A feeling for books: the Book-of-the-Month Club, literary taste, and middle-class desire

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University of North Carolina Press, 1997 - Literary Criticism - 424 pages
3 Reviews
"A Feeling for Books" is at once a fascinating study of an influential cultural institution and a profoundly personal meditation on the love of books and the experience of reading. Deftly melding cultural history, literary criticism, and autobiographical reflection, Janice Radway traces the history of the Book-of-the-Month Club from its controversial founding in 1926 through its evolution into an organization uniquely successful in blending commerce and culture. Working, as an ethnographer would, from interviews with club employees and with records left by the club's founders and original judges, Radway reconstructs the standards and ethos as well as the tastes and passions that drove club officials. In the process, she provides an insightful look at the attractions of middlebrow culture and an intriguing account of middle-class Americans' desire to display the tasteful signs of learning and education.

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Review: A Feeling for Books: The Book-Of-The-Month Club, Literary Taste, and Middle-Class Desire

User Review  - David - Goodreads

This had a whole lot of essays that said a whole lot of nothing for pages and pages. Apparently, no one ever told these writers about getting to the point. Read full review

Review: A Feeling for Books: The Book-Of-The-Month Club, Literary Taste, and Middle-Class Desire

User Review  - Judine - Goodreads

Again, Radway is able to write theory in a way that makes sense. However, I would have liked to see her connect more to the middle section of the book like she does in parts one and three. The first person style makes for easier reading. Read full review

Contents

A Certain Book Club Culture
21
The Intelligent Generalist and the Uses of Reading
88
The Struggle over the Book 18701920
127
Copyright

5 other sections not shown

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About the author (1997)

Janice A. Radway is professor of literature at Duke University. She is author or editor of four books, including "Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy, and Popular Literature" and "A Feeling for Books: The Book-of-the-Month Club, Literary Taste, and Middle-Class Desire" (both from the University of North Carolina Press).

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