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The New Dictionary Of Cultural Literacy
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The New Dictionary Of Cultural Literacy

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  364 ratings  ·  36 reviews
In this fast-paced information age, how can Americans know what's really important and what's just a passing fashion? Now more than ever, we need a source that concisely sums up the knowledge that matters to Americans -- the people, places, ideas, and events that shape our cultural conversation. With more than six thousand entries,The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy is ...more
Paperback, 647 pages
Published (first published 1989)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,016)
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Paula Hartman-Carlo
I read this in preparation of the Foreign Service Officer Test. I have to say, it covers just about every possible subject. I found it very helpful and it was written in an easily understood manner. I'd recommend this to everyone, especially students.
The purpose of this work - an encyclopedia of stuff kids should learn - is a shameful way to approach education. (I bought this hardback copy for $0.75 a library book sale!)
The authors, in a previous book, indicate that there are specific facts that must be learned in order for people to communicate. Now I'm all for facts in school, but their method for choosing facts is simply what they thought was needed. On top of that, because they feel science is lacking in school, they add lots of science words. I know plenty of adults who wouldn't know half of those science words, but who all manage to communicate effectively anyway. I like the idea of the book, but I questi ...more
This is a book that belongs in every home, school, and library. It is NOT aimed at children (at least not the edition I have), nor is it intended to be a text book. It is a reference of most of the things that go into making the "culture" of today's world. Excellent background information and essential knowledge. I happen to have read it cover to cover, and found it endlessly interesting and thought provoking.
Sep 19, 2009 Pollopicu rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teenagers and adults, not kids.
Not a book you read from cover to cover. It's a cultural dictionary for adults. I study a bit at bedtime. I love it! I've learned much from it. This book coupled with cross-referencing on the internet can lead to amazing wealth of knowledge.

This is not a kids book! The one some of the reviewers are referring to is this one..

Want to know what every reference you've ever heard means? Start studying here. It doesn't explain every one for you, but gives you a good idea of where you need to start your research.
Leah Macvie
I am in the process of reading 3 E.D. Hirsch books in order. This, of course, was the first in my series. 1987 was a long time ago; I was 5 when this book was written. Needless to say, it was a different time and many things have happened since then.

As mentioned in other reviews, this book is an argument for the need for cultural literacy, in our country and around the world. After reading this book, I drew a few conclusions. 1. Americans do need an underlying cultural literacy, even if radical
This is the book that Shannon Brooks, VP of George Wythe College, told me about. He said that GWC wants every freshman to know what's in this book. Every day after devotional we're testing the girls on what they know, then reading about the things they don't know.
We always talk about cultural literacy now. Today in the newspaper Hal read to us a political editorial about giving up our birthright for a mess of potage. If you don't know the story, then that phrase sure doesn't mean anything.
This is a cool reference book of all things the culturally literate understand and can talk about. Very cool--divided into sections and the sections are alphabetical. So under "arts" there's little blurbs about movie stars and composers, their best-known work, etc. It's cool to read concise info on people/events I know little or nothing about.
I've finally put this book back on the shelf. I continue to think this book's valuable. While only a genius seven year old would bother to actually read the thing cover to cover, I thought it was fascinating in it's translation of ideas and words that are used in our everyday world. Though definitely more of a reference than a tome of learning.
This is definately a scholarly book about Education but I liked it anyway. His basic idea is that children need to know basic, certain things to get along in society. There is now a huge Charter school movement that uses his program in their schools. It's called "Core Knowledge". Almost all the Charter schools in Utah use it.
This isn't the type of book to read from cover to cover (it's basically a big giant dictionary!), but I'm loving all the GREAT information! Every time I read another section, I just feel that much smarter... and stupider for all the stuff I need to learn more about!
Kim Sasso
Hey, this is something that will require continual updates and I would love to have that job!
At long last, I've read this book cover-to-cover. Now I'm ready for Jeopardy. Well, after re-reading certain sections I'm weak on (the Bible, Canadian geography, the dreaded physical sciences...!)
This is more of a reference book that I will always bee reading. It is a MUST for all ages. It explains just enough of historical events to help anyone understand why they are important.
Carrie Lynne
Great book to have around to learn a little bit about everything. Great basic reference book. I made sure my kids got a personal copy of this book when they went into high school.
You can't ever be done with this one. I am going through it putting my children's initials by things they have studied or memorized. It is a great resource.
Going to be a while! Working to memorize this book. Great information that everyone should know. Why? Because the info is relevant to great leadership.
As a fan of educational essentialism, I am in love with the concept of this book, and I found its contents to be thoughtfully well-selected.
Suzanne hanks
This is one of those books that everyone needs to have on their shelves. Especially when reading classics from different eras and cultures.
This is an amazing and educational reference manual. It is available in both hardcover and paperback. There is also a children's version.
This is a great reference book. I can't decide where I need it more: at my home or in my office. I guess I need a second copy!
Comprehensive, concise. Anything you want to know to give yourself a liberal education, you'll find it here.
Jaymi Boswell
Apr 06, 2008 Jaymi Boswell rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: infomaniacs.
Recommended to Jaymi by: BN
Shelves: non-fiction
I picked this book up on a clearance last chance pile; what great and interesting things are inside.
A fantastic reference book, and something to flip through to get your mind going. Own it!
Idioms, history, proverbs. Sticks to the Western world, a useful reference book.
Essential for everyone. Helps you feel less dumb about everything!
Thom Dunn
first publication, 1989 is what I own and know from.
Mar 07, 2012 Gwen marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: culture, arlington
Source: Alyssa Rosenberg's blog
Library: NTR, Arlington
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