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Publisher's Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of Fantasyland, written and read by Kurt Anderson.

You’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

Fantasy is the USA’s primary product. From the Pilgrim fathers onward, America has been a place where renegades and freaks came in search of freedom to create their own realities with little objectively regulated truth standing in their way. The freedom to invent and believe whatever the hell you like is, in some ways, an unwritten constitutional right. But this do-your-own-thing freedom also is the driving credo of America's current transformation, where the difference between opinion and fact is rapidly crumbling. 

So how did is a journey that connects the dots between crazed franchises of true believers - a rich freak show tapestry from Mormons to Flat Earthers and satanic panic, new age quacks to anti-vaxxers, conspiracy theorists of every stripe, creationists to climate change deniers, UFO-obsessives to gun-toting libertarians, showmen hucksters from P T Barnum to Trump himself, all topped off with a dangerous dose of anti-government paranoia and pseudoscience. Along the way, on and make-believe, from Salem to Scientology.

Fantasyland is a journey that connects the dots between crazed franchises of true believers - a rich freak show tapestry from Mormons to Flat Earthers and satanic panic, new age quacks to anti-vaxxers, conspiracy theorists of every stripe, creationists to climate change deniers, UFO obsessives to gun-toting libertarians, showmen hucksters from PT Barnum to Trump himself, all topped off with a dangerous dose of antigovernment paranoia and pseudoscience. Along the way, New York Times best-selling author Kurt Andersen has created a unique and raucous history of America and a new paradigm for understanding our postfactual world.

©2018 Kurt Andersen (P)2018 Random House Audiobooks

What listeners say about Fantasyland

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  • Mr. H.
  • 09-15-18

What has become of us?

A truly remarkable history and explanation of the many factors which have brought us to where we are now, willing to believe just about anything. This should be required reading (or listening) for all Americans.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Dr. John Grierson
  • 10-19-21

Masterful and a little scary

A brilliant light shone on where America is today and how it got here. Excellent.

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  • Kevin Blake
  • 03-31-21

Fascinating account of American magical thinking

Well written, engaging, fascinating history of America's penchant for fantasy and magical thinking over science and facts, from the religiously maniacal puritans to P.T. Barnum to Donald Trump. For those of us who have watched aghast in recent years at the rise of Trumpism and the cult of MAGA and wondered if we were witnessing a repeat of the fall of the Roman Empire in accelerated real time, with Dopey Disinfectant Donnie as Emperor Nero, the good news according to Andersen is that this isn't necessarily anything new - it turns out that America has always been bat shit crazy! There may be some solace in this. Anyway, I highly recommend this excellent book.

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  • M
  • 10-29-19

Brilliant!

An eye opening and forensic deconstruction of the way that Christian fundamentalism and the blurring of fiction and reality that serves to form each persons own “truth” impacts life in the US, and the rest of the world as a result. Highly recommended!

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  • W. Lensvelt
  • 06-22-18

Kurt Andersen Completely Missing The Point

Kurt Andersen should really take the red pill.
His condescending tone towards his idea of a conservative make this book impossible to finish.

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  • Kel Dommage
  • 06-16-20

USA explained

For a curious and confused Australian this book explained a lot. Plenty of dry humour.

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  • AW
  • 10-13-21

Good points, lacks depth

While it's a good summation of American insanity-and timely with it, too-it is a victim of its broad scope in that it struggles to cover the wide range of topics included and tie them together.

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  • Tony
  • 06-04-21

great book, if you can get past his heavy bias.

I loved this book. however the author is very opinionated and pretty biased against Christianity. having said that he does provide a great insight into the American culture of fantasy land.

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  • Reyna
  • 02-06-21

What's with this guy's focus on plastic surgery?

A broad-strokes shallow probe over a deluge of topics linked together with a flimsy thread. It manages to go on for quite some time without providing enough depth to illustrate a focused point. It tries, bless it's heart, with more or less good intentions to illustrate an overarching throughline through America's origins to where it is today. However such topics require more depth than this book can manage to provide. It also jumps around in time way too much despite ostensibly presenting itself as a linear exploration.