Read Bad, or the Dumbing of America by Paul Fussell Free Online
Book Title: Bad, or the Dumbing of America|
Date of issue: October 1st 1992
ISBN 13: 9780671792282
The author of the book: Paul Fussell
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 7.20 MB
Edition: Touchstone Books
Read full description of the books Bad, or the Dumbing of America:This has been on my 'want to read' list for quite a few years. I was somewhat fascinated by Fussell's book, "Class" (and still have a hardcover copy on one of my home shelves), so how could I possibly resist another that was subtitled 'the dumbing of America'? And the book is twenty years old exactly (written in post-Reagan 1991), so of course I was curious. Would Fussell turn out to be a prophet? Or, would this turn out to be like the other books I've read recently from the early 90's--just a quaint relic? In truth, it's a bit of both.
Fussell defines BAD as "...something phony, clumsy, witless, untalented, vacant, or boring that many Americans can be persuaded is genuine, graceful, bright, or fascinating. For a thing to be really BAD, it must exhibit elements of the pretentious, the overwrought, or the fraudulent. Being alert to this destinction is a large part of the fun of being alive today, in a moment teeming with raucously overvalued emptiness and trash."
Mr. Fussell? Wait'll you get a load of 2011. And that ended up being the problem for me reading this twenty years later. Every one of the 1991 examples of BAD he cites (Advertising, Behavior, Food, Ideas, Language, People, etc.) seems almost quaint and sweet compared to how things have blown up and spiraled out of control by 2011. So much so that it made for a depressing read. His BAD now sounds like a sort of utopia, and that is bad indeed.
Read information about the authorPaul Fussell was an American cultural and literary historian, author and university professor. His writings covered a variety of topics, from scholarly works on eighteenth-century English literature to commentary on America’s class system. He was an U.S. Army Infantry officer in the European theater during World War II (103rd U.S. Infantry Division) and was awarded both the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. He is best known for his writings about World War I and II.
He began his teaching career at Connecticut College (1951–55) before moving to Rutgers University in 1955 and finally the University of Pennsylvania in 1983. He also taught at the University of Heidelberg (1957–58) and King’s College London (1990–92). As a teacher, he traveled widely with his family throughout Europe during the 1950s, 60s and 70s, taking Fulbright and sabbatical years in Germany, England and France.
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