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The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know

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A National bestseller, The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy has been widely acclaimed for identifying and defining the core body of knowledge that no literare American should be without. Now in this newly revised and updated edition, the authors provice a comprehensive look at cultural literacy for the nineties. New entries reflect suggestions from hundreds of readers. The dictionary takes into account the growing consensus over the specifics of multiculturalism, the political and geographic changes in the world, ...
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Overview

A National bestseller, The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy has been widely acclaimed for identifying and defining the core body of knowledge that no literare American should be without. Now in this newly revised and updated edition, the authors provice a comprehensive look at cultural literacy for the nineties. New entries reflect suggestions from hundreds of readers. The dictionary takes into account the growing consensus over the specifics of multiculturalism, the political and geographic changes in the world, and the new ideas and terms that flow constantly from scientific research and technological development. The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy challenges us to find out more about what we know and helps us make sense of what we read, hear, and learn. It is a "must have" book for every home.

This revised edition of an acclaimed bestseller provides a comprehensive look at cultural literacy for the 1990s. New entries reflect readers' suggestions, a growing awareness of multiculturalism, contributions of African Americans, newer historical events, scientific research, and more. 286 photos, maps, and line drawings.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
YA-- This book belongs in high-school libraries, if only because of the tremendous amount of publicity and controversy surrounding its compilation. It has large gaps in minority literature and history, but in other areas it is fascinating in its coverage. Adults will enjoy browsing to find what is included and what's not, while students will appreciate the quick reference.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395655979
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 8/31/1993
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 619
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 9.62 (h) x 1.84 (d)

Meet the Author

James Trefil, the Clarence J. Robinson Professor of Physics at George Mason University, is the author or coauthor of more than thirty books, including The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy.

Joseph F. Kett, Commonwealth Professor of History at the University of Virginia, received his Ph.D. from Harvard University. He is the author of The Formation of the American Medical Profession: The Role of Institutions, 1780-1860 (1968) and Rites of Passage: Adolescence in America, 1790-Present (1977). He is the co-author of The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy (1988). A former History Department chair at Virginia, he has also participated on the Panel on Youth of the President's Science Advisory Committee, served on the Board of Editors for the History of Education Quarterly, and is a past member of the Council of the American Studies Association.

E.D. Hirsch, Jr. is the Linden Kent Memorial Professor of English at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, and the author of Cultural Literacy, The First Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, and The Core Knowledge Series. Dr. Hirsch is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has been a senior fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is president of the Core Knowledge Foundation, a nonprofit organization devoted to educational reform.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2003

    Should be a textbook in every public school

    Has more useful information between two covers than any other book I can think of. Being a teacher, I have used it in many classes to familiarize inter-city students with common knowledge needed to compete in the real world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2001

    The basics of knowledge

    I loved reading this book. It was a required reading for my freshman seminar class however, I found myself refering to it with questions about Humanities, Literature, and Western Civilization. It is insightful and well organized.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2000

    A most effective weapon against the dumbing of America

    I first purchased this valuable reference tool when my children were in elementary school(about 12 years ago). I have since recommended it to scores of my friends. All have reacted enthusiastically about its value to both the children and the adults in the family. It contains virtually 1000's of culturally enriching facts, divided into easy to find chapters with titles like; The Bible, Art and Literature, Science, History, Idioms,etc. It built confidence, increased curiosity and motivated my children. One fact per week and in a very short time, I was surprised at how fast their information base grew. We also used it to play trivia. I highly recommend it to anyone with children, or to adults who realize that they spend most of their college years sleeping!

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