Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ Free Shipping
A Nation Gone Blind: America in an Age of Simplification and Deceit Paperback – March 29, 2006
Featured resources in history
Explore these featured titles, sponsored by Springer. Learn more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Here, novelist and former literature professor Larsen has crafted a good old-fashioned argument-the kind that deals in reason, logic and empirical evidence-that takes on virtually everything in the current political, cultural and intellectual landscape of America, in order to figure out how the democratic republic has morphed, before his eyes, into an unthinking, unquestioning Orwellian dystopia. In three lengthy essays, Larsen diagnoses with considerable wit, outrage and tenacity the mass "blindness" that allows politicians and newsmakers to get away with passing off lies and half-truths as fact, and academia unknowingly to embrace indoctrination over education. For Larsen, the trouble starts with television's explosion in the '50s and the consequent rise of corporate mass media, followed by the steady consolidation of government and corporate interests. While television provides an endless stream of distraction and "don't worry about the government" platitudes, academics have misdirected their sense of social conscience into replacing traditional, intellectually vigorous studies-such as the study of literature-with an empty discipline that Larsen (among others) has labeled Victim's Studies-Women's Studies, Gay Studies, Black Studies, etc. Examining "issues" rather than ideas and putting the group before the individual, Larsen argues that these departments teach students not how to think, but how to feel-not to question, but to accept. To be sure, Larsen's position, as well as his loud, self-righteous approach, will anger many in the government, media and university, but his theses are all backed up by clear-eyed observation, copious evidence and meticulous literary commentary. Though Larsen can be terminally repetitive (he'd probably call this "being thorough"), and his grim prognosis for the country can overwhelm, his book is a rare intellectual page-turner: fascinating, convincing and consciousness-raising. It deserves to be read by anyone who thinks-or thinks they think-for a living.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
A Nation Gone Blind............Most Americans have been dumbed down (on purpose). "I don't want a nation of thinkers, I want a nation of workers." - J. D. Rockefeller (He is saying he wants corporate drones, worker bees, not intellectuals).
Now, do your homework. Research J.D. Rockefeller's connection with our school and medical system.
We are a country that puts the majority of our tax dollars (and our Arms and Drug sales) into the military and hardly anything into our educational system.
If a University Professor or a Scientist wants to get "funded" for their projects they MUST CONFORM to the small elite group of people that hold the real power.
J.D. Rockefeller funded much of both our medical and educational system. At one time he was the richest man in America. You did exactly what he said, you proclaimed exactly what he told you to proclaim and you followed his program or you were out with no funding. It still works this way.
Our public educational system sucks big time.
We paid Monica Lewinsky more to "service" Bill Clinton than we paid most College Professors.
A good example of this: My youngest son quit High School because he has Asperger's Syndrome and was put in a class that was for young adults who were retarded, plus my son was made fun of and allowed by the staff to be bullied by the "normal kids". The teacher's don't care. They allow the bullying and bullying is rampant.
Now, I've always been involved in my three son's education, looking over their books. Our suburban school system by the way is rated one of the highest in Illinois.
My youngest that quit our public High School, (The Catholic Church School would not accept him). My youngest got some odd jobs (mowing lawns, painting, etc) and paid for his own GED on-line. It was expensive but I reviewed the books and the difference in quality was amazing. The material (books & videos) actually gave my son a better education than our highly rated public High School. The test questions were asked in such a way that you really had to know the material to pass.
After getting his GED, my youngest went onto college and now has a degree. He said that some of the Math and Social Science material in his college level classes, had already been covered through his on-line GED Program.
I actually consider him better educated than my other two who graduated from the same High School as my youngest dropped out of. He is more knowledgeable about most subjects than my middle son who has a higher IQ than the youngest one.
This is a great book and I can't say I enjoyed finding out how blind most Americans are - we choose to be.
Proof: I read, yes love Science Fiction but I also have more Social Political, Theology, Current and Historical Books.
Most Americans no longer read. They no longer do their homework. They choose to be blind and that is going to come back and bite us in the but.
"Americans citizens are plagued by despair and frustration." - Eric Larsen
Well yea.........with most of our jobs being handed over to people in China and India, even now our white collar jobs.
We have 50 million Americans that no longer can get a really good paying full time, permanent job with health insurance.
Why? Because our country and our politicians, our entire "power mongers" are owned by the corporations and banks.
My kids are astounded that I had to do a thesis on Mein Kampf and another one on War and Peace in High School and this was back in 1970 & 1971.
The Table of Contents For A Nation Gone Blind, reads as follows:
I - Watching America Go Blind. Anyone that is older than 50 can see how drastically our thinking ability has dropped with the majority of younger people. They no longer read, ask significant questions, think outside the box. (Note I said majority not all).
II - The Death of Literary Thinking in America: How It Happened and What It Means. Here he even delves into art. We had to read all the works of Shakespere and other great works. There was a very clear point in class made about past and present that is not drawn upon today with our youth. They are no longer made to think, to ponder. They are being trained to operate computer games, faze out with ipods singing I want to have sex with a alien (Katy Perry - E.T.) Look up the lyrics and the TV programming, The Simpsons, Family Guy, Reality Shows, junk, junk and more junk. We are constantly being distracted by the inane vs. the important information we need to make intelligent decisions. (As if our votes really count anymore).
Now there is National Geographic, The Travel Channel and of utmost interest is the House and Senate Committe Meetings televized ------ BUT HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE WATCHING THE IMPORTANT STUFF ----
The news: Use to be a reporter went out and dug up their story and reported their findings. Since JFK's assassination, and the buy out and monopoly of our news media, we're not getting the REAL NEWS!!!!! These pretty teleprompt readers, read EXACTLY WHAT THEY ARE TOLD TO READ and while some major stuff is going on every week, we are informed as to whether Lindsey Lohan or Paris Hilton gets out of a car with undies on, forget we are the verge of WWIII and a NWO take over, eliminating all our human God given rights.
It's become a Barb and Ken Plastic Fantastic World is what Eric Larson is trying to tell us.
The few that do know what is really going on go to Harvard, Princeton and Yale. The privledged, the offspring of TPTB for the most part.
Mainly, Mr. Larsen is trying to tell us we are becoming yes dare I say it, SHEEP, that follow blindly what they are spoonfed and no longer question or ponder the important issues.
III - Consumerism, Victimology, and the Disappearance of the Meaningful Self. Oh I could write twenty pages on this last chapter.
Like in the cheap B Movie, "They Live" - We are encouraged to shop, buy, buy, buy. There is even now a term for it, when a woman feels "down" it's called "shopping therapy"."Faced with intolerable ideas, or with intolerable acts, people in very large numbers have begun simply denying them, declaring them "unreal" and thus with a word striking them out of existence. (9/11 and the Sandy Hooks Shootings come to mind) Americans, in other words, are turning their backs on empiricism as a means of perceiving the truth and of acting on it reasonably. Whether they're willfully shutting their eyes to things they don't want to seee, or whether they really don't see things that are there to be seen, most Americans no longer question what they are told......
This book should be read. Sad it won't be and each day sees us becoming closer to Scott Westerfeld's World, like "The Pretties".
To sum up this book go to You Tube and search for the song by Aqua called "Barbie-Girl" make sure you get the lyrics one. It's a silly,kid's pop song but amply describes how clueless we are becoming.
it is my opinion that our society as a whole is at the declining stage. Degradating into a mass of stupid, uniformed, compliant, worker drones. So many young people now play video games vs. read.
Rome lasted at least 1,000 years.
There is a video on policymc called, "Jeff Bliss Video: Texas High School Student Demands An Education" that proves my point.
And although it is over 700 pages parents that are interested in their childrens education should read "The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America by Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt.
We put all this money into invading other countries and bailing out banks and nothing into updating and really education our youth - our future leaders, our legacy. Where are we headed.
I saw a link to the YouTube video via another Policymic contributor, and the author of this article, Amy Sterling Casil, then got a question about it from a fellow teacher. After showing the video to two classes, the response of the majority of students was, "Go Jeff!" Some students were surprised or shocked at his vehemence, and there were a lot of comments like, "He's got balls!" A number of students said they wished they'd spoken up like that at some point in the past.
We've seen recent videos of students in ninth or tenth grade attacking teachers verbally and physically. This incident shows the other side of the story: a bright student who wants to learn and a teacher who either doesn't care, or does not know how to engage and educate. The chances are that Ms. Phung, up until recently, probably did not care, or perhaps had a complete misunderstanding as to the effectiveness of her interactions with students.
"If you would just get up and teach them instead of handing them a freakin' packet," Bliss says. "There's kids in here that don't learn like that." He stops on his way out of the classroom and says, "You want him to change and do better, you got to touch his heart ... you've got to make him excited." Then Bliss added, "This is my country's future and my education."
"Can you go outside?" Phung responds. "Mm-hm. Yeah. Uh-huh. Just go. Bye."
To the credit of Duncanville ISD, superintendent Dr. Alfred Ray told interviewers that Bliss will not be punished, and Ms. Phung has been placed on paid administrative leave while the incident is being investigated.
I graduated in 1971 and we were expected to read the chapters and complete our assignments the previous day and be ready to DISCUSS - TO ANALYZE - the material.
Now days many teachers just hand out packets, say "read chapter 37" and sit back and file their nails or grade their papers.
Why is America going blind?
Because our education system sucks big time.
Young minds need to be nourished, just like their bodies.
Get a chance watch the video, it's viral -- and this kid only wanted to discuss, to ask questions, to learn.
We're a nation whose IQ level and educational standards is dropping year by year (by design) vs. improving.
This was a good book, interesting read because it shows you the how and why we are falling behind as a country.
A bunch of sheep following the head sheep over a cliff.
While there can be little dispute that there has been a general degradation of the perceptiveness and independence of the American people, the author undermines his claim for reasoned judgment by indulging in an apparently long held desire to skewer his fellow writers and professors of literature. Now retired, there is no holding back. He contends that literature should be "experienced" by individuals, not groups, and that attempts by professors to ascribe meaning, especially of social or political import to an afflicted group, are counterproductive for the education of the student. However, given the subtle social and political control, acknowledged by the author, that is exerted by powerful entities in the current world, one would think that he would applaud efforts to understand the social and political context of the authors' worlds, the settings of their stories, and any relevance to the current world. Such understandings do not preclude further interpretation and experience with the works. He seems to feel that the incorrect teaching of literature directly translates into a non-thinking public.
More understandable is the author's concern with the widespread introduction of various departments devoted to the study of women, blacks, gays, etc. That has been done concurrent with the rise of political correctness on college campuses. He suggests that these studies are based primarily on these distinct groups being seen as victims. The concern is that such studies produce a limited and stilted result.
The book consists of three chapters or essays. There is considerable overlap and repetition with the author meandering over the terrain of a simplified and dumbed down culture and what he believes is the contribution of higher education to that general state. But he hardly exhausts what could be considered. For example, one might want to ask why a university is even necessary to read literature; he does emphasize the individual experience. What's his view on unnecessary credentialism? He claims that the culture starting being dumbed down in 1947 at the beginning of the Cold War. Of course, not uncoincidentally, that was the beginning of the television era, the main component of the mass media. However, what is the evidence for the greater enlightenment of the public prior to that time? The author does not indicate what a wise people should now be doing, short of not electing George Bush. How should a wise people recapture their society from the corporate-government-media complex?
The book is thought provoking, but it is largely devoted to settling scores with colleagues that he thinks have agendas or, worse, are supportive of victimology studies. After a while, the harangue gets old.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
For starters, I could not agree more with the reviewer from May 27, 2006.Read more