If a man is articulate and intelligent, charming and successful and supremely self-confident why would you ever suspect that he’s also ignorant?--that he doesn’t know what he’s doing? How would you ever guess?
In President Obama’s case, you piece knowledge together out of the odd comment, strange choice of words, peculiar turn of phrase, puzzling decision. But the problem goes much deeper than Obama and will last much longer. The president is the first of a new breed, with a whole army of airheads behind him. They are the first wave of PORGIs settling themselves comfortably in the driver’s seat of American culture. PORGIs today (Post-Religious, Globalist, Intellectuals or Intellectual-izers) are what WASPs used to be: proud bosses of America’s cultural elite. But PORGIs have been educated without ever learning history, or any basis on which to love, or even admire, or even approve of America and Americanism. Yet with every passing year, American culture is more firmly in their hands.
This book discusses Obama and the modern airhead, and investigates the origins of the PORGI in the enormous but hidden fact of America’s Cultural Revolution. In the generation following World War II, 1945-1970, America’s elite colleges were transformed from social to intellectual powerhouses. Their leading students, professors and officers used to be socially prominent WASPs; after the Revolution, they were intellectuals or aspiring intellectuals. During this same generation, the influence of American universities expanded hugely, as college populations increased and the influence of graduate and (especially) professional schools did too. Alumni of these transformed elite universities populate America’s New Establishment--its new PORGI establishment. Obama himself is unimportant. But the big change in America he represents has already transformed the country, and will do much more (and may do much worse) before it is played out.
About The Author:
Gelernter is professor of computer science at Yale, contributing editor at the Weekly Standard, regular contributor to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and former board member of the National Endowment for the Arts. His books include Mirror Worlds (one of the most influential books in computer science”: Technology Review), the novel 1939 ("One of the most moving love stories I have ever read": Commentary; "Original and arresting ": Washington Post Book World), the memoir Drawing Life (a New York Times "notable book of the year," 1997), and others. He’s published essays, fiction and reviews in Commentary, The Weekly Standard, Wall Street Journal, National Review, ArtNews, Time, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Scientific American and many others. His essays are widely anthologized. His most recent books are Americanism (Doubleday, 2006) and Judaism, A way of being (Yale, 2009).
|Book:||After Americanism: The Cultural Revolution Comes Home to Roost|
|Number of Pages:||200|
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