Home / Books / Book Reviews / Book Review: Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free by Charles P. Pierce

Book Review: Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free by Charles P. Pierce

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Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free is a look back into America's history. The author, Charles P. Pierce, believes that any theory is valid if it sells books, soaks up ratings or otherwise moves units. He also believes that anything can be true if someone says it loudly enough, and states that fact is that which enough people believe; truth is determined by how fervently they believe it. Idiot America is based on these Great Premises.

Idiot America begins with the author making fun of the Creation Museum which is based on the thought that dinosaurs lived during the same time as man because God created all of the creatures at the same time and Noah brought one of each species (male and female) onto the ark to save them from the flood. I'm not really sure why he feels this belief system is so funny but he seems to think it's hysterical.

The author next discusses Ignatius Donnelly's life story. Ignatius Donnelly published the book Atlantis: The Antediluvian World in which he tried to prove that Atlantis existed. He believes that Donnelly is a crank but somehow elevates him above other cranks because he doesn't really care if other people follow him in his beliefs or not. He feels that most people have abandoned their obligation to be informed citizens and now blindly follow mainstream "idiot heads" without questioning what they're saying.

It seems the author has the most problem with those people who follow conservative religious and political figures. He makes fun of Creationists, Conservatives and Republicans. He doesn't like Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, George W. Bush or Glenn Beck and sees no problem speaking negatively about them, but finds fault with those people who feel President Obama is a socialist or fascist. Idiot America is very much biased from the left and I'm not impressed. I think there are idiots in America from both the left and right and to write only about those on the right is to brand yourself as the worst kind of idiot — a biased one.

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About Ellen Christian

Ellen is a busy mom of two teenagers who left the corporate world in 2008 to focus on a more eco-friendly life. She lives in rural Vermont where she juggles family, two blogs and a career in social media. You can find her at http://www.confessionsofanover-workedmom.com/ and http://the-socialites-closet.blogspot.com/.
  • Joseph Dittmer

    To not understand that the ‘idiot’ groups the author speaks negatively about have in common the lack of using facts is to miss the whole point of the book. They are the groups which far and away take so many liberties with the truth and make it up as they go along that anyone using any common sense would turn them off. Democrats or other groups most of the time at least try to use facts and scientifically proven ideas to justify their statements. Many of these republicans, and other people merely justify their statements by saying ‘because I said so’ and do little to verfiy anything they say. They are entertainers playing to the eternal children called our citizenry.Many in the US of A have lost all sense of the need to think seriously about what people say before believing them. That is what the author means when he says many have given up their responsibility to be ‘informed’ citizens

  • Jim

    All democrats that I know believe in the fallacy of the free lunch. They don’t seem to understand that it is merely cost shifting. If they do understand it, they really don’t care.

  • Jim, you’re the one committing a fallacy here: it’s called the straw man.

    Think about it for a second. If all Democrats really did believe in the free lunch, then there wouldn’t be this ongoing debate about whether taxes should be higher or lower.

  • Igor

    Free lunch? When the lobbyist takes the Senator to lunch in DC, they BOTH have a free lunch! It’s paid for by the mere citizen, who was not invited to lunch.