It would be easy to dismiss this book as the rabid sour grapes of a man that was cheated out of the presidency in 2000, and certainly much of the content is searing criticism of the Bush administration – however the underlying theme is one of dismay against the inaccessibility of participation in the democratic process to the majority of people. While Gore is entirely (and sometimes sickeningly) focused on American Democracy and in particular the manner in which Bush has subverted the US constit...more
Paul
What to say about this book? Other than it totally, in clear and step by step methodical detail, listed and described not only the abuses of the Bush administration in the past eight years, but also proceeds to specifically pin them down, and then explain as to how this is bad for America as a whole.

I didn't get the impression that Al Gore was being for one side or the other in this book - if anything, it felt like he was making a case for the return to the place that reason and thinking has in...more
Joe
In this book, AG has pulled together, supported, and articulated a thesis that resonates with thoughts, worries, and concerns I have been having for years now. That is, watching the elections and politics of the last decade, being somewhat aware of the thrusts and “rhetoric” of right-wing talk shows, and seeing the garbage that floats around the internet, it strikes me that critical thinking is at an alarmingly low ebb in our country. One of the central theses of the book is that our democracy b...more
Dorothy
This book came out in 2007 and is primarily concerned with the abuses to democracty that occurred during the Bush years in the White House, so it is a bit dated at this point.

On the other hand, those abuses are so much in the news these days that it is rather useful to have this book which really lays everything out and connects the dots. Gore shows very clearly how the policy of political expediency and the overwhelming obsession for punishing Iraq and Saddam Hussein overlaid every decision ta...more
Christopher
A good book on the importance of two-way dialogue in our democracy and a scathing critique of the failed Bush administration. Despite the number of times I read about it, it still never ceases to amaze me how dangerous the current administration has become to our basic rights as citizens and how important this current election is for our country. I also completely agree with Mr. Gore that we as Americans are no longer communicating effectively with one another in the "marketplace of ideas" to ma...more
Craig
Al Gore is a changed man.

I've been fascinated by his transformation over these past seven years (has it really been that long?!). When the Supreme Court took away his chances at fighting for presidential victory he earned by winning the popular vote, he looked beaten. Many thought his political career was over.

In those first few years, you really didn't hear too much. And then came those enviro slides shows and the movie (An Inconvenient Truth). He won an Oscar for that. A Nobel Prize nomination...more
M
Jul 15, 2007 M rated it 2 of 5 stars Recommends it for: people who really like Al Gore?
This book was OK. I will admit that it was an impulse purchase from the AU campus bookstore the last time I went over there to tie up some loose ends at the Eagle office, and it kind of delivered like an impulse book purchase: not half bad, not half great and kind of monotonous.

Gore's got some good insights (and statistics) about things the Bush administration got wrong ... but nothing I (or any other well-educated person with common sense and an independent mind) haven't noticed already. It's l...more
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Al Gore 2 27 Feb 01, 2014 10:56PM  
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  • What's the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America
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  • American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America
  • The Age of American Unreason
5658
Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. was the forty-fifth Vice President of the United States, serving from 1993 to 2001 under President Bill Clinton. Gore also served in the U. S. House of Representatives (1977–85) and the U. S. Senate (1985–93), representing Tennessee. Gore was the Democratic nominee for president in the 2000 election, ultimately losing to the Republican candidate George W. Bush in spite...more
More about Al Gore...
An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis An Inconvenient Truth: The Crisis of Global Warming: Teen Edition

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“The rule of reason is the true sovereign in the American system.” 3 likes
“عندما يكون ما تقوم به الحكومة متاحا بالكامل لفحص مواطنيها وخاضعا للمناقشة والجدال الفعال، يصبح من الصعب إخفاء الاستخدام الفاسد للسلطة العامة من أجل مكاسب شخصية، وإذا كان حكم العقل هو المعيار الذي يقوّم به كل استخدام للسلطة الرسمية، يمكن عندئذ لجماعة المواطنين الواعية الكشف عن أشد خطط خرق الثقة العامة تعقيدا وضبطها، إضافة إلى ذلك فإنه عندما تصعد الأفكار أو تهبط حسب جدارتها، يميل العقل إلى دفعنا في اتجاه قرارات تعكس أفضل المتاح من حكمة الجماعة كلها.” 2 likes
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