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The Assault on Reason: How the Politics of Blind Faith Subvert Wise Decision-Making (German) Paperback – Import, 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 383 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: BLOOMSBURY PUBLISHING PLC; First Printing edition (2008)
  • Language: German
  • ISBN-10: 0747593345
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747593348
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (383 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,074,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Julie Neal VINE VOICE on May 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Here's a radical idea: Americans can govern themselves best by having clear-headed, reasoned public discussions on the important topics of the day. A thought from Thomas Paine? Your high school civics teacher? No, Al Gore. That's the theme of this clear-headed, reasoned, and yes, even passionate argument on what's wrong with our country and how we can fix it.

Yes, it bashes Bush, but how can it not? It's impossible to argue against the chatterbox shrillness of today's public debate without mentioning the subjects being debated. And if you're going to seriously examine Iraq, Katrina and the other issues of the last six years, how can our current President come out looking good?

Gore doesn't mince his words. He calls Bush a liar and an irresponsible leader. But he backs up these assertions with a 90-minute Powerpoint presentation worth of clear-headed, reasoned and well-documented argument -- complete with hundreds of footnotes.

Divided into three parts, the book's simple structure makes it easy to follow. The opening identifies what Gore contends are the five enemies of reason -- fear, superstition, ideology, deception and intolerance. Middle chapters examine the damage those things have caused, and the last 30 pages offer a few solutions.

And just what is that damage? Gore breaks it down into five areas:

* The squandering of international goodwill over Iraq has caused a threat to our national security, as the world now fears us instead of respects us.

* Ignoring the rational arguments of scientists has weakened our environmental security, as shown by the failure to be ready for the known problems Katrina and global warming would cause.

* Our excessive dependence on imported oil continues to weaken our energy security.
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Format: Hardcover
On the eve of war with Iraq, Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia addresses a virtual empty house on the floor of the Senate and asks why his colleagues are so silent. Why is no one questioning the administration's actions? "Assault on Reason" is an account of how the American public has become apathetic to the world around them, and powerless in feeling that they can shape or influence the decisions our leaders make.

Al Gore postulates that the apathy is derived from a communication process that is passive and one-way, mainly television, where there is no exchange of ideas between the receivers and senders as was common before its advent. A compliant and kowed media reports without question the ideas and beliefs of special interests repeatedly until the average American, takes the message as fact.

In the hands of leadership that is unchecked or untethered by a vigilant press or legislature, they have been able to use the politics of fear to keep America supportive and unquestioning of their questionable decisions and actions.

The press no longer operates as was envisioned by founder Thomas Jefferson who considered an informed public as the most vital to the survival of the democratic process. According to Al Gore, there was nary a peep from press or public when the 9/11 Commission reported that there was no connection between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein.

With the control of the media in the hands of conglomerates the message is highly regulated. This plays to the politics of wealth and stymies the exchange of information for the common good. When [...] attempted to buy air time on CBS, they were told that "issue advocacy" was not permissible, but at the same time began running ads by the White House in favor of a controversial proposal.
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Format: Hardcover
The American political scene has shifted greatly since 2000 in ways that most Republicans like and most Democrats do not. Although Al Gore's title suggests a broader topic, The Assault on Reason focuses on the Bush methods of running the government and the Republican Party. As you might imagine, Al Gore doesn't like anything about what has happened.

If you were to boil this book down into one single idea, it would be this: Absolute power corrupts absolutely and is a danger to us all. Gore takes the point of view that the Bush administration has been and is mostly about gaining and holding power in order to reward Republicans and those who pay for Republicans to be elected.

As examples, Gore cites the following evidence:

1. The administration always knew that there never was any connection between terrorist attacks and Iraq (nor any threat of weapons of mass destruction being produced in Iraq), but made invading Iraq a high priority for pursuing its oil-focused strategy of controlling the Middle East where major oil companies and contributing contractors have been rewarded.

2. The Bush administration seeks to maximize fear of terrorism to gain ever more power for itself, usually by ignoring the limits on government power in the Constitution.

3. Fund-raising for Congressional Republicans is now controlled by the White House so the administration hasn't had any oversight from either party in Congress, a sharp departure from past practices.

4. When the president signs a new piece of legislation, he almost always indicates that he won't follow the law that was enacted (this has occurred over 1000 times).
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