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The Dumbing-Down of Political Language - Susan Jacoby

Complete video at: Author Susan Jacoby criticizes the degeneration of language within politics and the use of "folks" in the 2008 United States primary debates. ------ Writer and scholar Susan Jacoby is sure to raise some hackles with The Age of American Unreason - an unsparing jeremiad that attacks the dumbing-down of the American public. Jacoby's area of study is US intellectual history, though she worries that the field is becoming a moot point in the face of our country's pervasive "infotainment" complex. As politics get folded into entertainment, she argues, so too does morality become indistinguishable from consumerism. Though hardly the first to bemoan the pitfalls of mass culture, Jacoby's portrait of American anti-intellectualism is especially germane in the middle of an election year - Booksmith Susan Jacoby is the author of The Age of American Unreason. She began her writing career as a reporter for The Washington Post, and has been a contributor to a wide range of periodicals and newspapers for more than 25 years on topics including law, religion, medicine, aging, women's rights, political dissent in the Soviet Union and Russian literature. Jacoby has been the recipient of grants from the Guggenheim, Rockefeller and Ford Foundations, as well as the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2001-2002, she was named a fellow at the Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. Jacoby's other books include Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism (2004); Wild Justice: The Evolution of Revenge, a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1984, and Half-Jew: A Daughter's Search for Her Family's Buried Past.
Length: 04:26


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