Professor’s Book Receiving National Attention

Professor of Philosophy and Humanities Carlin Romano has been receiving a great deal of attention for his new book, America the Philosophical. It has been reviewed by more than 10 national newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, and Romano has appeared on WHYY’s Radio Times and Book TV on C-SPAN.

Carlin Romano

Carlin Romano speaks with Marty Moss-Coane on Radio Times. Photo courtesy of WHYY.

America the Philosophical was featured on the cover of The New York Times Book Review, considered a special honor. Reviewer Anthony Gottlieb, author of The Dream of Reason, a history of philosophy, describes the book as “ambitious” and “an encyclopedic survey of the life of the mind in the United States.” He calls it “convincing” in its central claim that “America is not nearly so dumbed down as its detractors at home like to say.” Gottlileb adds, “Romano is enlightening when he analyzes American intellectual life and illustrates its liveliness.”

Michael S. Roth, President of Wesleyan Univeristy, reviewed the book in The Washington Post July 22, and concludes that there are enough “intelligent reflections on a diverse group of American writers” to make the book worthwhile. Reviewer Jonathan Ree wrote in The Philadelphia Inquirer that Romano pays tribute to “range of outside thinkers” who have “challenged the ‘great white men’ who used to treat the philosophical world as their own exclusive fiefdom.”

The book rejects the myth that America is “unphilosophical,” arguing that America today towers as the most philosophical culture in the history of the world, an unprecedented  marketplace of truth and argument that far surpasses ancient Greece or anyplace else. Romano takes on the widely held belief that ours is an anti–intellectual society, arguing that ordinary Americans see through phony philosophical justifications faster than anyone else, and that the best of our thinkers abandon artificial academic debates for fresh intellectual enterprises such as cyberphilosophy. An adapted introduction from the book is the centerfold of The Chronicle of Higher Education‘s Chronicle Review in its May 15 issue.

Romano has been on a nationwide tour for the book most of June. A video of his one-hour “Book TV” conversation with Julia Keller, the Pulitzer-Prize-winning cultural critic of The Chicago Tribune, appeared on C-SPAN. He is Critic-at-Large of The Chronicle of Higher Education and served as literary critic of The Philadelphia Inquirer for 25 years. His criticism has appeared in The Nation, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Village Voice, Harper’s, The American Scholar, The Times Literary Supplement and many other publications. A former president of the National Book Critics Circle, he was a finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in Criticism, cited for “bringing new vitality to the classic essay across a formidable array of topics.” He lives in Philadelphia.

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