The Assault on Reason

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Al Gore

Narrated By: Will Patton

Publisher: Penguin Audio

Date: May 2007

Duration: 10 hours 3 minutes

Summary:

A visionary analysis of how the politics of fear, secrecy, cronyism, and blind faith has combined with the degration 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 campaign, most frequently named two Bush television ads that played to fears of terrorism.

We live in an age when the thirty-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 even 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 shows us, we have precious little time to waste.

Gore's larger goal in this book is to explain how the public sphere itself has evolved into a place hospitable to reason's enemies, to make us more aware of the forces at work on our own minds, and to lead us to an understanding of what we can do, individually and collectively, to restore the rule of reason and safeguard our future. 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.

Genres:

  • Anonymous

    I liked this book, but initially had a few disappointments: Al Gore is not the narrator. The first two disks explain the importance of reason - overkill! Sometimes he doesn't provide enough clear cut details to support his point. Having said all of that, the book is strong in various areas such as his discussion of the Bush failures in Iraq. He explains time and time again how the Bush administration ignored facts before going to war, and ignored advice from experienced generals. He explains how power is being slowly accumulated in the executive branch. He admonishes congress for not standing up to Bush and for not publicizing what the Bush administration is doing. He describes how some politicians prefer to play party politics and are more interested in getting re-elected than doing what's good for America. Overall I liked this book, but with a little more effort it could've been a classic.

  • David Anthony

    You do not have to agree with Gore, but you should read him. I have thoroughly enjoyed all of his books, and I am nominally a Republican. No matter what you take from his ideas, he is invariably fair and thought provoking. Enjoy.

  • Michael Scott

    While The Environment is his primary focus in daily life, this book goes into how the government has lost its focus on "We the people...", and how the Bush Jr Administration in particular is chopping away at the principles that The Constitution, The Bill of Rights, and that which our Founding Fathers fought so long and hard to establish. It also goes into some detail on just how "We the people..." are losing our voice. This chilling book is a 'must read'.