Listen to Susan on the Religion News Service podcast, from July 28th: "A Celebrant of Atheism and humanism."
commentary on religion and politics under Trump.

Out now: The Age of American Unreason in a Culture of Lies, in a new paperback edition from Vintage Books.

Susan Jacoby’s national bestseller, The Age of American Unreason, was first published in 2008. In this new edition, she explains why many of the cultural trends she explored a decade ago—a public attention span reduced by digital dependency, the inability to distinguish between facts based on serious scholarly and journalistic research and rumors spread by social media, and the presence of continuous digital distractions—had more to do with the election of Donald Trump as president in 2016 than the conventional explanations usually advanced in the press.

Jacoby argues forcefully that a geometric progression in public ignorance was much more important than Trump’s potent appeal to anachronistic white American nationalism, Hillary Clinton’s shortcomings as a candidate, Russian interference in the electoral process, or the gap

between “the elites” and ordinary workers. “Fake news,” a phrase that did not exist in 2008, can only flourish in a culture in which increasing numbers of people lack the critical thinking skills—and refuse to take the time—to distinguish between the fake and the real.

If you read The Age of American Unreason in 2008, The Age of American Unreason in a Culture of Lies , with new research based on changes in American politics and culture during the past decade, will provide answers to the question of how we got from Barack Obama in 2008 to Trump in 2016. The author makes a convincingly case against the short-term answers being offered by politicans and much of the media. To understand what happened and why, Americans must face the long-term erosion of education, knowledge, and respect for reason. In a culture of unreason, people turn to unreasonable politicians who offer unreasonable, or fake, solutions to very real problems. [MORE INFO]


Susan's new book, Why Baseball Matters, is available now.

Baseball is a clockless game at odds with the shortened attention spans of technology-obsessed modern lives. It is, paradoxically, a profitable business that is losing younger fans. This is the dilemma explored by Susan Jacoby in her heartfelt but unsparing assessment of the “national pastime.” Combining her critical intelligence with love of the game, Jacoby asks what can be done to once again invest baseball with meaning for the young.


Out now from Pantheon Books, Susan Jacoby's book, Strange Gods: A Secular History of Conversion.

Beginning with Saul blinded by the light on the road to Damascus, Strange Gods, offers a provocative and original exploration of the cultural, economic and political forces driving religious conversion in the Western world. [MORE INFO]


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