An Incomplete Education: 3,684 Things You Should Have Learned but Probably Didn't

An Incomplete Education: 3,684 Things You Should Have Learned but Probably Didn't

2.6 48
by Judy Jones, William Wilson
     
 

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When it was originally published in 1987, An Incomplete Education became a surprise bestseller. Now this instant classic has been completely updated, outfitted with a whole new arsenal of indispensable knowledge on global affairs, popular culture, economic trends, scientific principles, and modern arts. Here’s your chance to brush up on all those subjects you

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Overview

When it was originally published in 1987, An Incomplete Education became a surprise bestseller. Now this instant classic has been completely updated, outfitted with a whole new arsenal of indispensable knowledge on global affairs, popular culture, economic trends, scientific principles, and modern arts. Here’s your chance to brush up on all those subjects you slept through in school, reacquaint yourself with all the facts you once knew (then promptly forgot), catch up on major developments in the world today, and become the Renaissance man or woman you always knew you could be!

How do you tell the Balkans from the Caucasus? What’s the difference between fission and fusion? Whigs and Tories? Shiites and Sunnis? Deduction and induction? Why aren’t all Shakespearean comedies necessarily thigh-slappers? What are transcendental numbers and what are they good for? What really happened in Plato’s cave? Is postmodernism dead or just having a bad hair day? And for extra credit, when should you use the adjective continual and when should you use continuous?

An Incomplete Education answers these and thousands of other questions with incomparable wit, style, and clarity. American Studies, Art History, Economics, Film, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Religion, Science, and World History: Here’s the bottom line on each of these major disciplines, distilled to its essence and served up with consummate flair.

In this revised edition you’ll find a vitally expanded treatment of international issues, reflecting the seismic geopolitical upheavals of the past decade, from economic free-fall in South America to Central Africa’s world war, and from violent radicalization in the Muslim world to the crucial trade agreements that are defining globalization for the twenty-first century. And don’t forget to read the section A Nervous American’s Guide to Living and Loving on Five Continents before you answer a personal ad in the International Herald Tribune.

As delightful as it is illuminating, An Incomplete Education packs ten thousand years of culture into a single superbly readable volume. This is a book to celebrate, to share, to give and receive, to pore over and browse through, and to return to again and again.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for An Incomplete Education

“AN ASTONISHING AMOUNT OF INFORMATION.”
–The New York Times

“IT IS PRECISELY THE BOOK THAT I’VE ALWAYS WANTED WITHOUT KNOWING THAT I ALWAYS WANTED IT. . . . It’s for people who have huge gaps in their knowledge of specific areas of culture and intellectual history. . . . Cheerfully, subversively anti-academic.”
–Jon Carrol, San Francisco Chronicle

“MEMORIZE THIS BOOK AND YOU CAN DROP NAMES, ALLUSIONS, AND ARCANE TERMS WITH THE BEST OF THEM, whether you (or they) know what they’re talking about. . . . The book will rekindle warm memories of your favorite courses, favorite professors, favorite books, favorite theories, favorite philosophical paradoxes.”
–Chicago Tribune

“RUSH TO YOUR NEAREST BOOKSTORE AND BUY An Incomplete Education. . . . [It] brings you 10,000 years of information. Imagine the power of knowing where Watteau went when the lights went out!”
–New York Daily News

“ARTICULATE AND IRREVERENT, crammed with facts, figures, drawings, definitions, and historic information sufficient to fill your every gap. . . . Judy Jones and William Wilson . . . tell you everything you should’ve learned but didn’t.
–Esquire

“THIS BOOK GETS AN A+.”
–The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Library Journal
The current emphasis on cultural literacy and the first edition's popularity (LJ 6/1/87) induced an update of this fascinating refresher course of core curriculum subjects. Two freelance writers, aided by several contributors, cover in bite-sized portions some "essentials" for an educated person. The treatment of 12 disciplines is au courant, sometimes irreverent and cynical, but substantially reliable, helping the authors achieve their purpose-to provide an entertaining invitation to information that has inspired and/or confused us over the years. While some topics, e.g., American studies and art history, are only slightly revised from the 1987 edition, coverage in science and political science is updated or new. One of the most successful chapters treats in a novel approach the culture, history, and geopolitics of 18 countries. Not strictly for the reference collection, this book can be profitably read by people of widely different age groups who may approach its contents selectively. An excellent layout with numerous photos and illustrations adds to the overall appeal.-Stanley P. Hodge, Ball State Univ. Lib., Muncie, Ind.
Jennifer Henderson
"An Incomplete Education" was first published in 1987, but this book has been completely updated, making it tremendously useful. Arranged around college departments, it strives to fill in learning gaps in American studies, art history, economics, film, literature, music, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, science, and world history. Authors Jones and Wilson reacquaint readers with the essence of complex issues, controversial personalities, and current political trends in a lively, enticing manner. They grab your intellect with flashing wit while discussing topics as wide ranging as "what you need to know if you're dating an Ethiopian" ; Shintoism, "the Hammacher-Schlemmer of Eastern religions" ; and differences between symbiosis, synapse, and synergy. Can't keep those French monarchs straight? Check out the "Louis, Louis" list for insights into the lives and loves of rulers XIII to XVI. Whether you're pondering the relevance of "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari," opera through the ages, or aspects of fauvism, this book is an invaluable reference.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780345468901
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/25/2006
Edition description:
3RD
Pages:
720
Sales rank:
227,923
Product dimensions:
7.72(w) x 6.53(h) x 1.74(d)

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