How Dorks, Dweebs, Techies, and Trekkies Can Save America and Why They Might Be Our Last Hope

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Additional Formats
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9781585428526
  • 304 Pages
  • TarcherPerigee
  • Adult


“Anderegg’s clear-eyed look at a damaging cultural truism does nerds and jocks-all Americans, really-a service.” (The Washington Post).

Thick glasses, socially awkward, a math whiz with a pocket protector- everyone knows what a nerd is. But where did this stereotype come from? Children aren’t born knowing what a “nerd” or “geek” is, so why do they know by the age of five or six that they don’t want to be one? In this revised and updated paperback edition of his thought-provoking book, family psychotherapist and psychology professor David Anderegg reveals how the systematic disparagement of “nerds” in our culture is bad for our children and even worse for America. In Nerds, Anderegg examines why science and engineering have become socially poisonous disciplines, why adults wink at the derision of “nerdy” kids, and what the cost of this rising tide of anti- intellectualism is to both our children and our nation. Drawing upon education research, psychological theory, and his own interviews with nerdy and non-nerdy kids alike, Anderegg argues that in order to prepare rising generations to compete in the global marketplace, we need to revisit how we think about “nerds.”


“An enlightening and highly entertaining look at a world that both shuns nerds and desperately needs more of them.”
-Seed Magazine

“A spirited and thoughtful introduction to this culture war: the jocks or ‘pops’ (popular kids) vs. the nerds.”
-The Boston Globe

“Anderegg tackles all the big questions: Are geeks different than nerds? Does Bill Gates really have Asperger’s syndrome? …this is a serious book with more science that you might expect.”
-Wired Magazine

“Thoughtful and warmly sympathetic.”
-The Economist