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9 thoughts on “America Lite

  1. Candice Candice says:

    What a brilliant sarcastic hilarious insightful justifiably judgmental critiue of the current state of our Union David Gelernter has produced a refreshingly judgmental book and is not afraid to tell it like it is I think this is a book every American should read right now He did a wonderful job outlining the decline of American education and the rise of academia and the effects on American cultureHe opens the book by claiming that authority was swept away by the cultural revolution Power remains of course Power will never go away But nearly no one holds authority Respect is rare and etiuette is almost non existent In assaulting the protective shell provided by etiuette or good manners the cultural revolution and its conseuences promoted the destruction of privacy; in fact of the whole idea of privacy p 4Gelernter asserts that there were two reasons for the cultural revolution The first was the Great Reform of elite American colleges and the second was the rise of Imperial Academia The intellectuals' college became the Imperial University Elite universities had always been influential in American culture but in the generation after World War II they took charge Thereafter American culture was in their hands because of the enormous influence of their alumni and direct influence of the institutions themselves on journalism business the arts every other college in the country and on grade school teaching at every level p 13 Intellectuals tend to study theories instead of facts This leads to ignorance This leads to political correctness Nowadays we don't like to generalize lest we should arrive at inconvenient or forbidden conclusions about some nation or race or religion p 15When young people learn left liberal theories at school instead of facts they can't see America no matter how hard they try p 18Intellectuals invent theories and teach them to Airheads p 19Gelernter exposes political correctness for its ridiculousness on every single page of this book He challenges the modern establishment on page 49 by asking if a statement can be simultaneously bigoted and true What a uestion But it demands an answer Becoming a gentleman did not reuire studying medicine or law or science It hinged on character p 63 Just because someone does not meet certain standards does not mean denying them admission is bigotry in fact it's just good sense Mediocracy can't last Those who don't make the grade will always see unfairness in the very definition of 'the grade' p 65 Everything has become professionalized Kids are under the impression that they cannot master a skill unless they have a certificate from some university certifying them American society will always need and depend on non college boys assuming that people will still drive trucks and buses build and fix things put out fires and police the streets The idea that everyone needs a college education was always silly That nearly everyone should then proceed from college to graduate school is even sillier p 87Unfortunately the theories planted in elite universities two generations ago have trickled down to grade schools The whole institution of American education is a megaphone to amplify the musings of elite universities p 79Barack Obama is a product of this Great Reform He is a symbol of American's decisive victory over bigotry But he is also a symbol a living embodiment of the failure of American education and its ongoing replacement by political indoctrination He is a symbol of the new American elite the new establishment where left liberal politics is no longer a conviction no longer a way of thinking it is built in mind furniture you take for granted without needing to think p 109 Gelernter goes on to paint a picture of Obama on page 118 Obama has the gift of appointing people and making decisions in ways that spread airheadedness And again on page 135 The president is an Airhead liberal who speaks out of ignorance and bases his opinions on nothingThe following scenario is a beautiful example of this airheadednessPart of the left's new agenda is reparations to blacks for slavery Rahm Emmanuel mayor of Chicago and former Obama chief of staff has endorsed this idea of compensation payments to the decedents of former slaves This theory holds evidently that non perpetrators must compensate non victims for crimes they never suffered but would have if they had been born two hundred years ago Perhaps someone owes you money for a crime he never committed but would have if only you had both been born in some other century p 142 143 The author's sarcasm bled through on every page He simultaneously spoke truth and made me laugh a brilliant combination On page 113 he teases Yes it's hard to admit you were wrong; it's hard to admit you've been childishly deluded It's hard in all sorts of ways to be an adult On page 120 he discusses white man's guilt He talked about Sonia Sotomayor a Latina woman who was nominated to be a Supreme Court judge in May 2009 She claimed a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would often than not reach a better conclusion on the bench that a white male who hasn't lived that life Gelernter's reaction is frame worthyTrue nearly all of us white males do spend our lives propped up in bed playing with our Xboxes and not having experiences although some of us are said to have fallen the recent economic crisis all the way down into the upper middle class and been expelled from our golf clubs and had our BMWs taken away; but let's hope that's only a rumor The sarcasm I LOVE IT Is there any other way to respond to such an incoherent assumption made by Sonia Sotomayor? There is a theory that minorities make better wiser judges than other people The theory is non sense; the whole point of American justice is to judge people not on who they are but on what they did or didn't p120 The problem With each passing year the proportion of Americans who were educated after the cultural revolution increases; and such people are abnormally likely to be left liberals not by reasoned conviction but by indoctrination p 155The solution American education is in the hands of liberal Airheads Take it away from them p 155Although I agree with Gelernter's solution I think his method is incomplete He is encouraging students to leave schools and use the internet I think he is 100% correct in claiming that education is being controlled by Airheads but I don't think encouraging students to revert to 100% independent study is wise I like his idea of internet communitiescafeshostiles for college age students but I really think he needs to factor in proactive parent involvement in elementary education where the indoctrination beginsThe following are some additional uotes that I enjoyedDo modern liberals deny that women are likely to be abused? They like to believe that the sexes are interchangeable And they'd also like to believe that crimes committed by men against women are a much worse problem then crimes committed by women against men which is only common sense But you can't have it both ways Are we interchangeable or not? p 3The tragedy of the atheist is that he is thrown back on his own resources to pick a god p 128Liberals want the government to love and care for each of its citizens; conservatives want the government to respect its citizens Respect implies keeping your distance In love there is no distance p 133The worst conseuence of modern feminism for women themselves has ben the cruel insistence that young men and women be treated as if they wanted the same things and saw life in the same way p 139 Inventing rights has become one of the intelligentsia's most promising growth fields p 143In modern America the left gets its way not by convincing people but by indoctrinating their children p 144Airheads all learn the doctrine that in any black versus white dispute blacks are right unless they are conservative in which case they are not black p 148We have knowingly reared a whole generation in ignorance of history literature religion morality ' They have sown the wind they shall reap the whirlwind' Hosea 87 p 152

  2. Sally Ewan Sally Ewan says:

    The actual title of this book is America Lite How Imperial Academia Dismantled Our Culture and Ushered in the Obamacrats I highly recommend this book All during the recent presidential election I longed to ask an Obama supporter 'What exactly is it about Obama that draws your support?' Reading this I have a better understanding The author explains how the cultural revolution of the 60s and 70s impacted our country moving out the WASPS and moving in the PORGIs post religious globalist intellectuals The leaders in business politics and intellectual areas were now left leaning rather than conservative Their influence and authority impacted the universities filtering down to the lower levels of education thereby creating another generation of liberals PORGI Airheads These people have theories about the world that they hold to even in the face of evidence to the contrary America is bad We just need to sit down and talk to the terrorists The author shows how these theories have led to decisions that affect all of us The book ends on a note of hope with a surprising suggestion of how to turn things around so that people are thinking clearly and not just operating on second hand information from unreliable sources Very thought provoking

  3. Tyler Smith Tyler Smith says:

    Since the current speculation is that this guy could be the official science adviser for the Trump administration I thought it would be worth getting to know him This book reads like your cringe inducing uncle's entertaining but ugly jeremiad about how all the problems in America can be traced back to the cultural revolution of the 1960s The first half of that decade is described as our Periclean years when it was still okay to be a red blooded American After the cultural revolution the left libs took over The people in senior positions of power now are the first to have been educatedindoctrinated by lefties They may be smart and well intentioned but they are ignorant Also they are feminine because “Deep down to be liberal is female; girls want to be loved cf his To be conservative is male; boys want to be respected” and “Liberal intellectuals tend to be insecure to blame themselves to curry favor Like small girls they are eager to feel loved and worry lest they should not deserve it They are eager to apologize and be forgiven”Here are a few of the talking points According to Gelernter American tax policy should not promote wealth redistribution because wealth distribution policies kill economies; “Gathering scientific doubts” about global warming and climate change are being filtered out by the ecofundamentalists; politicians like Obama don't know how to think for themselves would be lost without their teleprompters; Women are okay morally the euals of men but feminism is bad feminists are the “deadliest enemies” and famous for their “take no prisoners fury”; Without coming out explicitly against gay marriage Gelernter carefully implies that our society’s “ignorant” embrace of its legalization is likely just one stop on a left wending path towards legalization of pederasty and other untold horrors; The concept of reparations to blacks would be funny if it weren't so expensive; Cutting “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance andor “In God we trust” from the dollar are high on the liberal agenda; There is bigotry in STEM against young men and by the way men are naturally better scientists than women; Our society is unfairly biased in favor of blacks when they come into conflict with whites and of women when they come into conflict with men; and PORGI Post religious global intellectual airheads like Obama don’t know or care about history Oh and terrorists are bad while Christians and Jews are good To wrap up the book on a constructive note Gelernter suggests that since PORGI airheads control the educational system the answer is the internet Instead of going to college for indoctrination folks should seek out an online à la carte conservative education and occasionally meet up with like minded fellow learners in personThe book was written after the 2008 election and evidently intentioned chiefly to smear Obama in the run up to the 2012 election Gelernte didn't get the result he wanted then but now? Well we have Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education and there is little doubt that one of the major factors propelling Trump into the White House was a sinister brand of à la carte online education known collouially as the Alt Right an educational movement fueled by many of the same specious grievances as Gelernter articulates in America Lite I read this book as a window into the thinking of the other America the one not reflected in the NYT and the university culture I inhabit The one positive thing I can say about America Lite is that the kind of thinking it reflects should act as an incentive to liberals to think carefully both about why we hold the values we do ie we should be able to give reasons compelling than just that they're obvious and how we communicate those values in a public arena where racist misogynistic selfish and destructive voices like Gelernter's are finding a receptive audience

  4. Bojan Tunguz Bojan Tunguz says:

    The problems with the American higher education are a legion You can hardly open a newspaper today without coming across an article decrying many ills that overly expensive education has saddled the students with As the price tag of a college diploma seems to be getting ever out of control the value of what students get diminishes every year The over priced and under valued American higher education is just a symptom of a larger problem with the academie The problem is the subversion of the meritocratic mindset that flourished however briefly for a little while during the opening of the American colleges and universities in the middle of the twentieth century One of this book’s greatest strengths is that it takes a long view of the American higher education much longer than most such books on this subject It goes all the way to the founding principles of many such institutions a few centuries ago especially the private ones American colleges and universities have always been a form of exclusive social clubs and the emphasis on the value of the actual education that one gets from them has ebbed and flowed over time The meritocratic renaissance was the result of few momentous social and cultural developments around the middle of the twentieth century – the GI bill the massive scale entering of the women into the workforce the increasingly service oriented economy the introduction of the standardized tests to name just a few However this change of the value and perception of the higher education uickly became a self serving exercise in the control of the cultural influences and the new generation of very leftward professors took it upon themselves to go beyond empowering students with knowledge and education and turned the universities into the boot camps of left wing radicalism and activism Even though only a small fraction of students accepted the full scope of this indoctrination the impact that it had on the culture and society as a whole was profound and long lasting This was the birth of the “imperial overreach” of the institutions of the higher learning The tone of this book is very polemical and it will not win over many converts I am afraid However to those of us who are already in the choir it provides much needed intellectual articulation of certain ideas that we’ve come to take for granted The author is also at moments uite consciously literally in his allusions and turns of phrase This is a welcome change from most of the rather drab writing that characterizes modern “current events” writing but it can also come across as a bit pretentious Nonetheless I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to anyone interested in getting a better grip on the scope of current crisis in the higher education

  5. Peter di Lorenzi Peter di Lorenzi says:

    This is a uirky sharply perceptive explanation of the nature and history of big academia's leftlunatic shift to a left intellectual dictatorial indoctrinatory fantasy world after 1967 Gelernter relies mostly the experiences of American Jewry to illustrate the various processes propelling this shift though parallels to other groups are obvious and often cited as well Gelernter is pessimistic about the chances to restore any balance and restraint to the elite universities but he has thought this problem through on a broad strategic scale He is very optimistic about the opportunities the internet and burgeoning homeschooling resources provide to involve less wealthy less prestigious colleges and universities in new creative partnerships with uality online degree granting institutions able to provide students with serious broad andor specialized educations at lower costAnd by so doing clarify the nature of our 'elite institutions' island playgrounds of the privileged self congratulating children of the 60s as what they are expensive finishing schools where inevitably the children of the privileged acuire the very proper progressive secularist trans national attitudes and etiuette at the expense of solid depth of learning; finishing schools then providing the certain to be employed privileged with a completely conformed bankable prestige so important in the circles dominated by alumni of those same once hallowed now hollow halls

  6. Lisa Powell Lisa Powell says:

    Good bits rescue the ones he seemed to phone inParts read like standard right wing I'm right wing myself list of frustrations Did you see that reporter say that? Did you hear this outrageous claim made by that leftist politician? that sort of thing Entertaining for me but not as illuminating as just regular choir preachingBut the initial premise goes deeper than the standard conservative complaint about elites and education much discursive Inclined to the aggressive argumentative style he attributes to certain cultural groups in the book for those who find those sections alarming in their blunt language note the last name of the author and look up his bio and you'll feel better it's insider baseballAs with all culture warning books the hard part to write is the what do we do about it section Gelernter's ideas are of interest but not much fleshed out His discussion about internet learning could use some research he would do well to spend a bunch of time with the home school community which is actually using alternative education often in order to avoid the problems he describes In my own experience with home schooling I can say that the internet is not a magic pill In fact distance learning has been used by indoctrinating elites pretty well and public schools have used the lure of internet learning programs they give you a free computer to lure home schooling families back into the fold A uick look at Khan Academy the uintessential independent learning internet system is informative Khan began by making math videos for his extended family and the videos became very popular and used by millions But once Khan had made his name deservedly this way he set up a system that drove right past those independent learners and prioritized partnerships with the public school system Subject matter has expanded and once math was left behind the content became predictably left leaning pretty much fits the exact description of the education Gelernter describesDefinitely four stars for cogent ideas well articulated but will be looking for follow up as his thoughts develop in coming years

  7. Brandon Brandon says:

    A distracting number of metaphors Written for the crowd that will say I know right? Uncautious in its treatment of race and sex so a noncharitable reader might see it as bigoted Includes weird asides Cary Grant was great Clark Gable was terrible Mary McCarthy was hot when she was at Vassar Important point poorly executed

  8. Douglas Ross Douglas Ross says:

    The version of this book that I bought was entitled America Lite; How Imperial Academia Dismantled Our Culture and Ushered in the Obamacrats Gelernter seems to have jumped on the socialcultural change bandwagon along with the likes of David Brooks The Social Animal and Charles Murray Coming Apart etc Although I agree that liberal academia is seriously biased and a problem I'm not completely convinced by Gelernter's argument that it's all their fault and getting rid of them with some kind of internet education end run is the solution Nevertheless this is a well researched and eye opening history of how we got to where we are

  9. Adam Bradley Adam Bradley says:

    A jeremiad against progressive airhead ism the Obamacrat cultural mood begotten of America's cultural revolution; not even properly ideological but presuppositionally progressive because its tenets have not been critically assessed and accepted but rather breathed as the oxygen of intellectualismWhat is education? Why is it important and to what end? The pipeline of American education cannot be detoxified without bringing these uestions out of the shadows and back up to the forefront of all of our debates

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America Lite ❰EPUB❯ ✸ America Lite Author David Gelernter – America Lite where we all live is just like America only turned into an amusement park or a video game or a supersized Pinkberry where the past and future are blank and there is only a big NOW How did America Lite where we all live is just like America only turned into an amusement park or a video game or a supersized Pinkberry where the past and future are blank and there is only a big NOW How did we come to expect no virtue and so much cynicism from our culture our leaders—and each otherIn this refreshingly judgmental book David Gelernter connects the historical dots to reveal a stealth revolution carried out by post religious globalist intellectuals who by and large “can’t run their own universities or scholarly fields but are very sure they can run you” These imperial academics have deployed their students into the top echelon of professions once monopolized by staid and steady WASPs In this simple way they have installed themselves as the new designated drivers of American cultureImperial academics live in a world of theory; they preach disdain for mere facts and for old fashioned fact based judgments like true or false Schoolchildren are routinely taught theories about history instead of actual history—they learn for example that all nations are eually nice except for America which is nearly always nastyWith academic experts to do our thinking for us we’ve politely shut up and let second raters take the wheel In fact we have handed the keys to the star pupil and teacher’s pet of the post religious globalist intellectuals whose election to the presidency of the United States constituted the ultimate global group hugHow do we finally face the truth and get back into the driver’s seat America Lite ends with a one point plan.

  • Paperback
  • 200 pages
  • America Lite
  • David Gelernter
  • English
  • 02 January 2016
  • 9781594037085