About halfway through this book, I thought "This is the kind of book that will never be read by the people most in need of its content."Why? Because journalist Charles Pierce is skewering America's anti-intellectuals with flawless research, brilliant examples -- and their won words. For example, when Pastor Mummert (major proponent of the Dover School District intelligent design fiasco) says "We're under attack by the intelligent, educated part of society" and people respond as though it's a bad thing to be intelligent and educated -- well ... there's the premise for this book.Pierce's work started out as an essay, but continued to grow. Beginning with Madison's premise that an educated populace is necessary for self-government, Pierce shows us how cranks were tolerated on the fringes of our free society. He then moves on to show how they were given a national platform and taken seriously (evangelical takeover of government, the Tea Party, etc.). Well-written and oftentimes witty, Pierce presents a problem that we, as the intelligent, educated part of society need to resolve. Highly recommended.