Cultural Amnesia: America's Future and the Crisis of Memory
Sixty percent of adult Americans don't know the name of the president who ordered the dropping of the first atomic bomb, 42% of college seniors can't place the Civil War in the right half-century, and 24% think Columbus discovered America in the 1500s. Meanwhile, more American teenagers can name the Three Stooges than the three branches of the federal government.
Applying the metaphor of Alzheimer's disease to our national state of mind, Bertman offers a chilling prognosis for our country's future unless radical steps for recovery are taken. He offers psychological insights into the nature of memory with perspectives on the meaning and future of democracy. With compelling evidence, the book demonstrates that cultural amnesia, like Alzheimer's disease, is an insidiously progressive and debilitating illness that is eating away at America's soul. Rather than superficially blaming memory loss on a failed educational system, Bertman looks beyond the classroom to the larger social forces that conspire to alienate Americans from their past: a materialistic creed that celebrates transience and disposability, and an electronic faith that worships the present to the exclusion of all other dimensions of time.
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The recollections we may have of earlier events ( a birthday party , a trip to the
zoo ) are more likely based on what we were later told by loving relatives or later
saw in family photo albums or home movies . Eventually , the events became so ...
Seeing their pursuers dead , Moses and his people sang a song praising God.37
As the rabbis later told the tale : When the Egyptian hosts were drowning in the
Red Sea , the angels in heaven were about to break forth into songs of jubilation .
... a National Center for History in the Schools was established at the University of
California , Los Angeles , under the leadership of Charlotte Crabtree and , later ,
Gary B. Nash . However , the efforts of the Center to produce a balanced set of ...
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Prologue The Land of the Lotuseaters
Memory and Personal Identity
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