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Cultural History of Reading

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What is it about some books that makes them timeless? Cultural History of Reading looks at books from their earliest beginnings through the present day, in both the U.S. and regions all over the world. Not only fiction and literature, but religious works, dictionaries, scientific works, and home guides such as Mrs. Beeton's all have had an impact on not only their own time and place, but continue to capture the attention of readers today. Volume 1 examines the history of books in regions throughout the world, ...

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Overview

What is it about some books that makes them timeless? Cultural History of Reading looks at books from their earliest beginnings through the present day, in both the U.S. and regions all over the world. Not only fiction and literature, but religious works, dictionaries, scientific works, and home guides such as Mrs. Beeton's all have had an impact on not only their own time and place, but continue to capture the attention of readers today. Volume 1 examines the history of books in regions throughout the world, identifying both literature and nonfiction that was influenced by cultural events of its time. Volume 2 identifies books from the pre-colonial era to the present day that have had lasting significance in the United States. History students and book lovers alike will enjoy discovering the books that have impacted our world.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up

This wide-ranging work is a cultural history of writing as well as of reading. Volume One, World Literature , is divided by region, with sections on "The Americas" (excluding the United States), "Europe and Britain," "Asia and the Pacific," "South Asia and the Indian Sub-continent," and "Africa and the Middle East." Chapters address literature of countries and eras ("Canada," "The Renaissance"). The second volume, American Literature , covers the United States and the preceding colonies, and includes chapters such as "Reading Slavery and the Civil War" and "Reading in the Twenty-First Century: 2000-2007." Sidebars throughout expand the narrative, providing author biographies, information on reading in various subcultures, and historical notes; and there are occasional black-and-white maps, reproductions, and photographs. Though book-loving browsers will find countless fascinating facts here, the work is best suited to those who need in-depth information on literary works and authors, and those taking Advanced Placement history classes. For example, readers of Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children will find an extensive discussion of the genesis and significance of that work in the chapter on the contemporary period in South Asia, and students of the early American colonial period will appreciate "Reading during Settlement and Colonization: 1700-1776," which includes three pages on the literature of the Salem witch hunts. Researchers will be well served by each chapter's lists of recommended reading and of primary and secondary sources (which include print and online materials, some of them scholarly), and the extensive set index in each volume. Wellexecuted, thorough, and enjoyable.-Henrietta Thornton-Verma, School Library Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313337468
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/1/2008
  • Pages: 424

Meet the Author

SARA E. QUAY is Dean, School of Education and Chair of Liberal Studies, Endicott College, Beverly, MA and author of "Westward Expansion" a volume in the American Popular Culture Through History series (Greenwood, 2002)

GABRIELLE WATLING is an assistant professor of English at Endicott College in Massachusetts.

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Table of Contents

Volume 1

01 Frontmatter and Introduction

1.1 The Americas: Canada

1.3 The Americas: Latin American Diaspora

2.2 Britain and Europe: The Emergence of Christianity

2.5 Britain and Europe: The Enlightenment

2.6 Europe and Britain: Romanticism and the Nineteenth Century

2.7 Europe and Britain: Modern Europe and Britain

2.8 Europe and Britain: Postmodern Europe and Britain

2.9 Europe and Britain: The Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.)/ post-Soviet Russia

3.1 Asia and the Pacific Imperial China

3.2 Asia and the Pacific Modern China

3.4 Asia and the Pacific Korea

3.5 Asia and the Pacific Australia and New Zealand

3.6 Asia and the Pacific: The South Pacific and Melanesia

4.1 South Asia and the Indian Subcontinent: Classical Period

4.2 India and the Sub-Continent: European Arrival and the Colonial Period

4.3 South Asia and the Indian Subcontinent: Independent India

4.4 South Asia and the Indian Subcontinent: Contemporary India

5.2 Africa and the Middle East: Turkish Reading Culture during the Ottoman Empire

5.3 Africa and the Middle East: The Modern Middle East

5.4 Africa and the Middle East: Postcolonial Africa

6.0 Works Cited

Table of Contents Volume 2

1. Reading in the Era of Discovery and Exploration: prior to 1700

2. Reading during Settlement and Colonization: 1700-1776

3. Reading in the Revolution and the New Republic: 1776-1820

4. Reading and National Identity: 1820-1860

5. Reading Slavery and the Civil War: 1861-1865

6. Reading and the Growth of a Nation: 1865-1913

7. From the Great War through the Great Depression: 1914-1940

8. Reading andthe Second World War: 1941-1960

9. Reading Rebellions and Countercultures: 1960s-1070s

10. Reading and the (Sub)cultures of the late twentieth-century: 1979-1999

11. Reading in the 21st Century: 2000 to the present

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