How America Went Haywire : A 500-year HistoryBook - 2017
How did we get here?
In this sweeping, eloquent history of America, Kurt Andersen shows that what's happening in our country today--this post-factual, "fake news" moment we're all living through--is not something new, but rather the ultimate expression of our national character. America was founded by wishful dreamers, magical thinkers, and true believers, by hucksters and their suckers. Fantasy is deeply embedded in our DNA.
Over the course of five centuries--from the Salem witch trials to Scientology to the Satanic Panic of the 1980s, from P. T. Barnum to Hollywood and the anything-goes, wild-and-crazy sixties, from conspiracy theories to our fetish for guns and obsession with extraterrestrials--our love of the fantastic has made America exceptional in a way that we've never fully acknowledged. From the start, our ultra-individualism was attached to epic dreams and epic fantasies--every citizen was free to believe absolutely anything, or to pretend to be absolutely anybody. With the gleeful erudition and tell-it-like-it-is ferocity of a Christopher Hitchens, Andersen explores whether the great American experiment in liberty has gone off the rails.
Fantasyland could not appear at a more perfect moment. If you want to understand Donald Trump and the culture of twenty-first-century America, if you want to know how the lines between reality and illusion have become dangerously blurred, you must read this book.
Praise for Fantasyland
"With this rousing book, [Kurt] Andersen proves to be the kind of clear-eyed critic an anxious country needs in the midst of a national crisis." -- San Francisco Chronicle
"A frighteningly convincing and sometimes uproarious picture of a country in steep, perhaps terminal decline that would have the founding fathers weeping into their beards." -- The Guardian
"This is an important book--the indispensable book--for understanding America in the age of Trump. It's an eye-opening history filled with brilliant insights, a saga of how we were always susceptible to fantasy, from the Puritan fanatics to the talk-radio and Internet wackos who mix show business, hucksterism, and conspiracy theories." --Walter Isaacson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Leonardo da Vinci
From the critics
QuotesAdd a Quote
"..,the GOP more than any other U.S. institution, helped convince white people of an extraordinary falsehood underlying the others. For almost a generation now, according to a new study by professors at the Harvard Business School and Tufts, the average white American has subscribed to the fantasy that anti-white bias is a more serious problem in the the United States than anti-black bias" page 370
AgeAdd Age Suitability
There are no ages for this title yet.
SummaryAdd a Summary
There are no summaries for this title yet.
There are no notices for this title yet.