From Publishers Weekly
Allen coins the word "dumbth" to describe contemporary Americans' common ignorance in significant categories of knowledge, cites examples of this phenomenon and recommends the teaching of reasoning in early school years. "Tempering missionary zeal with humor and humaneness, Allen addresses a sorry condition and, better yet, suggests solutions," said PW.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
"Dumbth" is the state of the Miami college students in geography who can't find Miami on the map, the people who send flowers to the funerals of soap-opera characters, and innumerable incompetent hotel clerks. Comedian and writer Allen, like Allan Bloom and others back to Plato, thinks stupidity is on the rise, and that what passes for education won't stem the tide. He finds this annoying and devotes much space to limousine companies that fail him at the airport, and other such occurrences. His solutions are chiefly better logic teaching and more common sense--awareness of the complexity of things, understanding of the nature of evidence, and even willingness to watch the news. Alas, no one has told him that the best logicians are troubled by the concept of evidence and find it hard to define simplicity. Still, though spleen outweighs Allen's usual intelligence and wit, readers will find entertaining anecdotes--and something to think about.- Leslie Armour, Univ. of Ottawa
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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