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Dumbth and 81 Ways to Make Americans Smarter Paperback – May 1, 1991


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 359 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books; First Edition edition (May 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879756500
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879756505
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,800,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By cpang@lamis2.msmail.spe.sony.com on April 29, 1998
Format: Paperback
"Dumbth" by Steve Allen is a frank look at the deteriation of efficiency and intelligence in our society and what can be done about it. This is one of the most important books I have ever read.
The book assisted me in recognizing those areas in myself that require improvement and gave me concrete ways to work on it.
I encourage people to read this book.
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By KyGolfer on July 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Steve Allen shares his views on our education system and the sad deterioration of our language, and how he would improve our ability to think. Read it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. F Vipond on April 28, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the only books I thought about burning. It is insulting but can not bring myself to ever burn a book, not even this one.
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