A Great Idea at the Time: The Rise, Fall, and Curious Afterlife of the Great Books

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PublicAffairs, Oct 1, 2009 - History - 245 pages
21 Reviews
A witty history of an unlikely literary fad and an American pop culture phenomenon of the 1950s and early 1960s examines the overwhelming popularity of the Great Books of Western Civilization and how and why they rose to and fell out of fashion.

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Review: A Great Idea at the Time: The Rise, Fall, and Curious Afterlife of the Great Books

User Review  - Goodreads

A short, mostly entertaining history of the "Great Books" as an educational and popular culture phenomenon in 20th Century America. The author's wry observations about business and academic hubris are ... Read full review

Review: A Great Idea at the Time: The Rise, Fall, and Curious Afterlife of the Great Books

User Review  - Goodreads

A bit much in a not very exciting telling about the Great Books books. I would have liked a bit more focus on the books and movement they created and why it declined than so much about a couple of the ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Alex Beam is an award-winning columnist for the Boston Globe. His writing has also appeared in the Atlantic, Slate, the New York Times and many other magazines. The author of Gracefully Insane: Life and Death Inside America's Premier Mental Hospital, and of two novels, he lives in Boston.

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