Quench your intellectual thirst with an overview of the literature, music, film, personalities, trends, sports, and pop references that have defined the way we live. From the Slinky to Star Wars; Beatlemania to Babe Ruth; flappers to fascism—refreshing your memory and dazzling your friends has never been easier, or more fun. Whether you're a trivia genius, pop-culture buff, or avid reader, you'll be riveted by this comprehensive journey through contemporary culture.
|Publisher:||Rodale Press, Inc.|
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About the Author
NOAH D. OPPENHEIM, a senior producer of NBC's Today show, has extensive experience in television and print journalism. His writing has appeared in Esquire and the Wall Street Journal. He lives in New York City.
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Excerpted from "The Intellectual Devotional Modern Culture"
Copyright © 2008 David S. Kidder.
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Reading Group Guide
The Intellectual Devotional: Modern Culture (Quizzes)
By David S. Kidder and Noah D. Oppenheim
Week One: Personalities
1. In which book, published in 1923, did Sigmund Freud introduce his theory of the three competing areas of the mind?
a) The Interpretation of Dreams
b) The Id, the Ego, and the Superego
c) The Power of the Unconscious Mind
d) The Ego and the Id
Answer: d) The Ego and the Id
2. In 2000, who did Time magazine name as its "Person of the Century?"
a) Mohandas Gandhi
b) Franklin Eleanor Roosevelt
c) Adolf Hitler
d) Albert Einstein
Answer: d) Albert Einstein
3. In India, one of Mohandas Gandhi's sobriquets was "Mahatma," meaning what?
a) Enlightened One
b) Great Soul
c) Harbinger of Peace
d) Father of India
Answer: b) Great Soul
Week Two: Literature
1. Which Irish literary figure won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923 and advocated a return to Ireland's earliest roots - its myths and folktales - as an escape from the Catholic-Protestant conflict?
a) James Joyce
b) Samuel Beckett
c) William Butler Yeats
d) William Blake
Answer: c) William Butler Yeats
2. Which American poet wrote an original poem for President John F. Kennedy's presidential inauguration but decided at the last minute to read an older poem due to the glare from the snow and his failing eyesight?
a) Robert Bly
b) Langston Hughes
c) Robert Frost
d) T. S. Eliot
Answer: c) Robert Frost
3. Aldous Huxley took the title Brave New World - which at the time was considered to be a pioneering combination of science fiction and dystopian literature - from a line out of which Shakespearean play?
b) The Tempest
c) King Lear
Answer: b) The Tempest
Week Three: Music
1. Which rapper was the first to have an album rise to number one while in prison?
a) Notorious BIG and his album "Life After Death"
b) The Game and "The Documentary"
c) Snoop Doggy Dog and "Doggystyle"
d) Tupac Shakur and "Me Against the World"
Answer: d) Tupac Shakur and "Me Against the World"
2. Which Michael Jackson hit is not on the album "Thriller," the best-selling album (in terms of number of copies, with an estimated 108 million) of all time?
b) "The Girl Is Mine"
c) "Human Nature"
d) "Don't Stop till You Get Enough"
Answer: d) "Don't Stop till You Get Enough"
3. Which Russian composer wrote some of the most popular ballets in history, including Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker?
a) Igor Stravinsky
b) Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
c) Sergei Rachmaninoff
d) Alexander Teneyev
Answer: b) Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Week Four: Film
1. Which are true concerning D. W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation?
a) It was considered the first American epic and utilized an emerging narrative style and technical innovations such as close-up shots and intertitles to turn movie-making into an art form.
b) The movie was based on the novel The Clansmen - also the original title for the movie - and focused on the Civil War and Reconstruction, glorifying the Klu Klux Klan.
c) Main characters in the movie were white actors who painted their faces black.
d) All of the above.
Answer: d) All of the above.
2. Of the following Hollywood movies, which one was nominated for fourteen Oscars (tied for the most), won eleven (tied for the most), and is the first movie to gross over $1 billion worldwide (unadjusted world gross)?
a) The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
b) Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
d) Ben Hur
Answer: c) Titanic
3. "I want to be alone": Which famous 1930s film actress made this line famous in the movie Grand Hotel?
a) Greta Garbo
b) Ginger Rogers
c) Myrna Loy
d) Mae West
Answer: a) Greta Garbo
Week Five: Ideas and Trends
1. According to Karl Marx, one of the writers of the Communist Manifesto, what was considered the "opium of the people"?
b) Communism itself
c) Poverty and social strife
Answer: d) Religion
2. Who coined the term Zionism in an 1890 issue of his own journal, Self-Emancipation, and helped form the World Zionist Organization, which later helped create the modern world's first Jewish state on May 14, 1948?
a) Theodor Herzl
b) Captain Alfred Dreyfus
c) Nathan Birnbaum
d) Max Nordau
Answer: c) Nathan Birnbaum
3. Which European Union member state is one of the two most recent countries to join in January 2007?
Answer: d) Bulgaria
Week 6: Sports
1. Who is the only athlete to be named Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year twice?
a) Michael Jordan
b) Lance Armstrong
c) Tiger Woods
d) Tom Brady
Answer: c) Tiger Woods
2. What was the first unofficial nickname of Boston's professional baseball team before it finally settled for the Red Sox in 1907 as its first official nickname?
d) Red Stockings
Answer: b) Americans
3. According to ESPN, who is the greatest North American athlete of the century?
a) Muhammad Ali
b) Jim Brown
c) Michael Jordan
d) Babe Ruth
Answer: c) Michael Jordan
Week Seven: Pop
1. Which Hollywood film director created The Little Rascals, which was originally known as Our Gang in 1922?
a) Frank Capra
b) Hal Roach
c) Charley Rogers
d) Mack Sennett
Answer: b) Hal Roach
2. How old was Mickey Mouse when he became the first cartoon character to have his name immortalized on the Hollywood Walk of Fame?
a) 25 years old
Answer: b) 50
3. Which entertainer and flapper proved as the inspiration for Grim Natwick's Betty Boop cartoon character in 1930?
a) Mae Questel
b) Helen Kane
c) Clara Bow
d) Jesse Fordyce
Answer: b) Helen Kane
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I enjoy the breadth of topics in the book. I learn a bit an the topic and it stimulates further research. I keep my copy at work to fill the little down time I have.