Aaron Gertler's Reviews > Anti-Intellectualism in American Life

Anti-Intellectualism in American Life by Richard Hofstadter
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it was amazing

I wrote a semi-review of this book in an application to the New York Times. They didn't like it enough to hire me, but I still like it enough to publish.

If you don't read much history from more than 50 years ago, I really recommend it. Sometimes, the past is a different country; sometimes, it's a different planet. A few quotes that stood out to me:

From an Eisenhower donor, questioned by a Senator in advance of his appointment to be the Ambassador to Ceylon:

Do you know who the Prime Minister of India is?
"Yes, but I can t pronounce his name."
Do you know who the Prime Minister of Ceylon is?
"His name is unfamiliar now, I cannot call it off."


On the profession of teaching in early America:

A Delaware minister observed, around 1725, that "when a ship arrives in the river, it is a common expression with those who stand in need of an instructor for their children, let us go and buy a school master!" In 1776 the Maryland Journal advertised that a ship had just arrived at Baltimore from Belfast and Cork, and enumerated among its products for sale "various Irish commodities, among which are school masters, beef, pork, and potatoes." It was about the same time that the Connecticut press printed an advertisement offering a reward for a runaway described as "a school-master, of a pale complexion, with short hair. He has the itch very bad, and sore legs." Disabled men were frequently turned into schoolteachers for lack of anything better to do with them.
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Finished Reading
January 22, 2018 – Shelved

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