Richard Hofstadter: Anti-Intellectualism in American Life, The Paranoid Style in American Politics, Uncollected Essays, 1956-1965
Together for the first time: two masterworks on the undercurrents of the American mind by one of our greatest historians
Richard Hofstadter’s Anti-Intellectualism in American Life and The Paranoid Style in American Politics are two essential works that lay bare the worrying trends of irrationalism, demagoguery, destructive populism, and conspiratorial thinking that have long influenced American politics and culture. Whether underground or–as in our present moment–out in the open, these currents of resentment, suspicion, and conspiratorial delusion received their authoritative treatment from Hofstadter, among the greatest of twentieth-century American historians, at a time when many public intellectuals and scholars did not take them seriously enough. These two masterworks are joined here by Sean Wilentz’s selection of Hofstadter’s most trenchant uncollected writings of the postwar period: discussions of the Constitution’s framers, the personality and legacy of FDR, higher education and its discontents, the relationship of fundamentalism to right-wing politics, and the advent of the modern conservative movement.