Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History

by Andersen, Kurt (Author)

ISBN: 9780812978902

From a razor-sharp thinker, a new understanding of our post-truth world-the American instinct to believe in make-believe, from the Pilgrims to P.T. Barnum to Disneyland to zealots of every Donald Trump.

There's a tendency at this moment-this alternative-facts moment-to see our situation as an aberrant new American phenomenon. In fact, it is the logical progression of our national character. America was created by wishful thinkers and true believers, by hucksters and their suckers. Fantasy is in our genes. From the Pilgrims to witch hunts to P.T. Barnum to Joseph Smith and the Scopes Monkey Trial, from Walt Disney to Billy Graham, from the birther movement to, yes, Donald Trump, we have proven, again and again, to be uniquely susceptible to magical thinking, delusion, illusion, conspiracy, and bullsh*t. In other words: what do you get when you mix epic individualism with extreme religion, show business, and everything else; run it through the Great Awakening and the Great Delirium, the anything-goes Sixties and the internet age; and let it ferment for a few centuries? You get Fantasyland, a place where reality and fantasy are dangerously blurred and mingled.

Publication History: Random House HC (9/17)

Format: Paperback, 480 pages

Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks, June 2018

Product Dimensions: 8.3 L × 5.5 W × 0 H

* Subject to availability