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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See Lawrence W. Levine , The Opening of the American Mind : Canons , Culture
, and History ( Boston : Beacon Press , 1996 ) , 54–63 . 2. For the history of
general education courses at Columbia , see the bibliography provided by David
Memory . Los Angeles : University of California Press , 1996 . Campbell , Jeremy
. The Improbable Machine : What New Discoveries in Artificial Intelligence
Reveal about the Mind . New York : Simon & Schuster , 1985 . Chalmers , David J
. The ...
Gillick , Muriel R. Tangled Minds : Understanding Alzheimer's Disease and Other
Dementias . New York : Dutton , 1998 . Hacking , Ian . ... The Origin of
Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind . Boston : Houghton
Mifflin , 1990 .
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