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Marcus

Seattle, WA, United States | Member Since 2005

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  • Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By E.D. Hirsch Jr.
    • Narrated By Barrett Whitener
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    In this forceful manifesto Professor E. D. Hirsch, Jr., argues that children in the United States are being deprived of the basic knowledge that would enable them to function in contemporary society. They lack cultural literacy: a grasp of background information that writers and speakers assume their audience already has.

    Marcus Vorwaller says: "Interesting Theory"
    "Interesting Theory"
    Overall

    The premise for this book is that in order to be literate, one must not only be able to read but properly understand the context of things mentioned in conversation by literate people. Literate people assume at least a basic knowledge of certain things and build everything else in conversation and education upon that basic knowledge. The authors are pushing for education that imparts knowledge of the things that are assumed to be understood by literate people.

    It's an interesting listen. The text is academic and somewhat repetitive, but by the end of the book you clearly understand their very convincing argument. I'd consider this a very important book for parents and educators--if not to take and apply what the authors suggest, at least to be aware of it.

    The last several hours of the book are almost worthless. The narrator reads a list from A-Z of the topics the authors consider important to be culturally literate. There is no conceivable way someone could listen to that for 4 hours. It's like reading the dictionary minus definitions. Aside from that, that list is freely available (updated with definitions) elsewhere online.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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