The Assault on Reason

  • by Al Gore
  • Narrated by Will Patton
  • 10 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Here is a visionary analysis of how the politics of fear, secrecy, cronyism, and blind faith have combined with the degradation of the public sphere to create an environment dangerously hostile to reason. At the time George W. Bush ordered American forces to invade Iraq, 70 percent of Americans believed Saddam Hussein was linked to 9/11. Voters in Ohio, when asked by pollsters to list what stuck in their minds about the recent campaign, most frequently named two Bush television ads that played to fears of terrorism. We live in an age when the 30-second television spot is the most powerful force shaping the electorate's thinking, and America is in the hands of an administration less interested than any previous administration in sharing the truth with the citizenry. Related to this and of even greater concern is this administration's disinterest in the process by which the truth is ascertained, the tenets of fact-based reasoning - first among them an embrace of open inquiry in which unexpected and inconvenient facts can lead to unexpected conclusions. How did we get here? How much damage has been done to the functioning of our democracy and its role as steward of our security? Never has there been a worse time for us to lose the capacity to face the reality of our long-term challenges, from national security to the economy, from issues of health and social welfare to the environment. As The Assault on Reason explains, we have precious little time to waste. Drawing on a life's work in politics, as well as on the work of experts across a broad range of disciplines, Al Gore has written a farsighted and powerful manifesto for clear thinking.


What the Critics Say

"Soon the political world will be buzzing about Gore's new book...about the assault on reason. It will be a call to action against the politics of radical ideology, fear and greed that have led America into an unwise war and Washington into an era of scandal that has only begun to unfold." (The Hill)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A man who should be president

Al Gore has done a remarkable job at helping me to understand in laymans terms just how awful this administration is and has been since its inception. The American people trusted this man because of what they thought he was, not what he truly was. It angers me so much that here we are almost 8 years since the Lewinsky debaucle and it seems so petty compared to the disaster this country has truly become not only to its own people but to those who live outside this country. We have to get back to the way it was. But without a leader whose interest is truly the American people as Clinton and Gore were, even HW Bush was a better man, we will never recover. In this book Gore gives us hope, but the American people have towake up and smell the coffee. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to those who always believed that Gore would have made a much better President and even those who thought he wouldn't, intelligent he is not egotistical.
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- Gloria

A few good nuggets

Gore's introduction gives a hint of his animosity towards our current administration but it gave me the impression that he and I are on the same wavelength when it comes to the "dumbing down" of our electorate. His premise is that we, the people, are like putty in the hands of marketing gurus who simply lead us like so many complacent sheep. Based on this introduction I figured I might actually find myself agreeing with someone with whom I rarely share ground. By the time I was into the first chapter I realized that when Al says "Assault On Reason" what he really means is that anyone who isn't on the same page with him has obviously lost the ability to reason. The bulk of the first 8 chapters is little more than taking shots at the Bush administration (it doesn't matter whether it's Bush 41 or 43). He uses various Right Wing bashing points as examples of how gullible the people are and how crafty the power mongers are. I got the point after one or two examples but Al carries on for chapter after chapter about the failings of conservatives, this administration in particular. I did find some enlightening references sprinkled through his diatribe so it's not a total loss.

Finally, in chapter 9 reason regains it's footing and Al does a fair job of tying up the thread he began in the introduction. The bottom line: The Internet has the potential to enable dialogue between we the people which will help us re-engage our minds with the hopeful outcome that we'll once again hold the government accountable to the rule of law and of reason. If you're a conservative, read the intro, skip to chapter 9 and you'll get the meat of his message. But you may find it very enlightening to hear how a liberal views the world. Of course, if you're a liberal, enjoy the pep rally.
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- Randall

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-20-2007
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio