How America Went Haywire : A 500-year History

Book - 2017
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * "The single most important explanation, and the fullest explanation, of how Donald Trump became president of the United States . . . nothing less than the most important book that I have read this year."--Lawrence O'Donnell

How did we get here?

In this sweeping, eloquent history of America, Kurt Andersen shows that what's happening in our country today--this post-factual, "fake news" moment we're all living through--is not something new, but rather the ultimate expression of our national character. America was founded by wishful dreamers, magical thinkers, and true believers, by hucksters and their suckers. Fantasy is deeply embedded in our DNA.

Over the course of five centuries--from the Salem witch trials to Scientology to the Satanic Panic of the 1980s, from P. T. Barnum to Hollywood and the anything-goes, wild-and-crazy sixties, from conspiracy theories to our fetish for guns and obsession with extraterrestrials--our love of the fantastic has made America exceptional in a way that we've never fully acknowledged. From the start, our ultra-individualism was attached to epic dreams and epic fantasies--every citizen was free to believe absolutely anything, or to pretend to be absolutely anybody. With the gleeful erudition and tell-it-like-it-is ferocity of a Christopher Hitchens, Andersen explores whether the great American experiment in liberty has gone off the rails.

Fantasyland could not appear at a more perfect moment. If you want to understand Donald Trump and the culture of twenty-first-century America, if you want to know how the lines between reality and illusion have become dangerously blurred, you must read this book.


"This is a blockbuster of a book. Take a deep breath and dive in." --Tom Brokaw

"[An] absorbing, must-read polemic . . . a provocative new study of America's cultural history." -- Newsday

"Compelling and totally unnerving." -- The Village Voice

"A frighteningly convincing and sometimes uproarious picture of a country in steep, perhaps terminal decline that would have the founding fathers weeping into their beards." -- The Guardian

"This is an important book--the indispensable book--for understanding America in the age of Trump." --Walter Isaacson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Leonardo da Vinci
Publisher: New York :, Random House,, 2017.
ISBN: 9781400067213
Branch Call Number: 973 Andersen 08/2017
Characteristics: xiii, 462 pages ;,25 cm


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Nov 12, 2017

Thought-provoking, challenging,. frightening, funny , unbelievable. I wish we all were more skeptical of things we hear and read, especially over the internet. There is too much polarization and this leads to trouble for all Americans. There has to be a trust in our fellow Americans rather than distrust. What we are seeing has been evolving since the beginning of this country. I feel like I was in a bubble and did not see the importance of some of these things while they were happening. Maybe innocence is bliss!


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