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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know Hardcover – Oct 3 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 3rd edition (Oct. 3 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618226478
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618226474
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 20.6 x 4.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #215,993 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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4.2 out of 5 stars
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By "abbykapoff62" on Aug. 10 2004
Format: Hardcover
Our book club tends to stick with bestsellers like "Da Vinci" or McCrae's "The Bark of the Dogwood," so it came as quite a shock when this book was recommended. The truth is, it couldn't be more perfect, especially for a book club. The reason? You'll want to discuss what's in between these pages and boy, will there ever be a discussion! This is true food for thought and you'll all have a blast!
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Format: Hardcover
New Dictionary Of Cultural Literacy provides a basic, working knowledge of cultural changes and literary topics which range from concepts of the digital divide and Kwanzaa to pheromones, spam, and different cultural icons which have changed over the centuries. The chapters are organized by general topic (world history, American history, politics, psychology and sociology) and provide an A-Z reference for each chapter. Browsers and students alike will find it handy.
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Format: Hardcover
The pictures aren't flashy. The text isn't eloquent. But, this book delivers exactly what the subtitle suggests, "What Every American Needs to Know." Full of up-to-date and well-organized content, the book provides answers to everyday questions, in addition to being a source for research. (Writers of college papers will find this a very useful tool.)
Although I am not one to pick up a dictionary and read through it, I typically cover several pages at a time when I reference this book. While reading the text of one piece, I often find myself intrigued about, and looking up, another topic.
Every home should have a copy of this book!
"Tight Lines!"
~..~..~.. ><((((*>
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By A Customer on Nov. 12 2003
Format: Hardcover
The pictures aren't flashy. The text isn't eloquent. But, this book delivers exactly what the subtitle suggests, "What Every American Needs to Know." Full of up-to-date and well-organized content, the book provides answers to everyday questions, in addition to being a source for research. (Writers of college papers will find this a very useful tool.)
Although I am not one to pick up a dictionary and read through it, I typically cover several pages at a time when I reference this book. While reading the text of one piece, I often find myself intrigued about, and looking up, another topic.
Every home should have a copy of this book!
"Tight Lines!"
~..~..~.. ><((((*>
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Format: Hardcover
Want to look up cultural references in Denis Miller's rants? Can't remember what the Byzantine empire did? Feel like your loosing your memory? This book can help!
Yes, I'll admit the title does have a certain haughtiness and presumptiouness to it, but this book is packed with information. The topics covered are quite broad, and I guess it would HAVE to be if the goal is to ensure cultural literacy. Including all the things you should have learned in highschool had you been paying attention, this book is a great refresher course in everything from History, to Literature, to proverbs and idioms in the English language.
It has a bit of a western bias, which is sort of what I'm getting at when I say the title presumes alot. Perhaps an alternate title (and I mean this without cynicsm) would be "what most Americans don't know about America but should." I include myself in that category, by the way.
The best thing about this book is it's organization. At first, I was wishing it was all alphabetical, but then you realize that grouping entries in catagorized chapters is better. Additionally, the bites of data are concise and easily digested, enough to answer a question and provide enough information for you to look elsewhere if you want in depth explainations.
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Format: Hardcover
Some of the editorial and customer reviews seem to be confused by what they mean when they call Hirsch a "conservative."
Hirsch is only a conservative in the sense that he is confortable with the status quo and is cautious about accepting change but not unwilling. The political right-wing of today calls itself "conservative" but is actually ULTRA-conservative, wanting to turn back the clock on cultural changes and has an almost paranoid view of the left. According to interviews, Hirsch sees himself as more an old New Deal liberal, and while he may often disagree with contemporary radicals on some cultural matters, he does not treat them with utter contempt like today's right-wing movement tends to do.
(For examples, of the type of far-right "conservatives" I was mentioning above, think Allan Bloom or Philip Johnson.)
As for the book itself, it's a good list, but none of the authors ever intended to make it comprehensive of the entire culture. (The main reason Germaine Greer and Sherman Alexie are not mentioned may simply be space limitations. They even had to cut some stuff from the last edition.)
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Format: Hardcover
New Dictionary Of Cultural Literacy provides a basic, working knowledge of cultural changes and ltierary topics which range from concepts of the digital divide and Kwanzaa to pheromones, spam, and different cultural icons which have changed over the centuries. Chapters are organized by general topic (world history, American history, politics, psychology and sociology) and provide an A-Z reference for each chapter. Browsers and students alike will find it handy.
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