The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002 - History - 647 pages
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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 that invaluable source.
Wireless technology. Gene therapy. NAFTA. In addition to the thousands of terms described in the original Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, here are more than five hundred new entries to bring Americans' bank of essential knowledge up to date. The original entries have been fully revised to reflect recent changes in world history and politics, American literature, and, especially, science and technology. Cultural icons that have stood the test of time (Odysseus, Leaves of Grass, Cleopatra, the Taj Mahal, D-Day) appear alongside entries on such varied concerns as cryptography, the digital divide, the European Union, Kwanzaa, pheromones, SPAM, Type A and Type B personalities, Web browsers, and much, much more.
As our world becomes more global and interconnected, it grows smaller through the terms and touchstones that unite us. As E. D. Hirsch writes in the preface, "Community is built up of shared knowledge and values -- the same shared knowledge that is taken for granted when we read a book or newspaper, and that is also taken for granted as part of the fabric that connects us to one another." A delicious concoction of information for anyone who wants to be in the know, The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy brilliantly confirms once again that it is "an excellent piece of work . . . stimulating and enlightening" (New York Times) -- the most definitive and comprehensive family sourcebook of its kind.
 

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Cultural Literacy

User Review  - blessedday - Overstock.com

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy should be in every Americans home and in every classroom for readers of all ages. This invaluable reference tool is packed full of completely uptodate ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - BoundTogetherForGood - LibraryThing

This is an interesting compliation of what the authors believe to be culturally pertinent information for today. I have used it in our schooling, having our children copy a particular small section to learn about it and for handwriting practice, as we study American history. Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

The Bible
1
Mythology and Folklore
27
Proverbs
47
Idioms
59
World Literature Philosophy and Religion
83
Literature in English
115
Conventions of Written English
147
Fine Arts
163
American Politics
329
World Geography
356
American Geography
404
Anthropology Psychology and Sociology
421
Business and Economics
444
Physical Sciences and Mathematics
469
Earth Sciences
505
Life Sciences
519

World History to 1550
202
World History since 1550
217
American History to 1865
251
American History since 1865
277
World Politics
311
Medicine and Health
542
Technology
583
Photo and Illustration Credits
603
Index
605
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

James Trefil, the Clarence J. Robinson Professor of Physics at George Mason University, is the author or coauthor of more than thirty books, including The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. E.D. Hirsch, Jr. is the Linden Kent Memorial Professor of English at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, and the author of Cultural Literacy, The First Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, and The Core Knowledge Series. Dr. Hirsch is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has been a senior fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is president of the Core Knowledge Foundation, a nonprofit organization devoted to educational reform.

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