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Virtually read it in one sitting. All the more powerful for having a 500 year run up to his dissection of the American love affair with, and addiction to, fantasy, conspiracy, and hucksterism, which, when combined, gave the world not only Trump, and the gangster demagogues, but also the right-on narcissists of his critics. Very wittily and eruditely written, with scores of fantastic examples and individual narrative threads, many of which were entirely new to me. Cannot recommend it highly enough. Was condensed into a fab Atlantic thinkpiece a couple of months ago.
This looks like a good read, and indeed the brief passages I have sampled are more serious than I was expecting, given its other reviews. My main beef however is the quality of the product. I got the paperback edition, with the inverted American top hat on it, and not only is the paper quality cheap but the font is small and very very feint. Maybe it's because I am over 60 so my eyesight is not the best, but the other books I bought at the same time shout out at me off their pages, so clear, large and black-and-white (as opposed to silvery-grey and white) are their typefaces. I can't read more than a few sentences of this book at a time without having to pause while I blink and try to refocus, so blurry do its pages look.
It's not a perfect argument that Andersson makes, but several of the points in the book are useful to consider just how a group of fact-resistant humans have come to have such ridiculous power in the US (and by extension, around the world). There is a lot of just retelling of history in here, without necessarily doing much with it, but for someone who was less familiar with events in the history of the US, that might still be useful, and the events do ultimately provide context for the central argument. It's a pity there is no real offer of a solution in here ...
As another reviewer has said, this book is printed on very cheap paper using a very small, pale, font which makes it extremely difficult to read. I did go to the trouble of trying to ascertain what font had been used but the book is silent on this point. In the end I gave up the struggle after the first fifty pages or so. There are far better, more incisive books about America than this one.
I did not realise the author would attribute so many of America's ails to fundamentalist Christianity but having read the book I can certainly agree with the author. I am currently halfway through 'Fear' by Bob Woodward and, taking the two together they paint a frightening picture of incompetence and mediocrity in the US government.
An interesting foray into the rise and rise of irrational thought in the USA over decades and theories about why it has happened. Good style and imaginative analysis but let down a bit by being overlong and padded.
Really enjoyed this book. I saw the author on YouTube giving a lecture on it and it sounded fascinating. Having read it now, I found it explains a lot for me. It's continually interesting with plenty of anecdotal evidence to support his thesis. I very much recommend it. No problems with the Kindle version.
if this was written by anyone else but an american author, i might give zero marks. this is a great insight analysis into the cousins eternal conumdrum. how explain them? kurt anderson gives it a very decent try.