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Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * "The single most important explanation, and the fullest explanation, of how Donald Trump became president of the United States . . . nothing less than the most important book that I have read this year."--Lawrence O'Donnell How did we get here? In this sweeping, eloquent history of America, Kurt Andersen shows that what's happening in our country today--this post-factual, "fake news" moment we're all living through--is not something new, but rather the ultimate expression of our national character. America was founded by wishful dreamers, magical thinkers, and true believers, by hucksters and their suckers. Fantasy is deeply embedded in our DNA. Over the course of five centuries--from the Salem witch trials to Scientology to the Satanic Panic of the 1980s, from P. T. Barnum to Hollywood and the anything-goes, wild-and-crazy sixties, from conspiracy theories to our fetish for guns and obsession with extraterrestrials--our love of the fantastic has made America exceptional in a way that we've never fully acknowledged. From the start, our ultra-individualism was attached to epic dreams and epic fantasies--every citizen was free to believe absolutely anything, or to pretend to be absolutely anybody. With the gleeful erudition and tell-it-like-it-is ferocity of a Christopher Hitchens, Andersen explores whether the great American experiment in liberty has gone off the rails. Fantasyland could not appear at a more perfect moment. If you want to understand Donald Trump and the culture of twenty-first-century America, if you want to know how the lines between reality and illusion have become dangerously blurred, you must read this book. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE "This is a blockbuster of a book. Take a deep breath and dive in." --Tom Brokaw "[An] absorbing, must-read polemic . . . a provocative new study of America's cultural history." -- Newsday "Compelling and totally unnerving." -- The Village Voice "A frighteningly convincing and sometimes uproarious picture of a country in steep, perhaps terminal decline that would have the founding fathers weeping into their beards." -- The Guardian "This is an important book--the indispensable book--for understanding America in the age of Trump." --Walter Isaacson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Leonardo da Vinci
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ISBN:
9781400067213
9780525528159
9781588366870
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Grouping Information

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Grouping Title fantasyland how america went haywire a 500 year history
Grouping Author andersen kurt
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-11-22 08:39:06AM
Last Indexed 2019-11-22 08:40:37AM

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display_description "In this sweeping, eloquent history of America, one of our sharpest observers, Kurt Andersen, demonstrates that what's happening in our country today--this strange, post-truth, 'fake news' moment we're all living through--is not something entirely new, but rather the ultimate expression of our national character and path. America was founded by wishful dreamers, magical thinkers, and true believers, by impresarios and their audiences, by hucksters and their suckers. Believe-whatever-you-want fantasy is deeply embedded in our DNA. Over the course of five centuries--from the Salem witch trials to Scientology to the Satanic Panic of the 1980s, from P.T. Barnum to Hollywood and the anything-goes, wild-and-crazy sixties, from conspiracy theories to our fetish for guns and obsession with extraterrestrials--our peculiar love of the fantastic has made America exceptional in a way that we've never fully acknowledged. With the gleeful erudition and tell-it-like-it-is ferocity of a Christopher Hitchens, Andersen explores whether the great American experiment in liberty has gone off the rails. From the start, our ultra-individualism was attached to epic dreams and epic fantasies--every citizen free to believe absolutely anything, or to pretend to be absolutely anybody. Little by little, and then more quickly in the last several decades, the American invent-your-own-reality legacy of the Enlightenment superseded its more sober, rational, and empirical parts. We gave ourselves over to all manner of crackpot ideas and make-believe lifestyles designed to console or thrill or terrify us. In Fantasyland, Andersen brilliantly connects the dots that define this condition, portrays its scale and scope, and offers a fresh, bracing explanation of how our American journey has deposited us here. Fantasyland could not appear at a more perfect moment. If you want to understand the politics and culture of twenty-first-century America, if you want to know how the lines between reality and illusion have become dangerously blurred, you must read this book."--Jacket.
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subject_facet National characteristics, American
Popular culture -- United States -- History
United States -- Civilization
title_display Fantasyland : how America went haywire : a 500-year history
title_full Fantasyland : how America went haywire : a 500-year history / Kurt Andersen
Fantasyland How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History
title_short Fantasyland :
title_sub How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History
topic_facet Civilization
History
National characteristics, American
Nonfiction
Politics
Popular culture
Sociology