This interview was originally broadcast in January, 2018.
For most of its history, America has struggled to maintain a balance between fantasy and fact. According to today’s guest, Kurt Andersen, our country is now in a moment where we feel entitled to believe whatever we want, regardless of the evidence. How this happened, and why we should be concerned, is the subject of his book, Fantasyland, How America Went Haywire, A 500-Year History.
In the book, Mr. Andersen looks back at America’s colorful history, from the Salem witch trials to Hollywood to conspiracy theories, to understand how the lines between reality and illusion have become dangerously blurred.
Kurt Andersen is the bestselling author of the novels Heyday, Turn of the Century and True Believers and the host and co-creator of Studio 360, the Peabody Award-winning public radio show and podcast. He co-founded Spy Magazine, served as editor in chief of New York magazine, and is a contributor to Vanity Fair and The New York Times.