Are Americans Anti-Intellectual?

The New York Times Books section features an interesting discussion about a book entitled, The Age of American Unreason by Susan Jacoby. The thrust of the book is that current American attitudes downplay the importance of education and intellectualism. The interesting part of this is she overwhelmingly uses geographic examples as proof of her thesis. In the last year or so, there certainly have been a string of high profile instances of people on TV with depressingly poor knowledge of geography. I’m just rather curious when geographic knowledge became a form of shorthand for intellectualism or lack there of? We’ve certainly covered the issue quite a bit in the past, but I find it interesting how persuasive it has become in other circles as well.