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Intellectual Populism: Democracy, Inquiry, and the People
by Paul Stob
Michigan State University Press, 2020
Paper: 978-1-61186-360-4 | eISBN: 978-1-62895-397-8
Library of Congress Classification JC423.S857 2020
Dewey Decimal Classification 320.56620973

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ABOUT THIS BOOK
In response to denunciations of populism as undemocratic and anti-intellectual, Intellectual Populism argues that populism has contributed to a distinct and democratic intellectual tradition in which ordinary people assume leading roles in the pursuit of knowledge. Focusing on the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, the decades that saw the birth of populism in the United States, this book uses case studies of certain intellectual figures to trace the key rhetorical appeals that proved capable of resisting the status quo and building alternative communities of inquiry. As this book shows, Robert Ingersoll (1833–1899), Mary Baker Eddy (1821–1910), Thomas Davidson (1840–1900), Booker T. Washington (1856–1915), and Zitkála-Šá (1876–1938) deployed populist rhetoric to rally ordinary people as thinkers in new intellectual efforts. Through these case studies, Intellectual Populism demonstrates how orators and advocates can channel the frustrations and energies of the American people toward productive, democratic, intellectual ends.

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