A Great Idea at the Time
The Rise, Fall, and Curious Afterlife of the Great Books
By (author) Alex Beam
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Great Idea at the Time by Alex Beam
Book DescriptionToday the classics of the western canon, written by the proverbial dead white men, are cannon fodder in the culture wars. But in the 1950s and 1960s, they were a pop culture phenomenon. The Great Books of Western Civilization, fifty-four volumes chosen by intellectuals at the University of Chicago, began as an educational movement, and evolved into a successful marketing idea. Why did a million American households buy books by Hippocrates and Nicomachus from door-to-door salesmen? And how and why did the great books fall out of fashion? In A Great Idea at the Time Alex Beam explores the Great Books mania, in an entertaining and strangely poignant portrait of American popular culture on the threshold of the television age. Populated with memorable characters, A Great Idea at the Time will leave readers asking themselves: Have I read Lucretiuss De Rerum Natura lately? If not, why not?
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Book DetailsISBN: 9781586484873
(210mm x 140mm x 25mm)
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
Publish Date: 5-Feb-2009
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Alex Beam
Great Idea at the Time, Paperback (October 2009)
By the author of the Boston Globe #1 bestseller Gracefully Insane: A wry, witty history of an unlikely literary fad, and of American pop culture in the 1950s and early 1960s
Gracefully Insane, Paperback (December 2002)» View all books by Alex Beam
An entertaining and poignant social history of McLean Hospital--temporary home to many of the troubled geniuses of our age--and of the evolution of the treatment of mental illness from the early 19th century to today
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Author Biography - Alex Beam
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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