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Dumbing Down : Essays on the Strip-Mining of American Culture - Katharine Washburn

Dumbing Down

Essays on the Strip-Mining of American Culture

By: Katharine Washburn (Editor), John F. Thornton (Editor), John Simon (Introduction by)


Published: 1st November 1997
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With vigor, wit, learning, common sense, and urgency, twenty-three essayist-including John Simon, Cynthia Ozick, Phillip Lopate, George F. Kennan, Sven Birkerts, Joseph Epstein, and Brad Leithauser-examine aspects of our pan-cultural "dumbing down" and offer both diagnoses of and possible cures for this wasting disease.

"What distinguishes this collection is its breadth, its liveliness. This valuable book provides much ammunition for ... unrepentant elitists." -- Lisa Zeidner - Philadelphia Inquirer "A collection of savagely witty essays by a hardy band of cultural commentators who believe things are bad, really bad out there, and are not at all reluctant to say so." -- Florence King - National Review "Provides the best picture we have of the declining and embarrassing condition of discourse in America." -- Neil Postman "A terrific book. It is unsettling, arresting, and compelling, and its publication is a public service." -- William J. Bennett

Foreword by the Editorsp. 11
Dumbing Down: Some Leading Indicatorsp. 23
Introductionp. 43
The Postmodern Schoolhousep. 57
The Question of Our Speech: The Return to Aural Culturep. 68
Writing Down Togetherp. 88
The Erosion of the Social Sciencesp. 97
The Saving Minutesp. 114
Circling the Squiresp. 126
Last Night at the Planetariump. 139
Voodoo Sciencep. 149
I'll Take My Stand: A Defense of Popular Culturep. 157
The Last Taboop. 164
What to Do about the Artsp. 179
"But First, a Word from Our Sponsor": Advertising and the Carnivalization of Culturep. 197
Homo Virtualisp. 209
The Facts of Fiction and the Fiction of Factsp. 224
Egalitarianism and Diversityp. 237
Kitsch Religionp. 250
America's Fantasy Urbanism: The Waxing of the Mall and the Waning of Civilityp. 261
The Trivialization of Tragedyp. 270
"I Feel Good to Be a Black Male"p. 281
Cooking Dumb, Eating Dumbp. 297
What's the Story?p. 308
Does Sex Still Exist?p. 321
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780393317237
ISBN-10: 0393317234
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 336
Published: 1st November 1997
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.52  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.5