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How America Lost Its Mind: The Assault on Reason That’s Crippling Our Democracy

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Americans are losing touch with reality. On virtually every issue, from climate change to immigration, tens of millions of Americans have opinions and beliefs wildly at odds with fact, rendering them unable to think sensibly about politics. In How America Lost Its Mind, Thomas E. Patterson explains the rise of a world of “alternative facts” and the slow-motion cultural an Americans are losing touch with reality. On virtually every issue, from climate change to immigration, tens of millions of Americans have opinions and beliefs wildly at odds with fact, rendering them unable to think sensibly about politics. In How America Lost Its Mind, Thomas E. Patterson explains the rise of a world of “alternative facts” and the slow-motion cultural and political calamity unfolding around us. We don’t have to search far for the forces that are misleading us and tearing us apart: politicians for whom division is a strategy; talk show hosts who have made an industry of outrage; news outlets that wield conflict as a marketing tool; and partisan organizations and foreign agents who spew disinformation to advance a cause, make a buck, or simply amuse themselves. The consequences are severe. How America Lost Its Mind maps a political landscape convulsed with distrust, gridlock, brinksmanship, petty feuding, and deceptive messaging. As dire as this picture is, and as unlikely as immediate relief might be, Patterson sees a way forward and underscores its urgency. A call to action, his book encourages us to wrest institutional power from ideologues and disruptors and entrust it to sensible citizens and leaders, to restore our commitment to mutual tolerance and restraint, to cleanse the Internet of fake news and disinformation, and to demand a steady supply of trustworthy and relevant information from our news sources. As philosopher Hannah Arendt wrote decades ago, the rise of demagogues is abetted by “people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists.” In How America Lost Its Mind, Thomas E. Patterson makes a passionate case for fully and fiercely engaging on the side of truth and mutual respect in our present arms race between fact and fake, unity and division, civility and incivility.  


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Americans are losing touch with reality. On virtually every issue, from climate change to immigration, tens of millions of Americans have opinions and beliefs wildly at odds with fact, rendering them unable to think sensibly about politics. In How America Lost Its Mind, Thomas E. Patterson explains the rise of a world of “alternative facts” and the slow-motion cultural an Americans are losing touch with reality. On virtually every issue, from climate change to immigration, tens of millions of Americans have opinions and beliefs wildly at odds with fact, rendering them unable to think sensibly about politics. In How America Lost Its Mind, Thomas E. Patterson explains the rise of a world of “alternative facts” and the slow-motion cultural and political calamity unfolding around us. We don’t have to search far for the forces that are misleading us and tearing us apart: politicians for whom division is a strategy; talk show hosts who have made an industry of outrage; news outlets that wield conflict as a marketing tool; and partisan organizations and foreign agents who spew disinformation to advance a cause, make a buck, or simply amuse themselves. The consequences are severe. How America Lost Its Mind maps a political landscape convulsed with distrust, gridlock, brinksmanship, petty feuding, and deceptive messaging. As dire as this picture is, and as unlikely as immediate relief might be, Patterson sees a way forward and underscores its urgency. A call to action, his book encourages us to wrest institutional power from ideologues and disruptors and entrust it to sensible citizens and leaders, to restore our commitment to mutual tolerance and restraint, to cleanse the Internet of fake news and disinformation, and to demand a steady supply of trustworthy and relevant information from our news sources. As philosopher Hannah Arendt wrote decades ago, the rise of demagogues is abetted by “people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists.” In How America Lost Its Mind, Thomas E. Patterson makes a passionate case for fully and fiercely engaging on the side of truth and mutual respect in our present arms race between fact and fake, unity and division, civility and incivility.  

30 review for How America Lost Its Mind: The Assault on Reason That’s Crippling Our Democracy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Deedra

    I found this a very good,unbiased view of how we got to where we are today.It started before our current regime.Trump has only taken the bull by the horns and made America hate again.Around and around we go. Peter Lerman was a fine narrator. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mannie Liscum

    “How America Lost Its Mind” by Thomas Patterson is a short, tightly-written and impressive examination of American tribal politics of the 21st century. Patterson’s approach is extremely balanced, he spare neither ‘side’ (Democrats or Republicans) from their contributed guilt, nor does he merely throw up his arms in exasperation at the futile nature of present day American politics. At its heart “How America Lost Its Mind” is about the two vastly different realities our political left and right c “How America Lost Its Mind” by Thomas Patterson is a short, tightly-written and impressive examination of American tribal politics of the 21st century. Patterson’s approach is extremely balanced, he spare neither ‘side’ (Democrats or Republicans) from their contributed guilt, nor does he merely throw up his arms in exasperation at the futile nature of present day American politics. At its heart “How America Lost Its Mind” is about the two vastly different realities our political left and right currently find themselves in, and how this is facilitated and enforced by our leaders, information systems and our own psychologies. In a highly readable, to-the-point fashion, Patterson walks us through: the basics of our current ‘information system’ and who we, the American citizens, have become Chapter 1. The Know Nothings); the Tribes that have resulted from these dynamics (Chapter 2); the major contributors to our polarized misinformation system (Chapters 3. The Disrupters/4. The Performers/5. The Marketers); and finally our chance to redeem ourselves (Chapter 6. The Level-Headed). This book should be required reading for any American who cares about our democracy and honestly wishes to make it better. This is not for a tribal partisan but it could convert a thoughtful partisan into a thoughtful ‘level-headed’ citizen. 5 Stars!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Diane Busch

    This was definitely a thought-provoking book. I did not agree with everything, but it did bring up many good points. At first I thought the author was trying to be non-partisan, but then he dipped into partisan anti-Trump comments. Although the narrator was a good fit for the content, at times I got tired of his voice.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Gunkar

    Excellent read for both liberals and conservatives.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rowdy

    Note to myself: I sometimes have an inflated sense of how much I know If a book makes you think about the world around you and more over how you act and or react in it, then it is a good book. Shame that those who should also read it and think about it. May think they should not invest the time. I for one will read it at least one more time this year.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Webb

    Recommend! This book has made me challenge my thinking and become more aware of the information I let in. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mike Marriam

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Walton

  9. 4 out of 5

    Louis Lévesque

  10. 4 out of 5

    Robin Sexton

  11. 4 out of 5

    John Farley

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rob

  13. 4 out of 5

    Austin Gregory

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jana Hawley

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bill C

  16. 5 out of 5

    Diane

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jalen Depew

  18. 5 out of 5

    Shelley Evans

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lance Holter

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rowland Gaal

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bailey Myrin

  22. 5 out of 5

    Evelyn Walsh

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rob Norton

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dennis Dorr

  25. 5 out of 5

    Philip Grabowskii

  26. 4 out of 5

    Becky Booth

  27. 4 out of 5

    GuyGrand

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Vouglas

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jon

  30. 4 out of 5

    Joychandler

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