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Age of Fracture Paperback – 4 Sep 2012
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"I live in a different country than the one into which I was born in 1942. I have never been quite able to pinpoint exactly what makes it so different. More than any other book I've read in recent years, Age of Fracture, by the Princeton historian Daniel T. Rodgers, has helped me to discover and to understand that difference...His ability to explain complex ideas--the Coase theorem comes to mind--is exemplary. He is unapologetic about treating intellectuals, and even academics, as producers of ideas worth taking seriously. He has the ability, unusual for historians of our day, to engage directly in current debates and to write with the clarity of a future observer of these same events. Intellectual history is never that easy to do. An intellectual history of our own time is even harder to pull off. Rodgers has done it and done it well. Perhaps, then, this book will have the happy effect of bringing to an end the trends it brings to light. Rodgers writes about our descent into thinking small because he wants us to once again think big..." --Michael O'Brien, Times Literary Supplement, 29 July 2011
"A blend of commentary and contextualization, admirably judicious. Rodgers is an excellent anatomist. His forte is clarity. Once in a while, he delivers himself of an opinion that seems positively clairvoyant." --Alex Danchev, Times Higher Education, 31 October 2011
"Rodgers is onto something, and many of his observations are startling." --Corey Robin, London Review of Books, 25 October 2012
About the Author
Daniel T. Rodgers is Henry Charles Lea Professor of History at Princeton University.
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In 1973-1974 was as an exchange student at high-school in Silicon Valley, California, -- it was during the Oil Crises -- and I have been following the development there in the U.S. as well as in Northern and North-Western Europe. That year was important to me, but I also felt already then that it was a larger turning point - and so it seems to be.
The book is not as hilarious as Francis Wheen's book from 2004 How Mumbo-jumbo Conquered the World: A Short History of Modern Delusions, but also this will have a large an lasting effect.
This book of Daniel T. Rodgers Age of Fracture will be read by many eager minds during the next 12 years, I presume.
Dr. Paul Biri
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The fracturing of American thought and culture, as presented by Rodgers, energized in many ways the conversation of intellectuals. Some concepts quickly led to dead ends, others blossomed into new ways of thinking about markets or identity or gender. Rodgers is quite interesting, for instance, when he ties the cultural wars to gender concerns. And he is quite strong, too, on economic theory, which he manages to present with both depth and accessibility. And the sweep of his knowledge and eye for the telling quote is impressive.
Rodgers has, perhaps paradoxically, managed to produce a synthesis for an age of fracture. Yet he demonstrates how various theories cut across disciplinary lines in quick and devastating fashion. Hence, maybe more attention would have been welcome to how newly developing lines of communication allowed a fractured culture to be hemmed together, albeit in a manner bound to unravel.
The only problem I have with Age of Fracture is the Author's tendency to be too abstract in the description provided of events at times. Perhaps straining too hard to demonstrate being a member of the intelligentsia thus leaving the reader thinking “What did he just say?”
Daniel Rogers has captured and explained the forces and trends in contemporary America that evolved resulting in our being more divided and focused on the smaller picture rather than the bigger picture.