Irrepressible Reformer: A Biography of Melvil Dewey
Drawing from rare archival materials researched over a period of fifteen years, preeminent Dewey historian Wayne Wiegand has produced the first frank and comprehensive biography of the man behind the Dewey Decimal Classification System and scores of other enduring achievements. Tracing Dewey's life and influences that shaped it, Irrepressible Reformer explores Dewey's ingenius enterprise as a library innovator, educational official, and business operator. It probes his personality, which may be found arrogant, manipulative, immoral, and bigoted.
The library world's most famous figure, Dewey (1851–1931) copyrighted his Decimal Classification System in 1876. After many editions, it is used today in more than 100,000 libraries worldwide. An organizer and first executive director of ALA, he is considered the father of library education and of librarianship as a profession. In his myriad activities in education, spelling and metric reform, state politics, and hostelry, Dewey crossed paths with Andrew Carnegie, Teddy Roosevelt, Booker T. Washington, and other giants of his era.
Irrepressible Reformer suffers none of the restraints of previous "kinder, gentler" biographical treatments, as it reveals the enigmatic Dewey, warts and all. Even so, Wiegand provides richer background on Dewey's positive achievements than any work to date. A profound character study that reads like a novel, Irrepressible Reformer will long serve students and researchers in librarianship, education, New York state history, and American reform movements.
What people are saying - Write a review
Irrepressible reformer: a biography of Melvil DeweyUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Finally, Melvil Dewey fully revealed, in entertaining prose, built on rigorous and deep historical scholarship. This is the definitive biography we've missed for so long. It tells the story of an ... Read full review