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Hardcover The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters Book

ISBN: 0190469412

ISBN13: 9780190469412

The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

Technology and increasing levels of education have exposed people to more information than ever before. These societal gains, however, have also helped fuel a surge in narcissistic and misguided intellectual egalitarianism that has crippled informed debates on any number of issues. Today, everyone knows everything: with only a quick trip through WebMD or Wikipedia, average citizens believe themselves to be on an equal intellectual footing with doctors...

Customer Reviews

1 rating

Rather elitist, but interesting nonetheless

This is an incredibly interesting, informative, and well-argued read. The book has the vibe of a well-researched and well-supported opinion piece. As such there are a couple of short sections of the book that I entirely disagree with the author on. Upon reflection, I found it interesting that those sections are supported with anecdotal rather than peer-reviewed evidence. (The two sections I'm referring to only account for about 10 pages of the book as a whole, so overwhelming I agree with Nichols and his reasoning.) As someone outside academia, who would be classified as a layperson, some sections of this book felt alienating. Once I pushed passed that alienating feeling however I found it to be an incredibly rewarding read. As Nichols points out, "It's not supposed to be easy." (76) Nichols is specifically referring to the experience of receiving a college education with this sentence, but I would argue that this sentiment should and could be extrapolated to all elements of furthering education. I think the book would have been greatly improved by collaboration with even a single additional contributor. Specifically because in the 6th chapter of the book Nichols talks at some length about the cross-expertise violations. "[Experts] see their expert knowledge as a license to hold court about anything. (Again, I cannot cast the first stone here.)" Despite this marked level of self-awareness on page 188, Nichols, an expert on National Security Affairs and more broadly politics, did not choose to collaborate with a communications or public affairs expert. This book was initially formulated as an article, in which case it makes sense for Nichols to be the only contributor. As it transitioned from article to book there should have been additional voices included in the writing process. In no way does this lack of additional authors take away from the validity of the book or the information it presents. I do think however that additional contributing voices could have taken this book from good to great. I will absolutely be recommending this book (if with a few caveats) and will likely reread it myself at least once. I also left this book with a much longer reading list than prior to cracking the spine, which I think is the mark of a well-referenced read. Ultimately I feel like a more well-informed citizen for having taken hours to read The Death of Expertise.
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