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Anti-intellectualism has been a cultural trait of the United States since the early nineteenth century when the ideals of Jefferson, Franklin, and Adams were overtaken by the desire for economic stability, military defense, and then unbridled growth and empire. I'd define intellectualism as the pursuit of pure knowledge without necessarily any pragmatic consequence. I'm sure if you wrote a doctoral dissertation along the lines of 'The Potential Economic Growth Contributions of Doctoral Students in Physics,' you could get a high-paying job in any corporation. There is a plethora of books on the subject. A good short one is 'Invention of a Nation' by Gore Vidal. One observation by the sociologist/Jesuit Priest Jacques Ellul is that the more highly educated a person is, the more he or she is liable to be swayed by propaganda (an interesting thesis although I think it's a bit of a generalization).