Cultural History of Reading

Cultural History of Reading

by Sara E. Quay
     
 

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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

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.

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780313337468
Publisher:
Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
Publication date:
11/01/2008
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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