Expanding the American mind: books and the popularization of knowledge

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University of Massachusetts Press, May 31, 2010 - History - 218 pages
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"Over the past fifty years, knowledge of the natural world, history, and human behavior has expanded dramatically. What has been learned in the academy has become part of political discourse, sermons, and everyday conversation. The dominant medium for transferring knowledge from universities to the public is popularization - books of serious nonfiction that make complex ideas and information accessible to nonexperts. Such writers as Carl Sagan, Stephen Jay Gould, Stephen Hawking, Daniel Boorstin, and Robert Coles have attracted hundreds of thousands of readers. As fields such as biology, physics, history, and psychology have changed the ways we view ourselves and our place in the universe, popularization has played an essential role in helping us to understand our world.

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Contents

A Brief History of Popularization
25
A Highly Educated Public
45
From Snow to Sokal
61
Academic Philanthropists
87
Writing to Be Read
107
From Author to Reader
147
Why We Read
169
Notes
191
Selected Bibliography
207
Index
213
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Beth Luey, Director of the Scholarly Publishing Program at Arizona State University, is author of "Handbook for Academic Authors "(fourth edition, 2002), "The Harmonious Child: Every Parent's Guide to Musical Instruments, Lessons, and Teachers "(2003), and "Editing Documents and Texts: An Annotated Bibliography "(1987).