This week, we close out our study of the ideas of historian Richard Hofstadter. In addition to reading Parts V and VI of Anti-Intellectualism in American Life, you are asked to view a video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hXgIkHAbSE ), featuring the historian Sean Wilentz (one of the nation’s pre-eminent living historians), discussing another seminal work of Hofstadter’s, The Paranoid Style in American Politics.
At our discussion section this week, we’ll discuss both the closing chapters of Hofstadter and the video. For this week’s DB, please focus on the ideas in the video:
1. What is the “paranoid style in American politics,” as Hofstadter and Wilentz describe it?
2. Would you characterize recent leaders in U.S. politics as utilizing the “paranoid style”? If so, who, and in what ways?
3. If you agree that the paranoid style of politics has been on the ascendance in U.S. politics in recent years, what is your view on its effect, on our governance, and on our society?
As always, please be sure to cite your sources.
Richard Hofstadter – Anti-Intellectualism in American Life
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