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Feb 3rd - Susan Jacoby - RET Public Mtng
Award-winning author, Susan Jacoby, will address one of the most thought-provoking issues of our time in an appearance at Pellissippi State Technical Community College on Sunday, February 3 at 1:30 p.m. in Goins Auditorium. Jacoby will discuss “The Ages of American Unreason, Past and Present.” Arrive early for coffee, refreshments and socializing. Stay late for Susan's book signing session.
Driving directions, below.

Her topic, the subject of her upcoming eighth book, “The Age of American Unreason” (Random House 2008), is the widespread new cultural phenomenon characterized by the decline of reading and the rise of scientific and historical illiteracy.

The lecture is sponsored by Rationalists of East Tennessee.

Jacoby believes there is a major element at work in America today that distinguishes the current age of unreason from earlier outbreaks of anti-intellectualism and anti-rationalism. Her new book focuses on the dumbing down of our culture thanks to our “toxic dependency” on the “infotainment” streaming continuously from TV and the web. She documents the ways in which an increasingly ignorant public square is dominated by debased media-driven language and received opinion. At this important political juncture, she laments, we live in a pseudo-intellectual universe of “junk thought.”

The message of her book, described as “passionate, witty, and solidly grounded in facts,” is aimed at anyone who cares about the future of our country, especially concerned parents and teachers. Jacoby believes that it is only within families that some immunity to the mind-numbing effects of infotainment can be acquired.

Her “Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism” (2004) was named a notable nonfiction book of 2004 by the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times and was cited as one of the outstanding intellectual books of the year by the Times Literary Supplement and The Guardian in England. It is in its tenth hardcover printing (Metropolitan Books) and has just been published in paperback. Jacoby’s “Wild Justice: The Evolution of Revenge” was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1984.

Susan Jacoby has contributed for over 25 years to a wide range of periodicals and newspapers on topics including law, religion, medicine, women’s rights, political dissent in the Soviet Union, and Russian literature. She has received grants and awards from the Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and Ford Foundations as well as the National Endowment for the Humanities.

She is Program Director of the Center for Inquiry-New York City, a rationalist think tank, and is a regular panelist for On Faith, a web site sponsored by the Washington Post and Newsweek. She has been a guest on NOW with Bill Moyers, The O’Reilly Factor, and numerous other TV and radio programs. She lives in New York City.

For more information contact Phil King 690-7687 or Margaret Klein 584-4565]


Start address: Knoxville, TN
End address: Pellissippi State Technical Community College 10915 Hardin Valley Rd, Unincorporated Knox County, TN

Start at: Knoxville, TN

1. Follow signs for Nashville/I-40 W and proceed about 9-10 miles west of downtown Knoxville.

2. Take exit 376 to merge onto Pellissippi Pkwy/TN-162 N toward Oak Ridge - 3.6 mi

3. Take the exit toward Hardin Valley Rd - 0.2 mi

4. Turn left at Hardin Valley Rd - 0.7 mi

5. Arrive at: Pellissippi State Technical Community College 10915 Hardin Valley Rd, Uninc Knox County, TN - meeting is in the Goins Administration Building's auditorium.

Posted by pking
Jan. 21, 2008